Project Story

With the help of the University of Georgia’s first and only fashion magazine, Athens boutiques are expecting an increase in sales as the winter season draws closer.

UGA’s Little Red Book fashion magazine is working on following through with their mission to remedy and showcase Athens’ underappreciated fashion market by partnering with several Athens boutiques and featuring clothing items from the boutiques in the magazine issue.

Little Red Book fashion editor Nikki Sarmer said that local boutiques in Athens are underappreciated because of the growing popularity of online shopping. This sentiment was echoed by employee Cat Chandler from the Athens boutique Pitaya, but Chandler said that local Athens boutiques continue to be competitive against online retailers because the boutiques offer unique and stylish clothing that cannot be found online.

Established in 2009, the magazine has spent the past seven years working with local Athens boutiques to provide UGA students with information about trends and local fashion. The student organization releases two issues a year, one for the fall/winter season and one for the spring/summer season. Even though the magazines cost anywhere between $2,000 to $2,500 to produce the 100 to 150 magazines each semester, Little Red Book’s Editor-In-Chief Kiersten Fryer said that the local retailers do not have to pay to be featured in the magazine.

“We usually give stores free exposure because they let us pull and use their clothes and merchandise in our shoots,” Fryer said.

Instead of attending the UGA homecoming game on Oct. 15, Little Red Book senior fashion editor Lexus Marion spent the morning presenting paperwork and pulling clothes from different Athens boutiques. In her role with the magazine, Marion is in charge of contacting the boutiques and arranging the paperwork for the clothing pull.

“The LRB fashion committee is in charge of basically creating a spread for the magazine’s fashion spread. We go around downtown Athens and we pull clothes from local stores,” Marion said. “As the senior fashion editor, my job is to basically organize the whole event. I contact stores to get the okay that we can pull their clothes. I find models, I contact photographers, help set the date and the theme for the shoot.”

The paperwork is essential for the success of the clothing pull. The boutiques and senior editors from Little Red Book sign an agreement with the number of clothing pieces pulled and the value of each item taken. Little Red Book can usually only take a maximum of 20 items from each store and must return those clothing items within 48 hours. For the upcoming issue “Flash Forward,” Little Red Book was able to pull $439 worth of merchandise from the boutique Pitaya and $534 worth of merchandise from the boutique Impeccable Pig for the winter/fall 2016 photo shoot. Marion said that the storeowners are okay with the organization pulling around $500 worth of clothes for each photo shoot because those stores see an increase in sales soon after the magazine release.

Little Red Book fashion editor Nikki Sarmer is also an employee at Red Dress Boutique, one of the downtown Athens boutiques. She said that, in the store, she sees those increases in sales firsthand.

“Because Little Red Book is the only student-run fashion magazine on campus, it’s really awesome for us to be able to work so closely with all of the different boutiques downtown,” Sarmer said. “It really gives them a specific spotlight because, not only do we feature them, we also basically give our readers an entire play by play of where they can find the outfits, how they can get them, and how much they were.”

While neither Pitaya nor Red Dress boutique could provide a specific amount of their sales increase, employees of the stores confirm that they do see a change in sales following the magazine release.

Fryer said that the magazine’s popularity is growing every year and that the organization expects the upcoming issue of Little Red Book to be the most popular issue to date. The issue “Flash Forward” will feature clothing from Red Dress Boutique, Pitaya, Impeccable Pig, and fab’rik.

Little Red Book’s fall/winter 2016 issue “Flash Forward” will be available at the beginning of December.

Project Story Photo Captions

 

dsc_0160

Red Dress Boutique, a local Athens clothing store, is one of the boutiques to be featured in the upcoming fall/winter issue of UGA’s Little Red Book. For each clothing item, the magazine includes the item’s description, place of purchase, and price to provide readers with information on where to purchase the featured pieces.

dsc_0159

Little Red Book fashion editor and Red Dress Boutique employee Nikki Sarmer says that the most successful issue of Little Red Book was the spring/summer 2016 issue themed around upcycling and vintage clothing. Sarmer predicts that the soon to be released fall/winter issue will be the most popular.

img_3013

Instead of attending the UGA homecoming game, Little Red Book senior fashion editor Lexus Marion spent the morning of October 15th at Pitaya in downtown Athens. She pulled 20 clothing pieces from the boutique to be featured in the fall/winter 2016 issue photo shoot.

dsc_0161

Red Dress Boutique employees change the store’s mannequins to showcase their new winter clothing. The boutique expects an increase in sales as the holiday season approaches.

dsc_0164

Little Red Book fashion editor and Red Dress Boutique employee Nikki Sarmer said that local boutiques in Athens are underappreciated because of the growing popularity of online shopping. Sarmer said that Little Red Book works to “spotlight” local clothing stores through their magazines and upcoming fashion blog.

 

News Review #5

“SNL’s Kate McKinnon opens show singing ‘Hallelujah’”

http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/13/entertainment/snl-kate-mckinnon/index.html

 

Story description:

After a chaotic week of election coverage in the news and several weeks of skits about the elections in NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”, CNN covered SNL’s response to the presidential election results. In the cold opening of this past weekend’s show, Kate McKinnon played Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ on the piano while dressed as her Hillary Clinton character. She concluded the ballad by addressing the home audience and saying “I’m not giving up. And neither should you.”

 

 

Why you selected the story:

As an avid watcher of “Saturday Night Live”, I have had the chance to see the show’s actors portray several government figures over the past few elections, and I was curious to see how they would respond to such a surprising turn of events with this year’s presidential election. Additionally, with this past election being so polarizing for the American people, I wanted to see how a news network would cover a major television show and the election within the same feature story.

 

How the story used or was treated in social media:

  • #SNL was trending on social media as viewers responded to the show’s unique opening and how the show addressed the election results.
  • Several large internet media blogs and news outlets used video excerpts of McKinnon’s opening on their social media platforms along with links to their stories covering SNL’s take on the election.

News Review #4

“Who won the third presidential debate? #BadHombres”

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/19/politics/bad-hombres-donald-trump-hillary-clinton/index.html

Story description: In light of the debate on Wednesday night, CNN covered the differing focuses of what was said at the debate, comparing the news networks’ focus of Trump’s refusal to accept the election results to social media’s focus on Trump’s use of “hombre” when discussing his plays in dealing with illegal immigration.

Why you selected the story: As a Latina, I felt that Trump’s attempt at using the word “hombre” when discussing his plans for immigration was extremely condescending, and I wanted to learn more about what others thought of his word choice and ideas. Also, I wanted to see how a journalist would try to stay unbiased even while covering just a controversial topic.

How the story used or was treated in social media:

  • #BadHombres has been trending over the past 24 hours on all social media platforms, but especially Twitter as Latinos have used the hashtag to write personal stories about being discriminated against and speak out against his language.
  • Hillary supporters have used his words as another reference to why he should not be president along with the hashtag #imwithher

Athens Pets and local animal shelter partner to host Halloween dog parade fundraiser

Dog owners in the Athens area dressed up their dogs in Halloween costumes to fundraise for sick, injured, and recently rescued cats and dogs at the local animal shelter.

img_3029

Hundreds of community members look on as students compete in a Edgar Allan Poe themed activity. 

 

The Boulevard Neighborhood Association and Athenspets partnered to host Boo-le-bark on the Boulevard on October 16th, an event featuring live music, food trucks, and 125 costumed dogs from the Athens community parading down the historic Boulevard neighborhood.

img_3031

About 125 dogs participated in the Boo-Le-Bark parade. 

This is the first dog parade to take place in Athens, and the volunteers with Athenspets are hoping that the success of this event can lead to more events of its kind in the future. Nadine Cohen, an Athenspets volunteer and a University of Georgia librarian, said, “Athenspets is a nonprofit, and we work to get the dogs and cats adopted out of the Athens-Clarke county animal shelter… and get the number of euthanized pets down to zero.”

Cohen said the money fundraised by this event goes towards different funds through Athenspets that support animals at the Athens-Clarke county animal control. “Animal control does not have the funds to treat dogs…They have the money to stabilize the dog if they’re in really bad shape, but if the dog has a broken leg…they would have to euthanize it. Athenspets pays for that. We also have a spay and neuter fund. We spay and neuter every dog and cat in Athens’ animal control so they can be adopted much more cheaply,” Cohen said. “We’re constantly having to raise money to fund all of that.”

img_3026

Photographer Anne Yarbrough set up a pet photo booth for the costumed dogs. 

Allie Hughes, a University of Georgia student, said she loved seeing the dogs in the parade. When asked how she learned about the event, Hughes said, “[My friend] Melody Modarressi invited me to the event on Facebook. She was really excited about it.”

In an effort to encourage the event attendants to adopt rescue animals, Athenspets worked with the local animal control to bring three rescue dogs, all wearing bandanas reading “Adopt Me,” to the parade. Sarah Halstead, an Athens-Clarke county animal control employee, said, “We chose the dogs that have been spayed or neutered, are up to date on their rabies shots, and that do well with other dogs…they’ve been in animal control awhile.”

img_3034

Autumn is a 5 year old female American Staffordshire Terrier mix looking for a loving home.

To learn more about Athenspets and adoptable dogs and cats, visit http://www.athenspets.net.

UGA professor discusses the oppression of Nahua people in Central America

(The speech footage and B-roll are both on my Twitter page @jomareefndz)

 

Sarah Lowman is revealing the truth about the lives of the Nahua indigenous people of Latin America to University of Georgia students, speaking on their struggles with their identity and with interacting with the Mexican government.

img_2948

Lowman, a Latin American literature professor and a doctoral student at the University of Georgia, partnered with Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity Inc. to host 24 students for a 45-minute lecture about Nahuatl, the language of the Nahua people, and how the Nahua have used their language and culture for activism.

Lowman’s dissertation research is on the intersection of environmental activism and Nahua cultural activism through literature and language in present-day Mexico, and she used this research as the basis of her lecture. While conflicts between the Nahua and the Mexican government have occurred for a while, Lowman said that activism amongst the Nahua has become increasingly more successful since the rise of controversial literature in both Nahuatl and Spanish in the 1980s as more people in Mexico began to be more outspoken about their indigenous heritage and speak out against the oppression from the Mexican government.

Another point that Lowman talked about in her lecture was the oppression of the Nahua people through the monolingual teachings enforced by the Mexican government. Many Nahua today are losing their language or can only say some words in Nahuatl because the government has continued to enforce Spanish-only teaching in schools, something that resonated with audience member Lexus Marion. Marion, a third-year marketing major at the University of Georgia, said, “Spanish is not the only language spoken in Central America today and there are many native languages and dialects that are still used and it’s important to keep these languages alive to prevent cultural decay.”

Even with the oppressive practices taking place, Lowman did reassure the audience members that things have been changing for the Nahua, saying that bilingual teaching initiatives are being adopted and that, “Despite efforts to divert indigenous activism regarding land and environmental rights…the constitutional reforms of 2001 created an opening for dialogue about environmental issues affecting the indigenous community such as land rights, agricultural and food sovereignty, and resource management.”

For more information on the Nahua, Lowman hosts the Nahuatl Study Group on campus on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

 

 

News Review #3

“Wells Fargo’s September from hell”

http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/01/investing/wells-fargo-fake-account-scandal-september-2016/index.html

 

Story description:

This story on CNN Money covered an update from the breaking news from September 8th where it was revealed that Wells Fargo had over 5,300 employees that made millions of fake bank accounts. The employees involved in the scandal were fired, but other employees that were innocent and uninvolved in the creation of the unauthorized accounts were also fired. Many of these innocent workers reached out to CNN to tell them their stories of being fired simply for pointing out the company’s unethical behavior and being forced to work uncompensated overtime.

Why you selected the story:

My best friend’s husband, a UGA graduate from the class of 2011, was recently let go from Wells Fargo as a result of all of the drama that arose from the scandal. I knew that Wells Fargo was experiencing issues, but I did not know the extent of their unethical actions and wanted to know the details of the scandal.

How the story used or was treated in social media:

  • Following the release of the information on September 8th, Wells Fargo’s official account released a statement on Twitter later that same day that was “regarding definitive settlement agreements.” After that initial tweet, Wells Fargo released three more tweets about “making changes to make things right.”
  • On Twitter, #wellsfargo continues to be on the trending list as several Twitter handles would use the hashtag, and some even used tagged the company, in posts criticizing Wells Fargo for their actions.

News Review #2

“Gary Johnson: ‘What is Aleppo?’”

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/08/politics/gary-johnson-aleppo/index.html

Story description:

CNN covered the incident from the “Morning Joe” show on MSNBC, where presidential nominee Gary Johnson was interviewed by hosts Joe Scarborough and Mike Barnicle. When asked about what he would do about the crisis in Aleppo, Johnson was confused and asked Barnicle, “And what is Aleppo?” While Johnson eventually began to share his thoughts on the Syrian crisis after receiving clarification from the hosts, Scarborough did point out the Libertarian nominee’s ignorance in not knowing the city currently at the center of the Syrian civil war.

 

Why you selected the story:

Seeing a headline about Johnson asking, “what is Aleppo” during an interview concerned me as he is a presidential nominee and knowing about Aleppo is such an integral part of understanding the entirety of the Syrian crisis. I selected this story because I am quite certain that this incident will have a great impact on Johnson’s polling, a devastating blow as the nominee only just recently began to gain momentum with his campaign.

 

How the story used or was treated in social media:

  • The hashtags #GaryJohnson and #Aleppo are trending on Twitter as many users are teasing him and now criticizing his presidential campaign as a result of his ignorance on the Syrian crisis.
  • Gary Johnson continues to be active on social media, but has not commented on the event or replied to critics.

Feature: Noelle Lashley

IMG_2801.JPGWith a Phantom Tollbooth graphic tee and a reflective smile, Noelle Lashley, a 22-year-old journalism major at the University of Georgia, said that her father used to refer to her his “little empath.”

Lashley spent this past summer in Macon, GA interning at WGXA News Fox 24 and ABC 16, a local news station. Describing herself as intuitive to others, Lashley shared her experience dealing with emotional stories and learning how to use her empathy to connect to those she interviewed during her time at her internship.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 12.23.25 AM

Lashley said that her empathy helps her take a step outside of herself and into the perspective of the person she is talking to when interviewing them for a news story. This perspective allows her to connect with interviewees on a deeper level. She later added that when she is interviewing others, she asks herself “this is how they’re feeling, how would they want their story to be told?”Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 12.10.06 AM.png

While her empathy proved to be useful in assisting her with certain news stories and while interviewing, Lashley described it as “a double-edged sword.” Lashley said that at times it was a challenge to keep herself separate from the more difficult and emotional stories she covered, as it was easy to sympathize and be affected by those whose stories she was telling.

There was no shortage of difficult news stories during her internship as she recounted the several tragic events that took place over the summer.

“Probably the hardest thing for me this summer was, I think I was in the station when the Orlando nightclub shootings happened, and I don’t really know how you describe it,” Lashley said. “You hear something like that break and then it’s kind of like your heart just falls…and you get lost for a second.”

Having to deal with these difficult situations, Lashley recalled her internship as a desired experience, a chance for career development, and a great learning opportunity.

“You have to have a filter, and I do not have that filter yet,” Lashley said. “I still feel everything very deeply, but I am getting there.”

Q&A with Noelle Lashley

With a Phantom Tollbooth graphic tee and a reflective smile, Noelle Lashley, a 22-year-old journalism major at the University of Georgia, said that her father used to refer to her his “little empath.”

Describing herself as intuitive to others, Lashley shared her experience dealing with emotional stories and learning how to use her empathy to connect to those she interviewed during her time at her internship over the summer.

 

Where did you intern over the summer? 

NL: I interned with WGXA news in Macon, Georgia. It is a broadcast news station, and it is a FOX/ABC affiliate.

 

How do you think [your empathy] helps with the work you do? 

NL: It helps because it’s almost like I can take a step outside of myself for a second and turn around and look at something from their perspective, like ‘this is how they’re feeling, how would they want their story to be told?’ Because I view myself as a tool to help them.

 

Would you consider the story about the police shootings [in Dallas] to be the most difficult thing you had to report on?

NL: No. Probably the hardest thing for me this summer was, I think I was in the station when the Orlando nightclub shootings happened, and I don’t really know how you describe it. And you get lost for a second and you imagine what their families feel like, and you imagine what the first responders feel like and what everyone’s trying to deal with and it helps me to be empathetic and it helps me to write like a real person. But at the same time, I really have to fight to keep my head above water.

 

How did working at your internship change your style? 

NL: You cannot be a robot, but no one can process all of the tragedy and all of the horrible things that happen on the news and still be all right. You have to have a filter, and I do not have that filter yet. I still feel everything very deeply, but I am getting there…and I’ll get there, just not there yet.