University of Kentucky media students head to Ireland for course

Ten students will study World Media Systems in Dublin, Ireland for a month with University of Kentucky Associate Prof. Kakie Urch.

The course, coordinated with UK Education Abroad, will be based at Griffith College
Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 9.57.56 AM in central Dublin. Students will learn about how Irish history, culture, politics, economy and business affect media from the Book of Kells to Facebook.

Trips from the city to County Wicklow and Belfast and the Irish coast are planned, as well as visits to media entities.

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Things To Do Before Graduation


Many of graduates will be leaving this place that they’ve called home for a few years. With graduation only three days away, you still have time to do some of the things that have made Lexington special to you. So here is a list of some things you should do before leaving this place that has become your home.

1) Get a picture with the wildcat. Climb up on top of it with your friends and get one final picture that shows your UK pride. This will be a good memory to have of the place you love. This could also be a good picture to send out with graduation party invites.

2) Go and get one last late-night burger at Tolly Ho. This place has been a UK tradition for a long time now . So go pig out on greasy food with your friends – and if you have a friend who has never been, now’s your chance to embarrass them by telling the workers it is their first time.

3) Go for a drive and see your old dorm/apartment/house. You spent countless hours at these places and they helped shape you into who you are today.

4) While you’re on your drive visit some of your favorite places. Maybe drive to Commonwealth Stadium and the bowl to reminisce on football games and tailgates. Drive by your favorite hangouts, Keeneland, or your sorority/fraternity house. Visit Rupp Arena one last time before it’s filled with graduates. You’re going to miss these places once you’re gone.

5) Have one last lunch or dinner with all of your friends. This is the last time you’re all going to be in the same place at once.

6) Get one last UK item at Kennedy’s Bookstore. You can never have too many UK things.

7) And finally, thank everyone who has helped you get to where you are today. Your professors, family, and friends are all so proud of you. Graduating can be scary because now we’re in the real world – but this place has prepared you for this and now you can follow your dreams.

 On Saturday, Rupp Arena is going to be filled with graduates dressed in UK blue caps and gowns. Look around and take it all in. I know we all get tired of school and say we can’t wait to graduate, but it comes quicker than you know. UK gets in your blood and stays there forever. I know I will always bleed UK blue.

Congratulations 2015 graduates, you did it!

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Comer Releases Higher Education Plan

Just a few eggs hatched in Kentucky that have shaped the outcome of society: Louis Brandies, Thomas Hunt Morgan, John Marshall Harlan, Henry Clay, Ephraim McDowell, Nathan Stubblefield, and of course the Lincolns. The list can go on and on, but one concern Republican candidate for Governor, James Comer has is that not all of them stayed in Kentucky.

That concern is the fabric of the new Comer McDaniel Plan for Higher Education released this morning with an announcement on Twitter.

While appetizers and sides about localizing k-12 educational control, and revising the funding structure for universities from one based on admittance to one based on graduation are sprinkled throughout the plan, the main course focuses on the rising cost of college tuition and the concern that many of Kentucky’s most successful students graduate and leave the state. Comer proposes a tax credit for graduates of Kentucky four-year universities who remain in the state to help recoup the cost of tuition, which can run as high as $40,000 at “flagship” schools, UK and UofL, and $30,000 for regional universities like Morehead, EKU or Western.

Under Comer’s plan students must graduate in four years, an accomplishment attained by only 27 percent of flagship and 22 percent of regional students, and remain in the state working. Those who do will receive annual tax credits reimbursing them for about half of their tuition costs, $20,000 and $15,ooo respectively. Comer argues this will provide an incentive for students to remain in the state after graduation, which will attract higher paying jobs and companies which require a more educated workforce.

Data backs up Comers concerns. Last year, just before the start of fall semester, the Kentucky Center for Education & Workforce Statistics released a 2014 PostSecondary Feedback Report, which looked at graduates from state schools. It found that 80-90 percent, depending on the degree and school, of state school graduates remained in Kentucky one year after graduation; however, 10 years later, the proportion falls to 49-63 percent, again, depending on the degree and school.

But the Comer plan faces some struggles. While the median income in Kentucky is just over $42,000 per year, the PostSecondary Feedback showed that students took an average of 10 years in the labor force to reach that median income for all degrees not medicine or STEM fields, which could be the major force driving graduates out of the state.

The plan will be enticing for many Kentucky graduates, 62 percent of whom have student loan debt, the 19th-highest count in the nation. The average load on a young graduate’s wallet is $24,584. Receiving up to $20,000 back in tax credits could wipe out student loan debt for a large part of graduates.

But Comer is faced with the chicken and the egg scenario. If elected, and this plan is put into action, the question is which comes first, the education or the jobs? Is it a more educated workforce that will attract better paying jobs, or is it better paying jobs that will convince graduates to stay in Kentucky?

Comer has not said how many years students will receive tax credits before they reach full reimbursement, which leads to an important question. Will graduates be satisfied receiving tax credits from the state if they are have to wait 10 years to even make median income, or will they jump ship, and leave the tax breaks on the table for higher paying jobs elsewhere? The answer may just be in how many chickens a hypothetical Governor Comer could hatch.

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The First Amendment needs more appreciation and recognition from the general public


– By Kevin

As an international student from China, I always feel frustrated that I, as a Chinese citizen, can’t have access to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

I’m also frustrated that, as a journalist wannabe, I am restricted regarding what I can or cannot write about.

In the United States, however, people enjoy the freedom of speech, religion, the press, assemble and petition the government guaranteed by The First Amendment.

But, The First Amendment is seldom appreciated and recognized among Americans; The First Amendment rights are often taken for granted.

A survey conducted by the First Amendment Center in 2013 revealed that 36 percent of the survey participants couldn’t name any of the five First Amendment rights.

More surprisingly, only 1 percent of the participants considered the freedom of the press as the most important freedom that Americans enjoy.

Jim Duff, UK alum and director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, once said that the biggest threat to the freedoms guaranteed by The First Amendment is the indifference that is growing in the society.

People don’t realize what would happen if James Madison didn’t give birth to the Bill of Rights.

Dr. Martin Luther King wouldn’t be able to deliver the fascinating and inspiring speech, “I have a dream,” in 1963.

Civil rights protesters would not be able to assemble on the Street of Birmingham and Selma, Ala., and other cities throughout the South to force society to improve the treatment of African-Americans.

Pro-civil-rights-movement news outlets would not be allowed to report on countless protests, marches and other demonstrations to inform the general public to force social change.

Without the First Amendment protection, the United States would not be the society it is today.

Why do so many people not know or care about the First Amendment protections that provide so many benefits to Americans?

One of the major reasons that resulted in the indifference of The First Amendment was media bias.

A survey conducted in 2013 found only 6 percent of voters rated news media as very trustworthy.

Without trustworthiness and accuracy of news reporting, the credibility of journalism is in jeopardy.

If people don’t trust the news media, how can we expect them to appreciate The First Amendment that enables the media to report freely?

Many societies around the world do have their versions of The First Amendment, but they don’t have an independent judiciary, which the United States has, to enforce the freedoms.

Obviously, there are other factors that are preventing U.S. citizens from understanding and appreciating The First Amendment, but no matter what, U.S. citizens should recognize the significance of The First Amendment rights that people from the other parts of the world do not enjoy.


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Seeing Blue for Awareness

By: Riley Miller

Blue is a pretty significant color here at the University of Kentucky.  But this month, the color blue has even more meaning.  Blue is the official color for Autism Awareness, and April is Autism Awareness Month.

One in 68 children in the United States identifies as having Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Students involved with the UK Best Buddies program and UK’s SCEC club have been working to spread awareness all over campus and the Lexington community.  Many buildings and dorms all over campus are lighting up blue to honor the millions of individuals and families across the world affected by autism.

The Best Buddies program is hosting their annual Cats Dance this Saturday at C-S-F from 5-7 p.m.  The dance is a celebration of Best Buddies, and will also culminate autism awareness into the night’s festivities.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

For more information, you can email  You can also visit them on Facebook at, or follow them on Twitter @BestBuddiesUK.

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‘Planet Earth’ Team Headed to Netflix

Netflix is continuing its rise to dominance in the television industry with their announcement of a new 8-part documentary series Our Planet

Yesterday, the company announced the creators of the Emmy-winning series Planet Earth will begin production on the four year project slated to hit the streaming site in 2019. This enormous project will take viewers to never-before filmed areas of the world from ice caps to the desert and everything in-between.

The documentary mini-series will be using the new 4K camera technology to allow viewers to see these parts of the world in the clearest possible way. “We think watching Our Planet, fully on demand in 4K will be an unforgettable experience for our members,” said Lisa Nishimura, VP of Original Documentaries.

Our Planet is being produced by Silverback Films, headed by Alastair Fothergill, and Keith Scholey, who have helmed previous projects like Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, and Blue Planet which premiered on BBC.

The Silverback Films project Planet Earth premiered in 2006 on Discovery Channel and went on to receive seven Emmy nominations, winning four.

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House Fire Near Campus

Most residents living around UK’s campus are current students. With the end of the semester upon us and final’s rapidly approaching, student’s are feeling the heat. Today, the residents of East Maxwell Street where feeling a different kind of heat, the heat of flames. Around 9:30 AM this morning, Lexington Firefighters responded to reports of a fire at 429 E. Maxwell St. A neighboring business employee at Michler’s Florist saw the flames and called 911 to report the fire. At least one person was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with burns from the house fire, but this is all that can be confirmed. Neighboring residents were all evacuated safely and there have been no further reports of injuries. The fire left extensive damage to the home, but it was mainly limited to the first floor. As for the neighboring homes, one wall was blackened, but that is the most of the damage. Over 6 firetrucks showed up and the street remained closed to traffic east of Rose Street. Surrounding streets were also affected. As for the cause of the fire, authorities say it is yet to be determined

– Josh McAfee

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