Yes, This New York County Actually Used the Crazy Spider Voting Sticker Design That You Saw Online

A round “I voted” sticker shows a childish drawing of a green-legged spider figure with a smiling human head. The face is in shades of purple with big red eyes and multicolor teeth.

Image credit: CNN

News giant CNN publishes a detailed report about an “I voted” sticker that is being distributed in a medium-sized county in New York. Wait. This is newsworthy?! Really? “I voted” stickers are usually the most yawn-inducing bits of civic display imaginable. Well, not this time, and not in Ulster County, New York, where the winning entry in a county-wide contest shows a childish drawing of a brightly colored monster with insect legs and a scary human face that says “I voted.” CNN reporter Zoe Sottile filed this report in November 2022.

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Goin’ Bananas: How a Minor League Team Got More Followers Than the Yankees

About twenty uniformed Savannah Bananas players line up side-by-side on the field doing a kick-line dance.

Image credit: Christian Science Moniter

To hear some people tell it, the Savannah Bananas, a professional baseball team based in Savannah Georgia, are making baseball fun again (Gasp!!). They play by modified rules (“Banana Ball”), their games consistently sell out, and according to this July 2022 report by Patrik Jonsson, Christian Science Monitor staff writer, they have more social media followers than the New York Yankees. What’s up with that?

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How and Why Do Consumers Access News on Social Media?

Two cell phones side by side, one showing a screen grab from the Guardian’s “Fake or for Real” feature, the other showing a screen grab of a Washington Post TikTok.

Image credit: Reuters Institute

It’s not news that fewer people than ever get their news from newspapers. Many people, particularly younger ones, use social media to stay informed of events. But how many people? Who are they? Which platforms do they use? And why have these become the sources of choice? Good questions, right? Political science professor Simge Andı researched them extensively; her detailed report was published in June 2021 by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

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The Realities of WNBA Stars Who Play Abroad

A basketball player dressed in the lime green professional Czech team uniform dribbles a ball around a defender in a dark green jersey.

Why would they go so far from home to play the game? Well, many reasons. Opportunity. Adventure. Compensation commensurate with skill. And don’t forget love of the game. It’s not hard to understand. Still, it’s not for everyone, and there are plenty of challenges and drawbacks. What are we talking about? WNBA stars who play for teams in other countries during the off-season. In this extensive May 2022 report, Andscape (formerly the Undefeated) and Getty Images collaborate to profile four WNBA players who don pro-league uniforms in Turkey, Spain, and the Czech Republic.

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“Qué lo qué, papi”: Giants Bridge Cultural Gaps with Spanish Classes

San Francisco Giants outfielder Luis González leaps up right at the wall to make a spectular catch of Chicago Cub Christopher Morel’s fly ball.

Nearly a third of Major League baseball players in 2022 come from countries outside the United States, and the great majority of them are from Latin America. (The Dominican Republic alone accounts for slightly more than 10% of all MLB players. We don’t know how many of the Latin American players are already Spanish/English bilingual when they arrive (many certainly are), nor do we know how many Latino US-born players are also Spanish/English bilingual. What we do know is that language and communication can’t be taken for granted on any team. Maria Guardado,’s staff writer who covers the San Francisco Giants, wrote this April 2022 report on an unusual effort being taken by the team to help bridge a language gap.

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A New Report Shows the Impact of Racial Justice Protests in 2020 on Three Local Newspapers

Demonstrators holding up a "No Justice No Peace" sign face a row of armed police officers.

When someone we know provides an account of an event, we generally know how to interpret their individual take; we probably know when they’re likely to get dramatic or when they’re likely to downplay something. We make our own adjustments to what we’ve heard in order to get closer to the truth. Do we know how to make the same kinds of adjustments with major news sources? We, as individuals, may not, but there are organizations and projects, such as Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, that monitor news media. They observe and analyze the reporting in order to inform and advise journalists and the general public about possible subtle slants in the coverage. In this January 2022 report, Nieman’s deputy editor Shraddha Chakradhar summarizes a report analyzing news coverage of 2020 protests against police brutality in the daily newspapers of three cities where major incidents have occurred.

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Natural Magic

A medieval-style painting of two nude figures, one facing forward and one facing backward, circled by an oval-shaped zodiac calendar.

Modern medicine is magic. Do we mean that literally or metaphorically? Well, yes and yes. For example, a key ingredient in some chemotherapy formulas for cancer—yew—was also an ingredient in the witches’ brew described in Shakespeare’s Macbeth along with “eye of newt and toe of frog.” Yew’s potent and unusual properties have been known to healers and wizards for centuries. Writing professor and author Ellen Wayland-Smith explores the medicine/magic connection more deeply while discussing her own cancer treatment in this March 2021 essay from American Scholar.

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