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NBC fires Matt Lauer over sexual misconduct allegations  — Briana Trusty 

    After over two decades with NBC, Matt Lauer has been fired. The firing comes after a female colleague made a detailed complaint against Lauer accusing him of inappropriate sexual behavior during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

    Lauer’s Today Show co-host, Savannah Guthrie, made the announcement at the top of the show on Nov. 29, calling it a “sad day.” It was also a sad day for Today fans like third-year broadcast journalism student Gray Poplin.

    “I love the Today Show and I’ve always been a fan of Matt Lauer, so hearing that was kind of a surprise because you would never ever think that,” Poplin said.

    It came as a surprise for fans and journalism students alike that Lauer had not exemplified the ethical code of conduct that students at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications are taught on a daily basis.

    “Here they teach us the code of ethics, and you would think that someone of that magnitude would learn and know what’s right from wrong,” said Anthony Tisdale, a fourth-year broadcast journalism student.

     Nichelle Carpenter, a USC assistant professor and workplace behavior researcher, believes that the firing of high-profile people, like Lauer's sends a signal to employees about behavior in the workplace. 

    "Whenever we see sexual misconduct in the workplace I think it's important to think about the message that sends to employees. We're looking toward our leaders, toward our organizations to show signals that employee safety is valued and misconduct has consequences," Carpenter said.

    And with public consequences for misconduct like Lauer's dismissal, Carpenter believes that it is a step in the right direction toward eliminating sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Giving Tuesday — Tylyn Holmes

     During a season of what is supposed to be giving, many consumers spend their time and money buying things for themselves. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Americans rush into stores and online to make purchases for things they’ve been waiting on all year.

     But what about the season of giving?

     Five years ago, an international day of giving was created to start off the beginning of the Christmas holiday season. Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes #GivingTuesday, a day reserved to give to your favorite charity or non-profit organization.

     In South Carolina, instead of #GivingTuesday, the hashtags #GivingSC and #TogetherSC were created to show the Palmetto State’s involvement in the day of giving. Because a big part of #GivingTuesday is driven by the power of social media, Facebook and the Gates’ Foundation offered a helping hand — or rather, a few million dollars. Bill and Melinda Gates matched up to 2 million dollars for money donated on #GivingTuesday. In the midst of this, Facebook waived all transaction fees, allowing givers to donate money without paying any credit card fees.

     For many organizations in the Midlands, social media’s effect in addition to #GivingTuesday helps them out tremendously.

     Eme Crawford is the the Director of Communication and Learning at WREN, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the health, economic well-being, and rights of SC women and their families. Crawford said donations help with educating the entire community.

November is lung cancer awareness month — Jacqueline Lawson

      Vermelle Shealy is no stranger to the heartbreak that can accompany losing a loved one to lung cancer. Shealy has lost her father, her husband and her son — all avid smokers — to the disease.

     Shealy opened up about her son, Jack, who passed away on Nov 2, 2011. Shealy said her son was only in the hospital for two months. She spoke about how hard it was to watch her son make the same mistake as her husband and father.

     “He wrote a paper in high school about how lung cancer was a disease that had taken too many people he loved and how he would never be a smoker because of it," she said. "And then he went to college and I guess that paper must have slipped his mind. He started smoking and he never could stop.”

     According to the American Lung Association, smoking contributes to 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths. Every year more people die from lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. Although researchers are doing all they can to stop the disease, they can’t do it without funds and awareness.

     As Shealy said, “It won’t help my loved ones, but it may help my future loved ones and certainly yours.”

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