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Journalism Pieces

The October silence: The questions we failed to ask about Khorasan

Lauren Schneider December 2014


The disease has spread.  With the expansion of U.S. airstrikes into Syria in mid-September to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the “cancer” that is ISIS, said President Obama in a televised address to the nation, we have since been told that there is another entity which “poses a more direct and imminent threat to the United States,” according to a Sept. 10 Associated Press article; the Khorasan group.  And so began a weeklong blitzkrieg, every major U.S. media organization injected the American public with this newly named group, Khorasan, and the supposed “more direct and imminent threat” that the government had claimed it to be.  “(Khorasan’s) evolution from obscurity to infamy has been sudden,” said a New York Times article on Sept. 24, but then, just as sudden as the hype began, U.S. media fell silent.   Why did the U.S. media botch the job of pursuing this proclaimed imminent threat?

Jack McGavick and American Youth Works

Lauren Schneider December 2013


It’s a cold, gloomy, grey day and the rain coming down is more like a mist hanging in the air.   A passenger van makes the 4.3-mile journey from E. Ben White Blvd. to downtown Austin at the corner of 7th and Neches Street; the trip takes a staggering 55 minutes.    


Once inside the building, on the second floor, a line of 14 people fills in along the northern wall in the nearly empty pale yellow and green painted room, usually used as the cafeteria.  A wall of windows face towards the gloomy day and the sight of the Frost Bank tower can be seen.  The line slowly disintegrates against the wall as everyone cautiously makes their way into the room, pairing off and sitting one pair per each long lunch table.





Affordable Housing and the Homeless

Lauren Schneider November 2013


Austin, TX – You’ve seen them on the drag, on bus stop benches, on and around 6th street, and just about every street corner in Austin; they’re homeless.  They are all different from one another in their own unique way, but they are all asking for the same thing, change.  Some quite literally, but many are asking for more than just the monetary clanging of coins, they’re looking for real change in their life.  And that starts with housing.


According to the Point in Time count held on January 25, 2013 there are approximately 2,090 people who are homeless in Austin.  Although several organizations who work with the homeless, along with Austin’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) suggest that number is significantly higher, as people can experience periods of homelessness at any time.  According to’s website, Austin and Travis county approximate that there is still a need for 1,900 permanent supportive housing units in order to help combat the growing homeless population.

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