Attribution Analysis

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By Sarah Barchus

In an article by the Central News Network about "Operation Fast and Furious" the reporter uses a variety of sources from both sides of the issue including personal quotes, official's statements, and official reports. Theses attributions are woven throughout the article to strengthen it and maintain the story's thread.

On one side of the issue CNN cited the Justice Department's Inspector General Michael Horowitz whose office produced the investigative report on "Operation Fast and Furious." CNN used both a direct quote from Horowitz as well as content from the report to flesh out the article.

CNN also cited Larry Alt, one of the ATF agents who blew the whistle on the operation. CNN quoted Alt on his opinion on his coworkers' execution of the operation.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who brought ATF whistleblower complaints to the department's attention in early 2011, was also quoted criticizing the government's lack of oversight on the operation.

Rep. Darrell Issa, who pushed for the contempt vote against Holder as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee, was quoted toward the article's end criticizing Holder and appealing to Obama to hold the program accountable.

To balance the article CNN included quotes and a statement from Acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones accepting responsibility but also portraying the optimistic view that the organization will continue fighting and tackling hard cases.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer's November apology for not passing along information promptly was referenced.

Furthermore, CNN quoted Attorney General Holder on his position that the Justice Department didn't hide facts and that it suffered baseless accusations, which he thinks the report confirms.

CNN named all of the attributions because they are recognized government members. This adds credibility to CNN's report. CNN effectively highlighted the content of the story by using mostly disappearing attribution words such as said and told and in the case of the report, found and shows. As a general rule said came after the name. To keep long titles from clogging the content they were placed in commas after the name. CNN streamlined the story by using a mixture of paraphrasing and direct quoting, which was sometimes separated by the speaker's name to prevent large, long-winded blocks

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This page contains a single entry by barch009 published on September 20, 2012 8:19 AM.

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