Entries tagged with “energy” from Kathryn Elliott's News Blog

Electric cars are in the works

      "It's not 'if' but 'when' we transfer to an electric vehicle solution," the Better Place website boasts.

      The global leader in creating an infrastructure of services and charging stations for electric vehicle (EV) users is combining with a Danish power company to promote electric cars in Denmark and Israel, The New York Times said.

      Shai Agassi, Better Place's founder, pledged that 100,000 charging stations would be set up by 2010, yet only 55 stations are ready for operation to date, The New York Times said.

      The batteries of EVs last 100 miles and take 5 hours to recharge.  The solution for longer car trips would be a robotic machine that could change the battery in just a few minutes.

      This venture in Europe precedes a conference next week in Copenhagen discussing an agreement to fight global warming.

      In the United States, the mayor of Los Angeles recently announced a plan to dramatically increase infrastructure for electric cars and create incentives for EV owners such as access to HOV lanes, the Los Angeles Times said.


Analysis: Covering speeches

"Pushing for Energy Legislation, Obama Takes On Critics" (NY Times headline)

The issue: Renewable Energy Policy
The speaker: President Obama
The location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Link to the news story in the New York Times- Click here
Link to transcript of Obama's speech, as released by the White House- Click here

President Obama's speech at MIT in Boston covered an array of energy-related topics from harnessing wind, water and solar power to nuclear disarmament.

Toward the end of his remarks, Obama berated legislators who oppose or have yet to support a climate change and energy bill introduced to the Senate by John Kerry last month.

The president spoke positively about last January's Recovery Act, saying that it is an investment in clean energy that will produce new jobs and potentially help bring an end to the recession.

The Times reporters who covered this speech decided to focus on the later portion of Obama's speech, latching onto the politics of energy reform.

The writers of the news story followed the lead with a brief and general summary of the issues addressed in the speech.

Immediately after this, the reporters skip to the most sensitive, critical part of the debate- the president's veiled reference to lobbying groups and not-for-profits that are opposing energy reform on the basis that it will hurt the economy.

This news writing decision stands out because in order to craft the story, the reporters must have researched the political climate or drawn on prior knowledge of the context in which Obama delivered his speech. Obama never named names. The New York Times did.

Another conclusion the writers drew was that the legislation Obama indirectly spoke about was in fact a bill introduced recently by John Kerry. Almost the entire article, therefore, hinged on the reporters being informed about related political leaders, issues and legislation.

This kind of current events reporting does work that readers may or may not, but that is crucial to fleshing out an isolated speech. The president is not going to publically call out groups or specifically refer to controversial legislation, but the public needs to know these details.

This is the job of a good reporter, and the Times writers did it well.


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