April 10, 2007

Stephanie Dickrell's Musings on Somalia

Stephanie Dickrell's analysis about the news story in Somalia was an excellent piece of work by a student. Her ability to focus on the what is important and therefore news worthy is commendable.

I found her analysis particularly informative when the pointed out what U. S media thinks is news worthy. In this case the arrival of an American official in Somalia. Of course the number of dead in the six days street fighting between the U S-back interim government forces and the Ethiopian troops was presented with less enthusiasm. Excellent job, Stephanie.

But Stephanie did not say whether or not there were opportinities to improve the stories.The phrase "Called off" in the AP's account for example, meant "cancelled."

Als,o an important observation was left out. That is, both versions did not mention the fact that the U. S assisant secretary of state for African affairs Jendayi Frazer had no contact with the islamists. More than 1,000 people have so far been killed in Somalia since fighting began early this month.

I would have emphasized United States possible involvement with possble war crimes given its support for the interim government and the Ethiopian troops with the information from the EU. I think that the warning by the European envoy of possble war crimes been committed in recent fighting was down played by Wsetern media establishments. Did it prompt the U.S. visit?

April 9, 2007

Comments on Melinda's Obeservations

Melinda Feucht's comments on the Eritria government's ban on female circumcision were emotionally charged. She left out important weaknesses about the two versions by AP and Reuters. The AP writer used the the words "abolished" and "describing" in the lead. This is inconsistency. Part of the lead could have read: The government of Eritria has abolished ... which it described...

Melinda Feucht's first sentence for the AP stroy read: "This story writes the sentence I previously stumbled over, in PRESENT tense." This story writes (?). Only Humans write, not abstract things. "previously stumbled over" should be "I read earlier."

Would she have written that that the practice is "inhumane," and yet said it was the culture of the people. journalist must state the facts and leave the rest to the readers. Why did she used the big word Marriageability? Make it simple for the avarage readers. It would interest my classmate to know that the practice of female circumcision originated from the West in the 17th century. It is part of the legacy of colonialism in Africa. Women Studies professors would bear me out or visit

I commend her for catching the difference between 140 and 130 million cited the in the two versions. The trouble is we do not know who was right.

A Big plus for the blog is that it is well organized especially in making the links to stories. I need to learn how she does it.