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Cute and Popular Baby Polar Bear Makes Debut



The McClatchy News Service article, “Kill Knut? He’s way too cute,? written by Matthew Schofield covers the public debut of the baby polar bear at the Berlin Zoo. There was controversy because many animal experts thought that Knut, the baby polar bear, should have been killed because he was raised by humans instead of his species after his mother rejected him.

Since this controversy of this story has been developing over the past week, this writer had the challenge of giving background information on all the newsworthy elements of the story. While this article focused on the public debut of Knut and gave many details on the event like how he played with teddy bears and how there were oohs and ahs from people, the writer also focused on recapping the controversy of whether or not Knut should be killed. The writer included information and quotes from sources from both sides of the controversy explaining their opinions. Also, this writer included the immense popularity of Knut because people made t-shirts, websites, songs, and a blog written from his perspective to protest to keep Knut alive. Also, the writer included how a Berlin newspaper is covering the story with 10 pages and photos devoted to Knut, and how Knut has turned into an icon for the fight to stop the climate change.

The AP story, “Baby polar bear delights Berlin during public debut,? also covers the public seeing the baby polar bear for the first time. However, this writer chose only to focus on the news of the public debut of Knut by giving details of what Knut did during the debut and how the crowed reacted including quotes from excited children. The writer only gave the background information of how his mother rejected him and how “he became famous through? his video podcast and television series and also that celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz took his picture for an environmental campaign. Therefore, the writer made it seem that his podcast and tv show is why he’s famous and not that he was first newsworthy because of the controversy of killing him.

I think that Schofield did a better job communicating the news of the baby polar bear being debuted at the zoo because not only did the writer include details of the debut, I liked that the writer included the other newsworthy elements of the controversy and the immense popularity of Knut. I think it was important that the writer used the novelty element because it’s pretty unique that a polar bear would have his own podcast, tv show, and blog, and he is now an icon for the climate change debate. Even though the debut is the timeliest news, I also like that the writer included all this background information of the controversy to recap Knut’s amazing story for everyone who may not have heard about him yet. Also, I liked the Schofield story because it included more legitimate and serious sources like the animal experts and the zoo director instead of just the two children the AP article quoted. Finally, I liked that Schofield included the link to Knut’s blog so readers could easily check it out. By the way, check the blog out. His blog postings are cute, but there’s also a video to watch Knut! http://blog.rbb-online.de/roller/knut/