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Famous Polar Bear Causes Merchandise Frenzy



The AP article, “Knut, Berlin’s famous polar bear cub, creates merchandizing frenzy in Germany,? is about how the zoo’s attendance and stock have dramatically increased because of the popularity of Knut the polar bear club, who became famous after a debate ensued over whether or not to keep him alive since he was rejected by his mother.

Since Knut’s story began a few weeks ago, this writer had the challenge of recapping the previous newsworthiness of Knut while providing the new information. Knut is famous because of the debate over whether or not to keep him alive. The writer did mention that he was rejected by his mother and hand-raised by zookeepers; however, the writer said that he “rose to fame last month thanks to television and newspaper pictures.? Otherwise, the writer did not mention anything else about the debate that made Knut famous.

The International Herald Tribune article, “Knut, the abandoned bear cub, is now a star,? also covers the event of the polar bear causing a media frenzy and the zoo’s attendance and stock to dramatically rise. This writer did give a more detailed recap of why Knut is famous in the first place. The writer said that Knut became “a national cause célèbre? when a debate ensued over whether he should be killed since his mother rejected him and he would be raised by humans. The writer also includes the background of why certain animal-rights advocates and zookeepers thought the bear should not be raised by humans, and the writer included that the bear was able to live because of German schoolchildren’s petition and the publicity.

In my opinion, I think the International Herald Tribune writer did a better job at reporting the news of the media frenzy over Knut. I think this article was effective partly because the writer included the recap of why Knut is famous in the first place. I think the recap is good for readers who are not familiar with Knut’s story, but also this writer is accurate in explaining why he is famous. The AP story, on the other hand, didn’t give a detailed recap to inform or remind readers, and I don’t think the writer is completely accurate in saying Knut is famous for television and newspaper photos because the controversy is what brought Knut to the media’s attention. However, I did like that the AP writer was very thorough in listing all the merchandise that has been created for Knut, as well as being very thorough in giving the exact dollar amounts that the zoo’s stock has increased.