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New French President Will Bring Changes to France

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/04/22/europe/EU-POL-Frances-Choice.php?page=1

http://www.smh.com.au/news/World/Sarkozy-just-ahead-in-France-vote/2007/04/22/1177180455490.html

The AP article, “Change is on France’s presidential menu, but which kind will voters choose?? is about the French presidential elections on Sunday. There are many candidates that all have very different ideals and they all promise a great change for the country. The article examines the candidates and tells the political viewpoints and backgrounds of the candidates while focusing on the top two contenders, Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal.

Since this is a story about France written by the AP and for a wide audience, the writer had the challenge of making the story relatable and understandable for its readers. This writer overcame that challenge by focusing on the human element by interviewing average French citizens and describing their feelings on the candidates and how they are deciding who to vote for. For example, the writer concluded the article by including a quote from an average citizen saying that the French people want change, but he doesn’t know exactly how the candidates plan to change France. Also, the article began with a descriptive anecdote about two voters looking at campaign posters who are perplexed in trying to make a decision that will change France.

The Reuters article, “Sarkozy just ahead in France vote,? (I found it in The Sydney Morning Herald) also was about the upcoming presidential election in France and the changes it will bring. This writer also had the challenge of making the article relatable to a wide audience that is outside of France. This writer did not include any quotes or mention of average French voters like the AP writer did; but, this writer made the story relatable and understandable by using numbers. For example, the writer says that a third of the 44.5 million voters have not decided who they are going to vote for yet in Sunday’s election, which tells the reader that many French people are not sure about the candidates. Also, the writer says that voter registration has increased by 4.2 percent and that is the sharpest rise since 1981, which tells the reader that perhaps this election is very important to the French because it holds the potential for so much change for the country.

In my opinion, I like the AP story better because that writer included a human element. This made the story more relatable to me because I learned that the French citizens are very perplexed in this election. The anecdote lead about the two voters looking at the campaign posters and being perplexed drew me into the story more than just starting the story rattling off the names of the French candidates I’ve never heard of before like the Reuters writer did. I also liked that the AP story was very descriptive and used vivid and strong verbs like “rumbling? and “wafting.? If this story was hard news and was covering the election results, the details would have been unnecessary; however, since this story was just describing the upcoming election and the potential candidates, I thought the details were effective in setting the scene and emotions of the voters.

Comments

Nice comparison of the use of individual quotes vs. statistics to illustrate a point. And nice attention to the detail of colorful word choices.