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French Presidential Election

New polls have come out recently that show the French presidency is wide open. About 40 percent of the voting population says they don't know who they want to vote for yet. This gives the self-declared neither/nor a huge chance in this campaign--Fran├žois Bayrou. One candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, is the conservative candidate, pro-market. The other is Segolene Royal, who is a socialist and wants to boost social programs. Bayrou lies somewhere in the middle. Polls put them a 3 point margin of error away from each other with only a little over a month and a half to the election in April.


Time
and numerous newspapers picked up the AP's version of this story by Angela Charlton. Her main focus was the race itself, rather than any particular candidate. She also discussed the poll results, and was critical of the polling organizations themselves.

The New York Times
took this story and ran with it, doing a profile-like article of the third party candidate, focusing on his as the news, with the race of second importance. Obviously, the race itself is still relevant, because that is the reason that this man is newsworthy. However, it was secondary to WHO.

Both articles were posted online on the same day, March 8, 2007. I think this was more a news decision than a time one. The AP article was obviously writing for a broader audience, who may not be as up on current events as a New York Times audience. I haven't been following the story so I don't know how much coverage it has been getting in various papers. So by synthesizing the race itself instead of focusing on just one person, they broadened those who would be interested in this story.

I did, however, like the profile of Bayrou. I don't think it would have been as relevant to me if I hadn't read the AP article first. The profile gave me a broader understanding, but the AP article add the extra element of polling organizations in France. They were both newsworthy, readable, informative articles, and useful in different ways.