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Palistinian Suicide Bomber Kills 3 in Israel

A Palestinian suicide bomber kills three Israelis in a bakery in Israel, the first suicide attack in Israel in nine months.

The article in The New York Times, by Greg Myre, deals with a lot of difficult issues. First and foremost is the difficulty in obtaining reliable information from all parties involved in the event. However, in some cases governments can be operating under their own secret agendas and may not be forthcoming with information to journalists. In most cases the governments involved can prove rather helpful but terrorist organizations like Hamas and The Islamic Jihad can prove unreliable and extremely biased. Myre does as much as he can to portrait all sides of the story and to gain relevant and reliable information from as many different sources as possible.

In a story printed in The Washington Post, an article by Ariel Schalit, there is a very different method to the story. In this version Schalit elects to wait as long as possible to detail and quote the terrorist organizations that were taking responsibility and praising the attack. Schalit makes a concerted effort to describe the incident and the reaction of the town before getting into the political ramifications of the attack. Schalit also quotes witnesses before anyone else in the story as a way of maintaining focus on the people involved in the incident as much as possible.

"It was awful _ there was smoke, pieces of flesh all over the place," said Benny Mazgini, a 45-year-old witness.

In a story in The Star Tribune, by Revital Levy-Stein, the story utilizes a much different approach. Levy-Stein elects to paraphrase a quote by the Israeli police as the very first part of the first graph.

A Palestinian suicide bomber attacked a bakery in this southern Israeli resort town today, killing three other people, police said. It was the first suicide bombing in Israel in nine months and the first ever to hit Eilat, Israel's southernmost city.

Following the lead Levy-Stein instantly begins to detail the terrorist organizations that were claiming responsibility. There was extremely limited witness reaction to the event and it occurred for the first time more than a fourth of the way through the story. So the emphasis in the Levy-Stein version was very much on the political ramifications of the action and what was going to happen politically.

All of these stories did a very good job at conveying the issues at heart in this event. However, I felt that the Myre story had a much more appropriate organization to the story. Without neglecting the witnesses Myre was also able to address the political ramifications of the event.

All of the stories did essentially the same thing with regards to the quotations and attributions in their stories. In all of the stories quotes are only used within a paragraph when it is the first reference to the source. Other than that the stories all use quotes to begin paragraphs and generally used the subject prior to “said� in the quote. In very limited terms some of the stories, mainly the Levy-Stein and Schalit stories, used another word other than said in a quote; however, it was very limited in use.