Analysis: Reporting on a cultural group in New York Daily News story

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by Sarah Harper

The New York Daily News published a story Saturday called "Jews vow to fight back as Brooklyn bias crimes spur a Jewish Power movement."

I discussed this story with two University of Minnesota students, Julia and Charlotte. They did not want their last names to be included. They both live in Minneapolis. They're familiar with the cultural group because they are part of it -- Julia and Charlotte are Jewish and are active in the religious groups on campus. Talking to them helped me understand the article from their perspective.

The story does not exploit any stereotypes. Rather, it starts off substantive and stays that way. The writer, Simone Weichselbaum, informs the story by including information about the history of Jewish people in Brooklyn.

Weichselbaum uses observation as a main source, but that doesn't mean that she observes the Jewish people in a judging way. She does not tell a story about who they are, she tells a story about what is happening with them.

Julia, Charlotte and I appreciated that the reporter used quotes to color the story, but we wished she had used even more.

The only problem is in the first paragraph, where Weichselbaum wrote, "The recent hate crimes against Jews across Brooklyn has ignited a movement pushing them to toughen up and learn how to fight back." This sentence presents a problem only to the most careful of eyes, because writing that Jewish people have been pushed to toughen up implies that they weren't tough in the first place.

Besides that small detail, the writer truly is fair to the cultural group.

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This page contains a single entry by harpe220 published on November 20, 2011 6:26 PM.

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