Frontline's report is a great example of in-depth television news reporting. It had many of the important components needed for a television news story. The program may not have represented my generation of college students as much as it could have, but the content provided did present an accurate account of college students.
Even though the report had many good components, it did have some weaknesses. The program contained a lot of fluff and few news values. The news values it did have (impact, proximity, conflict and emotions) were weak.
Despite the lack of "hard news" in the program, it had many strengths. The program provided information from many different points of including M.I.T. students, South Korean gamers, the U.S. military as well as teachers who strongly opposed or supported the use of technology in the class room. It also had some credible sources like Professor Clifford Nass at Stanford University.
The program's most prominent strength was its emotional appeal. Unlike most journalism, a crucial component of TV journalism is its emotional appeal. There are many instances in which Douglas Rushkoff brings his feelings and experiences to the program. There is a section of the program dedicated to the relationships created online in the virtual world. Producer Rachel Dretzin states her personal concerns for her children using technology as well and films them in her home.
I wouldn't recognize this program as a representation of my generation of college students. Most of it reflected anything but college students. There was a lot of information about the education system for children ranging from age 5 to 18 as well as their lives outside of school. People as young as their mid 20s and older were also represented on how their personal lives as well as their careers are affected by technology. I would argue there was even more of a representation of college-aged adults that may or may not have been college students.
Even though the program didn't provide much representation of college students, the representation provided was fairly accurate. Most college students are extreme multi-taskers. They use technology in almost every aspect of their life. They have to. They have too much to do. Greg Bukata, former Senior at Chatham High School, said "If there were 27 hours in a day I would read Hamlet, I really would, but there is only 24."
The two stories on Obama's speech last Dec. 1 had little in common. The first story I read was titled Opinion: It's really about Pakistan by HDS Greenway with the Global Post. The second I story read in Black Voices was: Obama Afghanistan Speech: War Decision Highlights Significance of African-American Support in Black Voices by Jeff Mays. The only thing the two stories appear to have in common is that they both are concerned about the tough trails ahead for America's future.
The articles have a different format in presenting their article. Greenway's article begins with a lead that summarizes what Obama talked about in his speech. Mays' lead begins by writing not what Obama said, but what he did and the potential consequences of it. Greenway uses little direct quotes but throughout his paper writes about what Obama said. Mays put in many quotes an all in the center of his article.
The overall articles' messages are also very different. Greenway writes about the conflict Obama has in what to do and say. Greenway writes that Obama has two goals and it is virtually impossible to meet both of them. Greenway focuses mostly on the speech itself where Mays focuses on the repercussions and the decision behind the speech. Mays also wrote about the problems Obama is faced with, but more along the lines of blaming the past administration instead of just pointing out what Obama is dealing with.
Greenway's article is clearly better. It is clear and less biased. Greenway gives a fair judgment of Obama's speech. He wrote about the good decisions Obama made as well as the poor decisions he made. Greenway's article gave a great summary of what Obama spoke on and gave a bit of insight on the speech itself.
The two stories on Obama's speech last Sept. 8 may have had the same idea and message behind them, but that is the only item these two stories have in common. The first I story read was: Obama Tries to Motivate Students with Speech written by Christi Parsons in the Los Angeles Times. The second story I read was titled Commentary: Obama as Teacher-in-chief by Rudy Ruiz from CNN.com. The first story was more of the traditional hard-news format and the second as more of an editorial.
The article's leads were very different. Parsons' article had a very simple straightforward lead summarizing the main points of her article. Ruiz's article had a less informative lead that had more of his personal feelings behind it.
There is little these two articles had in common. The only thing they both did have in common was that they both had the same message and impression of Obama's speech. They both presented his speech as deserving of credit. Both articles acknowledged the concerns and criticism many had for Obama's speech and found that the speech was appropriate.
The writing style is what was most different about the two speeches. Ruiz put a lot of his personal thoughts and opinions within the article. His article was very emotional. Parsons' article attempted to be as straightforward and unbiased. Parsons used many facts. Parsons' article had quite a few quotes; Rudy Ruiz's article had none.
Although I found Ruiz's article more entertaining Parsons' article was the clear winner. Parsons gave a great summary of what occurred within the speech. It was also a great article because Parsons wrote about the concern before the speech and the reactions people had to the speech afterwards.
"The top women ski jumpers are once again left out in the cold, but they're not about to go away quietly."
A good lead should be able to summarize the whole article as well as be interesting enough to catch the reader's eye and entice them to continue reading. A good lead should have the most important Ws and H (who, what, when, where, why, how) within the article. This lead may catch the reader's eye, but it doesn't cover many of the H and Ws. In fact is has little information about the story itself. I think this is a decent lead, but it would help to have more information about the story itself. The only reason I like the lead is because it catches my eye.
"Vonn showed no signs of discomfort when she won the Olympic downhill by more than half a second Wednesday, with childhood rival and American teammate Julia Mancuso taking a surprise silver medal."
This lead is an excellent lead. It gives a great overview of everything within the story by addressing the who, what, when, why, and how. It is also an interesting lead. This lead makes me want to continue reading. It gives enough information about the story, but leaves a little room for curiosity to make the reader continue reading. The length may be a little long, but with the information it needed to cover it is just the right length.
The controversy over climate-change increased as the East Coast experienced exceptional amounts of snow, the New York Times reported on February 11. People on both sides of the argument have claimed the recent weather as evidence of and against global warming. Some skeptics of global warming used the cold weather to mock people voicing concern for global warming. Many climate scientists stated that ferocious storms are consistent with predictions of more intense weather as the earth warms. The New York Times suggested that this squabble is more than a coincidence after the recent climate controversy reported by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which raised doubts on the accuracy of some climate scientists' findings. Other climate experts say that this recent weather doesn't prove anything, that what should be examined is the history of the weather over decades and centuries.
It could be argued that this article has all of the news values; however, the main values I found were immediacy, proximity, impact, novelty, and conflict. The article is fairly up to date; weather across the US has been pretty crazy lately (immediacy). It has proximity and immediacy because most of the readers are Americans, and this is about the weather in America and the different explanations people have for the weather. It is a novel story because the weather lately has been unusual and odd. There is a clear conflict between people that believe in global climate change and those that don't.
The University of Minnesota reported that people nearly double their risk of developing pancreatic cancer if they drink two or more soft drinks a week, according to the Star Tribune. The overall risk is still fairly small in the study; however, this disease is so serious that just 5 percent of patients survive after five years. Soft drinks give people a burst of blood sugar which causes the pancreas to secrete insulin. The theory is that the high levels of insulin in the pancreas promote the growth of cancerous cells. The scientists are not sure if diet soda would have the same effect, but they doubt it. Interestingly, fruit juice doesn't have the same effect as soda. Because the study had a small number of people developing pancreatic cancer and that no other studies have found a connection with soda and pancreatic cancer, no statements can really be made about the cause-effect of soda.
This news article doesn't have many of the news values. The main three that it does have are proximity, impact, and prominence. The Star Tribune circulates throughout the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. Because of this the story has proximity and it could also be argued that it has prominence. This story is important to many Minnesotans because many people drink soda on a daily basis and might be concerned about what could happen to them if they drink multiple sodas. It has prominence because the University of Minnesota is well-known and respected in Minnesota. This article impacts many different people. Soft drinks are very popular for Minnesotans (and Americans in general). If drinking these popular beverages is connected with pancreatic cancer the impact would be huge.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that a drunken man stole an ambulance from a Wisconsin ski area with the patient inside.
On Saturday The New York Times reported that the Food and Drug Administration wants manufacturers to post important nutrition information on the front of food packages. This would be used as a weapon against obesity. The FDA claimed that labeling will be voluntary but they may set rules to prevent companies from only highlighting the healthy information about their food. Some people are concerned about the reality of the official serving sizes. The sizes for many packaged foods, which are based off of data collected on Americans' eating habits from the 1970s and 1980s, are smaller than the amount Americans generally eat. Unfortunately, simply increasing the official serving sizes also poses problems. The concern then is that this could encourage eating larger portions of food.
The main news values within this story are impact and proximity; it could also be argued that conflict is in the article. Impact is the most important value in the story. The story has impact because the FDA could change how the food companies in America present the nutrition facts for their foods. Proximity is also a big factor in this story because this is happening in America; because of the huge impact the proximity is considered close for anyone residing in the United States. The conflict in the story is the problem of deciding what the best weapon against obesity. Would changing the official serving sizes, putting more nutrition information on the front of food packaging or both? Will any of these designs increase the obesity epidemic instead of decrease?
CNN reported Wednesda President Obama criticized the Republican Party for not cooperating on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, Obama spoke during the Senate Democratic Policy Committee Issues Conference in reaction to the Democrats' recent loss in the Massachusetts Senate race. Obama claimed Democrats had been compromising on issues and the GOP would not. He also said the Republican Party was politically motivated and opposed virtually every issue. Obama pressed Democrats to ignore politically-oriented cable television shows. Obama promised to "call (Republicans) out when (Democrats) extend a hand and get a fist in return."
This article has most of the news values. President Obama spoke Wednesday and the article came out on the same day, illustrating the value of immediacy. Since this article is about Obama it has prominence. Proximity is a part of the article because many CNN readers are in the US. There is conflict in the story itself, Republicans vs. Democrats, and the president's frustration is expressed. The readers' emotions are easily affected by this article; depending on their political stance emotions will vary. A Democrat will feel differently about this story compared to a Republican, considering Obama is criticizing the GOP. The impact on the readers will also vary depending on their political stance, but as a whole all Americans are affected by this. Many new US policies could be enacted dependent on whether these two disagreeing parties can agree.