November 20, 2008

Journalism Ethics

When reading journalism ethics, i mostly relied on the handout Greta gave us in the class, and the journalism ethics code found online. What i found did not surprise me. Journalists are supposed to be fair, let the audience decide their positions, and handle themselves appropriately. The journalism ethics are everything i thought they would be. What i found interesting, however, is the direct correlation between the less those ethics are followed, and the higher ratings. Shows that stay in line with journalism ethics, like 20/20, 60 minutes, and news hour with Jim Lehrer, are consistently lower in the ratings then shows that push the border, such as any show on Fox News and the Daily Show. I think it shows where we are as a country when fair, honest, well researched news shows are being bypassed for blowhard ignorants who equate sheer volume of speech with intelligence. Anyway, enough ranting. The bottom line is that while the journalistic code of ethics is everything i thought it would be, it is disheartening to see it being followed less and less.

November 13, 2008

Food Articles

Reading food reviews is now my second favorite part of the paper, after of course the sports section. Food reviews are amazing to read, because they are written by knowledgable, smart people, whose entire job and career revolves around telling us (the readers), what tastes good, and what we should avoid. I read reviews from the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, and New York Times, and the articles were not how i imagined they would be. I imagined an article written with many fancy words that i wouldn't understand, about foods i didn't care to eat. However, when i read the articles, i discovered that the words were at my level ( i don't know if that's a good thing), and the foods reviewed were foods i would actually want to try. Overall, i greatly appreciate the food review article, and it will now become a staple in my daily newspaper readings.

October 28, 2008

Business Articles

When researching Business Articles, i noticed quite a few differences between the business articles and other news stories. The biggest, most obvious difference between the two is the audience. News stories are written for the general public, and as such, include much more background information. An example of that is by stating which district Michelle Bachmann is a Congressional Representative of. Business Articles, on the contrary, have a target audience. Because business articles know who there audience consists of, it allows them to tailor their stories to a more specific tone. More is assumed knowledge in business articles. Stats and quotes are used from more scholarly sources, and quotes and stats tend to be less colorful and more informative. The conclusion i gathered from business articles is that they are more informative, educational, and overall better sources of information than news stories, because they recognize who their target audience is, and tailor their stories to best fit that audience.

October 21, 2008

Opinion Columns

When studying opinion columns, i read opinion columns from the Minnesota Daily, the New York Times, and the Star Tribune. During my readings, I made a couple of observations. The first obviously, was that these pieces were very different in the way they went about telling their stories. While other sections of the paper would paint a picture and provide background, these articles went right for the jugular from the first sentence, explaining their position in no uncertain terms. I decided to read three opinion articles on three different topics, so i could get more of a broad sense of what an opinion article is. I figured if i read three articles on the same topic, it wouldn't help me understand opinion style of writing as much as i would learn from reading three articles on different topics.
The first article from the Minnesota Daily was about U president Bruinicks supposedly backing out of this top three research university goal. Just from reading the headline, i could tell what the article was going to be about. The article was only four paragraphs, but you could tell that the writer was opinionated and angry about the issue. One thing i noticed in all three articles was the extended use of quotes and statistics. Often times the quotes and stats were used to try and trap whoever they are going after.
The second article i read was from the New York Times. This article was talking about how the writer feels that there is "no excuse" for a presidential candidate to not reveal their health records. The writer suggests that while health records are private, the job of the president is extremely public, and thus the health records of the president are of national interest and importance. This article did not use any stats or quotes, but instead talked about the extreme physical demands of the presidency, and the health toll it takes on a person.
The third article i read was from the Star Tribune, and was regarding Michelle Bachmann's controversial comments on Chris Matthews' Hardball Show. This article was full of quotes, and quotes were especially necessary, since Bachmann made controversial statements, statements which needed to be printed to allow the readers to understand the context of the article.
Overall, i learned a lot about the opinion article. I learned that quotes and stats are often used, and that the stories are obviously one sided.

October 6, 2008

Vice Presidential Debate Media Coverage

The days leading up to the October 2 Vice Presidential Debate were arguably the most anticipated days of this long and arduous 18 month battle for the White House. When the debate finally occurred, the ratings matched the high anticipation for the debate. According to bloomberg.com, 70 million people watched the Vice Presidential Debate. In comparison, only 52 million people watched the first Presidential Debate.
The debate was obviously covered by every major network. I chose to watch the debate on NBC, because i have HD TV, and love to see the candidates passive aggressive barbs exchanged in the highest clarity possible.
After the debate, there was post debate instant analysis and coverage on every network. For the post debate coverage, i chose to watch MSNBC, because i am a huge fan of their political team, especially Keith Olberman. On MSNBC's post debate coverage, they discussed how Palin and Biden each lived up to their own expectations for the debate. Palin deflected answering questions directly, while Biden avoided going after Palin, and saved his harshest words for McCain.
Then i waited until today, to get a perspective of analysis days after the debate, to compare with instantly. For today, i went to cnn.com, where talk of the debate had subsided, and what talk of the debate there was focused on the SNL spoof aired Saturday. The SNL spoof article from cnn.com can be found here: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2008/10/06/cho.snl.politics.cnn
The reason i think that coverage of the debate has tapered off is because both Obama and McCain are hitting the campaign trails harder then ever now, since there are only 29 days remaining, and Obama is starting to pull away in the polls. Simply put, the Vice Presidential Debate's expiration date has come and gone, and now it is up to the top candidates, not the Vice Presidential candidates, to fill up the news wire.

September 30, 2008

Presidential Debate Media Coverage

On Friday the 26th of September, the First of Three Presidential Debates took place. The debate, on the University of Mississippi Campus, focused on foreign policy and national security, which, as Jim Lehrer put it "naturally includes the global economy". The debate lasted for ninety minutes, and was covered on every major news network.
I chose to look at two different media sources coverage of the debate, CNN's online website, and MSNBC's online website.
Immediately after the debate, CNN had an article analyzing the debate, with arguments from different author's on which candidate looked better. On the web site also was a poll asking the public who they felt performed better during the debate, immediately after the debate.
For MSNBC, the coverage was almost identical to that of CNN's. Articles were up on the website immediately after the debate, with yet another poll asking the audience who they felt performed better during the debate.
Overall, i was very impressed with the coverage by these two outlets, as they had extensive articles written within ten minutes of the debate ending.

September 23, 2008

Economy Blog Due on 9/23/08

As we all of heard, seen, or read, these past weeks have been arguably the most turbulent economic times in our nations history. Banks are foreclosing, the government is stepping in and rescuing what were landmark institutions. Above all, Wall Street has taken the biggest hit. For this assignment, I looked at online articles from three sources, the Star Tribune, the New York Times, and Wall Street Journal, to see how each paper was covering what has been a devastating time on Wall Street.
The first article was from the aforementioned Star Tribune. The article, of which a link can be found at the end of this entry, detailed President Bush's decision to try and bail out the economy with a 700 billion dollar loan package. I feel that this was a very solid article, as it fairly and accurately portrayed the economic crises which the United States is currently under. The article has frequent quotes from President Bush, and is full of solid, factual information. I feel like the reporter used President Bush as their main source because their is no one more qualified than the current President to discuss how his plan will try to salvage the economy.
The second article, from the New York Times, a link of which can also be found at the end of this blog, was also about the economic "bailout" proposed by President Bush. This article is focusing however, on how Congress is moving forward with the bailout package, while also mentioning that many lawmakers are unhappy about the bailout. The article portrays both sides of the story perfectly, while remaining unbiased in their reporting. The article uses quotes from Senators both Democrat and Republican, with both sides weighing in on the proposed plan.
The third and final article was from the Wall Street Journal, a link of which can be found at the bottom of this entry. This article highlights another main person in the bailout fallout, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. This article was rather harsh on Paulson, as it criticized whether he has the credentials and knowledge to handle what is surely a stop gap measure to help the economy. I felt that out of all of the articles, the Wall Street Journal definitely was the harshest, as it directly targeted one specific person. While the other articles remained for the most part neutral in their coverage, the Wall Street Journal talked directly about one person, and his role in the economic bailout.

Link to Star Tribune Article: http://www.startribune.com/politics/29285184.html?page=1&c=y
Link to New York Times Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/23/business/23cong.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
Link to Wall Street Journal Article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122211317487463897.html