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October 28, 2008

Business Section

When looking for articles to read in the Business section of the New York Times, almost every story had to do with the economic crisis and everything related to it; such as the Dow dropping, financial safety, and the value of the American dollar.

Unlike the Times, The Wall Street Journal had more of a variety in the business section. It had articles about the financial crisis, but also about sales of the DTV converter boxes, the Discover card lawsuit, and the downfall of the circulation of newspapers. Overall, WSJ had a much more interesting variety of topics.

The top story for the LA Times was “Stocks slide sharply as recession worries continues.? However, their lead story was an economic crisis story, they organized the articles into groups, which I really liked. They had business blogs, a whole section on the financial crisis, global economy, small businesses, box office, and a Q & A segment. This format was much more appealing, and I think it may draw in more readers who aren’t necessarily corporate business owners. The regular reader gets to read about the economy, small businesses, stocks, movie sales, etc. What ever interests them they can access. I really like this format.

The article I read in the LA Times was about how ATM overdraft fees will rise again. This story had no business jargon, and was straight to the point. It was also a topic that almost every American can relate to since most Americans have checking and savings accounts. I liked the article because it was simple and a story many people could relate to.

I feel like a lot of news paper’s business section is very much tailored to a certain group of people, and it can be very overwhelming for the average person to understand and capture their interests.

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/business/index.html
Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-business-us.html?refresh=on
LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-bankfees28-2008oct28,0,1201453.story

October 21, 2008

Opinion Columns

When looking at various paper’s opinion columns, the most popular topic, is of course, the election, and everything related to it. I looked at three different opinion columns dealing with the last presidential debate, each candidate’s policies, and the most popular topic, “Joe the Plumber.?

Jo-Ann Armao of The Washington Post kept making the comparison between her father, who was a butcher, to Joe the plumber, who McCain kept addressing in the last Presidential Debate. She said, “Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama hoped to show their understanding, their support, and their empathy for the working people of America. What they ended up doing, though, was objectifying -- and to my mind, disrespecting -- the very people they claim to admire. Joe Wurzelbacher is not a gimmick or a slogan, and his hopes and fears deserve more than to be campaign fodder.? She stated that “ordinary folks? are given the most attention for presidential candidates, and then they’re forgotten until the next election comes around. She didn’t take a side for McCain or Obama, but rather said that both of them kept overusing the phrase “Joe the Plumber? when neither of them cared, it was just a campaign slogan. She also concluded with the fact that the candidates would never address them as “gentlemen from Ohio.? I had never thought of it like that before, and I thought it was extremely disrespectful to just bluntly label someone “Joe the Plumber? like they’re such lower class, non-important people.

The LA Times’ opinion column discussed more about McCain’s actions during the last presidential debate, and asked the question of whether or not McCain swayed voters or alienated them by harshly attacking Obama. It was McCain’s final debate with Obama, and he needed to do something in for he feared he might lose the election, so he decided to attack. The writer had a definite bias against McCain and the way he handled the debate and took low blows to Obama to make him look bad. McCain’s desperate attempt to win voters didn’t seem to work, instead, it seemed to put McCain in a bad light, and gave Obama higher standing by the way he elegantly handled himself during McCain’s blatant attacks.

Lastly, Paul Krugman of the New York Times also talked about Joe the plumber, but in a different context than The Washington Post. He talked about how McCain believes that the old formula of no social change still works. He believes the old strategy actually hinders the working American, while McCain endorses no change, all while him and Palin are trotting around the United States, or should I say “pro-America? parts of the country, which apparently doesn’t included New Jersey, Krugman sarcastically stated. He argued that the average plumber of America makes around $50,000 and McCain was making outrageous accusations saying that under Obama’s plan that Joe the plumber would have horrible taxes. McCain needed to rethink his tactic and get it facts straight about the average working American, because if he did really know, he’d know that a plumber does not make over $200,000. (the amount that would be needed under Obama’s plan to be taxed)

The LA Times and The New York Times both attacked McCain and his campaign.
I was surprised that the Washington Post did not take sides and bluntly said that both campaigns are disrespecting the average American.

The Washington Post: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2008/10/_my_father_guy_armao.html
The LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-debate16-2008oct16,0,7923080.story
The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/20/opinion/20krugman.html?_r=1&ref=opinion&oref=slogin

October 14, 2008

Different Photo Slide Shows

The New York Times did a photo slide show about Diane Paulus the director of the Public Theater’s revival of “Hair? in NYC. It started out with a picture of the director in a natural setting surrounded by flowers. The caption described her work very briefly. The rest of slides, excluding the last one, showed different scenes from different plays that Paulus has done. They also showed the actors in action with Paulus directing. The captions describe what’s going on in the scene and which characters the actors are playing. The last slide ended with a scene from her latest play “Hair.? The whole photo slide show was some of Paulus’ theater work, ending the slide show with her latest show she directed.

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/08/17/theater/20080817_PAULUS_SLIDESHOW_index.html?scp=1&sq=photo%20slide%20shows%20Paulus&st=cse

On Oprah.com, the photo slide show is called Dr. Oz’s 20-min. workout, with photos showing you how to do each move. This photo shoot is more directed towards women, showing them how to stay in shape with little time and no equipment. The whole thing emphasizes keeping your body and mind in good shape by strengthening both in his exercises. The captions also try to encourage the reader by having one sentence as an excuse saying something like, “I can’t do this because. . .? with the line underneath it stating an excuse buster saying that you can do the workout and that it’s easy!

http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/omagazine/slideshow2_ss_health_omag_200704_oz

Breaking new on People magazine online! They go through an 18 photo slide show on new mommy Jamie-Lynn Spears bargain shopping at Walmart, along with tracking where other Hollywood stars have been. Such as, Reese Witherspoon with her new boyfriend, Mariah Carey on the red carpet, and Victoria Beckhem, well basically just walking like she’s on a catwalk. Each caption just briefly describes where each of these stars are and what they’re doing.

http://www.people.com/people/gallery/0,,20232413_1,00.html

All three media outlets obviously have a target audience that they’re trying to reach by their photo slide shows. NY Times is much more news in-depth, along with photos that appeal to NYC residents, such as the local director. All the photos and topics seemed very artistic too. The pictures captured beautiful moments and they were all very creative. Oprah’s photo slide shows obviously appeal to her target audience: women. So her main photo slide shows included, what hair style fits my face shape, 20 min. workouts, or creative Halloween ideas for your family! People magazine has pictures only containing celebrities. Where they’ve been, who they’re walking with, what they’re doing, and what they’re wearing. Because with all that’s going on in the world, we must know at any moment what bad outfit Miley Cyrus was caught wearing.

October 7, 2008

Vice Presidential Debate

Thursday night was a very interesting and heated vice presidential debate, said was said to be one of the most watched VP debates. I wasn’t surprised by all the attention and anticipation leading up to the debates because is was sure to be good, especially with Palin’s rocky interview just days before with Katie Couric. Biden and Palin butted heads all through the debate, except when it came to gay marriage; it was the only point they both agreed on, both being against it. Although there was much coverage leading up to the debate, all the excitement and coverage kind of dwindled down after Thursday night. When I searched online for articles regarding the previous night debate, I found articles, however, the main focused headline was the economy. Rightfully so, however, it was even more difficult to find more coverage on the debate a couple days later. When searching for articles, I was surprised to find that when I searched on Google “Palin and Biden debate“, I got many links talking about Tina Fey on SNL playing Gov. Palin. I was surprised that half my results came up with debate satires. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing; are we really paying attention to the debates and the facts, or are we as a people more interested in SNL’s take on the debate.


As pointed out in a New York Times article, link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/us/politics/03debate.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&sq=vp%20debate&st=cse&scp=3&oref=slogin
Biden occasionally lost patience with Palin’s debating tactics, as when she used Biden’s words against her. Palin stressed that she and McCain are the right fit for the job, saying the people want something new and fresh. She said she was on the same level as the American people with issues such as the economy, stating, “Go to a kids’ soccer game on Saturday and turn to any parent there on the sideline and ask them, ‘How are you feeling about the economy? And I’ll betcha you’re going to hear some fear in that parent’s voice, fear regarding the few investments that some of us have in the stock market — did we just take a major hit with those investments?? She kind of took her own stance on how she lead the debate, and when in doubt would refer to her favorite subject, energy!

Biden took the stance, that if McCain became president, we would be going down the same road and same policies as Bush. Just as Obama stressed in the presidential debate, Biden reinforced the issue that John McCain’s policies are going to be the same as Bushes, and we cannot have that happen again. Things got heated towards the end of the debate, when Biden shot back against Palin, saying, “He’s not been a maverick when it comes to education — he has not supported tax cuts and significant changes for people being able to send their kids to college, he’s not been a maverick on the war. He’s not been a maverick on virtually anything that generally affects the things that people really talk about.?

One thing is for sure, it was an interesting debate that went in it’s own direction. And I’m just happy I don’t have to hear Palin say the word “maverick? again!