Author Archives: Solène Goetghebeur

Obama vs Romney: The Cost To Educate A President

In a decisive period of election, I found it interesting to choose an infographic, from degreejungle.com,  which deals with it, but which also takes an interest in colleges. This infographic tries to recount the schooling of the two candidates. Their survey is mainly based on their schooling’s cost; from pre-college to grad school. On the left we have Obama, on the right Romney and in the middle the average, with graphics to show  how a normal student deals with his education.

At the end, no conclusion is done to influence the reader, but just a rethorical question: “Education matters, where is your future going?”

This is notably another reason which helped me to choose this infographic because, there is no political orientation. It pretends to let the reader to make its own opinion, by giving to him all the information.

However, the infographic uses with ruse, its informations. The cartoon at the bottom, depicts President Obama with a more pleasant look. When it focuses the reader on “How they paid” for their education, they have a sarcastic response for Romney: “Sold a few thousand dollars’ worth” of stock from his father.”

Finally, their conclusion is also that there is not a best candidate, because neither of them came from a regular schooling.

The Democrat Los Angeles Times

With the deadlines it is blindingly obvious that the Los Angeles Times stands for the Democrats: “Democrats gain favor in battle for Senate.”  The first words of the paragraph use the Republicans to put forward what they wrote. Republicans are opposite to the positive deadline and so associate to a defeat: “Republicans chances of gaining seats for Senate control begin to fade as more races start leaning toward Democratic candidates.” http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-senate-control-20120926,0,1114262.story

Moreover, in the section “in case you missed it,” thanks to a cartoon they criticize the Republicans: “Republicans have a medical mindset about climate change.” The cartoon depicts someone who thought that the earth was flat and another person saying that “the sun revolves around the earth”, and finally, we have the republicans who say that the “global warming is a hoax.” Obviously, the website tries to show us that the Republicans are completely wrong, as the medieval ideas. http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/topoftheticket/lat-na-tt-medieval-mindset-20120925,0,6709952.story

Besides, the Los Angeles Times promotes its city. The advertisements are for instance, in favor of the University of California “(How does the University of California impact your day?)” There is also a “L-A deals,” which allows a reduced cost in a restaurant of Santa Monica.

The advertisement sentences of Bank of America is, “Bank of America is proud to work with those who are making Greater Los Angeles stronger;” where is added “9 to 5 seating Los Angeles, CA client since 2007,” meaning that Bank of America is a trendy place for the people of Los Angeles.

News about Mexico is also more important than in other newspapers, presumably because of the geographical proximity.

The deadline for Thursday, reinstates that The Los Angeles Times is obviously supporting the Democratic Party. In the article they state that,  “[They are], Pro-Obama PAC skewers Romney on “47%” remark.” In the paragraph below, it emphasizes their position in favor of the Obama campaign: “The tape of Romney saying 47% of Americans back the president because they depend on government aid is proving to be a bonanza for Democrats.” When you click on the link, there is another deadline, which confirms again their political state of mind: “Pro-Obama “super PAC” uses “47%” comment to strafe Romney.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-romney-47-percent-ads-20120927,0,1286591.story

Finally, there is a picture of Obama with the subtitle: “At U.N., Obama urges Muslim world to support free speech.” It is evident that the Los Angeles Times tries to show that Obama is the right candidate again, because he is also a defender of freedom.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-obama-un-20120926,0,2112136.story

“The Klavaliers ride to a fall”, Stetson Kennedy

As Nellie Bly, Stetson Kennedy does an undercover report and he does it by answering to the second element granted by Kovach and Rosentiel (page 98). He uses masquerade because it is the only way to write it.

Moreover, if we follow the order of the week’s readings, in chapter 4 of Kovach and Rosentiel, we can approve that Stetson Kennedy made a good choice by waiting the following day to write his article. The time he took to wait allowed him to be more neutral.

However, it is obvious that Stetson Kennedy still has biases, which prevent him from being objective all the time.  He didn’t write scientifically but with a goal, which Walter Lippmann refutes. At the end of his article, Stetson’s aim is clear: he wants to write to deal out justice. Still, he didn’t anticipate this ending so he just tells the facts even if, it is his point of view.  He doesn’t ‘add’, he just describes the scene. His reactions could depreciate and distort his judgment; instead they prove that it is true: “it helps to define the line between fact and fiction”. (page 91 chapter 4)

Kennedy has recourse to transparency by quoting names, nicknames, places, and time. The use of a dominant active voice also contributes to this honesty and clarity.

Furthermore, even if “neutrality is not a fundamental principal of journalism” (page 83 chapter 4), Stetson Kennedy spends his time explaining his reactions and his thoughts to be sure that people won’t think that he would be able to accredit the Klan. By doing it systematically he loses objectivity.

Finally, Stetson Kennedy is always modest, since he never intervenes in this event. He is his own witness. The chapter 5 of Kovach and Rosentiel, sums up Kennedy’s action well, because according to Gil Thelen (page 136) the journalist’s role is to be “a committed observer”.

 

 

 

 

‘Ten days in a madhouse’, Nellie Bly

First and foremost, Nellie Bly succeeds in awakening her readers’ opinion thanks to her direct title. The title helps the book become the talk of the town, and this title accurately reflects the subject, based on the author’s personal experiences. Bly is able to provide reliable information.

“Choking and beating patients” is the title of a chapter and a headline used by a newspaper, but again the verbs speak to the readers.

The first paragraph, which starts with a description of Tillie Mayard who has a cold, doesn’t shock but it questions. Indeed, why a person who has a cold would be in an asylum?

Moreover, Nellie Bly uses superlatives throughout the text, starting from the very first line (“greatly”). She also describes Tillie Mayard’s face and body suffering from cold, which established immediately the frosty atmosphere of the situation.

Then, as a report she tries to make people aware of the bad conditions inside an asylum.

Thus, she uses short, striking and ironic sentences, like “Assuring him that I needed no medical aid, I told him to go to Miss Mayard. He did so. From Miss Neville and other patients I learned what transpired.”

Then, she spends her time convincing readers that what she wrote is true. Notably, by using details like the name of people, their ages, their nationalities, specific places (“Hall 6″).

She also can reinstate her first hand experience by using sentences such as ‘”I heard”, “I saw”.

Her article is very persuasive but the style is definitely in the style of novels. If reporting like this was a breach of ethics in 1887, this may have been the only way to expose the issues.