From Woof to Squeak

I liked this post because of its effectiveness. The infograph shows the most popular pets and how much they cost on average (in the U.S.).

Witchful Spending

This infographic above was taken  from Milo.com for their “Witchful Spending” article. It focuses on the economics of Halloween for US households comparable to 2011, and caught my attention because it sheds light on the economics of the middle/lower classes compared to last year in an entertaining way. By focusing on the amount of households decorating their lawn or buying costumes for their pets, Milo is able to describe an increase in household “cash on hand” without using boring statistics.

Infographic Analysis

The above infographic outlines social media use by social media network.  I think this infographic is is useful because an article that outlined this data would be boring due to the sheer amount of statistics and numbers.  However, when the data is organized into an infographic, it makes it easy for the reader (or viewer, I suppose) to pick out what pieces of data they need to (or want to) see.  One website organizes the same data in an excel-style chart.  However, the infographic, while not particularly accurate in the graph styles, gives the viewer enough information to generalize about the different social media networks.

“Lynching of Innocent Men”

“Lynching of Innocent Men”

I chose to analyze the article “Lynching of Innocent Men” by Ida B. Wells. The lede for this article was very confusing. It might be because I just don’t understand it but I also just could not grasp what they were trying to say. After reading along I came across this quote in the beginning of a paragraph

“Thursday morning a brakesman on a freight train going out of Sikeston, Montana, discover a Negro stealing a ride; he ordered him off and had hot words which terminated a fight” (Pg 63)

This opening line for a paragraph however, I think is a great lede. It intrigues you and grabs your attention right off the bat. What happened is clear and you can easily follow. Moving away from just talking about the ledes, I found this article somewhat difficult to read. I feel as if it were re-written it would be very interesting, but as it is now, I am a little bored because I had a hard time following.

Analysis on the lede in “South Park’ takes on Honey Boo Boo: Funniest celebrity takedown?”

The article I chose was about the toddler sensation Honey Boo Boo. The lede is

“Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of “South Park,” aren’t afraid of taking on some big celebrity targets, and in this latest episode they’ve gone after the most talked-about show on TV: “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.””

I found this to be a good lede because if you didn’t know what the show was or who Honey Boo Boo was they would be interested in reading more. In the one sentence opener you get a lot of information, but not enough, so it makes you want to keep reading. One thing though that I didn’t like is, they called Honey Boo Boo and big time celebrity. In my eyes, she is not one in the least bit because she is merely a toddler.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/10/10/outh-park-takes-on-honey-boo-boo-funniest-celebrity-takedown/

An Evaluation of Journalistic Principles in “The Klavaliers Ride to a Fall” by Stetson Kennedy

In Stetson Kennedy’s article “The Klavaliers Ride to a Fall,” the principle of journalism that he best follows is one from Kovach and Rosentiel. The principle is that journalists must have an “independence from race, ethnicity, religion, and gender.” (Kovach and Rosentiel, 132) Throughout the article, Kennedy successfully lacks any bias on specifically race and gender. Even during the early 1950s in the deep South when African American men could not pick up white women in taxis because of the law, Kennedy looked beyond the laws and the prejudices to write this article. During this time period, Kennedy could have also shown a bias towards the woman in the article; possibly blaming her less because she was a woman. He shows no bias towards her and states harshly:

I looked, and saw a buxom peroxide blonde of the sort generally found in third-rate bars.” (Shapiro 255)

The successes of Kennedy’s articles are due to his lack of bias towards anyone in his article.

Kennedy was not as successful at a second journalistic principle that Kovach and Rosentiel mention. While going undercover in the Klan, he did not “maintain an independence from those that [he] cover[ed]” (Kovach and Rosentiel, 118) Kennedy should have looked deeper into the evil of the clan to see men that were also victims of wrong teachings and centuries of prejudice. He could not help but show a strong bias to the African American man that was killed, which is understandable but not the best for his writing. He also was extremely deep into his story, so deep that his independence from the Klan could be questioned. Although he tried to make a call to warn of a possible harm doing, he made the decision to keep his cover.

Kennedy also successfully follows stylistic journalistic principles in this article. He is very successful with, what Knight calls, “separating the craft from the profession.” (Knight, 118) For example, near the end of this story after Kennedy includes the obituary of James Martin, he concisely and powerfully concludes the article:

I wondered how many Negroes had died similarly violent deaths in the South, only to have one-inch obituaries bury the atrocities as “accidents.” James Martin, I swore to myself, was not going to be buried that way.

Kennedy is a legendary journalist because of his ability to “make the most economic use of words without losing [their] meaning or flavor” (Knight, 118)

The Importance of Word Choice in Ledes

D.C. police shut down a block of Connecticut Avenue north of Dupont Circle for nearly three hours on Friday after authorities said a bank robber dropped a suspicious package while making his getaway.

Whenever I come across an article about a bank robbery, it always captures my attention. Bank robberies make me think of Hollywood versions of robberies like those in the “Ocean’s Eleven” series. In these portrayals of robberies, the robbers are always handsome and the banks are seemingly impossible to break into, complete with laser beams and complex safes. This is why any lede with the words “bank robber” is interesting. While this lede in the Washington Post is attention grabbing, it could have been more successful. The words “bank robber,” “suspicious package,” and “getaway” are all good quality word choices that make the reader want to finish the article. However, the geography and time explained in the first sentence should have been saved for a later part of the article or the lede, in my opinion. There were a few word choices later in the article that should have been used to make the Lede have more of a punch. For example:

Officer Araz Alali said the holdup occurred minutes before noon at the TD Bank in the 1700 block of Connecticut Avenue NW.

If the word “holdup” had been used, I think the lede would have been more successful. “Holdup” has connotations to guns and cowboys that Americans can not resist. If I were to rewrite this lede, it would say:

A bank robber in the DC area dropped a suspicious package while making his getaway. DC Police were forced to shut down a block of Connecticut Avenue north of Dupont Circle for nearly three hours on Friday to investigate the holdup.

My version of the lede puts the more moving news first and uses the words “forced” and “investigate” which are much more appealing than the basic way that the original lede gave the information.

The article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/bank-robber-drops-package-streets-closed-north-of-dupont-circle/2012/10/05/c315943e-0f0c-11e2-a310-2363842b7057_blog.html

Fox news in a recent article, ” What Press Won’t Say About Economy”, called a biased alert. When reading the article they are being harsher towards Obama and almost in a mocking tone. They talk about how recent articles have skewed the out look on the economy and are giving a “dishonest” view of the economy.

When I was reading this I thought that it was biased in itself along with some of the other articles they quoted. This could be easily fixed, but it almost sounds a little aggressive and that may or may not be intentional.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/10/01/what-media-isnt-telling-about-our-economy/

MSNBC Bias

When looking at MSNBC’S politics homepage I notice different stories they are focusing on. On the left hand side there is a picture of Obama and a story about his new television ad. The picture has him pointing sternly which makes him look serious about what he is talking about.

The first video they list has how much money each candidate has raised. They have Obama first with $10.1 million and Romney second with $7 million. They are showing how Obama has made more money than Romney, making him look more prepared.

In the second listed video they show where Romney and Obama will both be campaigning in Virginia. They once show Obama’s picture about Romney’s picture making him look “on top”.

The only story they have on Romney is about how his team distrusts the public polls in Ohio. This is a negative story implying he does not trust the public opinion.

The first poll on the page is a decision 2012 poll. It has obama leading the charts over Romney for the past year. The Map at the bottom of the page has colored the states for which party they will most likely vote for. It is extremely obvious they have more blue states than red.

The political cartoon they are showing today has a picture of Romney being pied in the face. The bottom of the pie has different percentages for different groups of people. It is showing that the majority of the public disagrees with everything he says and wants to pie him in the face.

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032553/ns/politics/#__utma=14933801.1766070288.1348768622.1348768622.1348768622.1&__utmb=14933801.1.10.1348768622&__utmc=14933801&__utmx=-&__utmz=14933801.1348768622.1.1.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=msnbc&__utmv=14933801.|8=Earned%20By=msnbc%7Ccover=1^12=Landing%20Content=Mixed=1^13=Landing%20Hostname=www.nbcnews.com=1^30=Visit%20Type%20to%20Content=Earned%20to%20Mixed=1&__utmk=110671109

An Observed Liberal Bias of The Washington Post

The front page of the Washington Post’s website on September 27, 2012 shows a bias towards a more liberal demographic. Some of the headlines such as: “Medicare issue boosts Obama in 3 swing states,” “At Romney’s would-be church in D.C., ‘47 percent’ fill pews,” and “Republicans’ real problem” show this bias.  Instead of choosing more stories that are more favorable to the Republican candidate, the Post chose stories that do not put Governor Romney in the best light. Some keywords and phrases that give this bias away in these articles about Governor Romney are: “sweeping changes,” “undercutting,” “blunts,” “controversial,” and “unfavorable.” “Sweeping changes” is not something that the elderly, or even those who are middle aged ever want to hear about Medicare.  “Undercutting,” or cutting away at the base, is a negative word placed where a more positive word could have been used.  This is the same for “blunts” and “controversial.”  All three of these words create a mental picture for the reader that is not a positive one.  The keywords and phrases used to describe Governor Romney contrast with those about President Obama: “favorable,” “advantage,” “boosts,” and “support.”  These word choices create a positive mental image for readers.  “Boosts” and “advantage” also hint at words that have to do with a positive economy, which every American no matter what party is in favor of.  In the picture included in the “Campaign Finance Explorer” on the front page of the Post, President Obama’s numbers are shown and Governor Romney’s are cut off.  This is a small point yet it is more favoritism towards the President and the Liberal demographic. It is a shame that there are not more articles about President Obama’s campaign struggles as well as more articles describing Governor Romney’s positive attributes and successes.  This would allow the public who reads the Washington Post to be better educated about both candidates for the upcoming election.

Check it out: http://www.washingtonpost.com/