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October 8, 2005

Tone in the Tribune Review

After reading Chapter 6, in The AP Guide to Newswriting, which focuses on tone and the inner meaning of words, I analyzed the article Shouting match preceded vote on Export hiring" in the October 6th Tribune Review.

The chapter focuses on the tone an article should have, and also problems with tone. The chapter is broke down into several sections:

Avoid Sudden Shifts:
During the Trib article there was a change in tone, but it was foreshadowed by the headline. The first two paragraphs simply stated facts about the meeting including when it was, what they were voting on, and the result of the vote.

In the third paragraph this informative tone shifted to shed light on an interesting occurrence at the meeting: "The vote came after an almost one-hour executive session during which Councilman Dave Pascuzzi abruptly exited after a shouting mach with Mayor Bob Campagna."

The shift in tone slightly altered the way I read the article. At first the writer just discussed facts, which provided unbiased information. He then commented on the man's outburst. When someone has an outburst it is usually a negative thing, so after I read about the outburst I formed an opinion about Pascuzzi, which left me with a bias for the rest of the article.

Dealing with Motive:
The example above also has to deal with motive. When preparing for this article, the writer might have planned on just providing details about the meeting and the result, but when Pascuzzi began shouting in the meeting, the writer might have realized this was a more interesting angle. I thin this presented a problem in the article because the motive was unclear. Was this article to provide facts about the meeting, or was it to discredit Pascuzzi who the council voted to replace.

Watch it, kiddo:
This section discusses not using too informal of words. The author says, “don’t get too chummy with your reader.”

In the article the writer decided to call the occurrence a “shouting match.” What visual comes to your mind when you hear this? I think of a petty fight on the playground between two bullies. I do not think this is the correct visual to have for a man who is upset and speaks out, because he is about to lose his job.

Posted by JennaOBrocto at October 8, 2005 12:13 PM

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