Magnitude and Proximity Take Center Stage

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Bus Plunge articles “8 injured as bus plunges into canal” and “Many dead in Kashmir bus plunge”:

“Officer-in-Charge of Hathazari Police Station Mohammad Ismail told The Daily Star that the bus was salvaged but they did not find any body inside it.”

This is from the first of the two articles.  I found this sentence largely entertaining because it was so bad!  How about a comma?  And since when did “anybody” become two separate words?  I’m also pretty sure that “charge” does not need to be capitalized, either.  I wish this example would have appeared in our quiz today.  This just seems like an article that was published quick, just trying to be the first reporting on the accident, or at least I hope it was.  And as far as newsworthiness, the magnitude is small for the accident only affected a small number of people who were only injured and not killed.  I mean, I’m glad that nobody was killed but that also makes people less drawn to the story.  The worse the conflict, the bigger news it is.  Also, the story isn’t in close proximity to us. 

The second story is far more newsworthy.  Although it remains far away, the fact that 20 people were KILLED and many more injured immediately boosts the newsworthiness of the story.  In fact, the slight addition that “many others [were] injured” is just s side-note of no real importance to this story.  Because of this, this article eclipses the other because the injured people of the second story are barely mentioned whereas the injured completely composes article one.  I can actually believe that the second story would make national news (on a slow day). 

Both articles depict the bus plunge very differently.  One story is urgent, the other, less so.  Neither story is wonderfully written.  The structure is elementary and there is almost a complete lack of quotes.  The only quote that appears is a bad one: “’We are yet to receive reports of any person going missing in the accident,’ the OC said.”  This quote just makes the “OC” look stupid because it barely makes grammatical sense.  This phrase would be better if it were paraphrased.


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