I chose another article from CBS News titled “2020 Election Live Updates: Trump and Biden head to battleground states in Midwest.” This article is definitely a turnaround from 2016 articles. It does exactly what the commentary following the surprise results calls for. Both candidates and their running mates are given due space in the story, with additional information about the states that they are campaigning in during the final days of election season. The article does not dismiss one candidate or the other, which was definitely a lesson learned from 2016.
I just read a commentary from CBS News titled “The unbearable smugness of the press.” This article details the mistakes that journalists made in 2016 during election season, mainly their assumption that democratic candidate Hillary Clinton would win by a landslide against republican Donald Trump. I think that this shows as a testament for journalists to learn from their mistakes so they do not repeat them for this election. Personally, I think that they have definitely made improvements. I see many articles that portray both outcomes as possibilities, which is definitely what the journalists should be doing.
I just read a blog post called “Details Drive the News: Let the Quotes Do the Heavy Lifting in Your News Stories.” This was a short yet informative post about journalistic writing style, which was very helpful for me as I had never written in it prior to taking this class. As a matter of fat, I just realized that since the post is short yet informative, it embodies journalistic style. As an English major, I am used to writing with more complicated language, so this is still an adjustment that I am getting used to. I also need to pay more attention to the length of my paragraphs, as they were a little too long in my first draft of article two. Overall, this post was the reminder that I needed about journalistic style.
I just read an article from Tribune-Review titled “Greensburg man accused of squatting in basement of Seton Hill building.” This was a particularly interesting read as it was about my own school. I had actually read the article before this assignment, and its journalistic qualities did not go unnoticed. As with the other current event stories, I continue to notice what I am being taught in class in real journalism. It was also interesting to read an article about Seton Hill from a source other than a classmate or The Setonian.
I just read an article from CNN titled “Trump needs this pivotal county and its rural voters to win Pennsylvania.” The article is about the impact of Westmoreland County voters on the outcome of the election. Overall, I found it pretty neat that our local county was featured on CNN, a national media outlet. Also, it is not an article from a local outlet or the Associated Press, CNN reporters actually interviewed in Westmoreland County. I am surprised that our county has such a large impact on the outcome of the election, but this article definitely proves that to be true. The juxtaposition of how each campaign is tackling different aspects of it was interesting as well.
I just viewed a YouTube video titled “NewsCRAFT: Clear, Relevant, Accurate, Fair, Timely” in which the basics of news writing are explained. This video was helpful for me because it reinforced all of the principles that I have learned about journalism this semester. The section about phrasing was a great reminder that I needed because I have been experiencing difficulty with writing concise and eye-catching headlines. I need to pay more attention to how I can condense long phrases with weak verbs into single, strong verbs. It was also interesting to learn about some of the history of journalism. Overall, this video was a great recap of what I just read in Elements of Journalism by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel.
I chose two stories from the ABC News website. The first one was actually from the Associated Press, titled “Study: Health systems, govt responses linked to virus tolls”, and the second was titled “‘The next generation is here’: Apple unveils its first-ever 5G iPhone.” I found these stories by choosing a mainstream news site, then choosing an article of global importance and an article of personal interest. The first story was actually credited to the Associated Press, which is why I linked to the original article. The second was written by ABC reporter Catherine Thorbecke. I notice that both journalists quote multiple newsworthy sources, and keep themselves completely out of the article. It is interesting to see the things that I am being taught to do in my own articles demonstrated by professional journalists. A reader of either article would not be able to figure out how the journalists feel about their respective topics; they both are simply stating facts.
This meme is misleading based on fact-checking performed by NBC News, which includes quotes from the justice department. I find that NBC is typically fairly unbiased, but regardless, the article quotes Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, an independent investigator who found no evidence of the Obama administration spying on the Trump campaign. Trump’s supporters will gain from this, but I think that all Americans in general are hurt by disinformation. Ordinary people will share this if it reinforces their own beliefs, rather than taking the time to fact-check.
The news stories that I chose to analyze for this post are “Pence, Harris spar over federal Covid response as Trump’s illness looms” by Lauren Egan and “An appreciation: Even fellow rock gods worshipped Eddie Van Halen” by Ethan Sacks, both from NBC News. I found these stories by choosing a media outlet basically at random, and then perusing the front page of its website for two stories; one widely-known story, and one of my own personal interest. The journalists who wrote these stories both work for NBC news. Egan is listed as a reporter from Washington and Sacks is listed as a writer for the website. It is interesting to see the techniques that we have been taught in class in practice in these articles. Both articles are unbiased; they do not give an opinion without crediting a quoted source. Although the article about Van Halen is titled as an appreciation, Sacks does not blatantly express his admiration of the late guitarist. Rather, he uses numerous quotes from fellow performers to do so. Eagan features quotes that were stated in the debate by both Pence and Harris, and she featured these at the beginning of the article for the common reader to see immediately. She put the finer details of the debate towards the end of the article for more invested readers. Sacks features a correction about a misspelling of a name at the bottom of his article, and we just learned about corrections in class today, so it was interesting to see that in practice as well.
The final chapter of Elements of Journalism by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel talks about the strong role that citizens play in journalism. I think that this role was overlooked in the past, but it seems to become more prominent as time passes. Rather than take journalism from one outlet for what it is, many citizens consult multiple outlets because many outlets have their own bias. However, there are some citizens who stick to the outlet that matches their ideology, and I do not think that those citizens are upholding this role, as they are only monitoring one outlet. I also like how the chapter was written out similar to the bill of rights, where it states each right that citizens have in relation to journalism. The role of independence struck me the most. As an example, it states “Independence implies that we can expect to see Republicans criticized by conservative commentators and Democrats at times by liberals” (Kovach and Rosenstiel 294). This is something that I personally do not see very much of in journalism today. Most blatantly conservative and liberal commentators seem hesitant to criticize their own parties, but I also just might be missing it. I would definitely like to see more of it though because it exemplifies the journalist’s role of neutrality.