This Good Friday while walking around downtown DC, I crossed paths with a few Roman Centurions, a falsely bloodied man shouldering a cross and two women in mourning apparel. These were demonstrators, reenacting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I thought, "Well, this is a rather unique way to share the story of Christ's death."
Later, I returned home and while reading the news online, I crossed electronic paths with an even odder demonstration of the crucifixion. Many mainstream news outlets reported a long-time tradition that took place today in Cutud, Phillippines.
For over fifty years, this town has held a demonstration that allows select citizens to publicly have their backs whipped or be voluntarily nailed to a cross all for the purpose of showing their devotion to Christ.
The Catholic Church condemned this practice and even accused the town of commercializing the demonstration. An AFP newswire article said:
District tourism officer Ching Pangilinan denied church charges of commercilisation, saying local authorities had an obligation to manage the event to prevent tourists from mobbing the place or being robbed.
But, even though the tourism officer denied charges of commercializaition, the press still seemed intent on labeling the fake crucifixion onlookers, "tourists."
Could this be that the press misunderstood the cultural tradition at hand?
The AFP article further called this event a "spectacle," saying:
In the small farming town of Cutud, a couple of hours' drive north of Manila, thousands of tourists gathered to watch what has over the years become the biggest and bloodiest Good Friday spectacle.
To me, using the word "spectacle" is insinuating that this was some kind of show, rather than a devout religious act of penitance.
Thanks to our First Lady the ongoing problem of childhood obesity is a well known fact. Recenly, the culprit has been identified as chocolate milk. This sinfully sweet drink, a favorite in school lunches, has been deemed a major player in the issue of children and their weight. The Washington Post reported on the drinks past disapperaing from school cafeterias, and its recent return, presenting both sides of the controversy.
According to the article last year districts in Fairfax Co. and D.C. completely banned the chocolate drink from the lunch menu. As letters and complaints poured in from both sides of the arguement, schools decided to tweak the drink and reintroduce it with less sugar and fat.
"Several other school districts in the Washington area are changing the formulations of their chocolate milk to switch sweeteners and lessen the amount of fat and sugar."
"The stakes are high because more than 70 percent of the milk distributed in school cafeterias is flavored, according to the Milk Processor Education Program, an industry group. Fairfax alone serves 62,000 gallons of chocolate milk a year. And the formulations used in many cafeterias across the country have more calories, ounce for ounce, than Coke."
The writer clearly did his homework. The article flowed nicely, and had a lot of statisics.
Fourth place out five teams in the National League West Division is not where the Los Angeles Dodgers want to be. The Los Angeles Times coverage of the Dodgers 9-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals shed light on what was going on in the clubhouse after the tough loss.
"After the Dodgers lost by seven runs on Saturday, Mattingly closed the door to the manager's office and had a meeting with General Manager Ned Colletti and player development chief De Jon Watson," (LA Times).
The lede for this article did a good job of telling the reader what happened in the game without becoming a Who, What, Where, When, Why and How lede. It flows nicely into the second paragraph which goes into more detail about what happened after the game.
The only issue that I have with the lede is that it might confuse those readers who don't bleed Dodger Blue and have no idea who Don Mattingly is. It does not say his role in the organization, even though the lede is the first time that he is mentioned. He could be the manager, the general manager, or the owner for all we know.
Two weekends ago, I took the Amtrak train from Baltimore to Washington DC. The trip only took about 30 minutes, but as I watched the landscape crawl by it made me wonder why high speed rail hasn't been seriously invested in yet in the U.S., especially between major cities on the coasts.
Even though I grew up in the rural midwest, where everyone owns cars because their just isn't an economic support base for reliable public transportation, as I have spent time living in the metro Washington DC area I've seen plenty of people relying on public transportation.
So here's a thought, if people are willing to by plane tickets to fly from DC to Baltimore, why wouldn't they by high speed train tickets?
So it was with a renewed sadness, that I read this article on the CNN Politics website.
Here is how the article opens.
President Barack Obama's plan for a national high-speed rail network suffered a serious setback as a result of the fight over budget cuts. No money will be allocated for high-speed rail projects for the remainder of 2011.
Supporters have pointed to the plan as a job creator and economy booster, while critics have expressed doubts about whether spending billions of dollars on high-speed rail is the best use of federal funds.
Bryce Harper made his home debut Friday for the Washington Nationals' minor league affiliate the Hagerstown Suns. Harper, the Nationals' number one pick in the 2010 draft, went 0-for-3 with a strikeout out, and that is what most newspapers went with as the lede of the story.
The Washington Post article reported Harper's rough home debut, but they also went in a more in-depth direction in the coverage of the 18-year old phenom.
The lede paragraph the writer went with in this story was more of a one liner about the crowd coming to see the top prospect, but they saw a slumping 18-year old instead. That one sentence lede set up the next paragraph well and led to a good transition of what happened in the home debut for the rookie. The following paragraph seemed to be a descriptive type of lede that I thought worked well.
It was opening night for the Hagerstown Suns, after eight games on the road, and when Bryce Harper strode to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, the voice of the public-address announcer got a little higher and louder as he introduced the batter, and the sellout crowd of 6,017 at Municipal Stadium, bundled up against the chill, came to life, wrote The Washington Post.
Coming from Minnesota, I have seen some of the after-affects of tornadoes and have heard the stories of friends losing their homes. It seems like no matter how hard they try, the media can never always capture the full emotion behind the story.
After reading the headlines of 17 deaths in the southern states, due to the streak of tornadoes, I could not help but notice how the stories like ABC News and BBC News seemed to list the deaths as statistics. It was information more then stories.
I came across the Huffpost Green that caught my eyes with its narrative lead describing the home of one of the victims who died after a tornado ripped through his neighborhood.
I could tell this story was much more descriptive than the other versions by the poetic use of verbs and phrases. The writer did a better job of painting the bizarre scene of the town. By describing the surroundings, Philip Rawls was able to explain how the tornadoes demolished some areas, causing death, while leaving some of the most delicate sections of the town untouched.
This quote said so much more than just saying that the tornado destroyed some and left others.
"All he (Henley Hollon) saw were a set of wooden steps and flowerbeds, the blooms still on the plants as though nothing happened. An American flag once displayed outside Cheryl's home had been draped over a tree about a 100 feet away."
In Oregon, where there is a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability, a new study shows that the 40,000 Oregonians enrolled in the medical marijuana program are contributing to a large carbon footprint. The Oregonian published an article explaining Evan Mills', University of California's Lawrence Berkeleys National Laboratory's energy analyst, study.
The article reports the facts of the study and relates it to the Oregon for the local paper. It gives basic background information about the significance the industry has on U.S. electrical assumption. Although, the article is about a scientific study, the article is understandable and the facts are clear and concise.
Here is an example of the Oregonian's clear way of explaining the environmental impact of growing marijuana indoors:
Using the research techniques with which he analyzes the energy efficiency of appliances in cars -- the report has 22 footnotes -- Mills said a single "cannabis cigarette" represents two pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That's equal to burning a 100-watt lightbulb for 17 hours.
Another article on the same issue by Fox News does explain the views of these as a hate crime and the potential of it being excused as an act of freedom of speech.
The Washington Post discusses the events that took place in plain terms. It starts with a symbolic lede by explaining the current state of the burnt Koran. The article gives a long introduction to the threatening and the final decision of the Dove World Outreach pastor to burn the Islamic holy book.
There are certain stories which are across the board, difficult for journalists to write.
One of these story archtypes is that of a serial killer and the finding of his many victims. This, however, is precisely what the media had to deal with as eight bodies were found in Long Island, New York.
The 2012 presidential election is over a year away, but that is not stopping the press from already trying to weed out the competition. The unconfirmed competition, that is. Let’s take Donald Trump, for example, who is just one person on the long list of potential Republican candidates.
Trump has yet to launch a presidential exploratory committee or make an official announcement, declaring his intent to run, but said on multiple occasions that he is considering it. I would say, he is more than considering it. Rather, he is already putting himself in prime position to campaign.
The business mogul has made numerous TV appearances in recent days, where he often makes stout demands for Obama to present his birth certificate to the public. This fervent fixation Trump has on the validity of Obama’s citizenship has officially lumped him in the “birther” category.
A birther is defined by Urban Dictionary as “a conspiracy theorist who believes that Barack Obama is ineligible for the Presidency of the United States, based on any number of claims related to his place of birth, birth certificate, favorite birthday, or whether or not he has heard the song Africa by Toto.”
Obviously, this is a degrading term, so is it okay for an American press to label someone a birther? (I smell something resembling libel. Sniff. Sniff).
The bodies of eight different people have been found in an area of Long Island, and, like most other news organizations, ABC News picked up the story. But, as the title of this post suggests, I was not very happy with their coverage.
The first thing I noticed was the influx of unnamed sources. Using phrases like "law enforcement officials familiar with the case" and "experts outside the investigation," ABC makes it through the whole first page of the online story without quoting a named source. As a whole, the article quotes two named individuals, both of whom are not directly associated with the case. The Associated Press (AP) story, picked up by the Wall Street Journal, quotes members of the community as well as named experts. They only use one unnamed source, and make sure to specify why the source chose to have his or her name withheld.
Entering this year's Masters, you would have thought a story about inappropriate treatment of women would have involved Tiger Woods. You would have been wrong.
Following Charl Schwartzel's shocking win, the buzz in the sports media world quickly turned from celebration of the South African's unlikely victory to condemnation of Augusta National Golf Club's supposedly discriminatory policies. Tara Sullivan, a reporter for the Bergen Record, tweeted that she was barred from the Augusta clubhouse as she tried to get to an interview with Rory McIlroy.
Bad enough no women members at Augusta. But not allowing me to join writers in locker room interview is just wrong.
On opening day Giants fan, Bryan Stow (shown right with kids) was brutally beaten by two Dodgers fans outside of Dodger stadium after the match-up. The story has made national headlines and several mainstream papers have covered the issue of possibly the National League's most heated rivalry.
USA Today ran a follow-up article on their website on Sunday, April 10 that caught my attention. The main news of the story was that the Dodgers would be stepping up security at the ballpark by adding more LAPD officers.
However, the writer took a much more human interest approach to the story. The lede told how the Giants fan was supposed to be at AT&T Park Friday when the Giants hung up their World Series banner and was followed by a strong quote from a cousin of Stow's and then this paragraph.
Instead, the crowd held a moment of silence Friday for the paramedic and father of two from Santa Cruz, Calif., who remains in critical condition in a Los Angeles hospital with brain damage of uncertain extent after he was attacked in a Dodger Stadium parking lot on opening day, wrote USA Today.
President Obama is fighting the cuts incurred by the House Budget Committee's FY 2012 budget bill. Everybody on the Hill is in agreement that the U.S. deficit is too big and cuts need to be made in order to reign in the out of control spending by the government.
Democrats and Republicans scrambled last week to find common ground on what should be cut from the federal government annual budget.
Politico's coverage has been excellent throughout the government shutdown crisis this past week. I have referred to their political coverage on more than one occasion.
President Obama will address the long-term deficit reduction plan coming up this week and Politico released a pregame summary of some of the things that he talk about.
"For instance, freezing the pay of federal workers for a period of time...Fundamental reform of the government...We obviously then have to do more," Plouffe said. "And that's what the president's gonna lay out."
When bride-to-be Kristin Mar began planning her wedding, like most brides she had the basics already in mind. She knew the perfect venue, but had no idea the government would shake up her plans.
The recent government shutdown, which was averted late April 8, sent the bride and groom into an unplanned scramble the day before their wedding.The Washington Post reported the story, showing that the shutdown got personal.
I liked that the article highlighted the fact that the government affects far more people than we usually stop to think about. The article articulated the story in a personnal way, almost making the reader feel like they went through all the uncertainties and were seated at the ceremony.
"The government shutdown brinkmanshipoffered lessons about the ways of Washington, about a president gearing up for reelection and a forceful opposition." The article stated. I this was well put, explaining the shutdown scare of those of us outside of government circle.
"Gasoline-powered spark-ignition engines" may not sound interesting for all readers perusing National Geographic's news. However, the site's recent story on high school girls striving to build and run an energy-efficient g0-cart, while focusing on its energy-technology niche, keeps the story vivid and colorful enough to grab the attention of many different readers.
The story, titled "All-Girls Team Seeks Record in High-Mileage Marathon" jumps into the scenario of a group of teenage girls concentrating seriously on designing their car for an upcoming eco-marathon in Washington state. The lede paints an intriguing image:
Amid the din of power tools, three girls stand huddled in a shop room around the car they helped design and build. The vehicle looks more like a go-cart than an actual car—and right now, the teenagers are focusing on the brakes.
The picture lede shows that not only are these teens totally comfortable doing something never originally intended to be a female-geared activity, but they find it completely normal.
Interestingly, the article only quickly mentions this theme while giving the background for the story:
The pressure is on for the ShopGirls, the first all-girls team to compete in the Eco-marathon since it began in 1985. Last year, the team (five of the six members are returning from last year) earned first place in their energy class category—diesel vehicles—by completing the six-mile track at an efficiency mark of 470 miles per gallon (199.8 kilometers per liter).
National Geographic departs from the focus on girls moving to explore new fields, instead choosing to further explain the technological ins-and-outs of the system and quote the articulate high schoolers talking about their project.
"Originally we had mechanical brakes on the front and basically, in order to get them to work well enough to meet Shell rules, we had to tighten them to the point where they were actually dragging on the brake discs all the time," said Shante Stowell, 18, a senior. "Now we're going to use hydraulic ones and they're not going to drag and will only touch the brake discs if we're actually braking."
The story does a good job in presenting the girls as normal high schoolers who are personally concerned with the costs of being a young person with a car in today's world, but who are taking it a step further thanks to their learning experience.
Shante Stowell later is quoted in saying that when getting into her car, she notices how much fuel her car is using: "When I press the brake pedal I notice that's wasting one more little bit of fuel." A sophomore, Semira Karn, says in another section that she is impressed as how much the energy-efficiency technology has taught her.
"It's really rewarding to see how much our knowledge base has increased," said Semira Kern, a 15-year-old sophomore. She said last year the girls often had to ask Werner for help. "Now he can tell us do something and most of the work we can do by ourselves and even show newer people things that they don't know how to do."
In class we learned the dangers of sticking to completely European-model journalism, which features a states bias towards its niche audience. We also learned that niches do not always involve European journalism, and can simply be formed to target a certain audience's interest. This piece is certainly a niche article not meant to be read by everyone, but nevertheless presents an informative story for those who stumble upon it.
Columbia University was "the heart of the Vietnam-era student movement" in the 1960s, and their antimilitary rage ended up banning R.O.T.C. from campus, according to an article from the New York Times. However, the University Senate has voted to bring R.O.T.C. back.
New York Times reporter Alan Feuer led his article with a long, wordy lede that I had to read a couple of times before grasping the point, which made it lose some impact.
More than four decades after Columbia University, the heart of the Vietnam-era student movement, banned R.O.T.C. from campus in a moment of 1960s antimilitary rage, the University Senate voted overwhelmingly on Friday to support efforts to bring the group back.
To clean it up a bit, I would have led with something like the following: "Columbia University banned R.O.T.C. from campus in 1960s in response to antimilitary rage, but a the University Senate is now supporting efforts to bring the group back." There is not as much detail, but everything mentioned in Feuer's lede is restated later.
As the article went on, Feuer got caught in the classic toss-up of deciding which side to mention first.
Feeling a bit homesick for local news I stumbled across an article on LifeSiteNews.com about a Minnesota school in Albertville that allegedly denied a pro-life club official status. While other student-led-groups such a Diversity club, an Anime club and an Environmental club were allowed, a Pro-life group known as "All Life is Valuable" (ALIV) was not given the full approvel by the school. Or was it?
After reading this article, I checked out other state news including CBS Minnesota and msnbc.com and found that the the superintendent and the assistant superintendent said this student group had not been denied access after all.
This made me think, if the student group is being accepted, then why are they still suing the St. Michael-Albertville school?
Going back to LifeSite, I realized how incredibly the story was one-sided. I will admit LifeSite gave much more information regarding the allegations of the school; explained in detail the mission of the pro-life student group; and included the Alliance Defense Fund who filed the lawsuit on the student group's behalf.
However this story seemed to present accusations toward the school's faculty. The writer quoted only the ADF senior counsel, while the other two stories only had comments made by the superintendent and assistant superintendent. LifeSite attempted to be fair by presenting the principle's alledged decision but the writer never quoted him.
"Yet, Dale Carlson, principle of St. Michael-Albertville High School, has denied ALIV equal treatments. ADF pointed out that District Policy 801 requires equal access for clubs for 'religious, political, or philosophical reasons during non-instructional time. "
From this quote, it almost seemed like the article assumed that the highschool principle was not giving the pro-life group fair treatment however I believe the principle was not getting the fair treatment.
An sports article on a university's website can be expected to be one-sided.
A George Washington University sportswriter took that internal focus to a whole new level March 29, following a Colonial baseball game against Virginia. GW was more than 10 games below .500 when the story was written, so one would imagine the writer had plenty of practice inflating the exploits of the team in a losing effort.
One of America's great privileges an individuals is considered innocent until proven guilty. The press is obliged to respect this privilege when reporting but often times it can be tempting for publications to slyly abuse this privilege by either under or over reporting certain aspects of the story.
Because of the seriousness of an allege crime and the position of authority these priests hold, the Canon Law of the Catholic Church treats these situations as though the accused were guilty until proven innocent, but this does not mean American publications should follow this trend.
After reading a number of stories regarding accusations made against Father John Corapi I noticed they all had very similar coverage. Most of the publications covering the story were Catholic and I noticed that a number of mainstream media did not touch his story. However I did stumble across Modesto Bee, which tried to be an objective story but unfortunately did meet the requirements.
"David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest, said in a press release that, "We've been skeptical of these sort of 'freelance' travelling priests who seem to foster a cult of personality."
I came to the conclusion, basing this on reading the same story in a number of publications, that the reporter did not do any personal interviews but wrote the story soley on press releases. Even his "own" source was based off of a press release as is mention in the quote above.
One of the most noticeable differences between this story and others like The Catholic Post was it seemed to avoid some major quotes by Father Corapi. One quote which I thought was vital to the story was the priest's response to these accusations found in the The Catholic Post.
"I'll certainly cooperate with the process, but personally believe that it is seriously flawed, and is tantamount to treating the priest as guilty 'just in case' then through the process, determining if he is innocent," Father Corapi said. "The resultant damage to the accused is immediate, irreparable and serious, especially for someone like myself, since I am so well known."
Other publications contained more quotes from the priest and how he would handle these accusations but I found it interesting that Modesto Bee would not print a reaction. In some respects, under reporting could be a form of bias since the publication is making the priest look guilty by not adding his quote.
I want to point out that I am not trying to glorify the Catholic publications for doing the "better coverage" for I saw that philyBurbs also had a complete and clear story of Father Corapi.
It is only fair for the individual who is being accused to receive fair coverage of his/her story for the power of the press can label a person for better or worse for the rest of his/her life.
BP is back at it again. Many mainstream online newspapers reported Sunday, April 3 that the oil company is pushing to begin drilling again in the Gulf of Mexico, possibly as soon as this summer.
Many newspapers covered this article well, including an article by The Washington Post. Almost every article I read had a paraphrase quote lede that basically said BP was asking for permission to begin drilling in the Gulf of Mexico once again.
BP is in talks with the Interior Department about permits that would allow it to resume deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, according to two sources familiar with the discussions. The company hopes that it can restart several projects sometime this summer, wrote The Washington Post.
I thought this approach was clear, crisp and to the point. Granted, the lede, like many other leads by major publications, was a paraphrase quote lede that anonymously quoted "two sources familiar with the discussions" or "two company officials" as was the case in the lede of one article The New York Times ran.
Last week, Drudge reported that Iran’s government approved a propaganda documentary blaming the current Middle East uprisings on prophecy of the coming “Imam” the Islamic Messiah. According to the video, entitled “The coming is upon us” Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei are specifically mentioned in prophecy as the leaders who will declare war, conquer Jerusalem and usher in the Imam.
The film portrays Iran as the prophetically destined country to take on the enemies of Islam, hastening the coming of the “Hidden Imam” also called the Mahdi whom Shi’a Muslims claim will rule the world.
Drudge’s headline linked to a CBN News article explaining the release of the video, details about what the film mentioned and quotes from New York Times bestselling fiction author and communications strategist Joel C. Rosenberg as well as Reza Kahlil, a former member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard who worked as a double agent for the C.I.A.
I thought both sources were excellent “go to” people to share thoughts and respond to such an apocalyptic and bloodcurdling video. Rosenberg has been writing and speaking about the dangers of the Iranian regime for years and just Last year published his latest book, The Twelfth Imam, a fictional futuristic novel based on the Islamic messiah’s appearance.
His novels have been described by reviewers as eerily prophetic, and his most recent is no exception.
CBN turned to an excellent source for a wealth of knowledge and experience when confronting Iran.
In the article, Kahlil said, “This video has been produced by a group called the Conductors of the Coming, in connection with the Basiji – the Iranian paramilitary force, and in collaboration with the Iranian president’s office.”
Newsmax also covered the story, quoting Kahlil who said that the Iranian government’s intention “is to incite further uprisings with the hopes of motivating Arabs to overthrow U.S.-backed governments, with the final goal of the annihilation of Israel and Allah’s governance of the world."
After watching the video that blatantly tells Iranians to prepare for war with “the infidel” i.e. Israel and the United States, I was astonished to see its lack of coverage in the news.
One thing I have admired about The Drudge Report is the reporting of priorities. Recently, over 1000 people perished in the Ivory Coast and although such a story might not generate tons of clicks from the average American, Drudge sees that as important and newsworthy, and that is why the CBN article was linked to his headline.
The CBN article covered the video, but I believe it could have gone more in depth on the history of Iran’s behavior as a country motivated not by geopolitics but by religion, and a dangerous theology at that. In order to hasten the coming of this Imam, Ahmadinejad believes he is destined to attack Israel and conquer Jerusalem. Ahmadinejad reportedly spent millions building roads leading to the Jamkaran Mosque, where the twelfth Imam was said to have appeared to a farmer who told him to build the mosque.
After 9-11, when people were asking why the CIA hadn’t connected the dots, Osama Bin Laden laid out in great detail what he believed, why he believed it and what he was going to do from embassy bombings in Africa to the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, and the first twin towers attack in 1993.
If the United States or Israel were to experience an attack from Iran or one of its surrogates, would the world look back and say how did we miss this when we knew what they had been saying all along?
My biggest question surrounding this was why the media didn’t take the video seriously. Was it overlooked as propaganda from a western secular modern mindset or was it a lack of understanding?
The Obama administration has tried to diplomatically engage Iran to stop its apocalyptic intentions via economic sanctions and diplomacy, but the video re-enforces the idea that western geopolitical economic levers coming from a modern, relevant and secular mindset are not going to have an effect on a regime motivated by the fear of hell that truly believes they’re preparing the way for their messiah.
Clearly this isn’t stuff that Washington or the media is comfortable with, however, will it take a tragedy for it to capture their attention?
After much speculation and flying rumors about Katie Couric stepping down from her high position as "CBS Evening News" anchor, the Associated Press has deemed the story fact, and the Washington Post was quick to report.
I guess it’s just me acting my age when I don’t want to pay for news. But what does that say for the line of work I want to get into one day. I want to have a pay check someday. Yet, I try to boycott the New York Times when at all possible. I think twice before clicking a link, and I only enter the website through google. I visit the Washington Post for my national news, but there was something about this headline, in google news, that I just had to use it as one of my five daily clicks.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about read this.
I liked this headline for two reasons: It grabbed my attention, obviously, and tells me what the story is about--how awesome! Way to go NYT.
And the lead, well some may argue it’s a bit long, but who really cares! This is a great story. It’s cleaver and very descriptive. It’s evident that this reporter got out of her cubical to cover this story, and if she didn’t well then way to asks the right questions on the phone. I can see the scenario, and I want to know more.
Just weeks ago I helped a Daily Caller reporter cover a protest out-front of the White House led by Pastor Terry Jones of Florida. Jones drew attention to himself and his church when he threatened to burn the Koran and was set to counter-protest a radical Muslim group in favor of administering sharia law in America.
Although Jones had said he wouldn’t burn the Koran after the government had asked him not to, he went ahead and followed through just weeks later. Soon after, the world heard of the devastating news of what that had incited.
The Drudge Report linked to a few different articles that covered what had happened in Afghanistan in response to the actions of Jones. At first there were 12 UN staff members murdered, two of which had been beheaded, and then as the weekend went on, the number rose to 20. I couldn’t imagine how Mr. Jones could live with himself, knowing what atrocities his book burning had incited.
The top U.N. envoy in Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura said, "I don't think we should be blaming any Afghan. We should be blaming the person who produced the news — the one who burned the Quran.”
Jones had said that Islam and its followers were responsible for the killings. It’s true that radical Islamists committed the murders, but they were incited to do so by the actions of another radical.
The AP article goes into great detail about what had happened over the last few days. The second paragraph gives a glimpse into the bigger picture stating how the desecration committed by a small U.S. church sparked a murderous outrage by Muslims worldwide, straining the already stretched ties between the west and Afghanistan. The article lays out its information in a series of what had happened in order whereas other news outlets such as The New York Times approached the coverage from what read like a more personalized perspective, describing those who perished as U.N. workers, Nepalese guards and Europeans from Sweden, Norway and Romania.
The Times immediately states the attack was the deadliest for the United Nations in Afghanistan since 11 people died in a Taliban suicide bombing in 2009. They have clearly done their research and asked the right questions, drawing from past context to explain the current tragedy. The Times also described the physical setting, reporting that crowds held signs that read “Down with America” and “Death to Obama.” They also reported on the direct response from Terry Jones:
“We must hold these countries and people accountable for what they have done as well as for any excuses they may use to promote their terrorist activities,” Jones said in the article.
One thing that the news covered well was that although there is no excuse for the atrocities that have been committed against these innocent U.N. staff in Afghanistan, there is also no excuse for the actions that provoked this religious war.
As a frequent flyer and the daughter of an airline mechanic, flight news often catches my attention, particularly when it deals with fatal crashes or mechanical malfunctions.
Because of that, the headline "Southwest Airlines cancels 300 flights, begins inspecting aircraft" quickly caught my attention, as I perused the google news feed today.
Upon reading this Christian Science Monitor article, I learned that Southwest Airlines cancelled 300 flights after one of its Boeing 737s was grounded due to a rip in its fuselage. Sounds scary!
After reading the story once through, I did not expect to critique it for my weekly news critique, but I changed my mind after reading it again and noticing the vast amount of background research that was included. That, I thought, is noteworthy.
Japan's recovery has been all over international news since the chain of tragedies began on March 11, and people around the world have donated over $1 billion to the Japanese Red Cross relief fund. Japan has seen devastation from the direct effects of the earthquake and tsunami, as well as from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant that has sent radioactive levels in Japan skyrocketing.
For many, the only way they can help is by donating money. However, the LA Times reported the none of the $1 billion raised has reached victims, which has prompted Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano to "urge Sunday that the process be accelerated."
This headline and lede must have raised a few eyebrows, though many who took the time to read the article were most likely peeved that the information in the lede was not mentioned again until the end of the story.