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WNC #4

September 23rd, 2010 by Gustav

Top Tennis Players Want Changes in Davis Cup, by Christopher Clarey

This story from the N.Y. Times on the Davis Cup (nationwide competition) deals with the request of top tennis players to change the stage, time, basically the whole thing, in order to avoid a lower turn out rate of big names. Since the Davis Cup takes place only one week after the US Open, players are tired and moreover don’t want to travel long distances for only a couple matches. The author goes on to talk about Team USA and their discussions about team captains and choice of players. Also, Novak Djokovic serves as an example for the impact of smaller nations in the Davis Cup.

Unlike the other three that I have evaluated so far, this story is poorly written. The lead is horrible. In the headline it hints towards the difficulties of the Davis Cup arrangements, and then the story begins with Novak Djokovic’s attendance at the tournament. I couldn’t understand what the story would be about, not until the 5th or 6th paragraph, when finally the author explains the issue at hand. There is no quote to introduce the article. The main information doesn’t appear until halfway through. I cannot make out any principle or organization. The facts are good, but not reader-friendly arranged. Also, all of a sudden the focus of the story changes: Team USA becomes the topic of the last few paragraphs. Why? Well, the information isn’t bad, but there are too many teasers instead of a discussion. With a little organization and a better headline, this article could have stirred some decent discussion about length and scheduling of tournaments.

Posted in Weekly News Comment | | | 1 Comments

WNC #3

September 16th, 2010 by Gustav

WNC #3

Doctors’ Group Attacks McDonald’s in TV Ad, by Duffy Wilson

This article from the N.Y. Times posted online today was quite amusing to me. The headline sounded interesting and out-of-the-blue to me. So I clicked on it. There is a group of doctors that publicly attacked America’s number one fast food choice: McDonald’s. They filmed a commercial displaying a thick, dead man with a burger in his hand. At the end of the sequence it says: “Tonight, make it vegetarian.” The main focus of the story is to present McDonald’s response and the backgrounds to the TV ad.

I really like the way this story is presented. It is short, uses inverted pyramid style and even integrates the actual subject, as one can access the ominous ad between the opening paragraphs. The lead might not be as clear and informing, but it throws some concepts out there that are related to the point of the story. After the introduction of the advertisement, the author explains its origin and McDonald’s response to it, which I thought was a good idea to start with (directly opposing the two “interest groups”). Then the group of doctors’ founding and background is explained. I didn’t necessarily want to read all that, but that’s why you can find it fairly late in the story (‘fairly’ because the article is relatively short compared to stories about politics or economy). I also think the author used appropriate and well fitting quotes and style of language.

Btw… I liked this advertisement so much; I had to post it on my Facebook page 😉

Posted in Weekly News Comment | | | 1 Comments

WNC #2

September 8th, 2010 by Gustav

Germany Extends Nuclear Plants’ Life, by Judy Dempsey

This story from the N.Y. Times deals with the decision of Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel to finally extend the program of nuclear energy for all 17 nuclear plants there is. Payment for the whole plan shall come from a newly imposed tax on utilities’ companies, mainly the 4 biggest energy producers in Germany. Merkel might face problems implementing her plan because she lacks majority representation in the parliament’s upper house.

I like this artcile a lot, and that is not only because I don’t have to click a “next page” button. The author organized her story well with presenting the most important facts in the first 3 paragraphs (including the lead, which is fairly short and sums up the story). One could basically stop reading there and get out with relevant information. The author then proceeds to include statistics and quotes from experts or respectively opponents of Merkel’s plan. The paragraphs are not building up on another, but they don’t have to. They are precise and usually contain one certain idea or information the author wants to present but not expand on. They way it is written is very formal and contains practically no subjective comments. No big words people need to dig for in their dictionaries; concise language which leads the reader to develop thoughts on related topics. A nice mixture of environmental policies, economy (taxation), political processes, and opinions to back it up.

Posted in Weekly News Comment | | | 1 Comments

WNC #1

August 31st, 2010 by Gustav

Obama Says Iraq Combat Mission is Over, by Helene Cooper

This story talks about president Obama’s address to the population about the end of American involvement in Iraq. At least, that is what the author starts out with. Later in the article she digs a little deeper; evaluates feedback from the home front; shows statistics that prove the credibility of the president’s proclamation.

This is a very good article, containing a lot of seperate information in only two pages of online news. Somehow, all this information relates back to Obama’s administration. The quotes used by the author are easily put into context. The paragraphs are not too long, but at the same time distract a lot from finding main points. The lead-in is nice, the body well structured, just the end seems sort of out of place. The story is centered on the president’s message, so it would have been better to end on such a note. Also, sometimes the sentences make up a whole paragraph, which makes online reading even harder than it might be for some people. I personally wanted to know more about Obama’s intentions, which I could find, but which are also hidden amongst other information. A different headline, or relatively a more topic-concerned insight would get me more satisfaction. The story is definitely newsworthy, as is anything that comes straight FROM the White House TO the people.

Posted in Weekly News Comment | | | 1 Comments

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