“It took a debate with all-female moderators to ask Democrats about paid family leave” News Comment

Vox had many articles about the Wednesday debate. Articles ranged from varying topics from “paid family leave” to “Gender equity” to “The most substantive answers from the debate”. In this particular article, Alexandria Fernandez Campbell reported on a very important question asked at the Democratic debate on Wednesday and the candidate’s answers. She focused on their views of paid maternity leave.  It offered their answers to the question and then compared their answers to different countries’ policies. 

The article made sure to include all of the candidate’s answers and a little bit of background for each one of them. This made it more inclusive. But you could definitely tell the writer swayed more to the side of having longer paid family leave. Though it did not follow the inverted triangle, with the most important information coming first followed information that wasn’t as important, it still did a good job of chunking up information. The chunking was quote, explanation, transition for the most part making it easy to read. 

“Wildfires are burning across California. A new round of dangerous winds could make them worse” by Joe Sutton news comment

Joe Sutton reports that there are more than 26 million people from California to Arizona is under red flag warnings today, meaning fire danger. There have been 11 fires this past week that have displaced tens of thousands of people, ordering them to evacuate their homes. This week weather’s forecast includes powerful winds that are supposed to be up to 60-70 mph. These winds will worsen the conditions of the fire, more than they are right now. 

This article was half way down on CNN’s front page, which I think is surprising. Even though all the news with Trump is nationally recognized, I think 11 wildfires that are affecting more than 26 million and forcing tens of thousands of people out of their homes is a bit more newsworthy than the latest Trump scandal, that has been going on ever since he became president. I asked a couple of my classmates if they knew about the fires and they told me no. This just shows how uninformed people are, the most of what they’ve heard is most likely a photo on Twitter. Other than that, I did like the separation Sutton used to differentiate between two different kinds of fires, titling sections and describing some impacts of the specific fires. It will be interesting how the news coverage will be different after the winds occur and what CNN will cover and who they will interview.

Media Comparison

Print story: https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/23/asia/hong-kong-taiwan-murder-intl-hnk/index.html

Broadcast story: https://www.cnn.com/specials/latest-news-videos

Both leads address the who and what but the broadcast least gives more detail, saying that the “suspect vows to return to Hong Kong and turn himself in”, whereas the print lead only says he “walks free”.  The broadcast version is focused on the suspect apologizing and his plans for after he is released but gives no specific background information on why he killed his girlfriend or what protests occurred because of the murder. The print story, however, immediately addresses the protests and connects the two events (the murder and the protests), giving readers background information on why this man walking free is important. The broadcast story only uses one quote from Chan, the murder suspect, though the print story includes quotes from Chan as well as from the Hong Kong government. The attribution is clearly stated in print, telling us who said it but the broadcast story recorded an interview with Chan and just used a clip from there. Obviously, the broadcast story has a bit of an advantage with the video and images they incorporate, choosing to show videos of Chan being interviewed as well as videos from the broadcast, played when the reporter spoke of the protests for a second. The sound they chose to use was background nose of reporters asking questions, people screaming while protesting, and Chan speaking in his native language in an interview. The print story, however, has the broadcast story attached at the beginning as well as a video at the bottom (which would not allow me to access it) of the protests in Hong Kong. No sound or pictures were used in the print version. I think the thing I found most interesting regarding the differences of the two stories was how little the broadcast story offered about the whole event. It merely presented just the current event, disregarding the possible need of background information the reader may need to know to be more informed about the issue.

“Decoding Dementia” by Tara Losinski news comment

Losinski starts her article off with the statement that “564,000 Canadians currently live with a form of dementia”. And though dementia is a common risk for older people, recent breakthroughs in science are providing optimism for a cure. Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis came up with a  test that detects change in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s. A neurological change is hard to cure due to the challenge of getting past the blood-brain barrier. To open this barrier, an ultrasound they developed will use microbubbles and sound waves. The article goes on to provide prevention tips, saying that a healthy diet and life style is certainly one way to decrease the risk factor.

As an informative article, I think this article did a great job at including all the components readers would be curious about. The news value it falls under is impact. Knowing that science is learning more about dementia and the causes and possible preventions can one day prevent Alzheimer’s in hundreds, possibly thousands, of people. This information was broken up so readers could find the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, diet, and exercise. I think that for the type of article it was, it worked well!

“Florida Man Donates Nearly $1,000 to Pay Off Entire Town’s School Lunch Debt” by Joelle Goldstein news comment

Goldstein reports on Andrew Levy deciding to pay off more than 400 kids’ school lunch debt in the town of Jupiter, Florida. His reason for paying off the children’s debt is because he was astonished by the number of students in debt and wanted to help out the community that he’s fallen in love with. Having no children or personal connections to the schools, it’s a simple act of kindness. Levy’s actions inspired others to also come forward donate and he says he is planning on organizing a fundraiser in the community four times per year to help out those families in debt.

To start with, the article’s title was a bit misleading. The title includes “entire town’s school lunch debt”, but once you begin reading the article further, it says he only paid off 400 kids’ debt. There was still a lot of debt to be paid off so phrasing it that way made me assume he paid a lot more. I was curious about the motivation of the act, so I’m glad it was closer to the beginning of the story. I could see how the inverted triangle format could’ve been used but I think it’s arguable if the fundraiser Levy is holding is more important and should be closer to the beginning than it was. 

“LGBTQ rights hang in the balance at the Supreme Court. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg just released plans to defend them.” By Anna North and Ella Nielsen news comment

This article focused on the plan that both Senator Elizabeth Warren and the first openly gay presidential candidate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, released to the CNN town halls that are supposed to protect the rights of LGBTQ Americans. The article goes on to talk about the specifics of the plan, the legislation, executive actions, and the policies some advocates critique the plan on lacking. LGBTQ rights haven’t been a huge focus in the debates at this point of the political campaigns but some forums will be focusing on them as election time gets closer.

I thought this article was unnecessarily long. It was wordy and repeated itself in certain sections, especially sections where they would mention Buttigieg. And though it was long, the transitions were clear and smooth. They used phrases like “Warren was not the only candidate…” and “The plans don’t encompass all the reforms…” to prepare the reader for more information. Just, again, I just think that the re-introduction to Buttigieg in the section meant for advocates’ critiques made the article seem repetitive and ruined its flow. 

“Marine veteran walked 810 miles in 42 days for veteran suicide awareness” by Ella Torres News Comment

Ella Torres reported on Travis Snyder, a 32 year-old veteran, who, on Sunday, finished walking around Lake Michigan for 42 days to raise awareness. His need for wanting people to be aware of veteran suicide stemmed a year after he returned home from being deployed in Afghanistan. He learned that a close friend he worked with committed suicide. Snyder wanted this walk to cause people to become more aware of available resources as well as start a conversation on the issue. In result, he met hundreds of new people and learned their stories.

I thought this article was formatted in a story-telling type way. It started off with Snyder’s reason of why he chose to walk and then, from there, got into what exactly he was doing to raise awareness and how people were being affected by it. The title of the article was descriptive and drew people in, so Torres probably thought it be best to build the suspense and offer background knowledge to her readers before jumping right in. I really liked how the article ended with a quote from Snyder. Torres used the quote to capture Snyder’s purpose of walking, ending the article with a hopeful tone, but making sure not to incorporate any of her own opinions on the topic.

“He applied for a green card. Then the FBI came calling.” By Daniel Burke Comments

Daniel Burke writes of Mehdi Ostadhassan, an Iranian native who moved to North Dakota in 2009 to study petroleum engineering and, after getting a job as a professor at the University of North Dakota and marrying a fellow co-worker, applied for a green card in 2014. Though they were expecting it to be a quick process, five years later, Ostadhassan is still awaiting approval. 

This story was exactly that: a story. It was long and filled with a lot detail that would not be necessary in a news story. It reached into the past quite a bit and held off on telling why Ostadhassan wasn’t being approved for a green card. It also introduced a lot of characters (the mysterious man with the badge, etc.). You could even tell it was going to be more of a story for entertainment rather than strictly for information. The reason they were telling the story was most likely for the green-card, immigrant aspect, which has been a big topic of discussion, especially in politics, since President Trump was elected and sparked the idea of a border wall. I thought the story had good pictures and quotes, and the topic was for sure interesting, I just noticed it was more like a novel than a news article. 

“Hornick, Iowa receives $2M grant to build new flood protection berm after floods” by Siouxland News Comments

KMEG 14 Siouxland News reports on the grant Hornick, Iowa, received to build a berm between the river and the town after the Little Sioux River flood back in March. The mayor of the town is excited for this new investment, knowing that once it is all set up, he won’t have to worry about the four inches of rain devastating their town once again. 

This very short article spoke of an event that happened almost half a year ago, but the grant finally being approved and ready to be put into action makes it relevant for the community. But, the thing that really stuck out to me was the one quote they decided to use from the mayor of the town. It was an awkward quote, referring to himself in third person and then repeating how he “won’t have to worry in the middle of the night” in the same sentence a couple times. Going back to our quote discussion in class, I think it would have been okay if the writer cleaned up the quote to make it flow a bit better. With the mayor, who is a big political figure in the town, making sure you keep the meaning of what he is trying to say is important but cutting out a line or two would have helped him sound more competent on the issue than how they made him sound in the article.

“The Rise of C-Sections – and What It Means” by Neel Shah Comments

Neel Shah writes that the procedure of cesarean surgeries has come to a rise in America. The reasons Shah emphasizes for this rise is that the surgeries are more affordable, needing less staff and being more time efficient. Some hospitals are not allowing for their patients to make their own decisions, prepping them for C-sections even if it’s not an emergency. When going into a C-section, the benefits must outweigh the inherent risks. The rise in these surgeries has made it so the chance of a woman dying during childbirth is 50% more likely to occur.

I felt like this article was more of an opinion piece than an informative news story. It included the fact that the writer was an obstetrician and the decisions they felt like they were supposed to be careful about when considering a patient’s labor. It also gave advice to the reader. No outside sources were used, other than the side gallery of one woman and her experience of not having an option of how she would deliver her child. Though having one source is better than none, it still would have been beneficial for the writer to include a few more opinions and expert opinions to support what they were saying or offer another view point.