Saturday, September 27, 2008

Journal Writing #2 - Media Audiences

Bailout Bill In The Media

A major topic in the news these days has circled around the $700 billion financial bailout bill that has many Americans nervously skeptical about. With the potential of a staggering economical impact on our country, this issue has been raised over and over again in all forms of the media. To make sure that the proper information is passed to the American readers or viewers it is valuable to compare the different medium platforms.

The San Jose Mercury News ran an article September 27, 2008, titled “Congress Pushes Closer to Bailout,” which covers the story from both a Republican and Democratic unbiased perspective. The article is 21 paragraphs long, equivalent to about a quarter of a page newspaper size, and includes nine sources that consist of representatives of both parties, quotes from the presidential candidates, McCain and Obama, as well as President Bush. Surprisingly, an article with a complex concern of financial numbers does not include any graphs or charts that might be beneficial to readers who could view comparisons of banking statistics.

During the early afternoon of September 27th, CNN aired a brief look at the same topic of the bailout bill. A mere one minute and thirty-nine second news report discussed the issue with a strong angle through the presidential debate that took place the day before. The report included two sources, video clips of the debate with Obama and McCain’s view on the subject and then a response from American citizens on the subject. The difference between the two mediums was very distinct. The newspaper was very informative of the facts and what the discussion in general is. The televised news report gave a specific angle of the topic through the debate and the viewer’s response.

An online coverage of the bailout bill from the New York Times gave a 13-paragraph discussion similar to that of the newspaper. A significant difference between the two medias is the more recent information of the online article that gives a few newer updates on the planning of the bailout bill and a much lower supply of sources, which were only four sources. The sources consisted of Republican and Democratic representatives and the President of the United States. Compared to the televised report, the online coverage was unbiased and fact driven mirroring the style of the newspaper report and did not take a narrower angle of the subject, like it did on CNN.

The difference between the media platforms is very beneficial from my perspective. They all cover important information that all Americans should know about, but can still give an array of views and angles of how the issue affects our country.

(word count: 447)