Thursday, October 16, 2014

DRAFT Sample News Analysis

News Articles: A Cultural Perspective

Name of Article:  “911 Missing Links”

Author:  Unknown

Write a 1-2 sentence summary of your article: 

“911 Missing Links” describes 9/11 as a terrorist attack that the Jewish population committed in the effort to obtain and sustain an Isreali state.  The article places this within a larger pattern of terrorist activity that Jews use to place blame on rival groups, such as Muslims.


Do any sections stick out as being biased (and possibly ethnocentric)? Cite them here:

·         Pink post-its on chart

Do any sections stick out as being objective (displaying cultural relativism)?  Cite them here:
·         Blue post-its on chart  (none)


Overall, how would you characterize your news article?  Is it objective as a news article should be, or does it contain inherent biases? 

·         Biased throughout
·         No clearly objective sections










Some historical events have such an impact that the news never truly stops covering them.  However, even with time passing between the event and new articles on it, depictions of the events do not always get more objective.  One can find numerous examples related to 911.  One such example is the anonymous article “911 Missing Links.” It describes 9/11 as a terrorist attack that the Jewish population committed in the effort to obtain and sustain an Isreali state.  The article places this within a larger pattern of terrorist activity that Jews use to place blame on rival groups, such as Muslims.  Both this content of the article as well as the diction used to describe it illustrate the numerous biases of the news article. 
“911 Missing Links” focuses on the supposed terrorist activities of Jews to an extreme.  From the very beginning of the piece, the unknown author blatantly forces the idea that Jews are a dangerous people: “Jews have been using terrorism, specifically of the false-flag variety, to achieve their political ends for a very long time.”  Not only does the article have tunnel vision on this terrorist activity, but it takes it one step further.  It claims that some of this activity was carried out in disguise as though it came from another group of people.  In particular, it makes this claim about the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.  As the article states, “Pointing fingers at Bin Ladin is extremely indicative that he is the brains behind the attack.  Bin Laden served as an ideal patsy and fall-guy for Israel’s 9/11 hit.”  Seeing this one-sided content and the way that the author expands upon it makes it clear that the author may have an agenda against Jewish people. 
Along with the content, “911 Missing Links” contains very strong word choice throughout the majority of the writing.  Not only is the word choice very strong, it is quite negative.  In one sentence, we can see the Jewish population described as “sadistic,” “terrorists,” and making others “feel [their] wrath.”  Neither is such a concentration of negative eponyms limited to this one sentence, it is woven into the fabric of the entire article, providing it with a negative leaning.  Diction also contributes to the negative leaning of the article, in that it helps to convey an overly- emotional—sometimes verging on passionate—tone.  For example, at one point in the article, the anonymous author writes, “All you need is two eyes that can see and a brain that works to understand that those buildings were demolished with explosives and thus it had to be an ‘inside job.’”  Not only does the wording here suggest again that terrorist attacks like 911 were the work of the Jews, it draws in the reader with the use of the second-person pronoun you and the suggestion that one would be stupid to come to any conclusion other than that presented in the article. 
News articles are pieces of writing meant to convey information, to help the public become more informed about their topic of choice.  As such, from an ethical standpoint, they should be objective.  They should present the facts and nothing more.  When the content of an article becomes one-sided and presented with negative-leaning diction, it is taking a far leap from what a news article is supposed to be.  “911 Missing Links” is a case in point of this leap.  Its biased painting of the Jewish people as a “sadistic” “terrorist” group is so forced that even without a general knowledge of history, it would be difficult to accept its claims as factual. 




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