On October 23 2015, a gas leak was reported near Los Angeles, forcing thousands to relocate. New York Daily News reported on how the event has affected the state and its residents and specifically how it will affect them monetarily. CNN reports on how it has specifically affected the elementary school students in Porter Ranch, California and NPR reports on how the leak might affect the environment and our futures.
It is very interesting how one event can inspire different stories in different reporters.
We are going to analyze the gas leaks story and how the three different news sources are using different tactics to get their readers to care about the disaster and if what they are doing is effective but also asking an important question. Is it moral?
The first news source mentioned is the New York Daily News. This reporter’s way of getting people to care about the gas leak is to talk about how much money this is costing the energy company to clean up the leak but also to relocate families and pay for lawsuits being filed against them.
Something that everyone needs is money and this makes the people who read their article relate and put themselves in that situation. Many families from the area want to move away but are afraid that their property is now going to be worth less due to the leak. NY Daily News makes their audience ask the question “what would you do in their situation?”
The NY Daily article concludes that this incident is going to cost the energy company responsible for the spill a lot of money and California is even considering getting rid of this company all together.
They do a very good job of giving the facts in a non-biased way. They present the facts and gravity of the situation without making personal statements defaming the energy company. Only different and varying opinions of different residents in California.
The second source mentioned is Cable News Network. CNN has the tactics of trying to touch the audience’s emotions. They specifically talk about and use quotes from school children. Most people think of children as innocent and pure, which makes the audience think about how the polluted air is polluting the lungs of the children that can do nothing about. This is a very good tactic, probably the best tactic for catching readers’ attention; their emotions.
The CNN article gives a very bias point of view manipulating the reader to think that the energy company is an evil child abuser. Getting our innocent children sick and emotionally destroying them for a period of time, maybe even forever. They use sensuous imagery, forcing their readers to stand right along with the suffering children of Porter Ranch California with their shirts covering their faces, trying to “breath less.”
The third news source we are analyzing is National Public Radio. They report on how the gas leak will affect the environment and how possibly, in the future, will change our dependency on fossil fuels and hopefully motivate humans to start moving towards renewable energy. NPR’s article is more forward thinking than the other two. They not only report the facts of what is happening but also predict how the event will affect people’s futures. These are two things people today can relate to. We all live on Earth and most people care how we are taking care of our home and also the future of how we will live..
NPR gives the least biased and factual article. The quotes they put in from the environmental scientist gives hope to its readers. He says that on a local scale this incident is disastrous and discouraging to the people of the state who have been trying so hard to reduce greenhouse emissions but on the global scale we will not see a huge change in methane emissions. Their message is straightforward and truthful.
So is the news meant to be passionate emotional and… biased? Or is it supposed to be straight facts, unbiased and ……. kind of boring? I think it is very important as a news writer to keep your audience engaged in your stories. Is it your news really going to be effective if no one wants to read your stories? I do also think it is important to give the facts without bias however. It is not your job as the news writer to make the audience take your position on the topic. It is, however, your job to inform them on what is happening in the world around them.
So how does a writer engage their audience without boring them? They need to write in a way that is like telling a story. They need to actually write well! The perfect example out of the stories discussed in this paper is the NPR article. They took one thing that happened in California and used it predict how it will affect it people in the future. It clearly says that is a guess which leaves the audience to think for themselves. How else will this event affect the people of California? How will it affect me?