A Few Steps Towards The Right Direction

We won our division, first time ine marquette history. Exiting times, and hopefully we will be able to do well in the play off as well.

Anyway here is on of my many papers, I recieved an A on this one 23.5/25 points.

Sebastian Jansson

ENG 1002

Mr. Lorino

18 October 2011

Impact of Neutral
Writing

About
a month ago, a small group of young college students assembled in Zucotti Park
in New York; they spent days and nights there protesting Wall Street.  They protested against the differences in
America for the poor and rich, they protested against the interest payments
within student loans, and they protested against unfair taxes.  The small group of college students did not
get their message through to the people working in Wall Street, nor to the
people of America, and they were not even close to getting their message
through to the rest of the world.  They
did not have any organization, and therefore they could not spread their word
to anyone else at first.  They did, on
the other hand, have access to their smart phones and their blackberries; they
started posting on Twitter and Facebook and when people saw that, the protest
gained support.  As they gained more and
more followers, news channels and newspapers started to notice them as well.  The news about the protest spread in
newspapers and on the internet, which led to people joining them in New York.  Those who could not come all the way to New
York decided to start their own protests within their cities, and the little
group of college students in a park in New York were now known throughout
America.  When the protester’s message
spread, so did their numbers, and on October 3 about 700 protesters were
arrested as they marched over the Brooklyn Bridge.  That walk opened up the world’s interest for
the protesters in New York as well as the other cities they had spread to. It
also captured the media’s attention, and there have been several stories on the
event both in America and the rest of the world. When reporting a story that
has clear sides, as with the occupation of Wall Street, it is important to write
in a certain way to ensure that the readers can make an informed decision of
what side of the situation to put their belief in.  The criteria a journalist needs to put their
focus on, to insure the reader a way to make an informed decision without being
persuaded to either side of the story, is to use neutral language, leaving
personal opinions out of the article, and to give coverage of both sides.  To be seen as an unbiased writer and to keep
ones credibility, it is essential to support your arguments with credible
sources and to show signs of investigation within the article.

Using
word and terms that do not have a negative connotation is hard, but it is
essential if people are going to see the writer as credible.  Staying neutral in one’s writing involves
more than just saying one’s writing is neutral;
one has to make sure that the wording does not support a particular side
of the story.  In the paper New York Times article, “Anti-Wall
Street Protests Spreading to Cities Large and Small”, written by Eric Eckholm
and Timothy Williams, the wording within their introduction paragraph makes the
reader realize their side of the story.  They
choose to use words such as “corporate greed” when describing what the
protesters are against. By using a negatively loaded word as “corporate greed”
they make the reader see corporations in a negative way.  Selecting another word then describing why the
people are protesting allows the reader to choose to call the corporations
greedy instead of the writer doing so.  The
chosen wording continues throughout the article, “Anti-Wall Street Protests
Spreading to Cities Large and Small”, by using words for the New York police as
”aggressive”, which leads the reader to thinking that the police acted in a
unnecessarily harsh way.  If a neutral
word had been used instead, readers’ own conclusions could have been drawn
instead of one unconsciously created by the wording used by the writer. In the
article, “Anti-greed protesters return after arrests”, by Tim Murphy, the
article uses wording that gives the story a neutral flavor.  They choose to say that protesters are
speaking up for their feelings that the corporations are greedy, instead of
directly calling them so, as the article from New York Times did, they explained the protester’s feelings about
the corporation’s actions.  The article
by Tim Murphy continued to describe what the people involved felt about each
other instead of directly calling any of the sides a specific adjective.  An example is in the seventh paragraph, where
the event that leads to a certain number of people being arrested was explained,
and the article directly described the protesters’ feelings about being lured
into the street by the police, and the police statement that only those who
must have heard warnings about not walking out into the street got arrested
(Murphy, 2011).  Both sides of the story
were explained without any kind of bias or side taken, which gave the reader a
chance to come up with their own opinion about who was right or wrong.

Giving
the reader the chance to create their own opinion is essential to being a neutral
writer; when a writer puts their own opinions in an article, they lose their
credibility as a neutral writer and instead they become a writer of personal
opinions.  Opinion writing is something
completely different from being a neutral writer; a writer’s own opinions
create a bias and make the reader favor to a specific side in the story because
of the writer’s opinions due to the story itself.  Looking at the article, ‘Wall Street
protesters enter 3rd week’, written by Verena Dobnik it is easy to
see that Dobnik only uses general knowledge of the story and she shows more
depth in the story with statements from people involved in the events.  As Dobnik writes in her article for the paper The Daily Star, “The arrest of 700
people on The Brooklyn Bridge over the weekend fueled the anger of anti-Wall
Street protesters camping in a Manhattan park and sparked support elsewhere on
the country as the campaign entered its third week” (Dobnik,2011).  With the wording Dobnik uses and how the
sentences are phrased, there really are no personal opinions given at all.
Later on in the article, Dobnik shows that the information given is true in
some cases by supporting it with other, credible people’s opinions.  Dobnik used both protestors and people from
the NYPD to support both parts of the story; Dobnik’s article quoted a 19-year-old
protester saying, “They thought we would leave and we have not”.  In addition an NYPD spokesman says, “as long
as their protest is legal we will support it and if it is illegal we will
arrest them”.  Filling her article with
opinions from people involved from both sides, Dobnik lets the reader decide
what arguments are strongest and what relates back to the actual story.  The result gives her credibility as a neutral
writer on the other hand, if you write as the writer Michael Muskal from Los Angeles Times did in his article, “Occupy
Wall Street movement has grown quickly”, you will lose your credibility as a
neutral writer.  Muskal puts his own
opinions into his article as soon as the chance is given; he does not give the
reader an opportunity to create their own opinion, instead he just gives his
own.  In his third paragraph, he says
that the growth of support for the protestors’ shows how angry and unsatisfied
the American people are with the way the country is politically ruled.  That directly illustrates his own opinion of
the political system in America, and he quickly loses his credibility as a
neutral and unbiased writer.  Within his article,
he never gives the “Wall Street” side of the story; he never really covers a
certain side of the story, and reporting both sides of the story is important
to keep the credibility as an unbiased writer.

When
news media provides citizens with correct and non-biased information, the
citizens can make informed decisions about politics (Schudson, 2008).  Therefore, it is important to always provide
the reader with the correct information, and always deliver both sides of the
story in a fair way.  When both sides of
a story are being covered, it is important that the feelings and reasons for
both sides are covered in the same capacity.  Ben Berkowitz’s article, “To occupy Wall
Street, occupy the internet first”, in The
Chicago Tribune
is an example of an article that only shows one part of the
story.  All throughout the Berkowitz
article, the reader sees what the protesters are doing, what they stand for,
and how the occupation has grown.  Not
once is anything mentioned about the NYPD, or the corporations involved.  The focus of Berkowitz’s article is how the
internet impacted the growth of the protest and how protesters have established
their message with the help of Facebook and Twitter.  There are no sides mentioned or described, and
therefore the reader never will have a chance to take their own stance on the
protest in an informed way.  If a citizen
is going to have the ability to make an informed decision about a protest, the
article about must cover both sides as Murphy does in The New Zeeland Herald.  The writer keeps the same coverage for both
sides. There are small quotes from interviews, which have been gathered from
people from all sides, protesters as well as the NYPD and people from Wall
Street.  After the different sides have
been given the same coverage, the reader can make an informed decision about
which side to support.  However, the
coverage has to come from credible sources and to who spent time investigating
the story.

To
ensure that the reader believes in your credibility as a writer, the use of
reliable sources is essential.  Gaining information from credible sources
strengthens the investigation of the story from the writer’s side.  To show that the sources in the story are
credible, the reader should ask themselves the question, who is this person and
what has he done that makes him regarding within this matter?  Looking at a source from The Daily Star’s article, written by Verena Dobnik, there is quote
and a comment from the world famous actor Alec Baldwin. Baldwin is a movie star
and very famous, but he does not have any special knowledge about Wall Street
or the protest.  He is just a person
commenting about it on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.  Therefore, as a reader we can interpret that
the writer has not looked into the subject deeply and does not really convey a
sense of credibility because of the source used in the article.  To gain credibility for the sources used and
the investigation made, a writer should focus on people that are close the
story being covered.  For example, the
article written by Murphy includes people who are in the middle of the story.  There is a comment from the NYPD’s chief
spokesman, Paul Brown, about the police actions during the protest.  Later on in the article, we can see a short
interview with a young female protester, Erin Larkins, where she explains why
she is protesting and how she feels about the NYPD’s actions.  When using sources like those, the credibility
of the author becomes stronger and supports that there has been a lot
investigation done on the event; a third-party’s view of the event is
excellent.  As the writer shows in one of
the last paragraphs, a business owner’s view of the event illustrates his worry
about the effect it is going to have on his business, since his office is right
next to the park where most of the protesters sleep, and where protests occur
during the day.  With a source like that
the writer really shows how they have done their job when it comes to humanizing
the story with people who are directly involved.  If a writer uses credible sources, as well as
sources which cannot be found without investigation, they gain a lot of
credibility.  This leads to our belief in
their writing, and allows our view of them as credible writers to strengthen.

Within
news literacy, it is important to obtain a reputation as a non-bias and credible
writer to ensure people believe in one’s articles as well as create a chance
for the readers to make informed decision about what side fits their values and
beliefs.  To obtain this, it is important
to consider the use of wording, good and evil terms, in the articles.  The writer must be careful with explaining
their own opinions about the event taking place; the article should be about
what happened, not what the writer thought about what happened, explaining
their own opinion persuades the reader to lean towards a certain side of the
story.  For the reader to have a chance
to make a choice of what side to choose, the writer must give all the sides of
the story equal attention.  The writer
must use sources that are credible and show effort in investigating the story,
which establishes credibility for the reader. The sources that were used for
research in this paper did not follow all of the criteria; therefore a reader
must look at more than one source when interpreting a story. If that is done,
the reader can make an informed decision about their stance on the issue, and
the choices citizen’s make about what side to stand on will be from their own
interpretation of what is right and wrong instead of one article’s persuasion.

 

 

References List

Berkowitz,
Ben. (2011, October, 4). To Occupy Wall Street, Occupy the Internet First. Chicago Tribune, Retrieved from

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-rt-wallstreet-protestmedia-pixn1e7930oc-20111004,0,2750212.story

Dobnik,
Verena. (2011, October, 3). Wall Street protesters enter 3rd week. The Daily Star,Lebanon. Retrieved from

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Verena-Dobnik.ashx#axzz1amq8lZag

Eckholm, Erik
& Williams, Timothy.(2011, October, 3). Anti-Wall street protests Spreading
to Cities Large and Small. The New York
Times.
Retrieved from

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/us/anti-wall-street-protests-spread-to-other-cities.html?_r=1&ref=erikeckholm

Muskal,
Michael. (2011, October, 3). Occupy Wall Street movement has grown quickly. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/03/news/la-pn-occupy-wall-street-protests-20111003

Murphy, Tim.
(2011, October, 3). Ant-greed protestors return after arrests. New Zeeland  Herald.
Retrieved from

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=1075616

Schudson,
Michael. (2008). Schudson 6 or 7 things news can do for a democracy. (p. 141).
Cambridge: Polity press. Retrieved from

http://d2l.mu.edu/d2l/lms/content/viewer/main_frame.d2l?ou=179657&tId=901260

 

///Sebastian

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “A Few Steps Towards The Right Direction

  1. I must just say you are amazing I am so proud and impressed. But in the other way I have always known that you are Sebastian and that whatever you like to be you have the possibilities to do that.

    Keep going keep doing keep up live laugh love/ mom

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