Friday, May 6, 2011

American Views on Killing Osama

The good people at, well, GOOD (an organization of individuals, businesses, and non-profits) put together a snappy-looking infographic on American opinion after the killing of Osama Bin Laden. I found it useful for general summary purposes. The layout is pretty neat too!

(Click on the graphic to enlarge the image)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times

This movie sums up a good amount of what we have learned in class

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Perfect Coda to the Course

"Not only did we kill bin Laden, we killed him in Abbottabad. Abbottabad sounds like the name most New Yorkers would have invented for the fictional place they would have loved to kill bin Laden in."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Another Case of the Made-Up Quote

Megan McArdle of The Atlantic published an opinion piece today about her hesitance to share in the celebration of Osama's death. She supposed that something was amiss when she saw the following quotation appear in her Twitter feed:
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy." - Martin Luther King, Jr
Turns out, the quotation was just what she suspected: a fake. Read the rest of her follow-up post here:

Osama bin Laden death and network news/social media

I thought several parts of the linked article demonstrated several elements of news making that we have talked about through out the class. I thought that the following excerpt was especially important:

"Reactions were sudden and stunned. Twitter said that it had recorded more than 4,000 Twitter messages per second at some times during Mr. Obama's address.

The confirmation of Bin Laden's death led the major television networks in the United States to dust off the briefing books that they had prepared years ago for the occasion, and led major newspapers to queue up the obituaries that they had written long ago."

Is the news cycle really as fast as we think

Couple of random things. First in response to Max's photo op post- the kill was planned for Saturday but for unknown reasons was pushed back until Sunday. (according to CNN). Second- I know we have been talking about how fast the news cycle is but last night was complicated the issue. While at a country concert I actually found out about the killing from military personnel who had found out from their friend's in the Middle East before the story broke. I could be wrong as I was not near an actually computer but a quick search on my phone resulted in old theories for the first 5 minutes after finding out.

Lastly. This is an interesting article on the fake photos already circulating and the social impact of this event (on the royal honeymoon).

Drudge Losing His Edge?

Drudge is best known for having breaking news first, even if it is sometimes inaccurate. However, last night when the White House announced its late night news conference on national security, Drudge did not cover it and appeared not to be paying attention. While Fox News and NBC News were reporting that the Bin Laden had been killed, Drudge's headline and picture were about Donald Trump, and there was no mention of the breaking news. Drudge did have many links to the Bin Laden story once Obama announced the news, but Drudge not having any information on the breaking news when other media outlets clearly knew what was going on raises some questions about whether Drudge is losing his edge in being the first to have breaking news.

The End

Breaking news is ragged, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be...


Contribution data
As was the case in 2004, majorities of the national and local journalists surveyed describe themselves as political moderates; 53% of national journalists and 58% of local journalists say they are moderates. About a third of national journalists (32%), and 23% of local journalists, describe themselves as liberals. Relatively small minorities of national and local journalists call themselves conservatives (8% national, 14% local).

Internet journalists as a group tend to be more liberal than either national or local
journalists. Fewer than half (46%) call themselves moderates, while 39% are self-described liberals and just 9% are conservatives.

Among the population as a whole, 36% call themselves conservatives – more than triple the percentage of national and internet journalists, and more than double the percentage of local journalists. About four-in-ten (39%) characterize their political views as moderate, while 19% are self-described liberals, based on surveys conducted in 2007 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.


I don't know if this was the video Maddie was trying to post, but here's a pretty good example of first reports being incorrect, or in this case misspoken. In the video they accidently say "President Obama is dead" rather than "Osama bin Laden."


The news of Bin Laden's death yesterday came eight years to the day of the "Mission Accomplished" photo op. Maybe it would be an appropriate scene today...

A Great Photo

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Stage One Crisis Reporting

Some information may be inaccurate...

President Obama on Death of Osama bin Laden

One Word Comment on the Killing of Bin Laden

Al Jazeera Uses Magic Quotes on Osama

In its breaking news piece on bin Laden's death, Al Jazeera immediately downplayed the significance of the US military victory:

US president Barack Obama is due to make a statement shortly in which he is expected to announce the death of Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda.

Obama's address was due at 0300GMT from the White House.

Qais Azimy, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Kabul, said that Afghan officials have confirmed that Bin Laden had died and that his body was with the United States.

Officials would not confirm whether he had been killed in Afghanistan or Pakistan, and said that the death of the al-Qaeda leader was more of a "symbolic victory", as he was no longer directly connected to the group's field operations, Azimy reported.

Twitter and Osama

According to an article on TechCrunch, "News of Osama Bin Laden's Death Spreads Like Wildfire on Twitter." As the author writes, "Wow this news isn’t even out and it is already old news." (Read the full article here:
Facebook is also littered with updated statuses regarding Bin Laden's death. The internet has allowed this news - which is currently minimal - to spread exponentially. If something similar were to happen ten or twenty years ago, most people would not know about the death until the morning.

Osama Bin Laden dead, says US government official

The New York Times published an article stating that the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks has been killed. President Obama to make further announcements later tonight.

The link is here.

Donald Trumps Face Speaks for this video in its entirety

Why so passive?

After buddying it up with Strunk and White this past semester, I can't help but notice reporter's excessive use of passive voice in article headings. I found this article, which states:

"Nielsen's thesis is that the passive voice -- which is usually frowned upon by people who love good prose -- enables headline writers to "front-load" their heds with the key concepts from the story, making it easier for people scanning those headlines (as search results or feed headlines) to pick out their meaning more quickly."

An interesting thought, and maybe it will help me get over my annoyance of titles like this one (published in the New York Times on May 1): Costly Afghanistan Road Project Is Marred By Unsavory Alliances

2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner

This video shows President Obama's speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. In his speech President Obama jokes about a number of current events and pokes fun at many pop-culture figures. Particularly amusing is the introduction in which he makes fun of Donald Trump and the birth certificate controversy. As interesting as his speech is the reactions of the variety of recognizable people in the audience.