Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Comparing the Coverage of Obama's Decision to Remove Cuba from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

Over the weekend, President Obama met with Cuban President Raul Castro, marking the first time the US and Cuba's leaders had met formally in more than 50 years. After the meeting, President Obama announced that he would ask Congress to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. It was huge decision that could lead to the further 'thawing' of relations between Cuba and the US, pending Congress approval of course.

Given our current topic of class discussion, I decided to investigate the difference between the way an American newspaper, The New York Times, and a foreign newspaper, The Guardian, covered the recent story. I found that the two articles, which are listed below, covered the story in pretty similar way, with each story summarizing Obama's statement along with the follow up remarks made by other members of the Administration. Both articles also discussed the history of the relationship between Cuba and America in depth and what possible responses Republicans would have to Obama's announcement.

The main difference between the two articles was the amount of attention paid to the Cuban perspective. The New York Times article did not mention any of the responses made to the announcement by the Cuban people, just members of the government, while The Guardian article had specific references to Cuban citizens' reactions to the news. Clearly, the foreign paper cared more about covering both sides of the story, not just the American perspective, which is primarily what the American newspaper's story presented. While this is not incredibly surprising, it is interesting that the foreign newspaper provides a much more comprehensive understanding of the story's impact in Cuba,   America, and around the globe.

The New York Times Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/15/world/americas/obama-cuba-remove-from-state-terror-list.html?ref=world

The Guardian Article: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/14/obama-remove-cuba-list-state-sponsors-terrorism

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