The Globe; A Wrap-Up.

News coverage differs. It’s that simple. The listeners, location and personalities of a given organization dramatically shape the way an organization covers the news.  For many decades, people got the news from either television or newspapers. However, the media landscape has changed dramatically in the past years; young people almost always get their news online.  Traditional print newspapers, such as the New York Times and The Boston Globe have been forced to adapt to the changing times; with differing results.  When one chooses to get their news online, they have a ton of different options as there are a high number of conservative, liberal and neutral organizations for one to choose from. Most of these sites cover the the same material, but do so in different ways.

The Boston Globe covers the news in a mostly unbiased way.  The usage of neutral language is a common theme throughout the paper; especially surprising in a liberal city like Boston.  The national stories that are featured in the Globe cover the news in a way that relates to their readership.  For instance, earlier this year, the paper ran a story by the name of ‘Unbowed.’  The article begins with Globe columnist Akilah Johnson discussing the issue of race in America; specifically the police shootings of unarmed black men.  Johnson is able to successfully localize a national issue in the story, as she garners the perspectives of teens from the greater Boston area such as Dorchester and Mattapan; asking for their opinions of the racial issues in America and their level of apprehensiveness for the future.  Many stories that are featured by the paper also contain a substantial amount of timeliness, and newsworthiness.

In the news landscape of today, the element of neutrality is of an unprecedented importance.  In a time when actual news can be labeled as “fake,” it is easy for organizations with many opinion stories to be discredited.  In order for organizations to survive this difficult time, they must put unbiased news that appeals to their readership base first and foremost; the Boston Globe is a fine example of this type of publication.

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Prosecutors rest their case in Aaron Hernandez trial

First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan told Judge Jeffrey Locke that the state has completed detailing the evidence prosecutors believe will prove that Aaron Hernandez committed double murder on Monday.  The same day, April 3rd, the Boston Globe ran a story updating its readers on the happenings in the trial.   A former star tight end for the New England Patriots, Hernandez is currently serving a life sentence for murder; he was convicted last year.  Hernandez has been one of the more polarizing figures in the news for the last few years as he was found to have murdered semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd right after receiving a $48 million dollar contract from the Patriots.  Hernandez is currently facing charges of witness intimidation as well as the 2012 double murder of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu.

The story itself is a fine news piece.  The tone is strictly neutral as Globe staff member Travis Andersen’s opinion is unable to be seen.  The story’s content is clearly quite newsworthy, and, the reporters are able to write a story involving murder without adding any particularly offensive details.  The article is largely centered around the testimony of witness Robert Settana, who provided evidence for the defense.  There is also strong element of proximity in the story; Hernandez lived in the Boston area and was a star with the Patriots; he was also raised in Bristol, Connecticut, a mere three hours from the city.  Not much timeliness exists in the story; as the allegations against Hernandez have been known for multiple years and are somewhat irrelevant, due to his life sentence without a chance of parole.

In all, this is how a hard news story must be written.  In times such as today, it becomes easy for journalists to mix facts with their opinions.   This story serves as the opposite to this unfortunate trend.

Failure of health care bill is a huge setback for Trump

President Donald Trump’s bill to replace healthcare was withdrawn on Friday, due to a lack of votes to pass the bill from House Republicans.  One of Trump’s favorite talking points, the president has long labeled the Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as ‘ObamaCare’) as a complete disaster, and promised to repeal the bill immediately.  On Saturday, March 25th, the Boston Globe ran a story analyzing how exactly the new bill was defeated.

Written by Globe staff writer Annie Linskey, the article criticizes Trump on many different points.  However, what stands out about this article in particular is how Linskey is able to criticize the Trump presidency in a fair and unbiased way, without attacking him. Throughout the article, facts are simply stated.  “He has cast himself as a master salesman and the “closer” who can win over allies in the most difficult of circumstances through some combination of his winning personality and take-no-prisoners approach to negotiations,” says Linskey.  “But, that picture of Trump is becoming about as questionable as his unsubstantiated claims that he had huge crowd sizes at his inauguration, his unproven accusations that bus loads of Massachusetts voters cast illegal ballots in New Hampshire, and his much rejected insistence that then-President Obama put a wiretap on his phone.”  This is a prime example of fair, accurate and unbiased reporting at its finest.

In a large-scale political article such as this one, concepts such as proximity are quite irrelevant.  However, the article is quite timely as the happenings in the government have continued to dominate the news ever since the inauguration in January.

Interestingly, only two sources are used in the article; republican strategist Rick Tyler, and Trump ally Newt Gingrich.  The two have contrasting points of view; Tyler, who has never supported Trump was against the bill, and Gingrich was predictably in favor of it. No democrats were reached for comment in the article, and that is not such a bad thing.  Even though it would be nice to get the opinions of liberal politicians who have been long-time detractors of Trump, Tyler’s comments and opinion are extremely effective due to the fact that an ever increasing amount of republicans are turning against Trump by the second.

In all, this article is an example of exactly how stories should be written in Trump’s America.  When someone can call any account with an inkling of bias ‘fake news’ and get away with it, pieces must be written in a straightforward fashion; giving the reader the facts and letting them form their own opinion.

The Front Pages of Boston

The Boston Globe. The Boston Herald. When a person new to the two papers hears the names of the organizations, they would likely think that both papers cover the same content; national news, and important local news concerning the Boston Metro Area. This assumption would be mostly correct as well. However, the two papers do stand apart from each another quite clearly. The Globe is more of a traditional newspaper, similar to that of the New York Times or the Washington Post. Instead of the actual content of the paper, the Herald relies on eye-catching headlines, provocative pictures and soft news stories. The contrast between the two papers can be seen in the front pages of Friday, March 17.

On this given day, the Globe’s front page read, “Trump’s budget a radical change; Would boost military programs wile slashing programs for poor.” Directly under the title was a graph of sorts, meant to show readers, clearly, how Trump’s budget works (or doesn’t) exactly. A Green arrow points up, reading “Military, Border security, Charter schools, Vouchers.” There is also a bright red arrow pointing down directly under the green one, which details the many organizations that are unfairly being cut by the Trump administration. The column on Trump’s budget fits the right side of the front page, where news organizations usually place the most important story of the day. Another Trump story also finds its way to the top half of the front page, detailing how Trump’s new plans will essentially screw over all his rural backers.

The bottom half of the Globe’s front page focuses more on local news. There is a story on the dysfunction of a local family court, how Worcester Polytech is being sued by the wife of one of the organization’s top donors and another story details accusations made by four Boston homeless people who care suing a security firm for assault at South Station.

However, the Herald is a stark contrast to its counterpart. On the front page, in huge yellow writing is the headline “McHACKED,” referring to the McDonalds tweet denouncing Trump from the previous day. It was soon discovered that the corporation’s Twitter account was in fact hacked, however, the Herald chooses not to disclose this detail. The McDonalds story takes up almost the entire front page; behind the headline is a picture of Trump eating McDonalds, juxtaposed with the now infamous Tweet.

The Trump story shares the very top of the front page with a story about a dispute between senator Elizabeth Warren and a Veterans Group; the headline reading ‘Aleppo Liz.’ As one could have predicted, the very next page of the paper was about a trucker that had gotten into an accident while carrying a large load of cheese. Sad! Both papers feature local stories, but the ones featured by the Herald are quite simply, just freaking stupid.

It is interesting that both papers have stories related to Trump, but are vastly different. Even though the Herald is obviously a tabloid, I find it alarming that they provided absolutely no news on Trump’s budget. A stupid McDonalds Tweet just doesn’t matter; especially at this point in America’s history. People need to know how what is happening in the country! That is the duty of journalists! Tabloids have no place in journalism at this moment. Some of their news is completely fake, and much is sensationalized. If Journalism does die, it may be because of tabloid organizations such as the Boston Herald.

Festive Crowd Celebrates Chinese New Year

A diverse crowd including families, local Chinese residents and college students gathered in Boston’s Chinatown for an annual Chinese New Year parade on Sunday.

Beginning around midday, dancers dressed in kaleidoscopic-colored Lion costumes braved the sleet, snow and biting cold while dance troupes visited local stores as part of the New Year’s traditions. The dancers came from martial arts schools and other clubs and were sponsored by Chinatown’s civic organizations.

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Some, such as the members of the Gung Ho Athletic Club, wandered the streets of Chinatown going as far east as South Station. Others, such as the Nam Pai Kung Fu Academy and the Gund Kwok Troupe stayed in and around the square.

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Keeping with tradition, each troupe consists of a pair of long lions, and a dancer dressed as a clown-like Buddha and musicians; banging gongs, cymbals and drums to set the rhythmic pace of the dance. Each of the elaborate lion costumes consists of two dancers; one controls head movements and the other focuses on the intricate dance steps. The majority of the lions were of the yellow and red variety, both significant colors in the Chinese culture. Yellow symbolizes wisdom, and red symbolizes courage.

On nearly every shop and restaurant’s doorstep, each troupe performed the traditional Chinese custom known as “cai qing.” In this custom, a plate of lettuce and oranges was placed on the doorstep or on a small chair outside the place of business for the Lion. A red envelope lies beside the food, containing money. The lion will dance and approach the food like a curious cat, and eventually it pounces upon the plate. It symbolically ‘spits out’ the food, either throwing it into the crowd or smashing it on the concrete sidewalk. Traditionally, this dance has been long believed to bring luck and good fortune to the business.  After the dance has concluded, thundering fireworks are set off along the sidewalk.

The crowd was quite spirited; many danced along with the troupes and shouted loudly when the fireworks went off.
Brandeis University student Victor Feldman said, “It’s really cool to see such an amazing cultural display; we take so much of Chinese culture for granted. Most people think that they have experienced Chinese culture just because of restaurants they have been to. It’s just so cool to see this up close.”
Northeastern University student Ellis Bareuther said that it was his first time at the event but that he has plans to return. “I could have done without the firecrackers, but it’s really important that these types of events happen,” he said.

How Does One Deal With Their Family’s Past?

BOSTON-  The children of the Nazis have different ways of dealing with the horrors of their pasts, according to the grandson of a Holocaust survivor who screened his new documentary on Wednesday at Northeastern University.

 

  British lawyer Philippe Sands’ film explores the relationship of two men, each the child of high-ranking Nazi officials.  Both of these men possess vastly different attitudes toward their fathers.  Niklas Frank hates his father Hans with a passion; Dr. Hans Frank was not only Adolf Hitler’s lawyer, but was also known as “The Butcher of Poland.”  Horst von Wächter is far more sympathetic to his father, Otto; the former Governor of Krakow and the man responsible for multiple concentration camps and slaughter of over 100,000.

 

  The film also explores the story of Sands’ grandfather, whose entire family was killed due to the mass murder involving Otto Wachter and Hans Frank.  Sands, Horst and Niklas travel throughout Europe in the film, examining the sins of their fathers and figuring out how to deal with the horrors of their pasts.

 

“Both men are absolutely haunted by their parents; but in very different and complex directions” said Sands.

 

Wachter continues to keep making excuses as to why his father was not directly responsible for mass murder; throughout the film he maintains that his father “was a man of decent character.” Horst also believes that he is doing “a son’s duty” my refusing to condemn his father when, in reality, having empathy for his father is how he copes with the past of his family.

 

 “To understand Horst, you need to understand his relationship with his father,” Sands said.  “He feels like he needs to honor his mother, who loves his father very much and is a Nazi until the day she dies.”  

 

Whether that is the case or not, his empathy for his father ended up straining his friendship with Niklas, who believes by the end of the film that Horst was becoming a Nazi.  The only time that Niklas has any remote sort of empathy for his father in the film is when he visits the same cell that his father sat in awaiting his execution.

 

“The complexity and brilliancy of the film is that you are probably experiencing some discomfort,” said Sands.  He explained that the majority of people feel troubled that we feel empathy for Horst, as it is our human extinct.

 

“For both men it’s about survival. Getting through the day, getting through the week, getting through the year” said Sands.  “Every day is a trauma for Niklas” he said.  “Horst is happier.”

 

Northeastern University freshman Majed Fitaihi added, “If it helps these men live with their past and keep going in life, why should we care how these men think of their fathers?”

‘Mass. teachers far less diverse than students’

The student population of Massachusetts public schools has become increasingly diverse in recent years.  However, the teaching body has stayed extremely caucasian.  This worrisome disparity has reduced the performance of students that are minorities.  Boston Globe reporter Matt Rocheleau addresses this issue in his new story, ‘Mass. teachers far less diverse than students.’ Published on February 13, 2017, Rocheleau explores the causes of the root of this problem and the steps that officials are taking in order to combat it.

In Massachusetts, this issue occurs for several different reasons.  According to education policy researcher Michael Hansen, two of the more prominent reasons are that minorities are far less likely to major in education and also less likely to graduate from college.  Some other factors are that minorities are more likely to come from low-income families and to attend lower-performing schools that inadequately prepare them for college, experts said.  Interestingly, studies have shown that students taught by educators of the same race or ethnicity tend to perform better and have fewer absences and suspensions. Teachers have also been shown to have higher expectations for students of the same race, suggesting they are more likely to push those students and to serve as role models for them.

 

One of the weaker points in the piece has to do with the variety of the sources used in the article.  Rocheleau uses quotes from a various superintendents and directors of several nonprofit organizations.  The article would be better if the author had maybe talked to some teachers or students, the victims of the problem.  However, this is really the only noticeable flaw in the story.  Rocheleau addresses the issue without bias, not showing his viewpoint whatsoever. He gives the reader a good understanding of the causes of the problem and how to address the An element of proximity exists in the piece, as the story deals exclusively with the Massachusetts school system and affects a great deal of the Globe’s readers.  A good deal of timeliness is present in the story as well.  In recent weeks, education has become a hot topic in the United States due to the country’s new leader of education, Betsy DeVos.  DeVos has appeared to be seriously ignorant, unqualified for her new job and unaware of the serious issues of her promises almost constantly throughout the past month.  This culminated on February 12th when she misspelled educator and NAACP founder W.E.B. duBois’ name. The article deals with some of the problems of the public school system, which DeVos plans to further hinder and deplete.  The story is also largely newsworthy as well.  Despite the fact that the issue that Rocheleau dives into is all too obvious; it is nonetheless important. Rocheleau’s article is of good quality, and contains the elements that make a fine journalism story.