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Collect at least five articles from English language newspapers or a news website on a common news story. The event must have happened in the period from January 1st 2018 to March 5th 2018, and you must compare coverage from the same time and day.

Write an analysis that compares and contrasts, headline text, article structure, illustrations used and an overview of what you think are the key themes, details or features from the news event and what differences there are if any in how these themes are treated by the newspapers chosen. Also how does the news event fit in with media theories discussed in the module?

Article 1

News is an important aspect of everyday life, which enables one know the current happenings of the world where we live in (Shoemaker & Cohen 2012). Usually, news is provided to the people by various media such as radio broadcasting, television, newspapers, online bulletins, etc. The news covers general topics such as politics, economics, judicial proceedings, business, entertainment, sports, in addition to natural calamities, criminal activities, and other events from all over the world. Generic news covers the current affairs locally, which pertains to their state and country, and globally, which includes the entire world. The newspaper, which originally was used in China, is a very important mode of communicating news all over the world. Even as online versions of newspapers have taken over, the newspaper is still the most preferred mode of news by almost all people.

One of the most shocking incidents which shook the world early this year was the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal, which involved the illegal collection of the personal information of more than 80 million Facebook users (Schneble, Elger & Shaw 2018). The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg testified before the Congress in April 2018, and publically apologized for the abetment of data breach. This news made headlines in various forms and was discussed threadbare by all the news agencies all over the world. In this essay, five newspapers carrying this article are chosen, and the headline texts, the structure of the articles, and the illustrations carried are analyzed. An overview the key features of news contained in the articles is also discussed. A brief report is made on the research process, the gains received, and the obstacles faced in the course of this project.

The New York Times 2018, 'Mark Zuckerberg Testimony: Senators Question Facebook’s Commitment to Privacy', News, The New York Times, Washington, USA.

The headline of this article by The New York Times had a brief about the happenings at the testimony of Mark Zuckerberg, and gave us a gist about the US Congress senators’ reactions and apprehensions on the activities of Facebook. So, going by the headline, it had a heads up of what the Facebook CEO would have faced during the testimony.

The online article was structured in a blog format, with a short video of the news item just below the headline. A short brief of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal and why it was brought to testimony is given. A description of the live setting inside the Congress was depicted, both by words and in a picture form. Quotes from within the testimony, of the statements by both Zuckerberg and the senators were provided as standalone items, to serve as eye catchers for the detailed description below. Certain preemptive assumptions were made by the editors themselves, such as “Did Facebook deceive its users?”, and were provided as topic headers, with the paragraph below either defending or negating the assumptions. Certain additional information, that was not a part of the testimony but news of related significance, such as “As Zuckerberg was being grilled, Facebook’s stock price jumped”, were highlighted, in order to inform the readers about the dynamics of the events. Other related information such as Facebook’s prior apologies for errors, the general public reaction to the news of the scandal, etc was depicted in a pictorial format.

Article 2

This news item was a comprehensive analysis of the events that occurred before, during, and after the testimony, including the testimony itself.

Watson, C 2018, 'The Key Moments from Mark Zuckerberg's Testimony', News, Tech, he Guardian, NA, The Guardian, Washington.

The headline of this article by The Guardian was direct and to the point, as it focused only on one aspect, that was the happenings of Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony. Going by the headline, one can expect it to be a clear and concise recap of the event.

The online article was structured in an essay format, with a short video of the news item just below the headline. After the video, there was a single line report about the testimony, and the news item directly covered the testimony. The reason and the duration of the testimony were covered in a concise statement. There were headers that were made up of the key points, such as “Right to Privacy”, “Regulations”, Russian Interference”, etc, which had a single paragraph with the statements of the respective people paraphrased. Random statements that were made by Mark Zuckerberg in the testimony, such as “Yes, we store data... some of that content with people’s permission”, “It was my mistake, I am sorry”, etc were grouped under relevant headers. The article ended rather abruptly, and there was no logical flow between the sequences of events that ensured. There were no illustrations or pictures of the events, apart from the video, or no related information that could be shared alongside this news in the article. The editors have structured this article in such a way that it seemed like a high-school essay format, with not much information to engage the reader. The fact that this article was published a day after the testimony, they might have saved the analysis for a later date.

This news item was more like a short recap of the event, with only select quotes from the proceedings on a few select topics of the testimony.

Rizzo, S & Kelly, M 2018, 'Fact-checking Mark Zuckerberg's testimony on Facebook and data collection', News, News, Macomb Daily, Macomb Daily, Michigan.

The headline of this article by Macomb Daily was indicative of an analysis done on the testimony by Mark Zuckerberg, and that it had to pint out a few lacunae in the testimony. Going by the headline, it would seem that the news has something more to offer than the testimony itself (Swofford et al. 2018).

Article 3

The online article was structured in a blog format, with a picture of Mark Zuckerberg arriving at Capitol Hall for the testimony. The article began by pointing out Zuckerberg for misleading the world with his responses, as they editors felt that some of them might be untrue. General information of Facebook and its workings is put up, with the nature of “data” that is in question being analyzed, whether it is the data that the users willingly post, or the data that is tracked down. The questions by the congressmen to Zuckerberg about the data, and his responses were paraphrased. An interpretative translation of what the Facebook CEO said, and actually what he meant to say is discussed. Certain contradictory information regarding data privacy, and the data tracking of people who haven’t signed up for Facebook were discussed, and the CEO’s response was termed as unsatisfactory. However, the article lacked a strong structure and seemingly focused on only one aspect of the testimony. Apart from the initial image, there was no image or screenshot of the alleged data leak, which if added would have strengthened the claims of this article.

This news item was more of an informal blog, with random information and counter-allegations, and randomly picked statements from the testimony grouped together in an article.

Kharpal, A 2018, 'Mark Zuckerberg's testimony: Here are the key points you need to know', News, Tech/Cybersecurity, CNBC, CNBC News.

The headline of this article by CNBC offers a clear picture of the events that occurred during the testimony of Mark Zuckerberg. Going by the headline, we can expect a concise and clear brief about the proceedings of the testimony.

The online article was structured in a blog format, with the highligts of the scandal presented in bulleted points immediately after the headline. A short video of the tesimony follows the introduction. Following the video, certain key points such as the confessions of the CEO, the conflict of opinion between Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, future elections, russian interference, etc were made, with brief reports of relevant statements of both the senators and the CEO under the aforementioned headers. Certain stray statements such as “I have more confidence that we are going to get this right”, and “Most people do not read the whole thing, (terms and conditions), but they have the opportunity to”, were also mentioned. There were numerous links within the article, with many phrases hyperlinked to different articles. For example, the term “Zuckerberg clarified this (paid version)” was hyperlinked into another article titled “Mark Zuckerberg hints that facebook has considered a paid version”. The article did not have any images or illustrations, however it was replete with numerous videos covering the testimony, the viewpoint of Cambridge Analytica, Facebook regulations, etc. The article tended to end abruptly, without a concluding statement or a perspective from the editors, which would have given a proper closure to the news item.

Article 4

Overall, this news item was more of a comprehensive online blog, with numerous links, videos, and written material, all combined into a single article.

Allen, J & Abbruzzese, J 2018, 'Mark Zuckerberg testimony as it happened: Facebook CEO grilled by senators', News, Tech, NBC News, NBC News, Washington.

 The headline of this article by NBC News is indicative of a live status update of the testimony of Mark Zuckerberg at Capitol Hall. Going by the headline, one can expect to have a comprehensive overview of the testimony.

The online article is structured in the form of a live report, with inputs being provided alternatively by both the editors of the article. Immediately below the headline, there is a short video of the Facebook CEO apologizing before the senators at Capitol Hall. Following this is a series of status updates, which cover every single aspect of the testimony, right from the questions asked, to the body language of Mark Zuckerberg. Short paragraphs of the statements provided by the senators, and the reply provided by the CEO also feature in this report. The report is time-stamped, and has covered all important proceedings of the testimony, right from the beginning, capturing even the breaks. Videos of live news reports from the scene are also embedded within the article, with an introductory text preceding it. Information from all over the world in relation to the event, such as tweets from various people, Facebook updates, changes in the stock markets, etc are also captured and succinctly covered. This news report is replete with photographs and videos of the event, thus making the reading experience lively and satisfying. Certain statements were made by the editors themselves, such as “Why Zuckerberg has had a bit of an edge at times?”, or “Facebook does delete your data”, were made, as an inference from a section of the interrogation.

Overall, this news item was more of a comprehensive live-tracking of the testimony, and would serve as an unbiased source of information of those who might have missed following the news on the day of the event.

Conclusion

In this essay, five different newspapers reporting a single news item on the same day were selected, and their variations analyzed. Some of them had provided a comprehensive review, some a live blog, some had provided the key points, and some had provided a detailed analysis of a select issue. All the news items were published after the event, thus minimizing the bias of access to information. All the news items were from the online versions of the print newspapers, thus having provisions for further research. All newspapers chose to provide the same news differently, in different variations of style and structure (Harry 2014).

Article 5

As this research was an online activity, one could easily obtain information by computing the correct keywords in the search toolbar. However, one must be free from click baits, and unwanted articles, and must be diligent in the search. Even though news is a major source of information, it might not always be unbiased; the authors; opinions might dominate the news report. To conclude, one must be able to see through the intent of the article from the headline, and choose the news item that is relevant to the need of the hour, by searching the web with caution.

When I took up the project of news report analysis, I was confident of an eventful research ahead.  News is an integral part of life, and my life was no exception. Newspapers, flyers, radio news, television news, public broadcasts, etc were the variety of news forms that I have encountered right from my childhood, before the advent of online news (Mitchelstein & Boczkowski 2009). The task assigned to me was an exercise in news framing, wherein I had to collect a minimum of five newspaper articles that dealt with the same news that happened in the first five months of this year. Being a sports fan, I immediately thought of providing a report on the Australian Cricket Ball tampering controversy (Parry, Kavanagh & Freeland 2018). However, no sports-related news was permitted in this research. The sources had to be unbiased, and I was specifically instructed not to collect the news from local newspapers, due to their ill-reputation of providing biased content (Larcinese, Puglisi & Snyder Jr 2011).

When I logged on to my Facebook page in the evening, I realized that Facebook itself was in the news early this year, and it would be the best thing to report, as the news was covered in all countries, from a local news bulletin in Ireland, to a national newspaper in the United States of America. Thus, I chose the topic of The “Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal”, and I decided to review five newspapers carrying the news of the testimony of the Facebook CEO before the US Congressmen, on April 11th, 2018. The five newspapers I chose were of international repute – The New York Times, The Guardian, Macomb Daily, CNBC, and NBC News. All articles covered the testimony in various forms and contents, and in varying contexts. Though I felt that it would be an easy task, I realized the difficulties of news reading, reviewing, and framing while doing this project (D'Angelo & Kuypers 2010).

Overview of Key Themes

In the sea of articles off the internet, to find a genuine article that would actually be unbiased and correct to the point without having any political affiliations was a huge task. The article had clear instructions not to repeat the content, and to report five different perspectives of the same news item. In my analysis, I have provided one article covering live report, two articles covering analyses, one article covering perspective, and one article covering key points. One of the main obstacles I faced in my online search is the abundant of click bait news articles (Rony, Hassan & Yousuf 2018). The title would be interesting, but the content inside would not be worth a review. This, unfortunately, is done by many online sources, in order to boost their page views and website traffic. Another hindrance was the abundance of online advertisements (Bayles 2012), though understandably the source of income for the websites, tended to cover the news item, thereby providing a distraction.

Overall, my experience in reading, researching, and reviewing news articles was an eye-opener, as to learn how to choose which article must one quote for an unbiased report, and on how to frame a news report by myself, by not rep[eating the mistakes of others. I would recommend everybody to read multiple variations of the same news, in order to get a more comprehensive outlook on the topic.

References

Allen, J & Abbruzzese, J 2018, 'Mark Zuckerberg testimony as it happened: Facebook CEO grilled by senators', News, Tech, NBC News, NBC News, Washington.

Bayles, M 2012, 'Designing online banner advertisements: Should we animate?', Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 363-366.

D'Angelo, P & Kuypers, J 2010, Doing news framing analysis: Empirical and theoretical perspectives., Routledge.

Harry, J 2014, 'Journalistic quotation: Reported speech in newspapers from a semiotic-linguistic perspective', Journalism, vol 15, no. 8, pp. 1041-1058.

Kharpal, A 2018, 'Mark Zuckerberg's testimony: Here are the key points you need to know', News, Tech/Cybersecurity, CNBC, CNBC.

Larcinese, V, Puglisi, R & Snyder Jr, M 2011, 'Partisan bias in economic news: Evidence on the agenda-setting behavior of US newspapers', Journal of public Economics, vol 95, no. 9-10, pp. 1178-1189.

Mitchelstein, E & Boczkowski, P 2009, 'Between tradition and change: A review of recent research on online news production', Journalism, vol 10, no. 5, pp. 562-586.

Parry, K, Kavanagh, E & Freeland, S 2018, 'Just not cricket: why ball tampering is cheating', The Conversation.

Rizzo, S & Kelly, M 2018, 'Fact-checking Mark Zuckerberg's testimony on Facebook and data collection', News, News, Macomb Daily, Macomb Daily, Michigan.

Rony, M, Hassan, N & Yousuf, M 2018, 'BaitBuster: A Clickbait Identification Framework', AAAI.

Schneble, C, Elger, B & Shaw, D 2018, 'The Cambridge Analytica affair and Internet?mediated research', EMBO reports, vol 19, no. 8, p. e46579.

Shoemaker, P & Cohen, A 2012, News around the world: Content, practitioners, and the public, Routledge.

Swofford, H, Lund, S, Fabricant, C, Iyer, H & Wilcox, A 2018, '30 Questions that Facebook has yet to Answer - Gaps in the testimony of Mark Zuckerberg at a US Senate hearing?', Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data, IPTES: Just Talking Testimony, Washington.

The New York Times 2018, 'Mark Zuckerberg Testimony: Senators Question Facebook’s Commitment to Privacy', News, Politics, The New York Times, NA, The New York Times, Washington, USA.

Watson, C 2018, 'The Key Moments from Mark Zuckerberg's Testimony', News, Tech, he Guardian, NA, The Guardian, Washington.

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My Assignment Help (2021) Comparing Media Coverage Of Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal In An Essay. [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/desi6009-visual-culture/an-analysis-on-news-framing.html
[Accessed 19 June 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Comparing Media Coverage Of Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal In An Essay.' (My Assignment Help, 2021) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/desi6009-visual-culture/an-analysis-on-news-framing.html> accessed 19 June 2024.

My Assignment Help. Comparing Media Coverage Of Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal In An Essay. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2021 [cited 19 June 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/desi6009-visual-culture/an-analysis-on-news-framing.html.

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