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Media Reporting Discrepancies, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1206

Essay

Introduction

The below essay is designed to compare and contrast the reporting of recent events that took place in Argentine. The death of an influential prosecutor, Alberto Nisman got reporters guessing, and every below examined media source highlighted different aspects of the events, asking different questions. The author of the current review is attempting to compare the questions asked, authority, credibility, and impartiality of four different reports from CNN, NPR, Fox News, and The Skimm.

Questions Asked

The CNN article (Ghitis) includes a straightforward question in its title: “Who Killed Alberto Nisman?” The article is based on an assumption that the prosecutor was killed, even though there is no solid evidence for this. Starting with highlighting the fact that the prosecutor “reportedly knew he had powerful enemies”, the author makes the fact that he was killed almost obvious for readers. Further, the article is building up tension by listing actions that might have caused the death of Nisman, such as conflicts with politicians and international organizations. However, the assumption that the prosecutor was killed is not confirmed, as the author states: “the investigation into Nisman’s death got underway” (Ghitis). While the article indicates that the death was not a suicide, the author also asks the question: whether or not an impartial investigation can be carried out by Argentina’s corrupt justice system.

NPR’s article (Neuman) is more careful with using assumptions than CNN’s report. The article’s title suggests that the president stated the death was not a suicide, however, the author also confirms that the statement is not backed up by facts and forensic reports. Like the CNN article, this report also confirms that there might be a connection between Nisman’s investigation of a government cover-up involving Iran, but does not come to a conclusion regarding to the cause of the death. Overall, the NPR article is more factual, balanced, and provides just enough background information necessary to allow the reader to decide whether or not there is a connection between the death of the prosecutor and his ongoing investigation.

The article by Fox News (O’Reilly) approaches the question from a completely different angle than CNN and NPR. The focus of the report is not the death of the prosecutor, but the cover-up of the government that was being investigated by Nisman. The author provides readers with more evidence about the connection between the case and the sudden death of the prosecutor, stating that “Nisman’s report on the bombing at the Argentinian Jewish Mutual Aid Association (AMIA) bombing, released Tuesday night, revealed intercepted conversations between representatives of the Iranian and Argentinian governments that point to a pattern of secret negotiations”. The reporter also provides readers with more background data about the alleged conspiracy, and its international impact. Further, the author makes an important remark regarding the potential motivations of Argentina’s government to secretly collaborate with Iran: the huge energy deficit of the country. In this aspect, the article investigates the problem and the events from a new angle, and digs deeper to find connection than any other source. Apart from being investigative, detailed, and factual, impartiality is one of the major strengths of the report.  O’Reilly simply confirms that “Some observers believe that Nisman was killed”, instead of directly stating the assumptions, and tries to find realistic motivations for the murder: the prosecutor had more information and documents that could prove the guilt of the previous government.

The Skimm Article simply states the facts and the opinions. The author (Skimm) states that initially the officials stated that the death was a result of a suicide, but later the president said that Nisman was murdered. Interestingly, the article also states that the prosecutor accused the current presidents, Kisner as well to cover up the country’s involvement in the conspiracy. Based on the article. Kisner denied this allegation, and stated that she had nothing to do with the case, and there is a current conspiracy against her government, and killing the prosecutor was a part of the plot. The main question asked by the author is whether or not Kisner was involved in the cover-up.

Credibility And Impartiality

Out of the four articles examined above, the report by Fox News (O’Reilly) was the most credible. It did not only provide background information about the case, the investigation of Nisman, but also named the sources of the opinions and interviews. The author did not come to a conclusion, and clearly stated that the investigation has not started yet. Naming the sources is an important aspect of reporting about current events, and it provides the article and media source credibility. The author also features the opinion of different individuals, such as Leah Soibel, the executive director of Fuente Latina,, Marczak analyst and deputy director of Adrienne Arsht, and President Kirchner. By providing reliable background information and naming the sources, the author makes the article both investigative and factual.

CNN’s report, on the other hand, names sources, but is extremely selective in featuring opinions. The report tells the reader about the president’s conspiracy theory, however, also suggests referring to the president that the new approach was “very convenient for her government”. The author states that Nisman released a new criminal complaint before his death, after submitting the 289-page report. This would certainly indicate that he had more information regarding the government’s involvement. Still, as the investigation is still not complete, it is not right to suggest that there is a “ mounting evidence of murder”. The author makes a clear stand, and is losing his impartiality, when he states that “ if Argentina’s government is in some way involved, it, too, must be held to account”  (Ghitis). It is, however, important to note that Ghitis’ article is an opinion report, therefore, the criteria for impartiality is different than for news articles. Still, some of the statements are not backed up by factual details, such as the statement: “The government’s interest in Nisman became sharply intense a few days before his death” (Ghitis).

O’Reily’s (Fox News) article, on the other hand, is based on information from different sources, however, goes further than reporting. Stating the facts and different theories, the author is attempting to find logical connection between the death of the prosecutor, the political system of the Latin American country, and the economic interests and motivations of different countries and powers involved. This way, the article cannot be classed as a news report, but an investigative factual write up, that is allowing the reader to come to conclusions, while maintaining credibility by featuring different aspects of the case.

The Skimm article simply lists facts and opinions, and names a few sources, however, it does not provide important background details to allow the reader make their own decision.

Conclusion

Overall, it is important to note that the three articles analyzed above all serve a different purpose: providing an opinion, reporting, investigating a problem, or finding connections between different events and political actions. That stated, all the above authors have fulfilled the purpose of the writing.

Works Cited

Ghitis, F. “Who killed Alberto Nisman?” CNN. 2015. Web.

Neuman, S. “Argentine President Now Says Prosecutor’s Death ‘Not A Suicide’” NPR. 2015. Web.

O’Reily, A. “Cash-starved Argentina tried to protect Iran, cover up Jewish Center bombings for cheap oil” Fox News. 2015. Web.

The Skimm. “WHAT To Say To Your Friend Who Loves “SVU”” 2015. Web.

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