Newsday, founded by Harry Guggenheim and Alicia Patterson in 1940, was established in Hempstead, Long Island. Targeted towards residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties, Newsday focuses on local news and was set with a liberal-independent policy. In 1979, Newsday settled in Melville, Long Island where it is currently located. Competitors such as the Long Island Press and Suffolk Sun were ran out of business and News12 Long Island is Newsday’s broadcast competitor focusing primarily on Nassau and Suffolk. Sections including World and Nation, Business, Entertainment, and Sports make Newsday the flourishing newspaper it is today. Newsday belongs to the Times Mirror Company and is the recipient of three Pulitzer Prize awards.
Day 1: 12/07/2007
Most Prominent Story: The Subprime Mortgage Freeze: ‘Too Late For Me’
Due to this story’s magnitude, human interest, and prominence it is fair to say that is should have obtained the attention it did. Usually four full pages dedicated to one issue in a newspaper may be thought as by some to be over the top, but in this case it is not. This story affects numerous people across Long Island and throughout the country. The coverage by Newsday allows viewers to see the truth behind Bush’s program and gives the viewer a sense of if they would qualify for a mortgage rate freeze.
Within the first ten pages or so of this days paper there does not seem to be any stories that receive too little attention. This is primarily due to the significance of the lead story and the number of pages it took up. The secondary story, about how a Great Neck eye doctor misdiagnosed and performed unnecessary eye surgery on patients received enough attention given the circumstances of the lead. The few other stories given within the first handful of pages are not of enough importance to need more coverage than they received.
The stories in the first several pages written for this day’s paper did not seem to receive too much attention either. Some people probably will feel that the lead story received more space in the paper than it should have, although I feel the information provided was both informative and necessary. It is important to educate viewers about topics that hit so close to home such as the controversy surrounding the mortgage rate freeze program. Other than a handful of people feeling this story received too much attention, there does not seem to be any other possible stories gaining more attention than they deserve.
For this day, the paper did meet the needs of its audience. It gave viewers an in depth look at Bush’s proposed mortgage rate freeze program as well as covered some important local issues and developments that directly relate to the people of Suffolk county.
Reliable Story: ‘Great Neck eye doctor suspended’
The meaning of the story is very clear once reading the article and in this case it was the fact that an eye doctor was misdiagnosing some of his patients and then billing them for the unnecessary procedures. The audience should greatly care about this story due to its relevance and importance. This article really hits close to home and it informs the readers about the ‘criminal activity’ suspected to have been taking place with regards to this ophthalmologist. The headline and the lede of the article are greatly supported by both direct and indirect evidence. The direct evidence comes from the documents from which many of the details of the article came from including the time in which the doctor committed the misconduct. Both Health Commissioner Richard Daines and spokesman for the state Department of Health Jeffrey Hammond provide indirect evidence for the article. The sources used in the article are all named, well informed, confident in their statements and independent. The major six questions of who, what, when, where, why and how that all well written articles should answer are indeed answered in this article. The who being Dr. Martin Ehrenberg, medical misconduct is the what, the time in which this took place is 1998-2006, the location is his office, the why is simply to make more money, and the how is by misdiagnosing patients and performing unnecessary procedures on them. Although a small article, there is enough context to provide meaning behind all of the facts. The article is extremely transparent in explaining how the reporter was able to obtain information. When sources could not be reached the reporter did a fine job of making that very obvious. Since this article is about an alleged criminal, there isn’t much to ‘balance’ the article although the suspect was given an opportunity to comment and decided to not call back the reporter. All of these statements make it clear that this article is of journalistic standards and can be viewed as reliable.
Less Reliable Story: ‘8 students suspended for fight in Long Beach High’
This article does in fact have some important journalistic qualities about it, but there are also some key qualities missing from this article which makes it less reliable. The issues with this article are as follows. First of all there is an issue with some of the sources. As we know, named sources are better than unnamed sources. There is one individual who goes unnamed in the article. Also, several of the sources aren’t as informed as they should be as well as most of the sources being assertive rather than verifiable. Questions such as why the fight actually broke out and the fact that there are contradicting statements in the article along with the previously mentioned issues all combine to make this article not as trustworthy as it possibly could be.
Persuasive opinion article: ‘Judging candidates on a ‘Truth-O-Meter’
This article, about the limited access to presidential candidate’s reporters have as well as how sites categorize candidates, was extremely persuasive in its text. Supported by numerous facts and examples, James Klurfeld’s article made me believe what I was reading was fact instead of opinion. The whole point of an opinion article is to attempt to persuade the reader into believing in the thinking of that reporter. Mr. Klurfeld was able to do this effectively and this article demonstrates a near perfect example of a greatly written opinion article.
Day 2: 12/08/2007
Most Prominent Story: Yet Another Teen Death: ’90 MPH…No Seat Belt’
I do believe this article was the right choice for the most prominent story of the day. Reckless driving incidents especially with teens and young, inexperienced drivers need to be told with the hope that other teenagers may hear about it and think twice next time they want to drive in excess of the speed limit. Simple steps such as driving within the speed limit and putting a seat belt on could have prevented this whole situation. The magnitude and importance of this story greatly affects many people not only in our area, but around the country and the world.
Within the first handful of pages of the paper the one story that stands out as not receiving enough attention deals with the recent ‘mall killer’. The article titled ‘Mall killer’s last message’ seems thrown together and is more visual than anything. Now ok, many of us enjoy visuals, but there should be more context to this story as well. It is a given that the press gives more attention to suicides than many people would like to see, but in this instance I feel the Associated Press did not completely perform the given task to their full potential. This story is backed by a great deal of human interest, magnitude, and importance. These factors are definitely enough to warrant an extended article on the ongoing situation. I was rather disappointed upon reading this article.
All of the stories in the front section of the paper did not seem to be receiving too much information either with the exception of an article on page A8 titled, ‘Final farewells at Delta’. This article, about Delta Financial employees being laid off as the company expects to file bankruptcy does not need a half page article. Although some will find the article interesting, it can be summarized in a few paragraphs and still take on the same effect.
Although not doing as great a job as day one’s paper, the paper for day two did meet the needs of its audience I feel. It covered a wide range of topics that cover most of the news drivers. A decent combination of human interest stories and stories of high importance were used to balance out the paper for the day. These reasons create good reading material for Newsday’s viewers and would satisfy most people.
Reliable Story: ‘Dems want CIA tapes probe’
The relevance and meaning behind this story is very clear. This article may simply be summarized as the finding of the possibility of an obstruction of justice case in which the CIA destroyed key tapes that could very well have been used as evidence. The reader should care about this story because it shows that a possible flaw of the government and that they do things that are unjust and wrong at times as well – as long as this case holds up that is. Since this is an ongoing investigation there is not much evidence to discuss at the moment. With that said, the lede and headline are supported in the article and there is a major source of direct evidence. This comes from General Michael Hayden and the fact that he told agency employees the tapes had been destroyed in 2005. The sources used in the article are all named, well informed, confident in their statements and independent. Their statements are supported by factual information as well, especially in a statement by Senator Edward Kennedy. The major six questions of who, what, when, where, why and how that all well written articles should answer are indeed answered in this article. The who is the CIA, the what is the possibility that the CIA destroyed tapes that could have served as evidence against the government, the time in which this took place is thought to be 2005, the location is not pertinent although it would be assumed the CIA, the why is to possibly cover the allowing of torture by our government and the how is by destroying tapes that would have supported all of this visually. There is definitely enough context in this story to provide meaning for all of the facts. The article is transparent in explaining how the reporter was able to obtain information including when sources could not be reached the reporter did a fine job of making that clear to the reader. The story seems as balanced and as fair as it can be given the current circumstances. Both sides are given a chance to comment even though things do not look very good for the CIA at the moment. According to all of these reasons, this article is reliable and of journalistic standards.
Less Reliable Story: ‘FDA: Tattoos can endanger health’
The article found on the inside cover of the paper, one that everyone will see, was ironically not a great article in my opinion. The lack to confirm much other than the potential harm tattoos may have on the skin, which was previously known, was the general idea of the article. Little mention of new scares or issues with tattoos was said. Also, there were several times in the article where facts were blatantly repeated. A slew of them can be found in the third column when relating back to earlier sections of the article. Some statements do seem to be out of order as well. Overall the article could have been more organized and thought out. Readers, including myself, will read the article and find it interesting at first, only to have not been phased by its remarks upon completion of the story.
Persuasive Opinion Article: ‘Don Imus is no Curtis and Kuby’
In this paper, there were hardly any opinion articles. Actually make that
none by any reporter. The only opinionated articles in this day’s paper were located in the opinion section and written by readers. Keeping that in mind, I chose a short article written by Newsday reader Mary Kenney from Williston Park. She voices out against Don Imus coming back onto the public airwaves. After reading this opinion, it has in some way persuaded me to stay away from Don Imus’ broadcast. Albeit I was never the Imus fan and this article does not affect me in a way which would make me become one any time soon.
Day 3: 12/09/2007
Most Prominent Story: The LI Taxes You Don’t Know About: ‘$473M In Spending And Nobody’s Watching’
Basing my decision on the other articles in the first section of the paper as well as the facts within the lead article, I would have to say that this story should have been the most prominent of the day. It is extremely important to for Long Islanders to know where their tax money is going and how it is being used. This story’s importance, magnitude, and human interest allow it to be of utmost importance. I think the reporter could have done away with some of the article and cut it down a little, but when analyzing all the journalistic qualities a good article should have, I found this article to be very well written. It is amazing what goes on that the public is unaware about. Even though the problem is mainly in Nassau County, it makes you wonder – what is my money really going towards?
Within the first eight to ten pages of this days paper there does not seem to be any story that receives too little attention. The smaller articles within this beginning section of the paper are smaller than a lot of the articles for good reason. They are not important enough to receive more attention then they have or in some cases those smaller stories are just updates to stories that were in the previous day’s paper.
There seems to be a continuing pattern where I find one of the stories at the onset of the paper does in fact receive more attention than it deserves. Maybe this is because I tend to be somewhat conservative and feel that little details should be ignored, but whatever it is I feel the article on page A4-A5 titled, ”O’ what a day in Iowa’ was one of those stories. Now if you ask me, you do not need a whole page and a half to talk about how Oprah Winfrey was attempting to gain support for Barack Obama over the weekend. She went to Iowa, rallied for support, the end. Ok, not everyone will have this view, but seriously the support of a well known celebrity should not be able to swing voter’s opinions. The scary thing is – it does.
Aside from my outspoken opinions, Newsday did meet the needs of its audience in this issue. Covering both local and political news on a large scale as well as a few strictly human interest stories, Newsday did a tremendous job bringing their readers what they want. It is extremely important that a newspaper meets the needs of its audience since this is one of the few ways the public attempts to educate themselves. Readers must know what is going on in the world and what should concern them. A good newspaper such as Newsday does just that.
Reliable Story: ‘At 7, a ‘Huggable Hero’ in cancer fight’
The purpose of this article is one hundred percent clear. This article was written to introduce the readers to a very unique and giving boy who has overcome a horrible disease only to bounce back and give right back to other children in a similar position to the one he was in. Subconsciously I feel this was also written to hopefully cause readers to feel a need to give to charities as well. The audience should care about young, suffering children that they have the chance to help in the form of donations. Most people, I feel, would want to know what they can do or better yet be motivated to help in some way after seeing a seven year old boy succeed and helping out the cause in an astronomical way. This article adequately supports the headline and lede of the story. Evidence coming directly from the child such as his statements about the cause and indirect evidence in the form of statistics of how much the boy has raised create the background necessary to support the opening of the article. The few sources that are used in the article are named, authoritative, and verifiable. The seven year old, Rafiello, is a very well-educated source along with his mother. Therefore, the sources are pretty reliable in the confines of this article. The major questions of who, what, when, where, and why are answered in this article. The who is the Rafiello Carone, the what is raising money for cancer research, the when is not directly stated but is assumed to be around 2005, the location that pertains to the article is Smith Haven Mall, the why is to promote awareness for cancer and to help raise money for the cause. The context of the story is enough to give the facts of the article meaning to the reader. It is obvious how the reporter received his information for this story. There are also no questions left unanswered and the reporter did a good job of presenting the story. Since there is pretty much only one side to this story in giving the young boy Rafiello good publicity and rightfully so, there is no need to balance it out with other views. The only way to do that would be to downplay cancer and promote something else which would give a sour taste to the readers. This article is very reliable and of journalistic quality due to these reasons.
Less Reliable Story: ‘Steps to avert a campus crisis’
This article, written by reporter Olivia Winslow is a decent article. There are, however, a few important aspects of this article that make it less trustworthy than most well written pieces of journalism. The major flaw in this article is the discrepancies of the statistics relating to the lede of the story. John Guthman stated that twenty-five percent of students that arrive on campus are taking prescribed medications for a mental illness of some kind. This general statement would include all college students and does not state whether or not this includes transfers as well. The lede of the article focuses on incoming students alone, not all students within a college or university. Also, Anne Byrnes, the director of the Student Counseling Center at Stony Brook University claims that the “university has more than 200 students diagnosed with bipolar disorder”. Again this statement includes all students, not just students entering the university. Therefore, the article does not fully support the lede. This along with some unnamed sources and the mention of ‘experts’ not specified in a field are the main reasons that would cause a reader to think less of this article when compared to a complete high quality piece of journalism.
Persuasive Opinion Article: ‘Holiday e-card just don’t click’
This opinion column by Ellis Henican was very persuasive and I completely agree with his view. His writing reminded me of my SBU-TV News Technology scripts – sarcastic and to the point, yet full of factual information. The sarcasm found in his writing is actually a driving factor that would most likely help to persuade many people into thinking similarly to him. It’s true, how lazy are most of us that send e-cards over the internet. The whole process takes around five minutes if that and is a less than proper way of sending holiday greetings. A phone call would be more sufficient than an electronic card that has a generated message that you most likely didn’t even write yourself! Ellis Henican does a great job in presenting evidence and combining it with statements that guilt the reader into feeling bad about sending holiday greetings over the Internet. These reasons make this column extremely persuasive and will probably have some effect on readers.
Day 4: 12/10/2007
Most Prominent Story: Rudy vs. Hillary in 2008?: ‘Not So Fast’
Although I am not in agreement with a lot of the political speculation and coverage given in the media as previously mentioned, there are some important points given throughout the few articles pertaining to the prominent cover story. For this reason and when comparing this story to the others of the day, I feel that Newsday did make the right decision for this day’s paper. Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani were the leaders of their respective parties and are now facing stiffer competition with the surge in support for some of the other candidates. Since both Clinton and Giuliani are local politicians and since the presidential campaign is a big deal, Newsday decided to use this story for the most prominent of the day – and rightfully so.
The only story that seems to have gotten a bit less attention than it deserves is on page A8 and titled, ‘4 Dead in Colorado Attacks’. I feel that this story was important enough to have landed a spot before the eighth page of the newspaper. Although the political stories within the first five pages of the newspaper have importance, this story should have gotten a little more attention. The story’s magnitude, importance, and prominence all make it worthy enough to have gotten an extended article possibly also on an earlier page of the paper.
Aside from the overwhelming amount of political articles and less than necessary speculation at times, there were not any stories that seem to be receiving too much attention. Articles in the first several pages of the day’s paper were not overstated or exaggerated to any extreme.
For reasons none other than Newsday’s targeted audience being liberal-independent news consumers and the fact that many people do enjoy reading about the political races, Newsday did meet the needs of its audience. After four days of going through the paper consistently, it is clear that Newsday does in fact meet the needs of its audience on a consistent basis.
Reliable Story: ‘Key cancer gene finding’
The meaning behind this story is evident upon reading through the article. The goal of the article could be considered as a way to inform the public about the latest advances and discoveries in cancer research. News consumers should care about this story because if it may be important information to know especially if they one day are found to have a form of cancer. The lede and headline are fully supported throughout the article. There is much factual information and evidence to back the opening statements of the article. The sources used in the article are all named, extremely knowledgeable people, and confident in their statements. The major questions of who, what, when, where, and why are also answered in this article. The who is cancer patients, the what is discovering new information about a cancer causing gene, the when is mid-1900’s to present, the location is Columbia University, and the why is to hopefully find a cure for cancer. There is ample context in this article that allows the facts to have meaning. The reporter is clear in stating how information was obtained and clearly names his sources and where they are from along with their occupation. For these reasons, this article is reliable and of journalistic standards.
Less Reliable Story: ‘Schumer: NY airports need new radar now’
According to Senator Charles Schumer, NY airports should not have to wait to receive advanced radar systems. That’s all well and good, but the fact that this article is lacking in some areas is a different issue. For reasons simply as having one source other than Sen. Schumer and not knowing the specifics of the mentioned reports this article could have been written more professionally. FAA Eastern Region Spokesman Jim Peters is the main source of the article. Being simply a spokesman it is difficult to confirm his intelligence and how informed he actually is on the issue. Spokespersons are generally taken as less credible as a primary source. They are considered second hand sources. The factual information given in this story is fine and there is meaning to the article, although I feel it is not as credible as it could have been given the limited amount of sourcing and limited detail on the GAO report.
Persuasive Opinion Article: ‘Republicans’ turn on character flaw’
Raymond Keating did a great job of giving his views on the character of a presidential candidate, in this case particularly former mayor Rudy Giuliani. Although I was not completely persuaded by his article, I can see why many people will be. Even though Keating tries to balance out his story with factual information for both sides, he makes it clear what his opinion is. By the end of the article, you begin to question your views and think about the facts given in the story. Keating’s persuasive writing style and presentation of factual information makes this article a very good opinion based story.
Day 5: 12/11/2007
Most Prominent Story: Miller Place Shooting: ‘Son Takes The Stand’
This was indeed the correct story for Newsday to choose as the lead story in my opinion. The importance, severity, and magnitude that surround this story enable it to be of such prominence. Although this is not a new story by any means, the new details emerging in this case are important enough where anyone following the case should be informed about them. With comparison to the other news stories in the front section of the paper, this is definitely a big enough news story for it to get the lead for this day’s paper.
I think Newsday did a fairly good job of balancing out the news for this day. There do not seem to be any stories that are receiving too much or too little attention then they deserve. Most of the stories deal with the human interest news driver than anything else in this day’s paper.
Newsday once again met the needs of its audience for day five. Throughout the week, Newsday has definitely been consistent in this area and I feel it is necessary to give the people what they want. One of the most important things to be able to do when writing for print is to meet the needs of your audience. By gauging the general ideas and interests your audience has you will allow your paper to become more and more successful as time goes on.
Reliable Story: ‘Shoppers get online for Green Monday’
The relevance and meaning of this article is clear. Most shoppers shop online during the second week in December, not the Monday after Thanksgiving as previously thought. The lede and headline are greatly supported throughout the article. In this case the lede is written very well and there is ample evidence in the story to prove the lede and headline to be true. The major questions of who, what, when, where, and why are answered in this article. The who is online shoppers, the what is shoppers shopping online more than ever on the second Monday in December, the when is presently, the location is the Internet, and the why is due to promotions such as free shipping and other holiday discounts. There is enough context in this article that allows the facts to have meaning. The reporter is clear in stating how information was obtained and clearly names his sources and where they are from along with their occupation and or the specific company the information is coming from. For these reasons, this article is reliable.
Less Reliable Story: ‘Lo Duca joins Nationals’
This article, written by Ken Davidoff can be considered less reliable than most news stories. Some of the issues with this story are there are no quotes to back up any factual information given, no sources other than a ‘person familiar with the situation’, too much filler to ‘create’ an article, and falsely stating a questionable agreement. Now although there do not have to be quotes, it would have been nice to see the reporter attempt to get at least one quote to back up some of the information. Also, not having any sources greatly diminishes the journalistic quality of this article. Just having one unnamed source doesn’t cut it in my opinion. Around half of the article just seems to be history about Lo Duca’s playing career with the Mets and not enough about the possible trade. Finally, the reporter states that an agreement was definitely made even though he is getting the information from an indirect source. He trusts his only source which should not be the case. For those reasons I feel this article is less trustworthy than most other news articles.
Persuasive Opinion Article: ‘Huckabee’s long focus: ‘broken humanity”
This article by James P. Pinkerton, is very persuasive. He writes extremely passionate and feels strongly about this issue. The article discusses religion in relation to politics and how much religion should be allowed to influence a politician. There is so much more than just religion that we should be worried about with our candidates. Yes, religion can be a major influence, but views on morality issues of the country and things of the like also need to be considered greatly. Upon completion of reading this article, I felt somewhat persuaded and tended to agree with Mr. Pinkerton. It is amazing how much an affect words can have on people. I feel that many people will find this article to be persuasive and informative.
One Story Followed Throughout the Week:
Throughout the week I followed the story of how a nineteen year old boy from Smithtown crashed his 2006 Nissan killing himself and seriously injuring his other two passengers. When comparing articles on the same story from different days, almost all of the original factual information remained unchanged. There were a few minor things that I noticed to be different. In the first article it was stated that excessive speed and inexperienced driving seemed to be the cause of the accident, but in the following article it was mentioned that police were still investigating the cause of the accident. It is possible that alcohol or road conditions could have played a factor in the accident. Other than that, there was not much that changed or altered from article to article. Usually I would suspect there would be more in the way of changes to a story as it progressed over time. This is usually due to the inability to confirm certain facts in the first place and the information a journalist would be able to receive or uncover would be more limited at the start of an investigation than when the investigation is nearing a close or has progressed further. It was interesting to see that not much changed with this story. Accidents involving reckless driving are unfortunate and definitely important enough for the public to care about. Watching stories over time is interesting in itself and a news consumer learns a great deal from doing so.
Reliability of the Paper:
This project, although very time consuming at times was a tremendous learning experience for me. Never again will I look at news in such a basic view as I had previously done prior to taking this course. Over the course of the analysis period, I have concluded that Newsday is a reliable newspaper and I would instantly recommend it to anyone. Day in and day out Newsday was able to provide in-depth news information and analysis while bringing the audience topics they would be interested in reading as well as stories that people should care about. All of their stories contained many of the important news drivers discussed in class such as prominence, importance, magnitude, human interest, and so on.
If I were the editor of Newsday I would hope that I would be able to make the genius decisions Newsday makes pretty consistently. There is not much worth changing with the paper that I currently see except from possibly not ‘over-covering’ politics and choosing the order or arrangement of stories differently at times. Besides that the headlines, articles, columns, and various sections of the paper seem to be very organized and need no change. Newsday is a tremendous newspaper as I have come to find throughout this assignment and I hope that many people will realize how important it is to keep up with the news and to have a reliable source for your news. In my case, this reliable source, in print media at least, will be Newsday and I will most definitely share that view with others.