Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Politico: A Credible Political Blog

For the media watch assignment, I was assigned to Politico. My first observations were that this is a news blog, not a newspaper or proper journalistic source. Yet, Politico is often regarded fairly highly, as if it were an actual news source. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because the news is accurate. However, it is definitely a slanted view that does not offer two sides of an issue. Although they do recognize Mitt Romney as a front runner in the Republican race, they do not necessarily favor him. There were articles that painted him in a negative light, particularly regarding his social policies.

Politico is now included in the list of news sources that send updates to my cell phone. This turned out to be an advantage to me because it was the first source that informed me that President Obama had overturned his stance on mandating birth control from employers and health providers. I think it is important that they were so quick to report on this because it was such a controversial issue at the time. It was controversial for reasons including views on abortion, and bringing the church into issues of government. It was important to be reported factually, and to satisfy the people’s need to know what’s going on in the regard of scandal, which is not always newsworthy, but it is something that people do want to know about. Politico had this story as breaking news before any of the other news sources that I follow which includes CNN, USA Today, ABC, The Associated Press, and my local paper, the Scranton Times.

The website is always set up with a large picture at the top. This picture accompanies their top story for that given moment. For a while, these photos included Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich, in regard to talking about the Republican nomination race. After the primary election day which included Missouri and Minnesota, this shifted. Instead of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum became more important. They started reporting negative articles about Newt Gingrich. For example, on February 14th, a story ran with the headline “No Guarantees for Gingrich in Georgia.” This headline alone leads us to believe that Gingrich will fail in the Georgia primary, even though Georgia is his home state. The article goes on to say that he is still favored there, but for readers who may only read the headlines and not the rest of the article, it is already framed that Gingrich will not do well there. This primary is not set to happen until March 6th, yet a decision has already been made regarding the potential outcome.

As far as the most recent debate was concerned, below is the large picture that ran. It features Rick Santorum holding his finger up to Mitt Romney, as they discuss issues regarding government spending. Harsh language was used in this article, especially in the lead paragraph, which sets the tone for the rest of the article. “Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum tore into each other’s records on government spending, health care, abortion rights and more on Wednesday night, quickly turning the crucial Arizona primary debate into a flurry of charges and counter-charges that reflected the bitter tone of the GOP race. Notice that words such as “harsh” and “bitter” are used right in this first paragraph. This shows that the news may not be reported in a straightforward manner. There is opinion there, and it is important for the audience to know that from the beginning before taking what is said as ultimate truth.

Gillyan Gowarty
Communication Studies
Wilkes 2013

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