Is it Brainwash or Just Plain Rhetorical?

     After a week of exploring though news related outlets I have come to the conclusion that anyone can write an article and expect people to agree with their opinions. For example, “Truth Out” is an independent news article site. This outlet contained stories from domestic issues to foreign issues, but what is so interesting about these stories is that they are very opinion based and liberal. This strikes me as odd because most of the reporters were speaking in first person, and to me if you really want to speak on a personal experience, and hope for change, the appropriate facts/statistics are needed. In comparison, Fox News and CNN covered similar topics, but unlike Truthout they use factual and statistical information to back up their articles. Truthout on the other hand uses strong minded opinions and personal experience as their main form of rhetoric.

One article that really showed its liberal views but did not have enough facts to back it up was called, “Hungry for Justice: Chicago Residents Go on Hunger Strike for Education” and in this article you read how the residents WANT the government to interfere and help their children receive a free/public education. The reporter often wrote in a way that helped them play victim or wrote in a way that would help the reader favor one side over the other. For example, “A 23-year old white woman rides her bicycle to the Board of Education and asks for a green technology and global citizenship-themed school. The powers that be rubber stamp the proposal before you can blink…Charter School steals space and resources from an existing neighborhood school like a growing cancer.” As you can tell the reporter tried to tie race issues into the article to make the board of education seem racist towards the minorities in Chicago. (

Why is it that “playing victim” is a type of attraction for a specific audience? Does the audience start to feel guilty and take sides? I ask myself these questions because it tends to be popular in a lot of the Truth out articles. Then I also wonder if reporters on live TV use that same technique to attract more of an audience so that they watch that specific channel more.

This was just one of the many articles that had liberal views, but other articles would tie their liberal views with civil rights for African Americans and or other minorities. Another big topic for the “Truth Out” site was civil rights movements and discrimination. Reporters know that race stirs up a lot of controversy and also leads to a wide variety of opinions. Articles on race were the ones that caught my attention the most because it’s interesting for me to hear other points of views and or opinions on racial issues in America. For example, “When did Big Data become Bad Data” talked about racial bias and discrimination took place in the work force. This specific article wasn’t too opinionated, but also didn’t give many statistics to back it up. (

One thing that was very interesting in this article was that they mentioned how some jobs were biased towards a person if they possessed a name that was generally meant for a black man or woman. So the fact that one’s name can determine their work ability was very thought provoking.

My Expectations were not met when I was looking through articles to read because I was hoping for a reporter to catch my attention automatically with a very rhetorical title. Instead throughout the article the reporter decided to draw back attention using methods of pathos and logos to the best of their ability to bring attention to the article, and this was very smart in my opinion. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t impressed, but only with a few, by their arguments if they had any at all. Perhaps if we explored more of our options we would have stumbled across a better outlet, but “Truth Out” really opened my mind to all types of writing styles.

I feel like other groups picked outlets that would have satisfied my need of very factual straight to the point article with very little one sided strong opinions. One group picked CNN as their outlet and concluded that they leaned more towards factual information. This to me is the most helpful because you know the article isn’t written by a very strong opinionated bias person who wants you to agree with everything they are saying. For example, “Hundreds of Girls Hospitalized Due to Mysterious Gas at School” was an article about foreign issues in Afghanistan   that resulted in young girls being deliberately poisoned by as punishment for going to school. The reporters provide quotes and links to back up their article, and this is exactly what I expect to see when I read.  (

After weeks of skimming through articles and trying to figure out if they appeal to me or not I’ve come to question how or why reporters write what they do. How does a reporter know what catches the audience’s attention? How long does it take them to come up with a strong rhetorical title?

When I look at outlets like Fox News the reporters obviously know that right now Donald Trump is all everyone talks about or sees on TV. Knowing the audience is what reporters tend to focus on and they will focus topics on a specific person or group, good or bad, to keep the audience interested. For example, Trump supporters are praising him for trying to put a stop the Iran deal made by President Obama. When people see Trump teaming up or actually trying to do something to better America people might start to think, “He isn’t that bad of a guy after all.” I believe this is what reporters are after, and that is changing the views of their audience. (

If I ever became a reporter I would definitely pay attention to media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. This way I wouldn’t be writing about things that don’t attract an audience. I think my main audience would be teenagers because they are more involved on social media than adults are. I personally believe I would be the most interesting reporter ever.


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