Social and Political Issues Through the Eyes of Different Media Outlets

headline-news-logosIn today’s society there are many different sources of media that provide news for people. News sources like NBC News, CNN, FOX News, Al Jazeera, and ESPN all interpret social and political news stories in their own way.

My group monitoredthe news source NBC News for an entire week. The NBC News website layout incorporates one top story on the main page with a large image, with many other smaller stories underneath it. It’s also divided up into sections like ‘Local News,’ ‘World News,’ and ‘Top Videos.’ The website draws your eyes to the main story NBC wants its viewers to read by making it the biggest on the page. Many of our journals contain news stories about social issues and political issues going on in the United States. Some of our top social issues were “Shannon Miles in Court: Prosecutors Say Texas Deputy Darren Goforth Was Shot 15 Times,” “Investigators: We Believe Gilbert Flores, Shot by Texas Deputies, Was Holding a Knife,” and “Supporters of Jailed Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Rally to Her Defense.”

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The first two headlines focus on the topic of police brutality and violence against police officers going on the United States. Deputy Dan Goforth was innocently shot by Shannon Miles while pumping gas on the night of August 28th, Miles had no right to take the life of an innocent man just because he was wearing a police uniform. In the other news story a man named Gilbert Flores was shot by Deputies while holding a knife. Many questions were raised about whether or not police had the right to shoot Flores. If Flores refused to drop the knife or listen to police orders then the police had the right to do their job in regard to safety.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 11.41.58 AMOne of the most talked about stories of the week was the jailing of Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis. Earlier in the week Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because it violated her Christian beliefs. This resulted in her being jailed for not following a Supreme Court law, and led to a debate between those supporting her and those opposing her. I think this story brings up the issue the United States still has with gay marriage being legal. Kim Davis has freedom of speech and religion, it’s against her beliefs to marry same sex couples.

Two of our news stories incorporated political issues going on in the United States, they are “Trump vs. Bush: The Gloves Are Now Off,” and “Texas Abortion Battle Reaches U.S. Court.” In the news story about Donald Trump and Jeb Bush, both candidates are attacking each others viewpoints on issues surrounding the 2016 presidential election. Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 11.43.26 AMTrump attacked Bush’s idea that illegal immigration is an “act of love” and Bush attacked Trumps views on abortion and health care. I believe both candidates shouldn’t be attacking each other’s views on issues as a part of their campaign. Also, the other news story faces a political issue about abortion going on in Texas. Texas wants to shut down more than 75% of its abortion clinics, making it clear that they want abortion to be illegal. This is a hot topic for the upcoming election on whether or not abortion should be legal or illegal.

Personally I didn’t expect our groups’ news source, NBC News, to be as neutral on topics as it is. A lot of our journals had stories that stated facts about certain problems going on in the United States. Also a lot of the news stories contained quotes from bystanders and officials surrounding the topic of the news story. It also surprised me how every news story had a video to go with it. It made it easier to know what the story was about in a shorter amount of time than reading the entire article. It also allowed for a little biased opinion from the reporter, unlike the news stories.  Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 4.20.33 PMNBC also does a good job of dividing up the categories of news article on the homepage. Instead of the homepage being a mash up of news, there are categories diving the page as you scroll. ‘Top Stories’ is at the top of the page so that all of the main news happening can be seen. One thing I was surprised about on the homepage was the category ‘Local News.’ I didn’t expect NBC to have news stories focused on issues going on in Newport News, only national problems.

Two other groups that have similar topics of social and political problems going on is the FOX News group and the Al Jazeera group. Both FOX News and Al Jazeera have a similar topic of the presidential campaign and the jailing of Kim Davis, like our NBC News group did. One of the stories from the FOX News group was “Trump Signs Pledge Not to Run As Independent in 2016,” which is a similar story to our groups about Donald Trump making headlines on NBC News. Al Jazeera and FOX News both have the headline “Kentucky Clerk still Won’t Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses,” which is also similar to the story our NBC News group talked about. I could tell from the Al Jazeera and FOX News groups’ journal choices that all three of our news sources choose to place similar stories on the homepage. The CNN group has a lot of news stories that are unique and not seen on any other news source like “Pumpkin Spice Latte Season is Back,” and “Has Stephen Hawking Solved the Mystery of Black Holes?” The ESPN group also has very different news stories than all of the other groups. While the ESPN group still focuses on social issues, they are social issues within the sports industry.

While all five groups used different media outlets, some of our groups ended up having very similar journal results about social and political problems like our group NBC News and the Al Jazeera and FOX News groups, while other groups have completely different journals like the ESPN and CNN groups. But, all of the sources get information out to the public about social issues in their own way.

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