Posted by: mindyrappoport | 06/13/2011

News comparison

(June 13, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. MST in response to News Comparison Assignment)

General facts (Source: CNN)

On May 27, 2011, Democratic U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner posted a lewd photo of a man in his underwear on Twitter through his account. The picture was immediately deleted, but conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart broke the story on his blog ( and it went viral. From May 30 to June 5, Weiner continued to tell reporters that a hacker was responsible for the lewd photo posted on Twitter. However, over the course of those ___ days, Weiner gradually began avoiding reporters and ignoring questions about whether the photo was of him. On June 3, Weiner canceled a speech he was supposed to give at the Wisconsin Democratic Party convention. On June 6, Breitbart posted pictures of an allegedly shirtless Weiner on his blog, and that same day, Weiner publicly apologized for lying about his Twitter account being hacked, and admitted to posting the photo online and having inappropriate relationships with women he met online, and told reporters that he would not resign. On June 7, democratic figures started saying they couldn’t stand up for Weiner based on his actions, and on June 8, they started asking him to resign — starting with former Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine. On June 9, the press learned that Weiner and his wife are expecting their first child. On June 11, Weiner announced that he is going to seek treatment, though he did not specify what type, and his spokeswoman said that he is going to ask for a temporary leave of absence from Congress.

Medium Strengths/Advantages Weaknesses/Disadvantages
Newspaper story: New York Times -Provides details about which media sources Weiner talked to about the supposed hacker and what he said to them, as well as his response on Twitter.
Cites Weiner as “one of the most prolific users of social media among politicians”.
-One must take the time to read through the entire story to get all of the facts.
-In newer stories, the scandal isn’t always explained fully until a few graphs in.
-Dates can be hard to keep straight as you read the different Weiner stories, unless they’re listed like they are on the NYTimes website.
Television news story: The Ed Show on MSNBC -Present the facts.
-Spend a lot of time on a particular story.
-Give the story perspective.
-Lots of yelling and very theatrical, which can get in the way of and detract from the actual facts and story.
-Give their own political views (but usually there’s another cable network you can watch to get the other party’s view).
-Oftentimes accusatory of the opposite party.
Blog: Huffington Post -Many direct quotes from Weiner.
-Short sentences and paragraphs make the story clear and easy to read.
-Those reading the blog can see the shirtless picture that Weiner sent of himself, as well as watch a video in which he admits to sending the lewd photos.
-Tags help categorize the blog posts by topic.
-One unnamed source close to Weiner (to protect anonymity, which is understandable, but also made the quote itself weak) said that the scandal would lead to his divorce.
-Social media “be the first of your friends to like this” box on the left and live comments on the right detract from article.
Twitter feeds -Information is concise.
-Any information tweeted is dispersed quickly and widely.
-Tweets can be marked using hashtags so that people searching for a certain topic can quickly locate the most recent tweets about that topic.
-Often times link to news stories, photos or videos.
-When you search, you can sort Tweets by all, top tweets, or those with links.
-Anyone can post something about Weiner, so that means incorrect information can also be posted.
-The line between fact and opinion can easily become blurred.
-Even though someone is posting on someone’s account, you never know if someone else is managing their Twitter for them (and therefore posting tweets for them).
-Tweets are limited to 140 characters, so not all information is posted in one tweet; you have to read a few tweets to get all the facts.
-It takes time to weed through and differentiate between experts tweets and the ones your average Twitter user is posting.
-RTs can confuse new Twitter users.

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