Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Every Dog Has His Day

On April 22, 2012, Sioux City Journal, the daily newspaper of the fourth largest city in Iowa, put an anti-bullying editorial on the front page of their newspaper. This is the first time they have placed an editorial as their front page story, and its almost unheard of in the newspaper industry.

The drastic act was primarily done to commemorate the loss of a 14 year old boy, whom took his own life after coming out as gay to his fellow students and receiving constant harassment thereafter.

Although the editorial on the Journal's front page is essentially someone's opinion, its still provides vital information about the nationwide bullying crisis in schools and the recent proliferation of teen suicides that have resulted from this crisis. By providing a strong opinion rather than mere facts, the ethical issue at hand is more apparent and the story provides a stronger impact onto readers by evoking empathy.

Before reading about this innovation from the Sioux City Journal, I believed opinion was only tied with soft news. Opinions about breaking news did not seem as relevant when the event just occurred, since people would rather have the objective information and statistics to assess the situation for themselves first.

This article and Foust's complaints in "Echo Chamber" illustrate that blogs and editorials also have a huge impact on a news story and are missed when absent. Blogs and editorials have more free reign to say what's on their minds about the issue. The writers are able to provide fresh commentary that readers can relate to at a personal level rather than just receiving "curious and ideological" content (Foust).

Although it is widely believed the newspaper industry is dying, a newspaper can still make a huge impact in terms of innovation, even one that isn't read nationwide.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very interesting case where the print artifact breaks the conventional rules of focusing on breaking news in a neutral voice of objective reporting. The section on Foust could probably be more clearly connected to your larger argument. Does the gravitas of a newspaper give such unconventional displays more power? Does this show how opinion in a newspaper editorial (which may speak for the collective) differs from the opinions of blogging individuals?