I chose to read and compare the January 25, 2018 edition of USA Today. USA Today offered me a multitude of different sections to browse over from investigative pieces to more opinion based lifestyle articles. Generally speaking, when comparing the online print to the hard copy, the stories on each media platform covered the same general subjects. With some of the stories I even found the same exact ones online as I did print. I noticed the online version had additional stories that dealt with the same subjects but just different specifics or further developed articles as events continued to progress. USA Today has sections regarding international and national news, sports, life, money, tech, travel, and opinion.
Initially, I was overwhelmed by the amount of content presented online. Personally, I felt less inclined to want to explore the page due to the high volume of media and multimedia introduced. Photo and video ads were also dispersed sporadically, in turn creating a chaotic platform. I did, however, like the use of videos such as interviews with witnesses, officials, or relevant personnel. I think this use of multimedia helped strengthen the text and make it even more accessible. Interestingly enough, even though some of the articles were the exact same body of text, the headlines varied. I felt as though I almost missed noticing some of the same texts from print to online solely because of the different headlines. Though I am no expert in journalism, this stood out to me as something I didn’t expect coming into the assignment. I figured, for the sake of the reader, that headlines would remain the same so that articles are easier to find and manage.
The article labeled “School Shootings: Fear vs. the Facts” on the Kentucky High School shooting drew me in. This story starts by outlining the basics of the event and then moves on to other school shootings in history, some statistics, and various ways to potentially limit as much threat of shootings as possible. What I found compelling about this story was the fact that it drew a lot from outside sources and numbers to talk about more than just this specific event. It encompassed a lot of history and current ideas to better contextualize me. Surprisingly, this article only directly quotes James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University. Greg Toppo, author of this story, took other numbers and indirect quotes from various cited resources.
I have never read a newspaper from cover-to-cover before. The idea has entered my mind on multiple occasions as I think it’s imperative to keep up on current events. My parents are weekly readers of the newspaper and like to be informed and educated on all of the international, national, and local news stories. The outlets I usually receive news from are my parents, friends, and social media. These outlets aren’t the most reliable and sometimes prove to have a bias but news through communication with those around you is, in my opinion, essential. This practice might be something I try to implement into my routine because I feel it’s necessary to keep up to date with as much reliable information as possible. The newspaper has made news accessible to almost anyone, anywhere and allows the most educated society possible.