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The Comparisons and Contrasts in Journalism

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There are five news sites that have comparisons and contrasts with their written and visual content: ABC, CNN, USAToday, New York Times and the Huffington Post. Their agenda-settings differ in majority of content, because a small fraction of the news sites focuses on certain events and people, while the majority has great diversity of categories in their top headliners. There is, however, one article that, whether the top article or a side news story, appears on all news sites (Paul Ryan). While most of these news websites have variety in their news content, not a lot of stories are written in a positive light.

Surprisingly, even though all of these sites are well known as political news sites, only two of those sites have the politics division of articles dominating the front page. Huffington Post has a line of stories where headings of business, environment, world, etc. only get 1 to 4 articles, while there are 25 articles in the politics category, nine of which involve Donald Trump. ABC news has a similar amount of stories. Trump still seems to be part of not just the political articles, but also the world and crime categories, though there are only a few total. Other than that, there are a fair mount of pictures of Paul Ryan and other politicians. CNN, New York Times and USAToday have a great diversity of articles, and not one dominates all three front pages. USA does have Paul Ryan on the front, but there are also headlines about celebrities, sentimental moments of common people, and updates on entertainment progress. CNN has a variety of subjects for their top stories, including crime disasters, the environment and businesses. The New York Times has artless of different categories al over their front page, and even displays photos that show bright, colorful designs.

The major topics of discussion seem to be revolving around Paul Ryan and his urgencies on the new healthcare bill or Donald Trump (more specifically, the effects of his travel ban on people and their responses). Every one of the five sites shows an article about how Paul Ryan supports the bill or how it is/not progressing. Other than politics, entertainment takes up some of the news agenda, such as Game of Thrones season premiere dates and the antics of celebrities (or their deaths, if they were very old). Crime articles are common in these news sites, and sometimes these stories may focus on the victim or the criminal. There are not that many articles that show things in a positive light, such as new advancements in technology or health, however there are entertaining surveys and facts that people may be positively enlightened by.

A fraction of these sites seem to have a lot of articles that tap into people’s interest in our current state of our country’s politics, and it is probably because a large percentage of American individuals showed a lot of great pleasure or great rage after the 2016 election. Some of the articles that involve Donald Trump do not have anything to do with his presidency, but instead talk about how people are oppressed by his activities outside his presidential position, such as building new businesses. Other sites tend to show events and situations where there is a problem that needs solving or a tragedy that has struck an individual. Rarely are there stories about advancements in science and technology or progress in lifting away poverty or sickness, thought there are a few. These stories seem to show either people in the process of working to try to stop or start something, or that something unfavorable has happened. These situations may be chosen as front-page headliners because they can motivate people more. People learn from problems and mistakes, and can be prompted to fight against something they do not approve of.

These news sites could improve their home page by showing more positive articles; not just of good things that happen by chance, but of beneficial outcomes rewarded for hard efforts and difficult work. These articles could show readers events that could motivate them to do something helpful. Advancements and discoveries may be positive and interesting to read, but they also lighten difficulties and sometimes may even take away motivation, which is why bad outcomes and consequences we can learn from tend to motivate problem-fixing more. These news sites should have more stories that show something good happened because a problem had to be solved, not just stories that show an unsolved problem.

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