Photo Credit: Jacob Valerio / Unsplash.com. This is not a photo of the actual event.

Here is the first of my news-analyzing posts! Are you excited? Because I’m trying to be.

There are hordes of sites where I could go to get information about Russia’s participation in the Syrian conflict, and its involvement with Turkey. Instead of trying to read them all, I am choosing today to focus on this particular issue from six perspectives:

  • CNN, a major American news outlet that most of my professors say seeks to be balanced, but that many of my more conservative friends disdain,
  • Russia Behind the Headlines (RBTH), a news source that “covers current events in Russia and far beyond, and relies on professional, independent Russian and foreign journalists,” according to its Facebook page,
  • FOX News, another major American news outlet, that many Americans consider too conservative to even pay attention to,
  • RT.com, a site published in both Russian and American that the majority of the American intelligence community believes is controlled by the Kremlin, and therefore is propaganda.
  • Novaya Gazeta, an independent and rather controversial Russian news source that is known for its investigative journalism.
  • The Huffington Post, a site that a few of my professors refer to as the “Huffington Blog,” instead of as a real news source.

I will reference and compare all of these articles from these diverse sites because I want to showcase a multi-faceted view of the situation. I don’t pretend to be biased as a person, but I can strive to be balanced as a writer and as a learner. For the purpose of this blog, I will refer to “conservative” as the media which more closely aligns with the government in power, and “liberal” as that which takes a more dissident view. These terms are not mutually exclusive, but it suffices for now.

Headline:

FOX – Russian airstrike kills 3 Turkish soldiers in Syria

RT – 3 Turkish soldiers accidentally killed in Russian airstrike in Syria, Moscow confirms

CNN – Turkey and Russia Disagree over Cause of Botched Airstrike

RBTH – Will ‘friendly fire’ deaths dampen Russian-Turkish relations?

HP – Russian Airstrike Kills 3 Turkish Soldiers in Syria

NG – Turkish General Staff: Russia knew about the presence of a military airstrike in the area

I don’t know if everyone is as much of a journalistic nerd as I am, but I find this fascinating. Picking out a headline is an art and science. You have be short, engaging, truthful, and informative, all at the same time.

What you include in your headline and lead (the first paragraph of your article) says a lot about your story. In the inverted pyramid style, we should know all the essential details by the end of that first paragraph, such as who did what to whom, where and they did it, how they did it, and why they did it.

Even just looking at the headlines, it is interesting to note that the most Russian-sympathetic article is the one by RT, and yet the least Russian-sympathetic article is by Novaya Gazeta, who walks the edge between reporting and editorializing. They all but state straight out that Russia knew about the location of the Turkish soldiers before they fired.

What else do you notice, in reading these headlines and articles? What details were omitted in the different articles? Does one seem more biased to you? I’ll talk more later, but right now, my narcolepsy is flaring up, so off I go to my убежище.

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