Sunday, November 11, 2007

Analyzing Zephyrus articles Cont. (cont)

Page four-sidebar article-Zephyrant

On the left-hand side of page four of the feature articles section of Zephyrus, there is a "Zephyrant" (a regular rant, but its in Zephyrus) complaining about how Zephyrus was apparently shunned when it went to a presentation of star Jerry Seinfeld's new "Bee Movie". This rant struck me as extremely poor taste. The author, who shall remain unamed complained of Jerry's "cold demeanor." Frankly, the fact that a school newspaper would be invited to a screening at all doesn't seem cold to me. The author also complains that Jerry paid little attention to Zephyrus once it was there, instead answering questions from papers like the Star Tribune. To that I say-why wouldn't he? Star Tribune is a much more reputable news source than any school newspaper. Of course he will place that higher on his list of priorities. The real insult, however, comes near the end, where the author admits that Zephyrus got an interview with Jerry that "entailed a formal handshake, a few sad attempts at jokes on Jerry's part, and a forced picture." It should be noted that said picture is right under the "Zephyrant headline." Now, here is a rich man with a schedule, and probably a lot on his mind...after all, he's working on a movie! The fact that an important celebrity would even GIVE a school newspaper an interview, forced or not, and a picture is more than I would have hoped for if I had been there. Frankly, I would have been happy just to have been invited, and to have seen Jerry at all. The author includes a sentence near the end stating "now when I come across Seinfeld on T.V. I pass right by it". Good riddance. The whole article stinks of someone who is upset that Jerry didn't ride in on a white horse and carry the author off into the sunset.

Zephyrus analysis continued

Analyzing page four-feature article-"Pets in classrooms offer new approach to learning."

The title definitely grabs ones attention, and it has the proximity element nailed. However, this article falls flat for one simple reason-it fails the "Who Cares" method. Unless you are actually in a class that uses animals to teach, this article is worth little more than a passing glance. I, for one, have noticed no new animals in our school, even though this started this year, and that is simply because I’m not in a class where pets are used. On the other hand, if I were in such a class, I suppose I would be happy that it (the class) was in the spotlight. All in all though, this article probably shouldn't have been on page four, and was, to me at least, relatively uninteresting. It should be noted, however, that the author got several quotes from a teacher using pets in the classroom, as well as students therein, and covers why some teachers have not yet added pets (they might bite, escape cages, etc).

Analyzing Zephyrus articles

For this assignment each person in class was to choose a section from the school newspaper (Zephyrus) and analyze it. I chose to do the articles found in the "features" section, starting on page 3 of the paper.

Analyzing "Classes give gender break"

The first thing that ever comes up in an article is the title. As such, it should grab a reader’s attention. "Classes give gender break" is not exactly a breathtaking title, but it does grab the reader’s attention. However, the first two sentences in the article are as follows: "Gym classes can be dominated by boys, with girls hanging near the back. Conversely, English courses are often controlled by females while many males shrink from discussion and participation."
These two sentences cite no studies that suggest this would be the case, and doesn't use a quote. As such, it can be classified as an opinion, which doesn't belong in the article. Apparently, nationally boys are falling behind in literacy compared to girls (again, no source is cited), and therefore, our school has instituted boys and girls only classes (satisfying the news element of proximity). The article then goes on to explain what each class is trying to accomplish, as well as any key differences in a given curriculum. I felt that to be well done. However, the article only quotes two people, namely the teachers of the single gender classes. Would not it have been more prudent to perhaps quote a student within either class?