Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bill Clinton, UN chief make high-profile push for progress in impoverished Haiti,0,4992686.story

Bill Clinton and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited Haiti last Monday to meet with government officials in hopes to lure more aid to the impoverished country. They had hopes of mobilizing international support and encouraging the Haitian government to take charge of its own development. Ban and Clinton met with President Rene Preval to discuss environmental repair, storm recovery, and economic assistance. Preval outlined the three shocks Haiti had experienced in the last year: high oil prices, high food prices, and the instill hope that Haiti could once again be the richest island in all the Caribbean.

This story is strictly informative and begins with a summary lead. It does not go into great depth about Haiti’s economic or political condition. Yet, I don’t think it as the purpose of the story to do so. Instead, it simply recounts Ban and Clinton’s visit to Haiti and throws in some background information for the reader’s who are unfamiliar with Haiti’s current condition. The facts seem substantiated and the coverage is fair. There are two perspectives used that help to balance the story. One perspective is local and comes from inside the country. The other perspective is from an international stance.

There are not many sources in the story, but the ones included are pretty significant. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who was the one visiting Haiti was quoted along with Preval, President of Haiti, who was visited. I thought it was interesting to hear from the President of Haiti. I found it funny that he has been criticized for an alleged failure to lead the country and his one quote asked for the solidarity of the national community. I can see how he may be pushing his problems onto others. Femil Ladouceur, a nineteen- year old student, was the third and final source in this story, which really helped to get a more personal and local perspective. I would have liked to see more of a personal perspective from some more citizens. I wish this piece would have either gone more personally into the current state and struggles of Haiti or stayed focused on the visit of Clinton and Ban.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kenyans say scandal-plagued government failing them amid corruption, poverty, tensions

This article describes the ongoing battle in Kenya over their recent power change in government. The new coalition government that has been in power since the controversial elections a year ago, has been accused of scandal and corruption.

This news article begins with a summary lead quite appropriate to its content. This lead brought across the main point that things in Kenya are simply not okay. While millions are dying of hunger, politicians are inciting violence, participating in financial scandals, and pointing the finger at everyone but themselves.

This article is well organized. The second paragraph after the lead provides clarification of the trouble in Kenya including background information on their government. The third paragraph show the problems that could incur from this corrupted government.

The rest of the article is dedicated to testimony and further expansion on Kenyan government and poverty. There is a wide variety of sources including: local Kenyans, an African government spokesman, an anti-corruption advocate, an American ambassador to Kenya, and the head of the Nairobi-based Africa Society for Open Governance. This large range of sources provides for a well rounded story with little bias.

This article is, however, a bit one sided when it comes to portraying the Kenyan government. I believe that it is impossible to unbiased support both for and against the government in this situation. After all the publicized violence and corruption after the elections last year, any reader or writer would hold the Kenyan government up to higher scrutiny.

The article provided a good amount of factual information while tying in powerful quotes from local Kenyans. There was both intellectual and emotional intrigue throughout the article.

What does hunger look like? Researcher enlists mothers to photograph it- Pauline Arrillaga

This article is a feature piece about poverty and hunger in America. This piece begins with a feature lead. It is a blind identification lead that does a good job of enticing the reader to keep on reading. The article continues on to describe the research of poverty by Mariana Chilton a mother, wife and Harvard graduate.

Personal descriptions of those in poverty here in the United States paint vivid pictures in the minds of the readers while developing an emotive appeal. The coverage in this article goes much deeper than personal experiences from Chilton and those in poverty she encounters. The article broadens to describing and defining hunger in general.

Sources in this article include impoverished individuals who Chilton encountered in her studies, statistics of those in America struggling with hunger, and Obama’s stimulus package details.

After describing political and social aspects of hunger in general, the article cuts back to the story of Chilton. This long break and return to the feature story is a little confusing. But it is then that the article gets to the main story. Details about Chilton’s “Witnesses to Hunger” program are revealed. She gave cameras and transportation costs to the poor mothers she had met over the years to tell their story through photographs.

The article overall was intriguing and well balanced with emotional and intellectual aspects. It was well rounded with both evidence of poverty and solutions that the government is attempting to provide.

All of the individual running stories throughout the article about different impoverished individuals became a little overwhelming. A lot of information and details were included that were helpful, but only if they were kept straight.