In which we compare the good, the bad, and the ugly…

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/07/obama-tells-house-democrats-he-will-confront-republicans-on-taxes/?ref=politics

^^ This is about as close to typical Breaking News Story outline as one is possibly going to get. The only deviation I noticed from the typical structure is that there were two quotes in a row, and then some content and context for them. Regardless, this left the article information, easy to understand, and best of all, flowing so it could be finished without annoyance. 

Now, let’s take a look at the just “bad.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/08/us/politics/white-house-director-of-faith-based-initiatives-will-step-down.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

I would argue that the above article is perhaps not “bad,” however, there is quite a bit of context, and little quoting. When you’re dealing with someone stepping down from positions like this, you want to hear out of them as much as you can. Granted, you have to release a story, but I felt a little jipped when I was reading this. The lack of this led the content to not be what was expected for the article, on my end at least. Okay. Remember that. Highlight. What was expected of the article. I’ll come back to that.

Onto the ugly! I do want to stress the importance of this piece being an op-ed piece, but if you’re going to write for the New York Times, do it right. Link is below!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/07/opinion/the-questions-brennan-cant-dodge.html?ref=politics

The ugly, though, to most,perhaps not SO ugly that it deserves such a title…

Okay. This one does really follow any structure and has no quotes except single words, so, can I really rely on this for my information… check the CNN mention… are you twisting their words? You got your info from them but you can’t quote them?). Is that bad? Well, yes… and no. Here’s where my point comes in. 

Organization is MORE than just a good read. The way something is laid out is not only what is going to keep readers continue to article simply because it makes sense, but what is also going to prompt them to read it to begin with. If an article isn’t laid out a certain way, it almost, often times, does not achieve what it set out to do (think Swine Flu article, people!). It isn’t that the topic is simply not discussed, but, it is not covered thoroughly, doesn’t give enough support, and can often times leave the reader wondering, “What the heck did I just read? I have no idea? Okay, moving on.” And that is the end of it. 

So. Organization good. Quotes Good. Context and good content good… Random ramblings on a page… bad. 

 

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