Week 4 – 2. Inquiry: Review the two pieces

Review the following two pieces and respond to the questions on your blog.

a. What do you think could be the main issues with this poorly written entertainment news story?

‘Robert Pattinson talks about his new film, The Rover, with Dave O’Neil’ by Dave O’Neil, for The Sydney Morning Herald

Firstly, I honestly think that this may have been the worst article featured on a major newspaper website that I have ever read. O’Neil was obviously aiming for witty and interesting, but unfortunately for him, he missed completely and instead fell into boring and cringe-worthy. The headline ‘Robert Pattinson talks about his new film, The Rover, with Dave O’Neil’ suggests an interview, however the content of the article includes a lot of illogical and unnecessary descriptions and observations of the location and to bodyguard accompanying ‘RPatz’ – as he so annoyingly refers to him. The article completely ignores the idea of providing the essential details and relevant information in clear and succinct paragraphs (Ames, 2015).

The other main problem is that the article is far too self-focused. Robert Pattinson barely gets a word in for this so-called interview. In Eve Fairbanks’ interview with AJR, she says that first-person journalling can be a very easy way to lose the interest of the reader, and forget to include the average person’s view (Levy, 2014). O’Neil’s problem is that he tried too hard to make himself the focus or the article which goes against the rule that Ames (2015) states, that a journalist’s job is to be objective, and to not allow themselves to become the news.

Overall, I think the first-person approach to this article, the lack of an actual interview, and no real facts are the main issues that lead to this being such a poorly written article.

b. What do you think is good about this well-written media release?

‘Drought worst in living memory: AgForce survey’ by AgForce

There are many things that work in this article, but I think the main point is that the writer uses short sentences and paragraphs, which sticks to the general rule of one idea to a sentence, and one sentence to a paragraph (Ames, 2015).

There is also the use of well researched facts which as Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith (2012) suggest, provides credibility for the newspaper or company backing the article. The five Ws and H are clearly introduced and continually discussed throughout the article.

Unlike O’Neil’s article, there is no first-person journalling, and opinion is kept out of the story all together.

Overall, it is a very strong article, and I would not be able to suggest any changes that would improve its quality.


Reference List 

Berkman, A 2015, ‘Drought worst in living memory: AgForce survey’ AgForce, 20 May 2015, viewed 7 August 2015, http://www.agforceqld.org.au/index.php?tgtPage=news&id=view,478

Ames, K 2015, Week 4 – Writing news, course notes, COMM11007 Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Levy, Dustin, 2014, ‘Vice, and the Trend of First-Person Journalism’ Accessed 7 August 2015, http://ajr.org/2014/12/01/vice-trend-first-person-journalism/

O’Neil, D 2014, ‘Robert Pattinson talks about his new film, The Rover, with Dave O’Neil’ The Sydney Morning Herald, June 16 2014, viewed 7 August 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/robert-pattinson-talks-about-his-new-film-the-rover-with-dave-oneil-20140619-zs99j.html

Whitaker, W. Richard, Janet E. Ramsey and Ronald D. Smith 2012, Media Writing: Print, Broadcast, and Public Relations, 4th edn, Routledge, New York.

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