Prompt 2

I don’t like editorials the same reason I don’t like opinions. Opinions and editorials are not fully fact-based, they most of them don’t challenge perceptions beyond a reinforcement of what they already know. Washington Post, The Southwestern Sun, and USA Today’s pieces are all ineffective at challenging what people know and what they believe. A Trump supporter will look at any one of these pieces, roll their eyes, and immediately be convinced that it’s blaming Trump for something the liberals most be trying to pin on him. The anti-Trump camp will likely look at these pieces and focus their efforts on the man himself as opposed to any other solutions – seeing Trump as the not the symptom, but the cause. The fact of the matter is, the Post and the Southwestern Sun focus on problems that have been around longer than Trump has been in the office while USA Today focuses on some of the things Trump himself has said. All this will do is reinforce that Trump supporter in their entrenched belief that the media is out to get Trump.

The Tribune’s piece probably has the best effectiveness. It’s an issue everyone can find themselves agreeing with, college prep courses don’t fit the bill for obvious reasons. The teachers are afraid there will be a retribution if they don’t meet a graduate quota. The fact of the matter is, this is babying students for something that is tough because college is meant to train people for real-life scenarios. I was babied through these senior courses and thought I was great at biology and had what it took to be a doctor. And here I am, studying mass communications.

Each of these editorials presents a problem and personal thought. They all present a solution based off of said personal thoughts. The editorials seem to have the issue centered around their weltanschauung or world-view. But the opinions present a problem interwoven with personal experience and how it affects the individual.

USA’s piece probably has the worst effectiveness. At the bottom is a poll to gauge what readers thought. Tallying up the results as of this article’s publishment, the numbers for Agree in General: 84.86%. Neutral: .4%. Disagree in General: 14.73%. My question is how many Trump supporters who read the article ever got far enough to vote? Looking at the comments in the form of a portal to Facebook, nobody bothers taking an outreaching stance, everyone gets to a corner and preaches their piece. It’s not discussion, it was the Roman idea of rhetoric. And the Roman idea of rhetoric was not an eloquent way of putting thoughts before the plebs, but was a measuring contest of who could say the better speech. That was their idea of debate, that was what the Romans called rhetoric. No arguments and considering points, no attempt to reach your opponent halfway, just mudslinging and a shouting contest where nothing is done. Nothing but people calling each other “Drumpfkin” and “Libtard.” And what is so productive about that?

One thought on “Prompt 2

  1. Ah Jack. Don’t read the comments! At least that’s what I tell myself. The comments section of any piece is full of cowardly filth. My number one rule — if you’re too chicken to put your name on it, then don’t say it.

    I do think you’re a little harsh on the editorial concept. Journalism organizations are in a unique position to see the societal problems from a broader view. The average Joe (pun intended) does not go to city council meetings, school board meetings and interview dozens of people from across the spectrum on a daily basis.

    The interesting thing about the USA Today editorial is they have historically been a conservative-leaning publication.


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