Monday, October 6, 2008

Mr. Ahmadinejad Spoke at UN General Assembly

Click on picture to view video....

On Tuesday, September 23, in his speech at the UN General Assembly, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the Zionists (referring to Israel) of "murdering" the Palestinians, of controlling the international financial system, and of being "deceitful" in a "complex" and "furtive" manner. In his speech, he also said that "Today the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse, and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool created by itself and its supporters."

I saw this first on, an Israeli news site. In her article, "Peres: Ahmadinejad's UN speech a shame," Dana Zimmerman cites Israeli President Peres' severe criticism of Mr. Ahmadinejad's words. He, in turns, attacks Iran: "Tehran combines long range missiles and short range minds. It is pregnant with tragedies."

According to Mr. Peres,
"Yesterday, on this very stage, the Iranian leader renewed the darkest anti-Semitic libel."

If you just read this article, you would definitely disagree with Mr. Ahmadinejad. You would even say that his words are terribly vicious, trying to brainwash some people. But in a dinner in New York on Thursday with around 200 people, he was making his point, that he was not against the Jews, but the Zionist party. According to Mr. Ahmadinejad, "Zionism is a political party that has nothing to do with Jewish people."

The interesting fact is that this was confirmed by Ynetnews 3 days later after his speech at UN.

I think everyone, including political leaders and journalists, have their own beliefs. Ahmadinejad might not have expressed his beliefs in the most appropriate way, and might not have clarified it during his speech that he wasn't against the Jews in general, but rather against the regime. It's hard to argue whether he was just expressing his views and beliefs, and what he really thinks is right and wrong; or he was trying to use propaganda to persuade people to believe the way he does. However, the job of the journalists is to report news correctly, not to interpret things in their own way, or using somebody else's words to tell their own views, because that person's interpretation may not be correct neither.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Local jobs available, but for whom?

Headline: Firms are hiring, but for some reason, nobody wants a job. 

In this case, it was the headline that was the red flag indicating that this article may be slanted toward the benefit of local manufacturing firms. I'd like to point out, that in no way am I the best headline writer, in fact, it is one of the journalistic duties I could improve on, however I must admit, this one made me squirm a bit. First off, the headline is way too long, granted the article was published online, I doubt it would fit nicely into a print edition of the Democrat and Chronicle. Secondly, "but for some reason" is sloppy, unnecessary to the content of the article and sends the message that Rochester locals must just be lazy, because why wouldn't they be running after these wonderful jobs? And lastly--and most importantly, "nobody wants a job," which is flat out an inaccurate assumption.

"Firms are hiring, there's plenty of room for advancement and the vast majority of positions require a two-year degree or less. And for some reason, nobody wants a job." 

This segment was written by the reporter, and in essence, all it adds up to is his opinion. What could have made it appropriate and useful to readers would be if the reporter listed examples of a few of the employment advancements that were available for employees and in what companies. Instead these two sentences sound as if they should be coming out of an employer's mouth, not the reporter covering the story. 

"'We would hire 20 people right now if we could find those who were qualified,' said Brian McMahon, vice president of MWI Inc., a graphite machining shop in Henrietta."

Bingo! So from what I could gather from this quotation and the remainder of the article is, yes--there are many jobs available, local jobs, but employers are looking for people who are specifically qualified for those positions. In other words, Rochester locals want jobs, they are looking for jobs, of course they are, but some may be running into walls if they don't have a two-year or four-year degree or do not meet the application requirements. So, instead of blaming Rochester locals for failing to seek these manufacturing positions, why not suggest how they can increase their chances of landing such jobs? Why not ask manufacturing employers those types of questions for the benefit of those people who are looking for jobs in Rochester? 

I should mention that the reporter provides a link to the companies (Optimum Business, which is only one company, so this was a little confusing) he consulted in doing the research for this story, which made the article much stronger, but I still think a little more detail in providing some application preparation should have been included, or at least considered. 

NBC sides with Biden

Palin vs. Biden: Did Debate Change Voter's Minds?

The mainstream media has been quick to point out VP candidate Sarah Palin's minimal experience and evasive answers to direct questions, especially those raised by CBS's Katie Couric. But after exceeding expectations during Thursday's vice presidential debate, Liberal news outlets had little to say about Palin's performance. Instead, they say Biden "restrained" himself to avoid seeming condescending or overly aggressive.

Friday morning, The Today's Show co-anchor Ann Curry asked Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill the following question:

"Do you think there was a double-standard at play here? Did Joe pull down his full game, and did that hurt him last night--and his ticket?"

Sen. McCaskill, an Obama supporter, responded with "I think he was being very careful. I think he was in a no-win situation. If he was too smart, he was condescending. If he was too nice, he was patronizing.

The idea that if Sen. Biden was "too smart," he'd come across as condescending is erroneous and presents a clear bias. Curry and McCaskill are diverting attention from Palin's performance and trying to provide an excuse to those who think Biden underperformed. Furthermore, this segment only provided a Democratic view point.