WSJ v. NY Times-Syria Tribulations

The NY Times article, “Listing Demands, Assad Uses Crisis to His Advantage,” takes on an opinionated tone.  Written by Robert F. Worth, this article explains Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s stance on Obama’s potential strike on Syria.  The writer’s view overshadows audience member’s perspectives in this piece by implementing too much personal characterizations and uneasy wording.  It is a beneficial tactic for journalist to establish their own writing style.  Establishing a unique writing style provides for a captivating article because it lets the readers know that the writer is actually interested in what they are writing.  Also this tactic may lead into what is referred as multimedia storytelling.  However, I feel that Robert Worth took this piece too far, conveying a bias approach.   Worth writes, “Not long ago, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria seemed a remote and embattled figure.”  According to information collected in a recent CNN article, the Syrian civil war has been going on for two years now and has taken the lives of over 100,000 Syrians.  During this time, the media has categorized President Assad as the bad guy who has ‘allegedly’ authorizes some of the attacks.  Never have I read that he is distant or tormented by the civil war.  The writer characterizes President Assad’s Thursday interview with a Russian TV station as demanding.  Worth writes, “Mr. Assad outlined his demands on Thursday.”  On the contrary when president Obama is interviewed, the NY Times uses the word ‘plans’ instead of ‘demands.’  The president of Syria is no saint by any means, however; I believe that Worth as well as other journalists and media sources has put a bias spin on the Syrian controversy.  Worth also states, “Mr. Assad, sounding relaxed and confident, hinted in his interview.”  Although this characterization may very well be true, I don’t think it was needed.  Due to the content of the rest of the article, these adjectives put an unnecessary vision of who the Syrian president is in heads of the American people.  We, as the readers, should be able to deceiver our own vision of the president, instead of having someone else do it for us.

The WSJ article, “Disarmament Talks Begin on Shaky Ground,” is published by jay Solomon.  This article is straight and to the point.  Unlike the previous article, I found there to be no elaborate characterizations or bias viewpoints.  I enjoyed this article because it systematically laid out event by event.  Additionally, it stated the facts, not opinions and provided a fair share of quotes from each side.  The premise of Solomon’s article describes U.S secretary of state, John Kerry, and Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, plans to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons.  The article also incorporates President Assad’s agreement to participate in the international treaty banning the chemical weapons.  Solomon puts an emphasis on the word ‘uncertain’ in the WSJ article.  Solomon states, “uncertain pledge by President Bashar al-Assad to join the international treaty.”  Solomon adds, “It wasn’t clear if the Syrian leader was putting forward conditions for a deal or trying to project defiance to a domestic audience.”  At first I was a bit apprehensive on this word choice, however; the writer provides enough evidence to back up the ‘uncertainty’ of the situation.


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