Mall Hostage in Kenya (WSJ v. NYT)

The premise of the Wall Street Journal article establishes an effort to free the Nairobi mall hostages.  Part of the introduction includes, “Government security forces on Monday pushed into a Nairobi shopping mall.” Thus, Vogt emphasizes the safety of the hostages and the life or death situation at hand.  The article proceeds to discuss the policies and plans that will expectantly free the Kenyan hostages.

The idea behind the New York Times article involves infiltrating a major assault on the “militants” or the bad guys.  The introduction includes, “Kenyan forces moved in for a major assault.”  Unlike the WSJ article, the NY Times article neglects to provide sympathy and, instead, provides retaliation.

Both articles portray the event accurately, yet both articles establish their own vision of the issue at hand.  Additionally I underlined one word which I felt stuck out in each introduction. In the WSJ article, Vogt used the word ‘pushed.’  In the NY Times article, Gettleman and Kulish use the word ‘moved.’  Both words convey, essentially, the same meaning; however when placed in this context, the words express different emotions.  In the given situation, ‘pushed’ conveys a more forceful and combat like meaning.  ‘Moved’ represents an effortless and petty meaning.

The NY Times article states, “The Shabab, a militant group in Somalia that has killed countless civilians with suicide bombs, has claimed responsibility for this attack and boasted of its prowess in a barrage of Twitter messages.”  After that sentence, the article goes on to discuss the past and present violent nature of the group.  If that sentence remains, Gettleman and Kulish need to provide a link to the Twitter messages or at least provide some quotes obtained from the group’s twitter account.  Like it or not, social media is a crucial aspect of, not just, news corporations, but of all corporations and companies.

The NY Times mentions, “But the assault was the deadliest terrorist attack in Kenya since the 1998 Qaeda truck bombing of the American Embassy in Nairobi, which killed more than 200 people.”  Although I feel like I can trust the NY Times and other new sources, I feel like I cannot trust this statement.  I want to know where the writers obtained this information.  I need to know if they obtained it from a person, an online site, a book, or their own head.  Even if the information listed is true, the writer needs to provide two important words before the sentence: According to…

In both of the articles, the Kenyan military was not prepared to release the full extent of the events and the details regarding who/whom is behind all of the destruction.  Regardless, I think that both articles did a fine job working with what they had.  When they were unable to state details and facts, they provided quotes.  For instance, the WSJ article states:

“Meanwhile, Kenya’s military, which was taking part in the counterassault on the mall, confirmed that the assailants came from a number of countries, although an official declined to disclose details in a briefing with reporters on Monday.

“We have an idea who these people are, and they are clearly a multinational collection from all over the world,” said Maj. Gen. Julius Karanja, the chief of general staff for the Kenyan military.”


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