Egyptian Aid Hiatus

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal have excessively covered the government shutdown.  When I say covered, I truly mean covered: blanketed, concealed, and layered with unnecessary details.  Publications have basically made a ‘burrito’ out of the current event.  Maybe it’s the news that I consume, but it seems as though journalists are writing the same exact thing over and over again.  It’s not just the same story over and over again, but it’s the same approach.  I understand that it’s difficult to think outside of the box and make progress when the government themselves have neglected to make any progress,

Recently, due to the government shutdown, the U.S has decided to temporarily halt “aid” to Egypt.  Aid, according to the NY Times, includes things like Apache attack helicopters, Harpoon missiles, M1-A1 tank parts and F-16 warplanes, and $260 million for the general Egyptian budget.  New York Times writers, Michael R. Gordon and Mark Landler, wrote an article entitled: “In Crackdown Response, U.S. Temporarily Freezes Some Military Aid to Egypt.”  Wall Street Journal writers, Charles Levinson and Julian E. Barnes, wrote: “U.S. Allies Fret over Shift on Aid to Egypt.”

In this article, Gordon and Landler provide a soothing and factual article.  Levinson and Barnes provide a fearful and concise article.  I am more intrigued to read the WSJ than the NY Times.

The NY Times states:

“WASHINGTON — the Obama administration on Wednesday announced a modest and temporary freeze on military assistance to Egypt…”

The WSJ; however, states:

“The U.S. decision to dial back military aid to Egypt has roused fears among Washington’s regional allies”

As shown, the WSJ takes a more panicked and action packed approach to the effects of the shutdown.   They make a seemingly dull issue come to life.  Personally, I’d much rather read Levinson and Barnes WSJ article.  It seems as though the NY Times pacifies our worries by using ineffective and simple words.  The WSJ uses words like “roused” and “fears;” whereas, NY Times uses words like “temporary,” and “modest.”  Each evokes a certain emotion and sets the tone for the entire news story.  Additionally, The NY Times article covers primarily the side of the U.S government.

The NY Times lacks one main component, one main question: What will happen when America carries out this plan?  The NY Times article declared that the U.S government is not worried and feels that there won’t be repercussions.  Nevertheless, I want to know what the possible outcomes could be.  I also think the article should interact with the national and global public.  The writers should get the opinion of both the American and Egyptian people.  Some Americans may not even care or realize the situation at hand, but I find it vital to ask and more importantly inform.  Also, the NY Times needs to get quotes from Egyptian government officials or those responsible for coordinating international aid.  The WSJ answered this question.  Levinson and Barnes write: “Cutting aid “can have dismal consequences, way beyond Egypt,” a senior Israeli official said on Wednesday. “

That’s something newspapers need to be doing more of: reaching out to the public and discovering their audience’s interests and opinions.


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