Case Study 8: Stories should present readers with the whole picture

28 Mar

These two stories obviously had an agenda. They both received their information from the same source and poll but interpreted it very differently. Actually, it is quite fascinating how two stories written from the same basic facts can end up being such polar opposites. It is obvious that both writers used for certain information from the study to prove their point. The first story wanted to show that the Afghan people are optimistic about everything, so the writer looked for information in the study to back that notion up. The second story, however, did not think that Afghans were truly happy with the direction of their country, so the writer pulled outside information that would discredit the notion in the first story.

Personally, I preferred the second story. While I am not too informed about Afghanistan, I do know that the second story was much easier to read and understand. It also showed me the bigger picture. As I reader, I felt like I understood more from the second story. I like that the second story gave me context on the issue. I thought that was something that the first story was definitely lacking. Also, there were a lot of statistics from the poll. Instead of listing them in bullet points like the first story, the second story tried to summarize main ideas and included a visual graphic. That was also extremely helpful as a reader trying to understand the situation in Afghanistan.

Compiled Story:

Poll reveals Afghan’s true feelings on their country

A new extensive nationwide survey released Wednesday polls the Afghan people concerning their feelings about their country. While the numbers from this year seem to reveal that the people of Afghanistan are optimistic about the future of their country, numbers are actually down. When compared to the 2004 survey, Afghans actually have less confidence that the country is heading in the right direction.

While the national mood remains positive on the whole, the number of people with negative or mixed views on the trajectory of the country has grown significantly since a similar survey in 2004, according to the Asia Foundation, which conducted both surveys.

“The number of Afghans who feel optimistic is lower than on the eve of the 2004 presidential elections,” the survey found.

It was the largest opinion survey conducted in Afghanistan. In it, 44 percent of Afghans interviewed said the country was headed in the right direction, compared with 64 percent in 2004 on the eve of the first democratic presidential elections in Afghanistan. Twenty-one percent said the country was headed in the wrong direction — compared with 11 percent in 2004 — and 29 percent had mixed feelings. Four percent were unsure. Security was the main reason for the increased concern, the survey said.

Financed by the United States Agency for International Development, the survey was conducted by the Asia Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, and by local partners, who interviewed more than 6,000 people from June through August this year in rural and urban areas of all but two of Afghanistan’s provinces.

The main goal of the survey was to determine the attitudes of Afghans toward the political process, public policy and development progress. The national mood was almost identical across the different ethnic groups, but varied according to region.

Security was the main source for optimism among those who said the country was headed in the right direction. But among those who expressed pessimism, more than half said the biggest problem was a lack of security, the Taliban threat and warlords. Indeed, two southern provinces were excluded from the survey due to extreme security problems.

Respondents listed the economy and unemployment as other big issues. Fifty-four percent said they felt more prosperous than they had under the Taliban, but 26 percent said they felt less well off.

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One Response to “Case Study 8: Stories should present readers with the whole picture”

  1. Ronald R. Rodgers March 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    These two stories obviously had an agenda. They both received their information from the same source and poll but interpreted it very differently. ACTUALLY NOT – NYT HAD TWO POLLS

    As I reader, I felt like I???

    A new extensive nationwide survey released Wednesday polls the Afghan people concerning their feelings about their country. While the numbers from this year seem to reveal that the people of Afghanistan are optimistic about the future of their country, numbers are actually down. When compared to the 2004 survey, Afghans actually have less confidence that the country is heading in the right direction. THIS IS NOT REALLY A LEAD – IT IS LIKE “THERE WAS A POLL CONDUCTED” RATHER THAN GETTING DIRECTLY TO THE NEWS – THE RESULTS

    WHERE IS YOUR CREDIT LINE??

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