"Dirty Bomb" Newspaper Analysis

Essay by joannacaldasUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, February 2006

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Media, particularly newspapers, is considered to be one of the most effective ways of educating the general public on current events going on around them. However, when an incident happens that strikes the interest of the world as a whole, it is evident that the news articles produced in the different regions will differ. This is not to say that the diversity is found within the facts of the paper, as there isn't any question as to the specifics of the affair. Instead, the discrepancies are found in how the incident is presented. On June 13, 2003, radioactive material was found in a taxi in central Tbilisi, Georgia. This caused much speculation around the world with concerns arising regarding who it belonged to, and what it was to be used for. Three newspapers, "The Bangkok Post," "The San Francisco Chronicle," and the "Agence France Presse," were a few who chose to report on this story, all through an arms-length perspective.

Each outlined the event in a different way, with some putting more emphasis on the facts alone, and others relating it to the greater, and more alarming issue of terrorism. The impact these biases have on the story are evident in all 3 newspapers, affecting the final thought of the reader towards the occurrence.

The first article presented, "Agence France Presse" briefly states the progression of the event, not focusing on the danger of the "dirty bomb" or the need for concern towards it. This article did not go into depth, only mentioning the materials found in the taxi and the possible relation to terrorist activity. What's unique to this piece is the short description of what the bomb could lead to: "a low intensity blast capable of spreading toxic nuclear waste" (Agence France Presse). This short explanation furthers the...