What is an example of comparative newspaper coverage of one or more items?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Comparative newspaper coverage of newsworthy items describes an event in national or international society, politics, government, peace negotiations, economics or in any news category, such as science, archeology, genetics or entertainment, from different perspectives. The easiest example to illustrate this concept of comparative coverage is to compare how a Republican Party oriented newspaper might cover the announcement of the presidential candidacy of a Green Party candidate compared to how an Independent Party oriented newspaper might cover the same announcement.

We might expect the Republican perspective to point out all the questions and negative theories about the validity of global warming or of global climate change (which are not synonymous concepts) and to question their causal relationship to famines and wars, while we might expect the Independent perspective to point out the drought, famine, terrain damage and the dwindling water and ice sheet supplies and represent them as the forerunners of famines, wars and genocides.

The news agency with the Republican Party orientation and that with the Independent Party orientation would provide comparative newspaper coverage of a newsworthy item describing the event or issue from two different perspectives, that is to say, from comparative perspectives.

A recent news story that is written from comparative coverage angles (different, or comparative, perspectives) illustrates this concept through the field of science. The recent discovery of an interaction of dark matter particles with other dark matter particles (formerly thought to have zero interaction) led to several important articles. One of these reported on the discovery by emphasizing the interaction, while another emphasized the complex science that dark matter interaction leads to. The coverage from the two sources gave comparative coverage of the same news event. Specifically, the article in Phys.org emphasized the newly discovered interaction between dark matter particles, while the article in Scientific American emphasized the rich particle physics--dark mediator particles and dark energy--opened up to inquiry because of the discovery.

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Comparative newspaper coverage refers to how newspapers with different viewpoints cover a similar event. An example would be how a Republican-leaning newspaper would have described the New Deal programs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt compared to how a Democratic-leaning newspaper would have covered these programs.

The Republican-leaning newspaper might have focused on the increased role of the federal government in our economy. They would have highlighted the growing debt and would have questioned whether these programs were really helping solve the problems of the Great Depression. 

A Democratic-leaning newspaper would have focused on how the government stepped in and provided relief to the American people while putting reforms in place to prevent another Great Depression from occurring. This newspaper would have suggested that the help that was provided to Americans was worth the cost and the debt the government incurred. This newspaper would have described the role of the federal government as being one of a safety net.

Another example of comparative coverage is how sportscasters hired by a team would cover events and situations involving the team and its players compared to how the reporters for a newspaper, hired by the newspaper, would cover those same events or situations. The newspaper reporters might give a more objective and balanced review of a specific situation than the sportscasters hired by the team. Since the sportscasters could be fired if they portrayed the team and its players poorly, they might be less willing to provide negative coverage of the team, even if it is accurate coverage.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that more detail might be needed in the question.  It seems that there is much in way of exploration in this topic and providing a bit more guidance could allow strong answers and thoughts to emerge.  For example, identify a topic and examine how different news outlets cover it.  A good instance of this might be the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Is there a difference in how different organizations cover this event?  For example, is there a difference in how the Wall Street Journal and Mother Jones assesses the role of BP in this crisis?  I think being able to explore how a given topic is covered by different organizations whose political and economic leanings reflect different philosophical belief systems can detail how point of view biases are evident in the reporting of common news events.

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