Thursday, February 26, 2009

Swartz introduces new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz


 Jon Swartz, Writer for USA TODAY, delivers an article about the new changes that are expected to come from Yahoo since the appointment of a new CEO, Carol Bartz. The summary lede introduces Bartz in an interesting way while delivering significant news, saying that CFO Blake Jorgensen is leaving as a result of new CEOBartz. Swartz does an effective job at neutrally describing the effects of Bartz, but uses words such as "hard-charging"  and "direct manner" to describe Bartz demonstrate a tone that Swartz uses to relay Bartz.           

I think the title is slightly misleading, however, as "Yahoo CFO leaving as new CEO prepares shake-up" makes it seem as if the article will talk all about the CFO's departure. The article, instead, is all about the changes that Yahoo will undergo in order to correct "Yahoo's flagging financial performance and stock price."

            Swartz does not really get any sources for the article, but instead pulls most of his information from Bartz's blog posts. His only direct source is Kevin Lee, the CEO of Didit, a company that does work with Yahoo. I don't think I would have chosen Lee as a source, as his pertinence to the issue is not very clear to me. 

            At the end of the article, I am left feeling that the tone is skeptical of Bartz's abilities in bringing Yahoo the success and change that she promised.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jefferson Graham is Informative About New High-Def Cameras


In the USA TODAY article titled "Small cameras deliver big on high-definition video," writer Jefferson Graham delivers an informational article about the new appeal of handheld, digital cameras. The article begins with a summary lede, covering all of the crucial facts. The first sentence, in my opinion, is the perfect lede as it sums up the general theme of the article. Graham stays very neutral throughout the entire article, never editorializing the topic. 

It is clear that thorough research of the issue is conducted, as there are a multitude of facts and statistics about camera sales, and their projected sales. The sources that Graham uses are effective and help give credibility to his points. Almost all of his information is credited, as it should be. (exception is one statistic that he doesn't attribute to any source)

His background on last years camera sales coming to a halt and falling behind in the fourth quarter, his discussion of camera manufacturers' plans to make cameras with high-definition video capabilities, and his coverage of new, attractive features on cameras give a thorough and complete overview of the issue and help to make it understandable to readers. 

Overall, the organization and use of sources (such as Chris Chute-analyst at market tracker IDC, Chuck Westfall-Canon technical manager) and statistics allow him to effectively deliver an unbiased report on a release of new-age cameras.

Monday, February 23, 2009

USA TODAY Personal Tech Writer Points Out the Negativities of Facebook


In the article titled "How to make the most of social networking on Facebook" by Edward C. Baig falls short of merely a how-to-socialize-on-Facebook article. Instead, it ends up pointing out the faults of Facebook through it's attempted tips. Throughout the article, Baig highlights ways to personalize your Facebook account in a safe way, but while doing so he develops a tone that almost makes a mockery of the social network. 

As Facebook underwent a lot of criticism last week for changing their Terms of Use to full ownership of any information put on Facebook, they decided to change back to their original policy. Baig shares advice like "familiarize yourself with the privacy options," "think long and hard about the information you reveal in your profile," which are neutral and helpful. However, he also points on that Facebook's filtering and organization policies about thing such as wall-to-wall feeds "need fixing."

Finishing with a voice that trivializes the network, despite having an account himself, Baig  questions the purpose to having a Facebook in the first place. After saying three criteria to consider when uploading information ("would you be upset if your mother saw it? would you be upset if the most nefarious person you ever heard about saw it? would you be upset if it was on the front page of USA TODAY?), Baig concludes his article questioning the worth of Facebook and makes his negatively-skewed perspective clear. "What good is a social network if you're too timid to be social?"

A few notes:
-NO qutoes---disappointing and, in my opinion, makes the article lose credibility as everything is Baig's personal input (he does, however, indirectly quote a Facebook friend and CEO)
-Summary lede--it addressed the "who," "what," "why," "how," (where is not relevant)
-Good use of numbers and statistics to put the information into understandable yet intriguing terms