Those in the business of media publishing have an extremely delicate job. No matter what you publish, someone will agree, while others will read in disgust, or simply not care. Writers for newspapers and news outlets have a densely diverse crowd of people to please, all wanting to hear about the latest drama, violence and worldly decisions happening in their home towns, and around the globe, while touching on certain topics, and staying clear of others. Religion is often a touchy subject when being presented to the public eye.
If we lived in a world of nontheistic readers, journalists would have a much easier job, but unfortunately, the human race is chalk full of opinionated people, who have their own pre-set ideas about religion in all its forms. In comparing these pieces of journalism we can separate words of judgement and true fact, revealing the opinionated societies of the world. The two articles up for comparison are titled “Google will not remove anti-Islam film from YouTube following White House request for review” ,published on September 15th, 2012 from FoxNews. com, and from CTVnews.
ca, the very same story was published September 16th, titled “Google refuses to take down anti-Muslim clip”. Both articles share the topic of an anti-Muslim film that was recently published in the United States and Middle Eastern countries such as India and Egypt. The video was created with the intent to insult the Muslim community, and create a false image of Muslim-Islam people, from the perspective of an Anti-Muslim, Christian writer/producer. Titled, “Innocence of Muslims”, it attempts to depict the prophet Muhammad as a potential pedophile, and Islam people to be “fake”.
It has falsified Muslim people, what they believe in, and what they stand for, and has caused an overall global outrage, especially in heavily Muslim populated countries. Since the first publication of the video, many speculations of the videos intended purpose have been made. No matter which way you look at it, the video is offensive, and false in many senses, and countries throughout the world are taking different approaches on ways to handle the publication of this Muslim defacing video.
In countries indirectly effected by the video, like Canada and the USA, the video has remained public, available on a variety of sites, the most popular being YouTube. On the contrary, in countries directly affected and offended by the publication like Egypt, Libya and India have been blocked from viewing the video on YouTube, and many other publication sites. The two published articles, from Fox News. com and CTVnews. ca, focus on the requests from within the White House for Google to remove the video “Innocence of Muslims” in both Canada and the United States, both of which were refused by Google and YouTube. Coverage
Both chosen articles were accessed from an online news database, and were not published in any printed form from the same sources. Finding both articles was not as easy as going to the homepage and making a selection, for both articles on CTV. ca and Foxnews. com; I had to search for the specific topic of “religion in the news”. Looking at the CTV. ca article “Google refuses to take down anti-Muslim clip”, there is one picture of a protest, where several Muslim are gathered together, all appearing to be yelling, with their hand up, point to the sky, or possible holding up one finger, as to symbolize “number one”. The same story from foxnews.
com, titled “Google will not remove anti-Islam film from YouTube following White House request for review”, also has a picture, a frame from a video that can be accessed on their website. The picture includes what looks to be a car set on fire, with some sort of armed men in the back ground. The similarity of these pictures is that they both insinuate violence, and suggest that the results of this anti-Muslim clip and where it can be accessed has caused an outrage in the Muslim community. The titles of both articles are bolded, lengthy and not completely capitalized, and are both negative, using words like “refuses”.
Neither article was very long, and got right to the point, stating the important facts that would matter to the available audience. I imagine that in a printed newspaper, that neither of these would have made front page, given the difficulty I had attempting to find the selected stories. First Impressions “Google will not remove anti-Islam film from YouTube following White House request for review” This title is neither excited nor brief, leaving little to the imagination for the reader. The entire point of the article is stated, minus a few details, in the headline, making it wordy and very unappealing to the reader.
The first paragraph/sentence of the article insinuated that Google’s refusal to remove “Innocence of Muslims” in North America has sparked acts of violence across the Middle East and North Africa. This introduction to the issue being addressed in the article gives a very negative outlook on not only Google, but the citizens of the Middle East and North Africa, regarding their actions towards the video clip, using words like “raging”. The overall message received as the reader is that the situation at hand is not positive whatsoever, relying on the violence and dismay from Muslim people to really emphasise the negativity of the situation.
“Google refuses to take down anti-Muslim clip” The title of this article is less wordy than the other piece; it gives away the overall message of the story, without giving everything away. The situation being explained is defined at a “refusal” by some parts, resulting in “restrictions” for others, which again gives a negative outlook on the rest of the article to follow. Unlike the first article, the opening in this piece does not use specific names of countries being restricted; it instead uses the clever word play of “certain countries”, to avoid offending anyone.
The violence that has resulted because of Google’s choices is not exactly defined in the title or opening, but is instead foreshadowed by the use of words like “restricting” and “anti-Muslim”, which both suggest a negative vibe, that will be explained later in the article. Language The language used in both articles is extremely negative, with the words “refuses”, “raging”, and “restricted” being repeated several times. These words are just the tip of the ice berg that, which reveals more use of strong, harsh words and sentences regarding YouTube’s “standards” and “guidelines” for uploading videos.
There are not so much stereotypes made in either article, but more so generalizations of groups of people and their actions. As we have previously discussed, using the term “Middle East” to describe the Muslim citizens in Egypt, India, Libya and surrounding countries is neither correct or polite. It is the same as Canadians preferring “Canadians” over “North Americans”, we do not appreciate generalizations like that, and yet both the Canadian and American sourced articles use the term “Middle East”. The foxnews. com article touches more on the politics of the situation, being from the United States.
This article speaks of the United Embassy, and the Obama administration, while the CTVnews. ca article stays away from mentioning the United States politics and government figures, to stay more on the topic about Google and the fact that the video is still viral, as it is a Canadian source, and we have not been directly affected like the United States. The topic of religion feels awkwardly avoided throughout both pieces. The mention of Muslims and their dismay from the video is displayed many times, but not in terms of their religion, more so the violence they have caused from the insults displayed in “Innocence of Muslims”.
All in all, both pieces run a very negative, assertive tone, along with the awkward avoidance of religion, even though religion plays a huge role in the whole existence of this issue. Sources In the foxnews. com article, many sources are identified, including the United States president, Barak Obama, Press Secretary Jay Carney, and Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton. The quotes from these people display a use of fact, but also opinion, which makes sense, as they are representing the government that was attacked by Islam/Muslim people during protests, so they somewhat deserve to have an opinion on the situation.
On the other hand, the CTVnews. ca article does not include political opinions or arguments, being from a Canadian source, we do not have any political ties to the event at hand. Together, both articles contain statements from both YouTube and Google spokespeople, outlining their guidelines and standards regarding public videos and their contents. The spokespeople from both groups display their standpoint in the situation very politely and to the point, to avoid preference over one side to another between the United States and Muslim populated countries, making it clear that “different opinions” may be expressed on their websites.