Many scholars have been quoted trying to assert the role of the media in a numbers of dichotomies, some providing us with assessment models, which are either, proven or still on the piloting stage. Nordenstreng, Christians, Glasser and Mcquail’s model provide us with one of such proven models; a model in which they argue the role of the media in frameworks of five paradigms namely; Liberal-individualistic paradigm, Social responsibility paradigm, Cultural Negotiation Paradigm, Administrative Paradigm, and lastly Critical Paradigm (Fourie, 2002). In as much as one might tries to assess the role of the media it is also imperative to assess the type of information that the media makes available to the public based on the type of information, the commentary by the media associated with the story putting into consideration the impact of the story on the public readers, any bias prevalent, how the information is captured for instance if there is any video provided, whether readers are allowed to comment of the story among other uncountable facets. It is in the premises of assessing the information provided by the media that this document lies with close reference to a news article on CNN website about the skirmishes in Libya.
The article was done by CNN wire staff on the and talks about the raging war in Libya which is one of the Arab countries that have been worse hit by the protests that ensued after a graduate decided to burn himself because there was no employment. The article tells us that UN diplomat are set to meet in the country’s capital try and find the much needed middle way to end the strife in the country. However, according to my opinion, the article was not particularly accurate basing my argument on the fact that the article did not provide a solid background especially on the part of the cause of the strife. Fine enough, the article at least was sufficient enough to answer the assessing questions who, what, where, when, how, whose answers could be easily obtained from reading the article. To make the story more vivid, the writers included a link to a video captured for a scene related to the story. Though there is no tangible indefinable bias, at least there was a bias in how the site captured other stories. Some of the stories on the site did not have video link or links to other related stories as compared to the Libya story which had one video link. To assess the efficiency of CNN as an information disseminator, articles related to the CNN article on Libya published by other players in the information dissemination field in relatively the same period were put into consideration. An article published on FoxNews based on the strife in Libya during the same period did not have a video link except for a single picture of a rebel fighter. Notably, there was only one comment by a reader in response to the article. On the contrary, there were inclusions FoxNews page article boasts of direct quotes by eyewitnesses, inclusions that not only prove the authenticity of the information in the article but also provide readers with crucial first hand information about the case obtainable only through eyewitnesses. Closely related to the CNN article an article Microsoft National Broadcasting Company, MNBC, which apart from having video links, also had pictures from the scene. The article had about 260 comments. Just like CNN, the MNBC article also had directory links to other sites like tweeter and facebook. From the above analogy of the three cites, it is inevitable to say the CNN and MNBC are relatively more efficient than FoxNews. Conversely, the above analogy is not sufficiently justified to make such sensitive conclusions.
Another outstanding positive attribute of the CNN article is that it had a provision for readers’ comments, Considering that reading, an active process which is also an act of participation in a discourse by the readers, involves partial use of available language cues in story, confirmable tentative decisions and refined comments can only be made by readers if only they understand the content of a piece of information. Hence, if readers are allowed to comment on a piece of article like this one, writers can gauge their ability to disseminate accurate and relevant information with regard to the accuracies of the comments posted by readers after reading an article. Inaccurate comments suggest that the reader did not understand the information with suggestions that maybe the language was too sophisticated, and again, the number or comments by different readers can also give an insight to the reaching ability of the media firm- awful few or no comment at all confirms that the article was not read by many. Commentary after an article can provide clues to a person who just wants to skim through an article about the underlying theme of the article if not to supply one with extra information. Further, future articles by writers can be determined by the comments that have been posted with reference to a running article. On reading the comments directed to the article on the CNN website, I get to understand other readers think the strife in Libya was caused by reasons far beyond the hunger of a change in regime. This is just one of the conclusions that one can draw from reading the comments and relating them to the article.
CNN Wire Staff. (2011,April 9). Diplomats talk amid fierce fighting in key Libyan city. CNN.
Fourie, P. (2008). Media Studies: Media History, Media and Society. Cape Town: Juta and
FoxNews. (2011, April 08). Fighting Between Qaddafi Forces, Opposition Escalates in Rebel
Held City. Associated Press. Retrieved from
Msnbc. (2011, April 9).Gadhafi forces advance toward key Libyan city. Microsoft National
Broadcasting Company. Retrieved from