Analysis: “Pat McCormick, ‘No on 66/67’ Man, Is Chicken”

I recently read an article posted on the Portland Mercury‘s daily blog, Blogtown. After finishing the article I instantly connected the content and layout of the post to many key points that were discussed in class and in chapter eight of the Harrower reading’s. The post does an excellent job of combining many media platforms to achieve a very interactive post that also has a local focus.

The content of the article struck me as being relevant to the evolving nature of online reporting. The focus of the post is on the paper’s attempt to get an endorsement interview with Pat McCormick regarding his stance on measures 66/67. Because McCormick decided to decline giving an endorsement interview, the Mercury‘s interview with his opposition, Steve Novick, was accompanied with a cut out picture of McCormick placed on top of a chicken’s body. The post further discusses the reasoning behind McCormick making the decision not the grant the Mercury an endorsement interview.

This somewhat immature, but also humorous stance on the Mercury’ reaction to McCormick declining the endorsement interview is a good representation of the freedom journalist have within blogs. The online platform allows the author, Matt Davis, to transcend many professional rules that may have hindered his writing style. Because these rules are loosely regulated within blogs, Davis is able to voice his opinion on McCormick in a freer way. It can be argued that if Davis worked for a news organization ten years ago, this article may have never been run.

The other reason I chose this article was because it incorporated many of the techniques discussed in chapter 8 of Harrower’s Inside Reporting. When scanning the post, it is instantly apparent that Davis uses quite a few forms of modern media to provide explanation, context and entertainment for his post.

Links are incorporated into the article without overwhelming the reader, while also providing enough information so that the content of the post is completely understood. Two links offer background information that give explanation as to why the content was being posted. Another link is used to help prove a point that would otherwise take quite a bit of time to explain. The fourth link is used to provide background information on a lobbyist being featured in the post.

Aside from the links, Davis also uses a picture as well as a video to add interest to the post. The video is something that allows the readers to actually view what Davis was talking about in the article. Rather than the reader having to imagine what Davis is explaining, they can fully understand and see the setting of the interview between Novick and the chicken with McCormick’s face on it. This accompaniment of Davis’ article being complemented by the video is something that was not possible ten years ago.

Finally this post has a comment section. Although the comment section has only four posts (I’m guessing it’s because a small minority reads Blogtown), the ability to include further discussion on a polarized issue is available. Where readers would read an article in the past and be left to mull the position taken by the author alone, the reader can now scroll down and see how other readers reacted to the same piece.

The comment section, among the many other features used by Matt Davis, really displays the improvements that are being made within reporting the news. This integration of modern media is something that appears to be the current norm and is something that all journalist must fully comprehend before entering the world of reporting.

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1 Response to Analysis: “Pat McCormick, ‘No on 66/67’ Man, Is Chicken”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Multimedia content is a boon to publications like the Mercury. As an alt weekly, their role as an irreverent news source is crucial to the Portland news scene. Providing content that combines humor and serious information is a great way to pull in readers who might not otherwise read about the Oregon special election.

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