The story by the AP is fair and offers context, including the Maryland connection. (It was also briefly in federal court in Baltimore, if I remember correctly.) But the photo chosen by WJZ to go with the story was a poor choice. The AP writer uses his/her good judgment in including signs and slogans that point to the type of speech used without continuing to be offensive. The photo, with its inclusion of the word "fags," does not.
For the most part I think that this article portrayed a rather emotional and touchy subject fairly and unbiased. It touched on both sides of the issue, although it may have quoted the anti-protesters a bit more. It provided the necessary information about the Supreme Court ruling, and the background information needed to understand it.
I do feel like the writer was borderline close to adding in the smallest bit of bias with the lead and closing. But, then again it is fact that "some may think their words are hateful" and "Had that law been passed sooner, perhaps the case may have turned out differently," so it's hard to argue that.
I also think that the photo and video used were correctly chosen. They evoke emotion, and bring ... More »
I think it lays out both sides of the story in a clear, understandable way.
This is a strange hybrid story that combines information from WJZ's reporter and the AP story. Unless you follow WJZ, it would not be clear WHO Derek Valcourt is - his name is bolded and once you get to the video, you finally find out that he's their reporter. Identification would have been better - WJZ's Derek Valcourt.... It almost feels like the video should have gone after the second paragraph - it's not clear why it's stuck lower in the piece.
It's likely the AP reporter (but ... More »
My first thought was eight justices don’t have the common sense God gave a goat,” said Albert Snyder, who says there’s now no barrier for the church and its ...
Yes. This story does a good job of putting a difficult and emotionally charged story into context and providing the background needed to understand the issues involved in the court case. It cites the reasoning behind the Supreme Court's ruling as well as the opinion of the only justice who dissented. It quotes both of the major parties in the suit, though it was not clear until I watched the embedded video whether the reporter interviewed the father himself or picked up his statements from other sources. It presents both sides of the case in an unbiased way and references other parties that have lined up on both sides of the issue. The photos of the Phelps family's signs and the Phelps quotes presented trigger a strong emotional ... More »
Yes, I think this is good journalism. The article quotes both Albert Snyder and the Westboro baptist lawyer. The article however quotes heavily form Snyder and very sparingly from any other outside experts. I would have liked to see the opinions of a couple other legal experts on both sides of the issue.
The story does a good job of showing the arguments of both sides in an issue that many people generally feel strongly against. It allows the reader to come up with their own ideas about the Westboro Baptist Church members protesting soldiers funerals as it gives a background for their justification for what they are doing, but also explaining the lives that they have affected.
I think this is a fair and balanced article. It has quotes and opinions from both sides of the issues along with quotes from Justices that voted for and against the ruling. It gives all the background of the story and shows the National implications. I don't think its possible to say whether the author agreed or disagreed with the issue, they simply state the facts and allow the quotes from both sides give the opinions.
I think this is good journalism because the objective nature of the story. It includes quotations from the protest group, the Supreme Court decision, the father of Matthew Snyder, and has examples of signs used by the protesters. The story omits one key detail -- that Matthew Snyder was not a homosexual -- but it gives a fair voice to all parties involved while, at the same time, breaking a news item. This is a good piece.
I wouldn't recommend this story, though. I don't think it's incredibly written and it isn't quite as good as some of the other stories I've read about this issue. I didn't love the lede. I think it's missing a comma, and maybe it's just a computer formatting thing, but I don't get who Gigi Barnett is..?
This is good journalism because it doesn't showcase a bias. It presents both sides of the issue and uses many quotes from the soldier's father, the judges and even a Westboro member/attorney. I find the content of this story very saddening, but it appeals to the emotions of the reader without reflecting bias, which is difficult to do. It is also very informative and presents many facts and details about the situation.
The story left several fundamental questions unanswered, and therefore, did not give adequate context for fully understanding the issues raised.
- Why was Matthew Snyder's funeral targeted by the Westboro Baptist Church? Since their signs made reference to "fags" and they have preached against homosexuality, a reader might assume that Snyder was gay. (Actually he was not gay. Church leader Phelps says the group just "checks local papers for obituaries" and picks military funerals based on geography and the possibilities for widespread publicity.)
The embeded video was particularly lacking in that it gave NO idea what the issues were for Phelps. No cause was referenced; the words "gay" and ... More »
Yes. This story is a straightforward account of a major First Amendment decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is accurate and fair, with reaction from both sides of the controversy. My only criticism is that the piece provides a fairly superficial explanation of the opinion and its legal/historical context. The context is especially important for readers to understand (even if they don't ultimately agree with) SCOTUS's reasoning.
I believe this story is balanced and offers background on the issue as well as a clear discussion of the outcome. Both sides are quoted and given a voice. The facts are presented without bias or personal commentary on the part of the author.
I thought this story was good journalism. Not only did the reporter do a good job of showing both sides of the issue, but he also used a lot of sources. Also, there was a video, which was a nice addition to the article. The author did a good job of giving background information as well. If someone was not familiar with the original story, they would understand after reading this.
I thought this was definitely good journalism and had a lot of merit and high quality writing to it. Not only did they provide a multimedia video but they also showed pictures and had a lot of sources. The reporter also went into further detail by explaining the background of the story. I also like how he complemented the story with Gigi Barnett and ended the article by showing what's in store for the future.
The story was fair and balanced, so it was good journalism in my opinion. It could have used a little more context for someone that is not familiar with the issue.
While I believe in protecting freedom of speech, speech should not be used in a way that may be terrorizing to others. I believe this church is causing fear and psychological issues for grieving families. They define terrorism.
"Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we ...
It's very professional to be sure, and it satisfies basic news requirements as conducting sufficient and thorough research and clearly relaying it. However, it's not GREAT journalism, because it doesn't take the extra step of eliciting a strong emotional reaction (not for me anyways) or of inciting any action.
Regarding both this story and the discussion of Community: It is sad that the great people who comprise 99.999% of the great American Community have been embarrassed by and subjected to the "legal rights" of the funeral protesters. Now that the Supreme Court has upheld their right of free speech, it's time that the Community of Americans fully express their outrage and shun those who are not mindful of the true American Community.
This story is good journalism. It gave some background on the funeral and the protests and stated the outcome of the SC decision. It went on to describe the arguments of both the majority and dissenting opinions. Both sides' cases were described with enough detail to avoid the appearance of bias.
The only part of the story I did not like was the very last sentence. It is not clear to me how Maryland passing the ban on picketing at funerals sooner would have changed the outcome of the SC case. Moreover, in light of the SC decision, the Maryland law would seem to be unconstitutional. The story mentioned the Maryland law, but did not give any insight into any of these related issues.
I liked the article and I think it did a good job at presenting the facts of what occurred. However, I felt that the focus did seem to be more on the side of those in favor of the court ruling. If there had been at least one other opinion that was against the court ruling, I feel the article would have been a little more balanced.