Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Historic Victory or Massive Upset?

Temple University defeated Penn State University in football on Saturday and different news outlets around the state handled the story differently.

For many in the Philadelphia area, the focus was on Temple's first victory over PSU since 1941.

For those away from the Greater Philadelphia region, the focus was on the upset and PSU's failures.

Does the story change based upon where you are and who you root for

Does this reveal a bias in our coverage? 

20 comments:

Morgan Kolakowski said...

In my opinion it is only right that the game is viewed differently depending on the area that one lives in. Each region has their own perspective and opinions of topics. One would be more focused on something that is happening near them rather than something that is occurring a few towns over. If regions close to PSU made headlines acknowledging Temple's victory, they would upset and push away their readers. It is the job of a journalist to know who their audience is and just how far their news coverage goes.

Yanuara Ramirez said...

I definitely think the story changes depending on the region. Both newspapers showed a bias by focusing their attention on either Temple or Penn State. I think it would be quite difficult to write an unbiased article about the event, not because the journalist have a certain preference, but because part of their job is to please their audience. Even though a journalist's greatest responsibility is telling the truth and not telling people what they want to hear, they have to do both in order to draw in their crowd. If a paper in an area of Penn State supporters had a huge front page article about Temple's victory, this would displease their readers to the point where they might not want to buy the paper that day. There's always more than one side to a story, and journalists should strive to show them all, but in certain cases, like when you're dealing with sports, it's important to know what your readers want to hear.

Lucas Medeiros said...

When it comes down to it, it all depends on who you are publishing the story for. People make journalism run, so journalists have to give them what they want. If the people in that area think is it an upset, then that is what their story is going to say. The way that the story is written will be different throughout the country, because of the many different views and opinions people have about it around the country. My personal opinion is that there is no such thing as an upset in the world of sports. However, if I am writing for Penn State, the only thing I am writing about is how it was an upset because that is what my readers want to hear. It all depends on the proximity.

Holly Martin said...

The media is going to try to appeal to whomever their audience is. If you're a Penn State fan, you probably will not pick up a Temple ridden News paper and vice versa. I do think that there should be a good amount of factual information that is unbiased, but it is the proximity you have to worry about to sell the story. As a journalist, I would put the headline that my area would connect with the most. In the article, I would report on all the highlights of the game from both teams. The headline is the "grabber," but the article has what I want you to know.

Alexis Turner said...

The key difference between the two articles is which facts are highlighted, but both are based off of facts from the game so they are both acceptable. The target audience for a paper affects which facts a writer will highlight in a story since writers want their stories to interest their readers. The two different headlines in this case reach out to separate fan bases: Temple fans and Penn State fans. As long as the details in the stories are accurate and portray true facts from the game, the stories both do their job of communicating news.

Jon Dowding said...

I totally agree with what the other people have said. The biggest factor in determining whether the incident was a "Historic Victory" of a "Massive Upset" is dependent upon the audience that the publication is reaching out to. The fact that Temple won the game is exactly that, a fact. That cannot be disputed no matter who you are. Nevertheless, the idea of how the game went is purely subjective to each and every individual. The only determining factor for the publication is the general reaction for the audience.

Robert Wurtenberg said...

In my opinion it all depends on exactly what area you live in or the readers that you are looking for. One thing you definitely do not want to do as a journalist is to push your readers away. You obviously want them to keep reading what it is you wrote. The game is viewed differently by the people around Temple as opposed to the people who live near Penn State.

Brooke Williams said...

The focus of the story is definitely biased depending on the location, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The journalists behind these articles are simply catering to what their audiences want to read. Penn State fans wouldn't want to read an article praising Temple, and vice versa. Both articles include true facts about the game and that's really the most important thing.

Gillian McGoldrick said...

It is important to point out that at first glance, the Sunday Patriot-News seems to be biased to their coverage of the Temple-Penn State game. But by looking closer, it can be found that both the Philadelphia Tribune and the Sunday Patriot-News are biased toward the team that is closet in proximity to their publication and audience. This shows that it is hard to spot bias when the bias agrees with what the reader believes themselves. Also, it shows the importance of filtering the media we read as objectively as possible to spot the biases we may miss otherwise.

Aiah Alkhars said...

It caters to the Audience, if no one cares about American-football in the area then this story would probably not be talked about there.

zuri hoffman said...

Technically speaking, I think showing favoritism for one team is expressing a sense of bias. Being completely unbiased would mean taking your own personal feelings, location, and all other contributors to emotion out of writing as Journalists. At the same, knowing your audience and writing what you think would appeal to to the majority is just apart of business as Journalists. To PSU the game was in fact an upset, but us it was historic win. In other newspapers the game may not have been mentioned at all. Stories do change based on where you are and who you root for, however I do not believe the newspapers differences in coverage are unethically biased as a journalists. They are more so a way for these newspapers to appeal to their target audiences.

Shane McGinley said...

Stories do change depending on the location of the newspaper. Newspapers are always striving to get the best ratings and therefore, need to write about topics that the readers will find appealing. Penn State fans will refuse to read an article about Temple's historic win because it will get nothing out if the article but pain. Instead, they want to read about an upset, to reassure themselves that in fact it was an upset and that Penn State is still the better team. This will help them get over the loss and move on with their season.
This does reveal bias in the coverage but unfortunately, that is where the media is heading. Consumers are more likely to read articles that support their own viewpoint. The newspapers understand this and realize that they will lose money if they remain objective. If the nation truly wanted an objective media, it would need to fund an alternate way to fund media companies so that they are not punished for objectivity. Until then, we will continue to see a wide variety of different, and biased, headlines.

Thomas Beck said...

The viewpoint of a story or news article depends heavily on publication location. Those from the Philadelphia region would consider Temple’s victory grand and worthy of celebration, whereas others might not see it as such. Journalism should, however, strive to report stories and occurrences in a completely objective manner. If the orchestrators of the information we consume are permitted to distort such happenings through subjectivity, who then is to say where the proverbial line should be drawn?

Ashley Paskill said...

A part of me says these various views of the game are bias. The reporters who wrote these pieces were obviously fans of the teams and saw the game as either a victory or a defeat, based on the reporter liking one team or another.
Another part of me, however, says that the writers were just writing based on what their audience thinks. A Philadelphia reader is (in most cases) more likely to be excited about Temple winning and someone writing out near Penn State's campus will be more likely to understand that the audience may be a bit upset about the defeat. It isn't bias, at least not in the form it is normally thought of.

jacqui fricke said...

I don't think anything is inherently wrong with either article. Proximity is a big part of journalism, and both of these papers just addressed the story for the area they were in. Both focused on an emotional appeal, but there was truth in both headlines. For Penn State fans, it was an upset; for Temple fans, it was a historic event. It also sells papers, for each cater to the audience they are trying to make money off of. I think it is a smart strategy for journalists, for the art is in jeopardy and they do need to cater to the people. However, when they lose truth is when there is an issue. Neither paper lied in this case, it was just an issue of location.

Jesse Atkins said...

The story definitely changes in slight ways according to the audience of the particular story. People generally have different ideas or perspectives on things if they are from different geographic areas, so it only makes sense that media outlets in those areas address said perspectives. For instance, in State College, PA, the loss to Temple is a much bigger story than a win against Temple would have been. After all, most of the nation expected PSU to win, and the Nittany Lions have done so for the last 74 years. The Penn State readers are more upset about the loss, and would be about any loss (regardless of the opponent).

Philadelphia media, however, cater to their readers by focusing on the shock factor of the win. Either way, the facts of the story do not change, so there is no harm in taking the angle that will allure the intended audience.

Anonymous said...

Bridget Cigler
The story doesn't change based on where you are, but the perspective does. Although there is a bias, sports fans are knowledgeable of their team's history, so portraying the story to appeal to a certain audience is not necessarily a negative journalistic approach. Just as Temple University Football fans are most likely aware that Temple hasn't beat Penn State since 1941 until the other day, Penn State Football fans are most likely aware that Penn State has not lost to Temple University since 1941. Therefore, whether it be reported as a historic win or an upset, fans know the history of the rivalry whether it be touched on or not. True fans know what was at risk entering the game, and dedicated Penn State fans are aware that the upset was the victory that took Temple since 1941 to achieve. Why upset the Penn State fans further by touching on the fact that this is the first in years, or how horrible their team played? They are aware, so just leave it at the fact that it was an upset. And as for Temple fans, they are aware of how historic this win was, therefore, focusing on temple as the headline is most appropriate. By using bias, in some cases such as sports, the protection of the sensitivity of the reader is being protected.

Jenna Faccenda said...

It seems biased, but it has to be according to the audience. The paper has to target its readers. The story definitely changes based on the region as well, but that all relates to its readership.

Anonymous said...

Adriana Vela

I think that the writer wrote according to the paper and the audience in those areas. Therefore thats why there are too different views. I think it good to base your story knowing your readers and audience. It will have a lot more readers and more people will read it and be able to understand it better.

James Dougherty said...

I do think that the story changes depending on where the paper is located and the audience they are trying to reach. When appealing to the different audiences and fan bases you want to do a story that will appeal to the people who root for that team. Regardless of whether it was an upset or a historic win the headlines will change because the media outlets not only want to appeal to their audience, but also help boost the confidence of the fan base that surrounds them.