In Jada Smith’s NYT article “’Environmental Poisoning’ of Iraq Is Claimed” originally published in The New York Times on March 26th, 2014, Smith, who has a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from Howard University and has written for TNYT for the past 7 years, shares the story of and Advocacy group called Right to Heal trying to get reparations for the ‘thousands of people’ suffering from the ‘environmental poisoning’ of Iraq. The article also mentions the burn pit ban which is included in the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act. Right to Heal is also said to be calling for more studies, financing for health centers, and registries to be created that track birth defects and cancers related to the burn pits.This article is biased with no comments or accounts from the other side of the issue. It is intended for the general public and therefore uses plain English. The passage contains mostly past tense as it is a telling of events after everything had expired with some present tense with the current Right to Heal message to the U.S. government. There are only two places that have future tense throughout the entire article and both are found in the concluding two paragraphs which fits with the positive looking toward the future note the author ended on. Even though this was reading was written with personal accounts there are only a few pronouns used. She/he pronouns are used after the witness quotes and occur five times, along with the word ‘said’ which was used eight times. We/our pronouns appear in the witness quotations and the concluding paragraphs. They/them is used only three times when referring to Right to heal whereas the word ‘called’ and ‘calling’ are used five times to describe the way they are requesting studies and funding. ‘Health’ was said seven times throughout the article which ties back to the main topic and fits in with the rest of the text.
The entire article is full of logos appeals which take up most of the article. Smith uses data and research findings to show her side of the argument. The largest example of logos in the text is when it is said that “the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academies, said not enough data existed to conclude that pollution from the burn pits had caused any long-term health problems. But it conceded that five or more of the chemicals detected at the Joint Base Balad pit could lead to cancer, anemia, and liver, kidney, heart and respiratory problems. The chemicals can also harm the brain and reproductive system, the study found”. Using this data helps the author persuade by simultaneously appealing to pathos by creating the feeling of pity. Pathos is used heavily in the descriptive words and phrases such as ‘armed’ to make the Right to Heal seem more powerful, ‘thousands of people suffering’, ‘environmental poisoning’, and ‘laced with toxic substances’. Ethos is appealed to in the text when the author quotes the findings of the Institute of Medicine, Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist, and a few others. The kairotic moments in the article fall in line with the appeals to pathos and many current issues are talked about.
In Campbell Robertson and Leslie Kaufman’s article “Oil Leaks Could Take Months to Stop” originally published in The New York Times on April 25th, 2010, Robertson and Kaufman, who co-authored the article and has been a journalist for The NYT for the last 16 years, give an early account of events after the company, British Petroleum, had a deepwater well rig sink. The flow was at 42,000 gallons being released into the Gulf of Mexico and response teams were talking about and taking three routes to stop the flow and clean up what oil had already reached the surface.
This news article is unbiased and reads more like a chain of events ending with predictions of the future. It is intended for the public to inform them of current problems and is written in plain English. There are a few reoccurring words that appear through the text like, ‘spill’ was used six times, and ‘oil’ being used seventeen times. The fact that spill was used less and not the same amount of time as oil is surprising since the main idea was the oil spill that occurred. There were many references to people and things that they have been saying in the coverage of this story and so it is not surprising that the word ‘said’ is used twelve time. Another other reoccurring word that is noteworthy is ‘officials’ which was used six times throughout the text while ‘experts’ and ‘authorities’ also appeared once each. . It is unusual that Robertson and Kaufman do not say who exactly these officials are which makes the article feel less credible. The last two words the reoccur that are interesting is the words ‘would’ and ‘could’ both were used seven and eight times. This article is mentioning a lot of hypothetical scenarios that could take place and what would happen if they did which explains the repetitive use of the words.
The small number of pronouns used throughout the artice fit in with the telling of events style of writing. Only she/he was used five times and we/us was used five times as well with three uses of they/them. The new article also has quite a few present and many past tense examples throughout the text. This article is written after the initial accident and therefore stays mostly in the past but references things happening at the time and things that were being put in to place so there was a mixture of it all throughout the text. It had a good amount of jumping back and forth between the three to keep the reader interested through to the end.
Throughout the entire new article there are many examples of logos as there is lots of data used to draw conclusions. An example of this is when Robertson and Kaufman say that “At the rate of 42,000 gallons of oil a day, the leak would have to continue for 262 days to match the 11-million-gallon spill from the Exxon Valdez in 1989, the worst oil spill in the United States history”. The reference to the Exxon Valdez shows how serious the deepwater well spill was being taken and that they were expecting the worst. Ethos is appealed to a few times throughout the article as well. Doug Suttles who is the chief operating officer for “exploring and production at BP” is quoted as well as Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry how is the commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District, and Doug Helton a “fisheries biologist who coordinated oil spill response for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration”. Pathos is appealed in this article when the authors use words and phrasing such as ‘gush of oil’, ‘emanating’, and ‘dead animals’. The big kiarotic moment in the new article is when the authors say that “Sea life that congregates at the surface and has no mobility of it’s own – like plankton and fish eggs – is the most venerable to the slick. A large-scale destruction of eggs could affect fish populations in the future. Officials are monitoring the environmental effects of the spill by boat and planes. “It will be more severe over time,” Mr. Helton said”. The spill was large enough that there could have been lasting effects that could have decimated sea life and wreaked havoc on the ecosystems that they live in.
In Edward Wong’s NYT article “Spill in China Underlines Environmental Concerns” originally published in the New York Times on March 2nd, 2013, Wong, who graduated from the University of Virginia and California as well as currently studying at Harvard and has been a journalist for The NYT for over 18 years, tells the events of a spill in the Changzhi providence from the company Tianji, that was originally reported by the company to be 7.5 tons smaller than it actually was. The company Greenpeace is conducting research and fighting against polluting companies in China like Tianji.
The article is aiming to inform the public and is written in plain English. This article stays closely unbiased in an effort to explain the events but leans in favor of Greenpeace and away from the polluting companies. The article used the word ‘pollution’ or ‘polluting’ eight times, but it used the word ‘water’ nineteen. The word ‘spill’ was used twelve times and the word ‘river’ was used seven. While it is not surprising that all of these words were used to many times it does feel like some of them should have has a closer amount of uses since the words go together when talking about a river spill that is polluting the water. One word stood in the text even though it was only used twice. When talking about Tianji and its coal-to-chemicals process that “results in large amounts of wastewater that is supposed to be treated and contained”. By saying ‘supposed to’ it creates a sense of doubt in the reader that the company is doing their job and not just releasing the polluted water back into the rivers. A similar thing is said about the company later when Wong states that it “dumps more than six million tons of wastewater per year … that is supposed to drain into a receptacle”, which paints the company in a bad light without the author having to outright claim that they are no treating the water and containing it but just dumping it back into the river to down towards the nearby villages that use the river as a drinking source.