Elian Gonzalez Essay, Research Paper
In comparing newspaper articles on the same topic, The Chicago Tribune, New
York Times, and the Washington Times, the bias of the author becomes evident. After analyzing three papers I saw that most authors have let personal believes interfere with the true reporting of the facts. Almost Every media outlet I reviewed had its opinions, preferences, and prejudices. The New York Times reported few facts and seemed more like a sales pitch than an article. The author favored Elians stay in the United States and made it clear in his article. The Washington Times presented many of the facts but again attempted to influence the reader s opinion. The Washington Times article was
Also very biased towards Cuba. The Chicago Tribune article covered every aspect of the
Story. It was the most informative article and presented the most facts.
Elian Gonzalez and twelve other people including his mother boarded a small
Boat, headed to the United States, seeking freedom. On their journey, they encountered
Rough seas, which caused their boat to sink. Elian was placed on an inner tube by his
Mother, she told him, Stay here and don’t move, you will be saved”. Many of the
Passengers including Elian’s Mother and Stepfather drowned. Elian was found two days
Later floating 3 miles from Pompano Beach (in the same inner tube that his mother had
Placed him in). The fishermen who found Elian reported that Elian was surrounded by
Dolphins, who were protecting him from the shark infested waters. Elian had not eaten for two days and was later taken to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. He was thought to Be suffering from dehydration and mild hypothermia. His current situation is as follows: Elian is currently in the custody of his uncle. Elian wishes to stay in the U.S., but Elian’s Father and Fidel Castro demand that he be returned to Cuba. +lan s situation has captured International attention.
The Chicago Tribune article presented this story best. The article provided the
Reader with every aspect of the story. The Chicago Tribune did not
Attempt to persuade the reader in any way. It was the only article that presented facts
And let the reader decide. At no point throughout the article did the author become biased toward a certain side. The author went as far as to include two opinion polls, one from ABC, and another from the South Sentinel South Florida, where most of the country s 800,000 Cuban Americans live. (Opinion polls on whether Elian should remain in the United States or be sent back to Cuba, and whether people felt Elians father was expressing his own views, or if they were just prepared by the Cuban government). Both polls show the overwhelming majority of the country felt Elian should be sent back to Cuba. At the same time, as a show of unbiased, the author included opinion polls that showed people also felt Elians father true concerns were due to the Cuban government s influence, and not because of genuine intentions towards his sons well-being. Most importantly, these polls show that even Miami s Cuban American protestors are a vocal minority. The author shows that the majority of the Cuban Americans also feel Elian should be sent home. When you include poll results you give the reader a wider perspective on story. More importantly, the poll results contained both sides of the story. It also allowed the reader to compare his views with the rest of the country. Nowhere in this article, did I see bias from the author. He chronologically presented a clear set of facts and background information, which provided the reader with views from every party.
The New York Times article was the most poorly written. It contained few facts
And was very opinion based. The author was blatantly bias towards Cuba. The article
Contained very little background information and left us with nothing, but the authors
Opinions and Anti-Castro sediment. The reporter calls Cuba a Communist Hell . He
Admits that Elian s father may be an exemplary parent, but at the same time claims the
Boy s life would be much better here in the United States. The author also says that if the Father could talk freely, we would expect that he too would choose to migrate to the
United States . He further goes on to call Castro a murderer, and server of prepared
Speeches to Elian s father. The author next goes completely off topic by
Telling meaningless stories from the past in which he escaped Castro s Regime. Toward
The end of the article the author makes his strongest Anti-Castro statements. In a powerful
attempt to persuade the reader he cites a book entitled Black Book of Communism.
Here, he tells of more than 15,000 Cubans who have been murdered by the Castro
Regime, and that more than 100,000 people have been made political prisoners. In a clear
Attempt to raise the emotions of the reader, and persuade him, he then asks Are the
Liberals who so adamantly favor sending Elian back to Castro s Cuba absolutely certain
That this is in Elain s interests and that this is what Elian s family wants?
It is very evident the throughout the article the author is attempting to persuade the
Reader. By doing this, the author manipulates the coverage, which is contrary to much of
What he states. The author of this article has clearly let his emotions interfere with his
Reporting. By using selective coverage the author is covering the side of the story that
Reports the version of the story most advantageous to his own view. To put it simply, the
Author is reporting one side of the story to the exclusion of others.
The Washington Times article also contained many facts. Unfortunately the
Author of this article also chose sides. The Washington Times presented the story in its entirety but after careful observation, it became clear the author had also attempted to persuade the reader. The biased views of the author were well hidden in the article. He reported most of the story accurately, and only at selective stages throughout the article revelaed his bias views. This article began by presenting a factual overview of the court battle in which Elian was involved in at the time. It was very descriptive and well written, taking no sides in the situation. However, the author s bias did begin to become evident toward the middle of the article. The author expressed his favor in a decision made by Congressman Leahy. Congressman Leahy suggested that Elian s father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, should travel to the United States accompanied by his wife and infant son so that he may freely express what he truly wants for Elian-outside the control of the Fidel s Castro s coercive regime . Congressman Leahy had clearly bashed Fidel Castro and his government. The author supported this and added to it by stating, Mr. Leahy s recommendation was well-conceived. It balances an acknowledgment of the cruel repression of Mr. Castro s regime with respect for the intrinsic right of a parent over his child. It also puts the Cuban dictator on the spot . Next the author begins to explain other aspects of the story including, viewpoints of Elians father. He presents these viewpoints, and remains unbiased, simply reporting the news. He even goes as far as to ask the question if Elian s relatives here had adopted Elian for selfish reasons. Toward the end of the article the author again demonstrates his bias by comparing the Elian case, to a test of U.S. resolve and integrity, and stating, the White House shouldn t sell out this young life for political reasons . This author of this article was clearly very cunning.
Comparing these three articles, it becomes apparent that many different authors have different viewpoints on the same theme. Many of the authors have let their beliefs interfere with reporting of the facts. The New York Times article surprisingly was the worse written article I reviewed. It contained few facts and failed to cover the full story. The author reported only one side of the story, and was blatantly biased toward Cuba. While the Washington Times article accomplished the task of covering the full story, it failed in remaining unbiased. The Washington Times reporter clearly made it known he favored Elians stay here in the United States. To reinforce his opinion to the reader, he exhibited bias remarks toward Cuba. The Chicago Tribune article presented the story of Elian best. It contained only facts and remained unbiased toward any party.