Analysis of Uses of History in the News Assignment
Assignment: Analysis of Uses of History in the News
Find one article, preferably from a major news source such as The New York Times, the Huffington Post, the New York Daily News, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, the Chicago Tribune, etc.
In 1-2 pages you should do the following:
You must include
1. The title of the article
2. Name of author
3. Name of publication
4. Date of publication.
o Name what current event the article is discussing
o Describe the main argument of the article
o Describe what historic event or issue the article uses in its evaluation of current events (if you don't know anything about this event, you can look it up to get more information)
o Explain how the article links current events and this historical event or issue
o Conduct your own analysis of the way the article makes this connection:
o Is the connection between the present and the past made in a thoughtful way?
o What kind of evidence is used to make this comparison?
o Are their problems in the way the comparison is made?
o Is the comparison made to support a particular political viewpoint or does it seem more about trying to give unbiased factual information?
o Is the comparison made by the journalist or is the journalist reporting on a point made by another public figure? If it is the latter, explain who the figure is and why they are making that point?
The article “Berlin Mayor To Donald Trump: ‘Don't Build This Wall'” by Jesselyn Cook from the Huffington Post (1/27/2017) describes a note by the Berlin mayor in Germany, Michael Müller, in which he tells Donald Trump not to build the wall on the border with Mexico. The main argument of Müller and of the article is that building a wall across a continent causes pain and that we should learn from the history of the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. The Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 by East Germany to prevent East German citizens from fleeing to West Berlin. The article describes former U.S. presidents who spoke out against the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. JFK came to Berlin to express solidarity with Berlin against the wall. Müller used the famous words of a Republican party hero, Ronald Reagan, to make is point: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” This rhetoric aims to convince Republican president Trump that his predecessors who he respects were against walls. Mayor Müller then said “Mr. President, don't build this wall.” The article goes on to describe the actions Trump has made to progress toward building of the wall, such as his executive order declaring it would be built. It also explains how Mexican leaders have rejected the idea that they would pay for the wall.
The main argument and evidence presented by Müller and the article is that these types of walls create pain and lack of freedom. These are good points, but describe the effects in general moral terms that have to do with the ideals for our democracy. The article does not explain the main reasons for the building of the Berlin Wall, nor does it explain why the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, so it is difficult to compare the reasons for building the two walls and their effects in more concrete terms. The Berlin Mayor suggests that we need to learn from the dark period of history of the Berlin Wall so that we don't make a similar mistake in our country, but we should learn more about the history of the Berlin Wall to figure out more about the origins and effects of that wall to see how the comparison holds up.
Analysis of Uses of History in the News
The article “De Blasio, Expanding an Education Program, Dismisses Past Approaches” by Kate Taylor from the New York Times (11/05/2017) describes a call by the Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio of expanding the education systems to cover faults in the past approaches. In the news conference, de Blasio announced the expansion of one of his signature education programs by adding 69 schools to Community School Initiative. His focus was to shield his education policies generally and consequently dismiss the arguments by the previous administrations of the system.
While addressing people at a school in Brooklyn, the mayor stressed that he would bring in 69 schoo...
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