Blog Post #13

On Saturday night (April 30, 2016), the president of Kenya made a statement to the world when he collected 16,000 elephant tusks and 1 ton of rhino horns to be burned. This burning was to signify Kenya’s stance on the issue of poaching as it has become a serious problem in the country.

I explored this story on three different news websites: CNN, The Washington Post, and BBC News. While there were not significant opinion differences between the news websites, they did explore the topic in different ways. CNN, for example, was the longest article of the three as it went farther than simply the president burning massive piles of ivory. CNN included the main story, but then explored beyond that point. CNN touched on the history of the country in relation to its recent struggle with poaching and how in the past “10 years central Africa has lost 70% of [its] elephants.” The CNN article also voiced the criticism that has surround the burning and how many fear this action will only increase the value ivory on the black market, no other article made this point (click here to read the full article).

The article on The Washington Post was much shorter than the CNN article but pointed out that this is not the first time Kenya has performed a symbolic burning such as the one the took place on Saturday night. This article had the perfect opportunity to point out that while previous burnings have not seemed to help the poaching problem, the country still continues with the burnings, they refrained from doing so. This could be because they want to stay neutral in the argument or it could be their bias of support towards the burning that is shining through (click here to  the full article)

The article from BBC News was the most different out of the group of three. The BBC article, like the CNN one, put much more emphasis on the history of the burnings. However, this history did not include the conflict surrounding the burnings. There were many pictures throughout the article which gave the article a different feel. Also, as would be expected, the BBC News article gave readers an idea of what this meant in terms of how this will affect poaching on a global scale (click here to read the full article).

I did not read anything in these articles that surprised me nor did I believe any of the websites intentionally withheld information from their readers. It was very evident, however, what the major audiences of these news sources are and how the news websites play to that audience.

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