Date: 3 March, 2017
Levenson, Eric, and AnneClaire Stapleton. “Fear Grows in Jewish Community after 100 Bomb
Threats at Jewish Centers.” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Mar. 2017. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.
With President Donald Trump having delivered his first address to Congress on Tuesday, I thought it only fitting that I analyze a piece of journalistic work associated with his statements. In his speech, Trump addressed issues of rising anti-Semitism and what he plans to do about it, referencing the toppling of Jewish headstones earlier in the week and increasing waves of bomb threats on Jewish Community Centers (JCCs). This rising prejudice, according to Levenson and Stapleton, has “functioned like terrorism, shattering the idea of safety.” This statement, obviously, has great weight in it, with terrorism being the greatest fear of American people today. While this sentence could potentially be using shock value to get attention, it also holds truth, and could greatly impact American lives. What do these attacks mean for the future of the American people, and what can the press do to help Americans remain safe and informed?
Since Trump’s election, a visible rift of hate has emerged among the American people. Even with the liberal press exaggerating here and there, it is true that prejudice has reemerged when it comes to many groups, particularly immigrants and Muslims. However, this violent prejudice against Jews is fairly recent; is it because of Trump, or is there other motivations? The article detailed bomb threats on JCCs in different cities all on the same day. This could easily mean that there is a new rising racist/terrorist group within the United States that national security needs to be aware of. As a journalist, making note of patterns in current events and making predictions by connecting dots helps us be ready for anything, something Levenson and Stapleton do well. By presenting the readers with facts, data, and statistics (such as dates, times, and locations of subsequent bomb threats), while simultaneously presenting possible parallels between them, the press can help keep politicians, economists, and professionals of all other occupations on their toes by keeping them alert to new trends and possibilities. Too often, it is thought that journalists report news that has already happened, but by following the trail of a story, a journalist can identify trends and often make predictions telling where the story is headed next.
Furthermore, this article taught me how to take an obvious and widely covered current event and follow it to a lesser-known but just as important story. In this case, President Trump’s speech was the biggest spectacle of the evening; but by honing in on one small part of the speech, Levenson and Stapleton were able to shed light on a related story that has the potential to have an ever greater impact than the speech did. In future cases, I will now be able to look at huge cover page stories, and instead of focusing on the surface level material, read between the lines for underlying stories. An important skill for a journalist to have is the ability to find a story in anything, and I feel that I am able to do that after analysis of this article.