As the debt issues and stock market crisis loom over the United States, equally ominous troubles plague the Mediterranean country of Greece as it faces potential bankruptcy. Three website-based news sources were selected to follow this crisis: The Huffington Post, Fox News, and USA Today. Fox News was chosen due to its conservative views; USA Today for its generally liberal views; and The Huffington Post was selected because it gathers news stories from both liberal and conservative sources, as well as having its own writers. All three of these sources are well known, and because of that, are held to a high standard of quality reporting.
The Fox Business article on Nov. 3 [from Dow Jones Newswire] titled “Greece Faces Grilling at G-20” focuses on the pressure and consequences that Prime Minister George Papandreou and Greece face from the G-20 leaders after he called for a public vote on the bailout plan. The article mentions that Papandreou is “fighting for political survival at home” which implies that his motives may not be completely pure. This could very well influence the readers to see Papandreou as sort of a maverick.
USA Today posted “Papandreou backs down on vote for Greece’s bailout deal” later which highlights the prime minister’s decision to back down from a public vote over the bailout. However, the focus was more on the Greek citizens who have been negatively affected by the previous bailout and who would be even more hurt by another one. This article definitely pits the little guy against the entire EU. Although the article presents both sides of the story fairly well, the reader would more likely be drawn to side with the Greek citizens due to the personal accounts of certain Greek citizens’ plight.
The Huffington Post article (from the Associated Press), “Greece Debt Crisis: Vote Could Force Expulsion From Eurozone,” addresses the logistics of the debt, the previous bailout, and the potential future bailout. This article also touches on the potential expulsion of Greece from the EU if it fails to reach a decision. The author then briefly explains possible ramifications if Greece chose to leave the EU. Most of the article is fairly well balanced and not overtly biased except for the few sentences describing what may happen if Greece leaves the EU. These few sentences, however, could lead a reader to believe that Greece’s exit could cause economic downfall in Europe.
Note: Spencer Terry is a student at Colorado Christian University. The above is part of his critique of a week’s worth of news coverage by major media outlets of the Greek debt crisis, shortly before Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou resigned. He wrote it for our News21 academic course, “Persuasion and News in the 21st Century.”