Blog Post #2: What’s in a source?

For this blog, I chose to discuss a New York Times article entitled “Alabama Inmate, 75, Hopes to Dodge Death for an Eighth Time” by reporter Alan Blinder, published on May 24, 2017. Given how controversial a topic capital punishment is, it is important to have people on both sides of the issue. Blinder does a nice job balances out voices in the story while also identifying stakeholders within the story. The biggest of which is Tommy Arthur, the 75-year-old man at the center of the Article. Blinder spoke with Arthur from prison. Being able to interview Arthur allows the reporter to put a human face on this story and creates an emotional tug for the readers. This allows readers to relate to and feel for Arthur which in turn makes it a more compelling story. While was undoubtedly knowledgeable about his own case, Blinder also spoke with his lawyer Suhana Han to get an update on exactly where the case stands. I think Blinder chose to have Han talk about the specifics of the legal situation because it comes across as more credible from a lawyer. Blinder also included some quotes from Robert Dunham, Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center to develop a background on the case and establish why it is so controversial. I find Dunham very reliable in large part because I would expect someone in his position to be neutral and that is exactly how his quotes came across. As chief deputy attorney general, Clay Crenshaw represents the voice in favor of capital punishment. I find his perspective reliable because he used to be in charge of the capital litigation division. Blinder found his sources by identifying people who had a stake in the outcome of the execution.



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