In “The Case for Reparations”, Ta-Nehisi Coates starts out by telling the story of a man named Clyde Ross, a black man living in the South during the era of the Jim Crow laws. The author uses this story as well as various other points of research like infographic maps, historical photos and other stories to further explain his points. His main argument of this article is that after countless years of oppression by America, everyone else needs to step up and further support African-Americans. There are many stories that are explained in great detail to fully show all of the things that the black population of the United States endured during the Jim Crow Laws, Segregation and more. These points are trying to prove the point that as a collective, Americans need to support the population of this country that for a long time was seen as lesser and might by a small population still be seen that way. The importance of this article and the use of detailed stories, the author probably hopes that he can convince people that have an oppositional mindset possibly understand the things that African-Americans went through as a part of American History. These stories plus historical photos are extremely important to the author’s argument because they help prove his point by being very descriptive and informational. Discrimination is never a good thing, but people could make things better for people that are discriminated against by helping their stories be told and supporting their efforts.
The Elizabeth Royte article “The Remains of the Night” is an article detailing her journey as part of a “litter mob” as she calls it in a park in New York City called Midwood. This litter mob that she was part of would comb through this park to clean up the trash that has been left behind, most notably the numerous condoms and condom wrappers strewn about the park. According to Royte, this litter is the left behind trash of numerous gay men who use the park for sex after dark. Her article on this matter is published on the website Medium, which would allow the use of extra pictures and graphics to help illustrate her points and provide some nice visuals to assist with the explanation of the article. In the piece, Royte has some pictures of the park, both nice and pristine looking, as well as ones with general litter and countless condom wrappers all over the ground. She also includes some statistical factoids on the side in some parts of her article that help the readers have a bit more information on the topic that is being presented in the article. The use of these images and graphics, as well as a map showing where this park is located, makes it a more interesting article to read as it is sometimes broken up by accompanying images to break up potentially large areas of text. All of these aspects together helps make the article a much more visual based piece since the images sometimes help show the things the author is talking about and thus with the context the reader might have a better idea of what is being explained to them. The article still would probably be effective without the images, but using them makes the article better and the platform of Medium,, with its ability to incorporate images, videos and other media aspects make an overall great article.
When looking at the long list of articles from Longform.org there were a few that I looked at that had interesting titles, though the one I choose to read had the name ” In which we don’t do Coke in the Bathroom of The restaurant.” This one stood out since the title was interesting whereas it didn’t have much to do with the actual article except for the fact that the writer said she was addicted to waitressing. The main things that made this article interesting was the wording of the entire thing especially the humorous intro where she admits she is addicted to waitressing. I think that the use of stories made the article much more of a great read so that readers could understand more about the life of the writer. The additions of the pictures of the restaurants was also great. It is a noteworthy piece since it gets into the mindset a bit of someone who enjoys the high stress environment and therefore becomes a more creatively stimulated person.
In David Foster Wallace’s “Consider the Lobster” he discusses having to cover The Maine Lobster Festival. Now normally this doesn’t sound like it would be a super interesting article, but he makes it more of a compelling story about Maine and lobsters. He begins by painting a picture of the time of year the festival takes place in and the smells, sounds and looks of Maine in a detailed way so that readers can envision themselves there at the festival that had the tagline “Lighthouses, Laughter and Lobster.” Now Wallace doesn’t just go on to describe the festival, he still does that by discussing many of the events at the festival like an amateur cooking contest, a parade, carnival rides and more, but also goes way further than that making it much more interesting. He starts out by remarking that “For practical purposes, everyone knows what a lobster is.” From there Wallace goes into the origins of the word “Lobster” both the more scientific term as well as the Old English origins. There is even some more details on how lobsters have evolved throughout time beginning in the Jurassic period. Throughout this essay Wallace switches between the background of the lobster, including the historical context that lobsters were typically a food that was eaten by the lower class instead of being associated with a more high end meal until sometime in the 1800’s and back to describing everything that is happening at the Maine Lobster Festival. This article is also extremely sarcastic and critical of tourists and the festival in general. It is this combination of description of the festival, interesting background information about lobsters and very sarcastic tone that makes this essay stand out from something that could have just been a straight up review of the lobster festival. Instead Wallace decided to spice it up with stories and other information to make it a very compelling read. It also stands to say that since this article was published in a food magazine, Gourmet, is even more interesting since it is not a good review of the festival, nor did he have good opinions on it, so readers may either love the article or hate it based on the words written, Some may feel attacked and unhappy about how the festival is talked about whereas others might praise the use of this article in that publication and Wallace’s choice of how to portray it.
in the article “What makes an Essay American” the author, Vinson Cunningham comes across as someone trying to prove how smart he is, in part by referencing many artists and artistic theories and other intellectual sounding things. In part, this article has Cunningham think about his own writings and if they agree with how “American” essays are more argumentative. He tries to prove his more smart sounding essay by referencing various essays and speeches that line up with the argumentative tone that he is aiming for. It isn’t really an article to dominate as Crossfire is, but its basically one just trying to prove a point.
In the article by Jay Rosen there are many points being made about starting from zero relating to being a beginner in journalism. He stars out the article mentioning that a colleague of his says that journalists might be expected to know everything about something or narrow comprehensiveness in other terms. What he might mean by this is that to be a decent journalist or a niche journalist as he calls some things is to research more into a specific or niche topic and people will flock to those postings. becoming more knowledgeable in a niche topic as opposed to only slight knowledge of many things might make an article much more popular since there was much more research put into those kind of articles. To relate this to the podcast projects we are working on, we have already chosen more niche topics to investigate further through many outlets. We will have interviews, research and other types of content all relating to a more specific topic. Being more niche when it comes to podcasts already creates some kind of specific audience for the material since occasionally when approaching choosing a podcast people might choose a more specific thing to listen to that they are interested in instead of a broad topic. This isn’t to say that the podcasts that have a large variety of topics discussed aren’t popular, just that the more focused podcast episodes might attract an audience that wants to hear or know more about something specific. Doing just interviews for a podcast isn’t enough substance to keep people entertained. Many times, even for podcasts which are basically a long interview, the interviewer usually does some sort of background research on the person they are interviewing and prepare more specific interview questions to ask to keep the podcast more structured. Having more structure to a podcast leads to it being more interesting to the listeners since the interviewer/host has prepared for the episode and has a good understanding of the questions they want to ask the guest. So by combining more specific interview questions along with background research makes for a much more interesting podcast with attention to detail about the subject.
The interview between Mac Maron and Terry Gross was an interesting one since, as was stated earlier in the podcast, Terry Gross doesn’t really reveal too much about herself. But in this podcast she actually opens up a bit because of Maron’s “no bullshit” interview style. One of the more interesting questions Maron asked was about how Gross got into radio. Her story was actually relatively shorter than I had expected so the suprise coupled with the story was great to listen to. As for a question that Gross asked, well she didnt get to ask many questions, but she did ask Maron Can I ask you a question? to which he replied “In a minute!!” and then they realized they both had sort of the same question each other wanted to ask which was pretty interesting.