From the beginning of the first newspaper and continuing until the present, news has been a source of debate, sensationalism, bias, political corruption, and a flood of events that have changed society and the image of news coverage forever.
One of many events that have altered history, significantly, the Bill Clinton impeachment trial is one of the more recent and memorable occurrences. From the stained blue dress to the taped Lewinsky conversations, from the cigar jokes told by Jay Leno to the political icons that fought for impeachment, the actions of former president Bill Clinton were written about and discussed all over the world.
One publication that provided extensive coverage of the incident was the Los Angels Times. While the Los Angeles Times reported a multitude of stories regarding the impeachment trial, one particular published article created a sense of bias opinion, provided zero sources or quotes, and left the reader questioning the authenticity of the piece of writing at hand.
While the article discussed the understanding of American politics, the possible economic severity of Clinton’s removal from office, the charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, and the abuse of power, there were no sources cited and the frame of the story was wildly left open for interpretation.
Although there may be a number of reasons why the framework of this article differs so greatly from the articles typically produced by the Los Angeles Times, it is indisputable, that publications of other competing newspapers provided more credibility and cemented framework than that of the mentioned above.
In addition to the Los Angeles Times covering the historic events of the Clinton scandal, the Houston Chronicle was actively covering the incident as well.
Contrary to the Los Angeles Times’ article, the Houston Chronicle provided an abundance of quotes, sources, un-biased opinion, and demonstrated effective and accurate reporting. Because the Houston Chronicle provided over ten sources, six quotes, and eluded readership of personal biases, the framework of their article proved to be successful and more reliable.
Although the article from the Houston Chronicle also focused on the charges of Clinton, the taped conversations between Lewinsky and Tripp, and the republican team of case managers, the in-depth information provided throughout the piece established a sense of trust and unswerving belief in what was being reported.
While the two publications show difference in reporting style and technique, they both demonstrate the sense of urgency in reporting sensational, politically prompted, entertaining, and history making news. Although the Clinton trial was only the second impeachment of a president in history, bets can be made that it will not be the last, and that news publications will be right there to tell the story.
-Los Angeles Times 1998. The nation; Impeachment doesn’t matter?
-The Houston Chronicle Dec. 30, 1998. New Clinton trial issue: witnesses/house impeachment strategy conflicts with senate’s plans.