“China and Indonesia grounding aircraft”: The New-York Time’s ambiguous illustration

Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters
Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters


The online news story published in The New York Times provides the readers with a basic overview of the event. However, this online article is not exactly in line with the ‘Brevity’ principle of online journalism. The paragraphs of this article are generally long and too many words would cause the fact that some readers may have no intentions to read the whole article.

At the end of the article, the author mentioned that the Chinese government orders domestic news media not to report the accident of a high-speed train crash. In fact, this part of the contents has little relationship with the topic of the story and background theme. More importantly, it means that the author shows his negative perspective about China Orders Airlines to Ground All Boeing 737 Max 8 Aircraft by presenting the negative event of media blackout in China. However, news writing should be unbiased and leave room for readers to judge the news themselves.

Moreover, the article lacks hyperlinks and supplementary images to provide adequate background information to help readers understand the severity of the accident. Some information that was left out such as the death toll, which makes it hard for new audiences to gauge the destructiveness of the accident. This undermines the potential safety risks of Boeing 737 max 8 aircraft which influences readers’ perspective on China Airlines’ decision to ground all aircraft of the same model. However, through the inclusion of more images, videos or hyperlinks, users can gain a more in-depth understanding of the event, allowing them to make more rational judgments.


About Christine Chen 5 Articles
A student who is currently studying The Master of Media Practice. Contact me at Christi04953294 Twitter

1 Comment

  1. Interesting remarks Christine, well done. This story is a little longer than a normal news story, but that is the style of the NYT, which has one of the world’s most literate audiences. They would be prepared to read this coverage, which I found fascinating. The comment about the high speed train crash being covered up in China is accurate, but I agree that it is speculative in regards to the proposal that China may benefit in trade terms from Boeing airline’s woes.

    You say the article lacks hyperlinks, video and supplementary images – what would you link to, or show? Give examples.

    In terms of your own writing, you need to ensure that your links open in new tabs, and that you don’t repeat the feature image for your post, which you have done. ‘Ambiguous illustration’ is not a keyword tag that people would use to find your post – keep to the subject keywords. Also there’s nothing in your analysis about what image you consider is ambiguous in meaning, and which image you think might be better places to represent this story. So your headline is misleading.

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