If there is anything that can drive the reader’s attention better than any sensational news, this would be definitely a skillfully written editorial in a newspaper. Because of the complicacy and the controversy of a number of issues raised by the authors of the newspaper editorials, it must be admitted that this piece of the newspaper is bound to offer a plenty of food for the readers’ thoughts.
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However, it must be kept in mind that, when missing certain elements that make the stem of a successful argument and presentation of the facts, the author of an editorial, no matter how intriguing the topic is, is likely to fail.
Demonstrating in practice what makes a well-written editorial, one can consider such article as “How to Plan fro the Future”, offered by the New York Times (2011) for the citizen of the United States to have a better understanding of why the process of railroad construction has been slacked so much.
Therefore, the article in question provides sufficient food for thoughts and at the same time is a perfect chance to evaluate its communicative effect on the reader. Rather convincing, the article suggests a number of reasons for the sad prognosis to consider. Indeed, taking into account the number of budget money that have been wasted on less essential issues and the scanty amounts that have been offered to continue the development of the railroad system, the conclusion becomes obvious.
“He [President Obama] wants 80 percent of the nation to have access to high-speed rail in 25 years. That’s not likely to happen with this Congress,” New York Times (2011) says, which is quite logical, taking into account the evidence of the U. S. lack of interest in the railroad development – this is a sad but true fact.
It must be added though that the message underlying the text shows there is still something that can be done to improve the situation. The author of the editorial subtly draws the reader to the fact that the political forces are to unite to encourage the development of the railroad construction.
It must be kept in mind that, building the railroad requires sufficient funds that can be provided only when the rail project is considered essential by each party in the Congress. However, it still could be a better idea to involve the opinion of the “accused”, i.e. the parliament and the President, for the article to sound even more impressive.
Avoiding the probable controversial expressions and making the reader perceive the information as it is, without distorting it, the author of the article contributes to a better insight on the problem of the railroad building in the USA. However, there is certain passage that might cause certain confusion among the readers:
There are many requests, even one from Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a Republican who earlier rejected $810 million of these funds. Now he wants $150 million for a modest rail project between Milwaukee and Chicago (New York Times 2011).
On the one hand, this is obviously a reproach to the member of the Congress; yet on the other hand, this could seem an attempt of a Republican to try to solve the problem and give went to the growing concern for the railroad construction. Therefore, t must be admitted that New York Times (2011) is making its point not as clear as it should be.
But for this small detail that is, not doubt, merely a misconception, the editorial seems to provide an all-embracing consideration of the given problem. Still it is obvious that the key idea of the article is to convince the reader that with the political instability in the country, the future railroad construction and the economical and financial benefits that the latter triggers are impossible. Thus, it is clear that the weakness of the editorial lies in its one-sidedness and the unwillingness to consider the opinion of the opponent.
What is also worth mentioning is that the author of the editorial omits certain information that is crucial for the understanding of the topic. For a good overview of the issue, a historical insight is demanded. Thus, it could be a good idea to mention that the problems concerning the transportation system have always been the sore spot of the USA. In fact, very little proof is demanded to verify this. For instance, according to O’Toole (2009),
Historically, the freight railroads have received very little federal aid: only 18,700 of 260,000 miles of rail lines built in the United States received federal subsidies. At least some congressional Democrats see federal aid to railroads as a means of reregulating the industry, which was deregulated in 1979 (86).
With such information to back the key argument of the article, it becomes evident that the problem is essential indeed, and that the attempts to resolve it have been taken since the distant 1970.
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Therefore, it can be considered that the article lacks certain information, yet no one can accuse the author of distorting the facts. With help of the verified facts placed in the necessary order, New York Times (2011) managed to draw the public’s attention to another important issue on the agenda of the USA political and social life.
“How to Plan fro the Future.” New York Times, April 20, 2011. Retrieved from:
O’Toole, R. (2009) Gridlock: Why We’re Stuck in Traffic and What to Do about It. Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute.