The huge impact that terrorist made following the 9/11 attacks compelled the government to take action against foreign and domestic terror groups. After the attack, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created to keep America safe and to engage in proactive measures to protect the citizens. In spite of these actions, violent attacks are still perpetrated, and in most cases, the pubic waits for the professional first responders to react. However, the first people on the site of an incident are the witnesses and the victims of the attack.
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While citizens were in the past encouraged to remain passive, there has been a shift of opinion among law enforcement officers, with some suggesting that citizens should take action in self-defense. The articles “In Shifts, Police Advice Taking an Active Role to Counter Mass Attacks” by Erica Goode of The New York Times and “Attacks by Private Actors and the Right of Self Defense” published in the scholarly journal of Conflict and Security Law by Tom Ruys and Sten Verhoeven address this issue. Although the articles have been written in several types of sources, they are written differently depending on each publication’s intended audience.
The audience for the article by Erica Goode is the individuals who make up the readership base of the New York Times. This audience consists of a diverse group of individuals, and their education levels vary greatly. The article sets out to provide information on a subject of public interest. It hopes to explain to the public the changing role of the public in case of mass attacks. To make its point, the paper provides numerous quotations from the public authority figures. Considering the mixed audience to the article, simple and clear language is used. For example, the article states that “the take-home message is that you’re not helpless and the actions you take the matter” (Goode, 2013). The article does not use any technical terms that cannot be understood by the layperson.
It is well organized, and the ideas are presented in a coherent manner that can easily be followed by the reader. The article does not provide an in-depth background of the topic, and no attempt is made to provide a balanced view of the topic. Instead, only a report on the issue at hand is made. The article uses vivid images to appeal to the emotions of the reader. For example, it reveals that “in two classrooms, the students and instructors tried to hide or play dead after Mr. Cho entered; nearly all were shot, and almost died” (Goode, 2013). This image is bound to make the audience consider the results of their inaction in case of an attack.
The academic Journal by Ruys and Verhoeven (2005) is intended for a specific group of individuals, including academics, policymakers with a law background, and lawyers. This audience base is well educated and versed in legal affairs. The audience has an in-depth knowledge in the area of security law. This article seeks to provide an informed opinion on the issue of self-defense. It hopes to increase the reader’s understanding of the issue of self-defense and answer the question of whether self-defense actions can be allowed when private attackers are involved. The article provides a lengthy background of the topic being discussed to provide the reader with a solid background on the issue. It makes use of complex sentences, and the authors cite many sources.
The article makes wide use of legal jargon, and only people with a background in Law can appreciate all the ideas expressed therein. For example, the authors state that “Only the ‘ratione personae’ element will be examined” (Ruys & Verhoeven, 2005, p. 291). Such jargon is easily understood by the specialized readership base of the journal. The journal article does not use emotional appeal but instead relies on logical appeals to make its case. For example, it gives solid facts when it states that “nothing in the language of article 51 of the UN Charter2 limits the exercise of this right to attacks committed by states” (290). The authors also refer to court rulings and arguments made by other scholars to support their point of view.
This essay sets out to analyze two articles covering the same topic but written for different audiences. The paper has shown that the article published in the New York Times is addressed to a mixed audience, and it is therefore concise and devoid of technical terms. The article uses emotional appeal and does not engage in a thorough analysis of the issue. The journal article appearing in the Journal of Conflict & Security Law is aimed at a specialized audience. It is detailed, contains numerous technical terms, and refers to other authorities on the topic. From these two articles, it is clear that the tone, style, and content of a publication will differ significantly depending on the intended audience.
Goode, E. (2013, April 6). In Shift, Police Advise Taking an Active Role to Counter Mass Attacks. The New York Times. Web.
Ruys, T. & Verhoeven, S. (2005). Attacks by Private Actors and the Right of Self-Defence. Journal of Conflict & Security Law, 10(3), 289–320.