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Week Four

Vox on Democratic Candidates’ Climate Proposals — An Analysis


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Photo by Caleb Perez on Unsplash

In a world that seems to be moving a million miles a minute, prioritizing facts over rumor is of the utmost importance. This is especially true when considering our ever-changing news cycle and reporting around another whirlwind election season.

One of the issues that many voters are taking into account while considering which Democratic candidate to support for President is climate change. Because of the high level of interest around this issue, candidates are making climate change a crucial point of conversation.

The media is also taking notice of the emphasis on climate change, which is reflected in articles covering things like Kamala Harris calling for an end to the filibuster and Bernie Sanders’ Green New Deal.

While there is a high quantity of stories being published on climate change, finding articles that reflect a high quality of reporting on the issue is essential. For this blog post, I’ll be doing an in-depth analysis of this article published by Vox, paying particular attention to the overall quality of the story:

A guide to how 2020 Democrats plan to fight climate change: Tactics include taxing carbon, prosecuting polluters, space mirrors, and trillions of dollars in investment.

The overall purpose of this article is to provide a thorough, high-level overview of each of the leading Democratic presidential candidates’ climate change plans. Many of the candidates have published lengthy proposals, which is an overwhelming amount of information for the average voter to take into account. Articles like this one published by Vox help to boil the details down to the main points that are much easier for people to swallow.

One of the first noticeable things about this story is the fact that there is an abundance of links and subsequent sources that the journalist references. In the opening section of the article, there are links to a Pew Research study on Americans concerned about climate change, verifying the claim that voters consider it to be a vital issue. Also, there are internal links to other Vox articles, including stories about the third Democratic debate, the Sunshine movement, nuclear power, among others.

Getting into the meat of the article which discusses the individual proposals, many of the links and sources refer to the specific plans that were published on each of the candidates’ websites. While the writer breaks down the specifics of each plan, linking to the outside sources, as well as additional news articles published by Vox, allows readers to do their own research.

One noticeable omission in this article is the fact that the reporter failed to address several candidates who are still currently in the race. While it may be because these candidates have yet to publish their climate change proposals, I would have preferred to see this fact referenced rather than omitted altogether. Candidates that the article failed to mention include Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, among others. The reporter did, however, reference Gov. Jay Inslee and his campaign’s focus on climate change even though he is no longer in the running.

Taking all of these details into account, this article earns a solid “B” from my perspective.

Overall, this article did a thorough job analyzing the vast amount of details surrounding each of the candidates’ climate change plans. It did a great job of boiling down the intricate details into concrete terms that give voters a high-level understanding of where each of the candidates stands.

However, the fact that the vast majority of the links included in the article were internal links to other Vox articles rather than independent sources, as well as the reporters’ omission of any information on other candidates takes away from the overall quality of the article — thus, earning it the final letter grade of “B.”

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