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Evaluationof the Exponent

is Purdue'sstudent-runindependentdailynewspaper.lt reachestensof
The E.l<pg4glt
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thousandsof peopleeveryday. With suchgreatvisibility,it is importantthat we cantrust the
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newspaperas a sourceof information.The Exponentis a memberof the Associated
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that the Exponentis a legitimatenews


where it getsa greatdealof its news. Thissuggests
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A properevaluationof the Expglqlt newspaperbeginswith a detaileddescription
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. ,1' editionof the newspaperitself. At first glancethe paperlooksprofessional,
clear,and easyto
.. .rl
-\
l n d c le a r.T h ep a p e rin it s
r ea d . The print is boldand readablean dt h e p ic t u re sa rec o lo rf u a

entiretyis 12 pageslong;the front and backare in colorwhile mostof the interioris blackand

as exceptions.Thepaperfeaturesnewsfrom the domainof the


white with advertisements

section,
news. lt includesa classified
universityto local,state,national,and eveninternational

sports,weatherand an opinionsand commentarysection.lt takesa traditionalformatwith

five to sixcolumnsspanningacrossthe width of the page.Thereis spaceon the front pagefor .

plugsto articleson the interiorof the paperaswell as a QuickReadcolumnfeaturingshort

summariesof importantnewsstories.Out of the twelvepagesaboutsevenare devotedto

articles,a pageis devotedto classifieds, The


andthe restarefilledwith advertisements.

are alwaysintermingled
advertisements occupying
with the articleswith the advertisements
I
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fr om o n e fourthtothreefourthsofthe p a g e .Clo s e in s p e c t io n re v e a ls t h a t o u t o f 3 0 a rt i c l e s

morethan 10 are devotedto PurdueUniversitynewsand another10 are devotedto national


In addition
news. Onlya few articlesare devotedto local,stateor globalnewsrespectively. {,-

there aretwo editorialarticlesand a studentsurvey.one of the articlesis abouta celebritif-and


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devoted to 5 different puzzles,horoscopes,a
) r\r--''-,-4leight are about sports. There are small areas
l* " $" ')
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,,t"f ^rt
forecast,
,,.*frdather section
anda comicstrip.Theclassified to job opportunities
covershousing
)
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, '",'!'
- ,.,,','" to personalads. Thevolumeis indexed,labeledand datedsuIicj"g-n-tJy..and are
headings large, $,{ t"-"'v ,'L)
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' and presentation
bold and clear.Theappearance and on par with
of the paperis professional .-
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;.;'

larger,more renownnewsPaPers.t

The most intuitiveway to evaluatethe Exponentis to compareit to anothersimilar

mainlocalpaper,andso it shouldcover
TheJournala{l!_egqlelis Lafayette's
newspaper.

it is muchsmaller
somesimilarnews.Thoughit islargerthanthe EIggEqtin termsof funding,

likethe \gylgjllites,
thanmajornewspapers Visually,
soit willsufficein our comparison.

or JQC,is morepleasing
andCourier,
theJournal Thedesignis more
thanthe Exponent.

detailedand the picturesare morecolorfuland clear. Whereasthe Exponentfeatqre{color -ii*t ')


t) ui ,',1r{|
jncludescolorimagesthroughou:,:T:jo"t. TheJ&Cis 24
only on the front page,the J.,Q-c- ,'l':
iiv
,+4I
pageslong;twice the sizeof the ExgoleJt. These/discr*,"rJ;';fi;expected becauseof the

is brokenup into sectionsfor nationaland


budgetdifferencethe two papersshare.TheJSC-

with aboutthe samenumberof pagesdevoted


world news,localnews,sports,and classifieds,
it;l,;P' t
it . w,
more arti!*esfocusingon Purduenewsas '."" uL-!
to each. Whilethe Exponenthad disBroportionately ' ) i" L^
w,w"'
betterproportioned.Butwhile nearlyhalfthe
well as nationalnews,the J&Cwassignificantly ;+

articlesin the Exponentwere aboutPurdue,only one articlein the J&Cconcernedthe

university.TheJ&Carticlewas aboutPurdue'sbudgetand spending.Most of the Exponent

articlesconcerningPurduewere aboutindividualstudentsand their storiesin schoolor in the


of the two newspapers.Whilethe J&C
realworld. Thisexposesa discretioniri the perspectives

is concernedaboutPurdueas a memberof the economiccommunity,the Exponentis more

concernedwith the livesand the imageof the students.The most pressingissueto the

majorityof the countrycurrentlyis the war on terror. In a time when war reportsare routine,

II the Exponentfailsto deliveron the issue.TheJ&Creportsthat overthe weekendninesoldiers

discrepancyreflectsa d!_fferg_n9e
of whichthe Exponentmakesno mention.This
aswell as 24 civilians,
died in Afghanistan

of,_s!_u{gl!t
in the inte_q9_9t
19J|'-"-se[9t9!p_9PUp_tiqn
1w#
regardingcurrentevents._. the one articlethe two paperssharedwas an obscure
lnterestingly

an ancienttalisman.Finallyone majordifference
storyaboutan lsraelilifeguarddiscovering
ffi r
be tw ee n thetwopapersistheamou n t osf p a c e d e v o t e d t o a d v e rt is e me nAt sq.u a rt e ro f t he
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pageswere ads. '-
while a halfof the Exponent's
J&C'spageswere coveredin advertisements
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, 'i-'ft

Thoughthe Exponenthasm uch more ad space,it chargeslessfor the ad spaceand so it hasto


'")",:.e t' t
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T h e E x p o n e n t c h a rg e s 4 0 0 d o lla rs f or a f u: l: l
sellm or e spacetomakeenoughtoru n t h e p a p e r.
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I
if
1,.,'
so r.
5000dollarsfor the same.J&Ccanaffordto charge
pagein fullcolor,whilethe J&Ccharges . :l {

m u c h f o r i tssp a ce b e ca u se th e paper isseenbym anymor epeople,andsothes pac ei s m uc h


,,;,tr i ,." i * r j
;,f ' l
usuallyin
more valuable.On the other hand,the J&Chasmanymore articlesabouttechnology,

the form of informationaboutpersonalgadgets.Onecan'thelpbut suspectthat thesearticles


1r'1,*rtir^'\. I t' rl'
,/s'tt{> ' t
are influencedby the fundsof vendors.ln this respectI wouldsaythe Exponentis freerfrom 1t t f'' 'ri,6
"/
i i{ t t. ."-1
in the Exponentare for apartmentsor other
ldvertisersinfluence.Most of the advertisements il t:"
,' ' ,'
":l

itemsof interestto students.Theseare usefulformsof notificationfor studentsand their

in the J&Care more randomly


Theadvertisements
functionalityoutweighstheir inconvenience.

themedand in generallessuseful.
Accordingto RachelDavisMersey,an importantmethodfor evaluatinga newspaperis

"3 The newspaper's


"to understandreaderperceptionof credibilityin the [newspaper]...

in the eyesof Purduestudentsis evidentin the statisticsprovidedby Newton


success

Marketing& Research.Theystatethat 90%of Purduestudentsreadthe 17,500


!ry9rl.gll-and

papersare readdailyby 46,000students,facultyand staff.aThe numberssuggestthe Exponent

a studentI found a differentopinion.Sam


is well receivedby the populace.ln interviewing

Fowleris a junior at Purdue;he went to CarmelHighSchooland was a photographer


for the

and Fowler
schoolnewspapercalled"The Hilite."Thisnewspaperhasbeenrankednationally,

himselfan expert. When askedaboutthe Exponenthe saidthe Exponentwas "good


considers

the writingfor beingpoor and the photographs


for Purduenews,"but criticized for being

poorlytakenand out of focus. On one occasionSamhad beeninterviewedby the Exponent

and misquotedin an article.Accordingto him the reporterinterviewedhim overthe phone

are taken
and askedhim a seriesof questions.Thenin the articlesomeof his laterresponses

error,asopposedto
out of contextto makethe articleflow. Thisis a contentmisinterpretation
,:'i '
The Exponenthasprintedtypographical
error,or worsea misinformation.
a typographical j ' {It t,
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f* c ' " ..i
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errorsbut theseare forgivable.MisquotingFowlerwas an error in interpretingthe meaningof ',o',r9",.,

words,whichis more serious.But evenmore seriousare errorsin whicht


the speaker's
I
I
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newspaperprintsincorrectinformation.The Exponenthasprintedincorrectinformationa few

issues.Correctionnotices
in subsequent
timeseveryyear,and hashadto correctand apologize

were printedin the April5thand November9thissuesof 2007.Oneof the mostfamous

occurredon JuneL4,2006and readsasfollows,"Alito...His


misprintsin the Exponents motive

Thewordswere
for shootingJohnPaulin the abdomenon May L3, 1981,remainsunclear."S
w r i ttenab outS upremeCourtnomine eS a mu eAl lit o ,a n do n e c a no n lya s s u meP o p eJ o h nPa u l

ll, and are completelyabsurd.TheApril5therrorwas a mistakenlastname,andthe November

7therrorwas incorrectinformationabouta footballplayer'scollegeteam. All theseerrors


t
of the Exponent.
the credibility
diminish
,<,4
Jackie describes
Harrison book:Pulline ) Wl
in BobFranklin's
threetypesof newspapers ,
,/ ./''-f''
formsof newshavean agendathat manifestin the media,
Apart. Tendentious
Newspapers

forms presentthe factsandtry to


formsjust presentthe facts,whilediscursive
descriptive

exp la inth em in relationto you or your e n v iro n me n tT. h e E x p o n e nfta llsu n d e rt h e t h ird

community.lts editorialsection,where
categoryas it is a goodresourcefor a smalldiscourse

aboutraceand religionand seemsvoidof


opendiscussion
opinionis most evident,encourages

contrastto the J&Cwhichattemptsto avoid


extremepoliticalinclination.Thisis a refreshing

and ratherseemsto selltech productsto its readers'


politicallyincorrectdiscussion

the population,and a greatresponsibility


Newsmediahasgreatpowerin influencing to

and evaluatingit in a numberof ways,we havegained


its readers.In exploringthe Exponent,

positivelyin my opinionand I
trust in the paperand respectfor it. The Exponentevaluates

recommendit to all that may haveinterest. /


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Hines,Kristin,ed. The Exponent14 July2008.
' B us c hm anE, l a i n ee, d .J o u rn a&l C o u ri e r1 4 Jul y2008.
t and
Methods."Journalism
Opportuni tyto TeachR esearch \,'..J
M er s ey ,Ra c h eD g e Stu d e n tNew spaper:
l . " Ex a m i n i nth
:
Masscommunication 61 (2006):
Educator 15July2008.
Library.
66-78.Purdue . ti
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-ilit-'..q t:,

@tte:TheExponent,2008. t -.
tiinil-rirtin, ed.TheExppnent
l4June2006:1. :'
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