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Evaluationof the Exponent

is Purdue' 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
-\.r \, - source,but an in-depthevaluationis appropriate.
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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

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

sports,weatherand an opinionsand 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 .l

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 of the articlesis abouta celebritif-and

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
,,.*frdather section
anda comicstrip.Theclassified to job opportunities
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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 .-
(:!r'r '.li

larger,more renownnewsPaPers.t

The most intuitiveway to evaluatethe Exponentis to compareit to anothersimilar

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

it is muchsmaller
somesimilarnews.Thoughit islargerthanthe EIggEqtin termsof funding,

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

or JQC,is morepleasing
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':
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^
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

in the inte_q9_9t
regardingcurrentevents._. the one articlethe two paperssharedwas an obscure

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
pageswere ads. '-
while a halfof the Exponent's
J&C'spageswere coveredin advertisements
, 'i-'ft

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

'")",:.e t' t
// ,'
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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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
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more valuable.On the other hand,the J&Chasmanymore articlesabouttechnology,

the form of informationaboutpersonalgadgets.Onecan'thelpbut suspectthat thesearticles

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,/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:"
,' ' ,'

itemsof interestto students.Theseare usefulformsof notificationfor studentsand their

in the J&Care more randomly

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


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


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


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

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
O ;r
errorsbut theseare forgivable.MisquotingFowlerwas an error in interpretingthe meaningof ',o',r9",.,

words,whichis more serious.But evenmore seriousare errorsin whicht

the speaker's
newspaperprintsincorrectinformation.The Exponenthasprintedincorrectinformationa few

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

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

of the Exponent.
the credibility
Jackie describes
Harrison book:Pulline ) Wl
in BobFranklin's
threetypesof newspapers ,
,/ ./''-f''
formsof newshavean agendathat manifestin the media,
Apart. Tendentious

forms presentthe factsandtry to

formsjust presentthe facts,whilediscursive

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

opinionis most evident,encourages

contrastto the J&Cwhichattemptsto avoid

extremepoliticalinclination.Thisis a refreshing

and ratherseemsto selltech productsto its readers'


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. /

,i -{(-
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" Le!'
tu t'
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
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.
66-78.Purdue . ti

-ilit-'..q t:,

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