Theme: Persuasion in Communication

Article One: The Decline of News

The article is about the decline of news in the United States of America and it is from the newspaper San Francisco Chronicle. The author argues that due to the diminishing number of professional journalist the quality of news is affected. According to the article the diminishing number of journalist is due to the mass cutbacks of staff since the newspaper company needs to compensate some financial loss. The Internet is also being blamed as a reason for the financial loss. This is because the advertisers are moving their business to the Internet.

The author points out that with only a handful of professional journalist, one who is fearless and dedicated to facts, there are very few individuals who are trained in high standards to investigate and report significant current events. He asserts that these individuals are irreplaceable. Any new source of information that is now abundant in the Internet lack the values that professional journalist have therefore any information coming from these sources are either inaccurate or bias. The author fears for the future of traditional journalism and possible effects of the increasing number of untrained journalists that are now using the Internet to spread news (Henry, 2007).

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Persuasion is the over all tone of the article that is why it was chosen for this theme. Persuasion in communication is about inspiring someone or a number of people to make a difference (“Persuasion Context”, 2001). The article is very appropriate since the article is inducing a change in the attitude of Internet companies. The article argues that technology is killing the old media of journalism which is the newspaper. It presented evidences on how the technology contributes to the decline of news. First is that the advertisers opting to use the free advertising in Internet instead of advertising in newspapers. Another is the proliferation of bloggers that think of themselves as journalist and lastly the search engine companies like Google that use the information gathered by newspaper journalists for their own profit. It is directing the article towards companies like Google to reconsider its position about the problem. The author urges these companies to help the newspaper industry instead of being the cause of the problem.

To try and explain why a person now uses the Internet over the newspaper we will use the uses and gratification theory of mass communication. The uses and gratification theory states that different persons have different needs that requires fulfillment. A person will then try to find the best media tool, among a range of alternatives, to fulfill that need (“Persuasion Context”, 2001). Studies show that the Internet can satisfy the need for amusement, knowledge, diversion, and social contact which was initially being satisfied by television, radio, and newspaper (Kaye & Johnson, 2002). However since the internet could satisfy all these faster and with higher interaction between the media and user it is now being favored more. For instance in the article more people now are drawn towards blogs website for news information. This is because once a significant event happen it can be posted right away and the comment section provides a medium of interaction between hundreds of readers. This degree of speed and interaction is not possible with the old media.

Theme: Advertising Ethic

Article One: The World: Watchdog gets ready to clean up US advertising

Parents in the United States are concerned with the commercials their children might be seeing while watching television. According to the article the Parents Television Council, a non-profit organization that promotes family-friendly programming, will start to screen commercial content that might be harmful to children. This organization is already actively monitoring television programs and would usually file a complaint if content is not good for children. The organization is concerned with the advertisements since the regulations about ethics only cover truth and falsity and nothing about taste and decency. The PTC also warns that a lot of parents are already raising concerns about offensive advertisements thus advertisers should reconsider their ad campaigns (Cooper, 2008).

This article was chosen because the article directly talks about the issue of advertising ethics. Ethics are the moral principles each and one of us hold. It is the guideline that one use to determine what is good and what is bad. However this is a volatile issue since every person will have a different view of what is right and what is wrong, Opinions will depend on sex, age, cultural background, religion and a lot of other factors. In this article the opinion of a parent who is concern about his/her child is the center of the story. They think that some of the advertisements on television are offensive. Since the parents are the one who is the authority in the television viewing of their child. According to the rule base theory there are rules in television viewing that is fixed (“Persuasion Context”, 2001). Television companies then should take into account once parents forbid their children to watch a certain show because it is being sponsored by a product that have an offensive advertisement. Based on the theory then if it is already a rule the child then will have to conform. Not only that since parents talk to other parents, through the word of mouth one show could suffer lost in ratings.

Advertisers are not really unethical companies as one speaker argues. Since there are already a lot of regulating bodies that monitor advertisers the public can rest assure that things a certain product claim is true. However the speaker adds that not everyone will be pleased and there is a certain percentage that someone will be offended. An advertiser’s role then is to study that community where the advertisement will be shown. Because one place could fine it entertaining but another place might find it offensive (Moore, 2006).

Television has always been a powerful tool for advertisers because it is very persuasive. That is why even with the advent of online advertising commercials are still being produced. It is said that a child’s mind is like a sponge and will absorb any information given to them. This is why parents are concern about what a child watch on the television.  As the cultivation theory says heavy use of the television could create an impression to the viewer (“Persuasion Context”, 2001). Children do watch television a lot and if unsupervised they could watch shows that will give them an impression that is not good. For instance if a child a watch a show like wrestling where hurting another person is entertaining they might think that it is an acceptable behavior since it looks fun on television.

Theme: Target Audience

Article One: The World: Navy has Hard Time Recruiting Sailors

This article was taken from The Australian and is about the dilemma of the Navy in terms of the recruitment of new crew members. According to the article many people perceive that the life in the navy is lonesome and boring. Because of this many young men do not want to be part of the navy. Officers in the navy believe that many think this way because is always away and is not receiving any media exposure that is why no one knows about the navy much. To dismiss this opinion the navy released videos of young officers that give out first hand account of what is life like in the navy. The video is also available at the navy’s website. The navy is taking into account that most of the target individuals are heavy users of the internet. That is why the navy invested on the videos and the navy website. Most of the officers that appeared in the videos are newly trained officers (Navy has hard, 2008).

This was chosen for this theme because the article was intended for a specific set of audience or target audience. The target audiences in this case are the possible recruits of the Navy. According to the agenda theory the media can influence the public about the worth of an event (Suresh, 2003). Since the nay is not getting media exposure the public come to think it is a monotonous job since nothing is happening there that is worth the media’s time. Since most of the young adults spend their time watching television and browsing the Internet their notion of the world could be greatly influenced by these medias.

The article also states that the navy uses personal testaments from actually navy trainees to be able to convince new recruits that the navy life is not like what they think it is. Base on the Belief Congruency theory of persuasion people have beliefs, attitudes and values. These are layered respectively and it is easier to induce change in the outer layer than in the center (“Persuasion Context”, 2001). Officers of the navy then understood that they need to change the beliefs of their target audience to be able to change their attitude towards the navy life.  The idea of using personal accounts of navy life is more convincing that the navy life is full of life than an advertisement that just calls for recruits. This is because the later type of advertisement would not change the prevailing belief about the navy life therefore no change in attitude.

The navy also utilizes all possible media for their effort to recruits new crewmembers. As earlier discussed in one of the articles. A person tends to use the media that can satisfy their need the most. Now since recruits could be coming from different parts of the country, one side could be heavy internet users while in other could be heavy television users. By utilizing all of the media available the call for recruits could reach a higher number of the target audience and could result to more recruits.


Cooper, A. (2008, March 14). The World: Watchdog gets ready to clean up US advertising

            Retrieved May 27, 2008, from Brand Republic Website:



Henry, N. (2007, May 29). The decline of news. Retrieved May 27, 2008, from San Fransisco

Chronicle Website:


Kaye, B. and Johnson, T. (2002, March 1) Retrieved May 27, 2008, from Goliath Website:


Moore, C. (2006) Retrieved May 27, 2008, from Advertising Educational Foundation


Navy has hard time recruiting sailors (2008, April 14). Retrieved May 27, 2008, from The

            Australian Website:,,23536144-


Persuasion Context (2001). Retrieved May 27, 2008, from Spring 2001 theory Workbook


Suresh, K. (2003). Theories of Communication. Retrieved May 27, 2008, from PEOI      Website



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