Media Critique Blog #1

“God gives wisdom to understand Scripture (Spiritual Journey) by Kay Campbell was published by The Huntsville Times and then published on The Birmingham News website. When I clicked on the Religion & Faith section of the news, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to see this story about a local, elderly woman, Marion Johnston, and her walk with God.

The news story is told in an interview format between Campbell and Johnston. Campbell uses the delayed lead approach when writing her story. It begins with the title (headline) and then gives a few pieces of information about Johnston, like her age (53), where she goes to church (Chase Community Baptist Church), and her work experience (grocery clerk).

Campbell then shares pieces of her interview with Johnston. When asked how she connects with God, Johnston says, “I read the Bible everyday. Last year, I read the Bible five times. I deepen my faith by staying and living in the Word.” A little further on the interview, Johnston explains how she would help someone who is discouraged. She says,
“I would offer to pray with them, if they allowed it. We would pray that God would work in their lives and make them aware of his leading and love.” It could be said that Campbell intended for this answer to tell readers what they, too, should do. But instead, I believe she used this question to find out more about Marion Johnston.

When I finished reading the interview I was left feeling a little empty. I wanted to know more about Marion Johnston, whether she has children, how she came to believe in God, and what she does for fun. There are many other tidbits of information that could have been added into this story that would make the reader feel more connected with Johnston. I wanted to feel like I had just sat down and had a nice, long talk with her, not as if I had simply heard in passing how she chooses to encourage others.

Although I enjoyed reading about Johnston’s faith, I was disappointed that only her side was told, thus appearing to favor a particular side. Granted, this story took on the format of an interview. However, the story could have been enhanced with a differing point of view, giving the reader something to think about.

 

Campbell’s story can be found here:

http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2012/02/god_gives_wisdom_to_understand.html

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