Malaria kills twice as many

Hello everyone!

This article comes from Reuters, an international news agency that is based in London. The article is based off a study that shows that Malaria effects twice as many people as we previously thought. Here is the link to the article:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/03/us-malaria-numbers-study-idUSTRE81218420120203

Malaria is a prevalent killer across the globe, but it’s not a common problem in the U.S. Throughout the article, did the author convince you that this issue is important? Who is the intended audience for this article?

The author provides 2 opposing viewpoints: the view of the IHME that believes Malaria affects all ages and WHO that believes Malaria primarily affects children. Based off the quotes, does the author seem to favor one view over the other? Does the author balance the arguments well?

What do you think about the kicker of the story? Do you think the author could have ended the article better to make a stronger impact? If so, how?

-Jonelle Doctor

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5 Responses to “Malaria kills twice as many”

  1. I thought the quotes by WHO, the creators of one study, and the researchers, the creators of the new study, were not useful because they obviously were going to support their own research. The quotes did not add much value to the main question: is the new research valid. Of course the creators of the study are going to say that their research was correct. Similarly, the creators of the other study were going to say their research was correct also. This leaves the reader not knowing if the new study is valid.

    The article does try and bring in a third party to evaluate the study with a quote by Sunil Mehra of the Malaria Consortium advocacy group. However, his quote is basically noncommittal. Mehra says that changes must be done but does not address the validity of the study. The article could have done a much better job finding people other third parties who could comment about the merits of the new study.

  2. I agree with Austen in that the article leaves the reader questioning whether the research on malaria is correct. If both agencies are coming up with different numbers, who is to say which of them is correct, if any?

    I thought that the article showed bias against the numbers WHO reported, because the quotes from the agency basically said “these are our numbers and we stand by them”, but the article didn’t really give clear reasons as to why the numbers should be more credible than the numbers IHME were reporting. The article mentioned that the WHO numbers were based on verbal testimony rather than laboratory samples, but did not specify which results should be more reliable, or why.

    Overall, the article left me a little bit skeptical and wanting to do a bit more research to see what other agencies numbers looked like, just to see which of the two agencies mentioned here might be closer, or to find out what kinds of methods are most accurate for finding the actual numbers of malaria deaths.

  3. Kristin,

    I think the author starts off very strong with the startling statistic lede. It brings attention to the fact that malaria is killing more people than thought, but then she gets lost in the quotes as the article continues. I agree with the two previous comments. The author doesn’t give us enough information to make a decision.

    I think the author favored the IHME study more than the WHO study. She gives the reader a lot on what the IHME looked at, including stats and dates, but with the WHO, she just gave a quote refuting the IHME study. We’re left wondering who is really right? What the WHO said makes sense, but the claim they make isn’t backed up so we can’t make an educated decision. I think the author is trying to give all viewpoints, but she does not give the same type of attention to all viewpoints.

    Now, for the end of the article, I felt that after the heading, IMPACT, it almost felt like a press release or PSA, not a report. The kicker was not as strong as I think it could have been. It was a good point, but the delivery was off.
    (200)
    Lauren Blanchard

  4. The view of the IHME seems to prevail throughout the article, and it appears that the issue at hand, according to the journalist, is not whom Malaria affects, but rather how many. As a potential health/environment policy major, I’m already well aware of the magnitude of Malaria and its ramifications for the developing world. Personally, I care deeply about public health disparities in Africa; however, if the clinical tone of this article doesn’t augment my sentiments, I doubt it will do much for the general audience. The author does a satisfactory job of balancing perspectives and maintaining clarity, however there is no personal appeal that would make for a great nut graph. The kicker was much the same. Yes, I’m left with an understanding of the previously understated magnitude of this epidemic, but no idea of why it’s such a problem for the average American reader. One thing I did appreciate, which is difficult to find in international news stories, was the explanation of how we can go about solving this – fortifying the WHO.

  5. Jonelle,
    Your first question, asking if this article proved relevant to those in the U.S, had me asking questions about the publication site of this article. If it was perhaps aimed at those in the U.S. who maybe travel to these malaria-prevalent areas, then I think it would sell as an “important issue.” Especially because the findings reveal it is an adult issue. It seems to me that “Reuters” is a business publication, and traveling businessmen will most likely find it more interesting than the general public.
    Thanks for the article!
    -Rachelle Hadley

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