Fracking: a New Golden Age?

With every corner of the world looking for a means to create energy in a more environmentally friendly way, hydraulic fracking, or just fracking, seems to be the new fad in the Western Hemisphere. While it is no new fad altogether, it has been picking up popularity in recent months. So much so that some experts believe that Americans would no longer be dependent for oil overseas, but rather be a hub for oil and gas. This link explains the potential economic and political future of fracking, as it pertains to the United States.

The politics behind fracking is something to be determined after the election, as both candidates have different plans for the future of fracking. The main difference between Obama’s already existing plan and Romney’s new plan is how fast they choose to extract the oil. While Obama has no current measures to increase the speed of oil extraction, Romney wants to “fast-track” on and offshore drilling. It will be interesting to see which direction is taken in the near future (something to look out for post-election).

Presumably, different people are proponents for different sides of this issue. For politicians, they see fracking as a possible means to end oil dependence in the United States. As economists, fracking provides to be a whole new revenue stream. As an environmentalist or health professional, the concern is for how fracking will harm the environment and potential diseases it could cause down the road. And as for the general public, the biggest concern is the effects on personal health due to fracking.

Here’s the simple point. A lot of new information readers gather on anything often starts with the news. Whether it is new or old, journalists are usually our direct connection to the news. What the journalist decides to write is the news we read about. Articles can differ depending on the tone of the journalist. For example, in the issue of fracking, some journalists choose to focus on the politics, others on health, and others still on public opinion. Can the tone a journalist chooses to write with affect the opinion of the reader? And if so, how important is this element to provide support for fracking or give reasons to be against it?

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8 Responses to “Fracking: a New Golden Age?”

  1. This article was very engaging because I think fracking is a crucial issue that we are going to have to deal with in the very near future. It’s interesting to bring up the upcoming election and its relation to fracking. I like how you addressed multiple sides to this issue. People are going to have different perspectives based on their backgrounds. Politicians see fracking as a way to end oil dependence. Economists see the potential increase in revenue. Environmentalists see harm being done to the environment. I think it is important to consider the perspective of an article and its author before accepting all of the information as true.

    Yes, I do think that the tone of an article can affect the opinion of the reader. This is especially true if the reader does not check with multiple sources. This can have the potential to skew their perspective. For example, if one reads an article about the economic benefits of fracking, he or she may not realize that this also comes with associated environmental and health risks. Journalists should always address multiple sides of a story to create an unbiased tone.

    I thought it was interesting how this article addressed the Presidential election. It indicates that Romney sees offshore drilling as a way to reduce dependence on foreign oil. Though it has the potential to do this, it is not the answer. It is critical that we invest in clean energy as well, because fracking does not come without costs.

    • Jenna,
      I agree with you that the tone of the writer affects the opinion of the reader, but I’m not sure it’s a bad thing. When I read articles, it’s the ones that make me reconsider my position that are most memorable. While I’m not saying that the articles should be as opinionated as political advertisements (Anyone else ready for those to be over??), but I think a little bit of opinion is alright. The article should still present both sides of the story, from the political, economical and in this case environmental perspectives, but I don’t mind if the writer has anopinion on the matter – especially if they’ve been in the field long enough and have tackled many other aspects of the issue.

  2. With the high cost of living and taxes, it’s tough to hold on to land that has been in the family for decades or even hundreds of years. There’s a lot of love for the land, especially if you and your ancestors have walked it, worked it, planted it,cultivated it, lived on it and plan to die on it. That’s a human life invested that can be taken away just because the taxes go unpaid. Blood, sweat and tears are on that land. I know. My family have lived here since before this was the USA and we are struggling. So I can understand why many would want to get money to help them pay their taxes. But no amount of money is worth ruining our most precious resource,water, forever. You can’t drink money. The Catskill Mountains of NY State- such a beautiful rural and wilderness area in upstate New York, with reservoirs that supply NY City with water. We have some of the purest freshwater in the world and want to keep it that way. This is what we are doing: http://www.sovereignpeople.net/index.html Check out the entire website and documents. Originally starting in the heart of the Catskills, this is now the fastest growing anti- fracking movement across NY state

  3. I think that the tone of the journalist on this topic of fracking has some sway over the reader, but it is minimal. Whether the writer is for or against it influences the reader’s stance, but the majority of what goes into forming an opinion on the topic is already solidified in the reader, from other sources that shape their values and beliefs. Think past experiences, family and friends, and culture. For example, someone that lives in a rural area, has grown up on a farm, and has come to greatly appreciate open land will be more resistant to being convinced that fracking is a win, no matter how well the article is written. Oppositely, someone that comes from a business family, has grown up being rewarded for making fiscally profitable decisions, and is not as in touch with nature, will be more resistant to questioning fracking. To this person, it is a way to boost the American economy; plus, he or she will readily accept other benefits of fracking, such as loosening involvement with oil-providing countries that we have been at war against, because they do not have staunch beliefs against it. Overall, I think that the article can inform the reader, no matter his or her disposition on the topic, but not necessary change his or her viewpoint.

  4. Yes, a journalist’s tone can definitely (and does!) affect the opinion of the reader. With the right quotes and one-liners, any journalist can sway his or her readers, even to the side of an argument they thought they were against. Its important for journalists to show many sides to a story, as well as for readers to check multiple stories. Journalists have the responsibility to be thorough, and readers have the responsibility take everything with a grain of salt. So yes, tone is very important because readers are very impressionable, even when we don’t realize it. It may not always be a bad thing, but regardless it should be avoided. Journalists are supposed to tell the story, not tell you which side to take.

  5. I think the tone of this article definitely affected me! I agree that it is important for journalists to be fair and showcase many sides of the story. However, I believe it can be a real strength of a journalist to be able to argue a point. Journalism is a profession that often gives writers the freedom to argue for what they believe in. The tone of the reading was intended to affect the reader, and the writer is obviously speaking to something that means something to him. I think journalists are responsible for what they are telling an audience, so it is important that they are factual. However, I don’t think it is always necessary to attempt to be “unbiased.”

  6. I agree that writers should be allowed to interject some opinion into what they write. I would hope, as a journalist, you were writing about something you care about. I think if a journalist cares about an issue that will come through in their writing, and honestly, it the journalists job to give us their opinion. Everyone has their own set of background knowledge and opinion that colors their views on issues. I wouldn’t want to read an article written by someone who has a strong opinion about something, but holds back.

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