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Media Politics and civics

Rewrite of a poorly framed Washington Post story on Trump, Ukraine and Putin

WaPo headline implies Donald Trump has a viable policy for ending the Russian war of agression against Ukraine. It foreshadowed a poorly written and sourced “analysis.”

The headline, Inside Donald Trump’s secret plan to end the Ukraine-Russia war, set my teeth on edge. It implies that Donald Trump has a viable policy for ending the Russian war of agression against Ukraine.

My critique began with a Mastodon post and a tweet.

Then I rewrote the “news analysis,” wearing the hat I usually reserve for university undergraduates, beginning with the headline.

Trump plan to end Russian war in Ukraine would reward Putin, experts warn

Trump would pressure Ukraine to give up Crimea and the Donbas border regions to Russia

Former president Donald Trump’s plan for ending Russia’s war in Ukraine would give parts of Ukraine to Russia, according to several people who have had discussions with Trump or his advisors.

The plan tacitly endorses Vladimir Putin’s forceful violation of “internationally recognized borders” according to three foreign policy experts.

The Russian war in Ukraine is the largest land war in Europe since World War II, according to RAND, a nonprofit organized in 1948 to promote “the public welfare and security of the United States.”

Trump would pressure Ukraine to hand over both Crimea and the Donbas border region to Russia, according to several people who “spoke on the condition of anonymity because those conversations [had been] confidential.”

The complete rewrite is over at The Moderate Voice.

WaPo-rewrite

“Not the odds, but the stakes.” That’s how Jay Rosen, NYU journalism professor and media critic, thinks news organizations should be covering the 2024 presidential election.

The stakes, of course, mean the stakes for American democracy,” Rosen told Oliver Darcy, CNN, last year. “The stakes are what might happen as a result of the election.” Rosen continued: “The horse race [odds] should not be the model… It should not be the organizing principle of your campaign coverage.”

In that spirit, I am writing periodic reports focused on the stakes facing voters in this presidential election.

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By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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