Sunday, January 15, 2012

For January 19 Discussion: Captain of stricken ship blasted for leaving ship; cruising close to coast; divers find bodies

Since I just safely voyaged to the Bahamas with my family over the holiday break, I thought this story was relevant since a present day 'Titanic' catastrophe surprisingly hit world news today. Being on open water just a mere few weeks ago, I came to the conclusion that a ship of mighty caliber, including the one I was traveling on, was indestructible. Not even the jagged ocean waves could scare me into a wicked slumber. I gently eased into my dreams with the water as a gentle guide. Now looking at how the Costa Concordia took five innocent lives as it toppled over off of the coast of Giglio, Italy, it's hard to imagine the water as anything but treacherous.

This article was impacting and very informative on how the cruise ship came to capsize. Details on rescued passengers and officials were used effectively as well in order to bring a sense of realness to the piece. Captain Francesco Schettino seemed to get heavily bombarded on his foolish actions over the course of the rescue as the article went on. Obviously everyone wants answers to these types of avoidable tragedies, but I felt like the accusations and implications being made toward Schettino had no worth because there wasn't any evidence seen to back it up. He was portrayed as this careless captain who steered towards failure just because that is what every source described him as. What opinion did you form of him by the end of the article? Did it change throughout the piece or was it the same from the beginning? Notice the picture gallery and different mediums of media tied in with the article about the story. Do you think these mediums do a good job at depicting the events that went into the story? Look at the quotes relating to Schettino and his actions during the course of the rescue, do the pictures convey the emotional aspect trying to be reached in the piece as well?

In my opinion, I felt as though the events of Costa Concordia's ordeal was scripted in a 'breaking news' sort of way. But I thought the pictures conveyed the course of the day in a good light especially with the rescues made by the helicopters. Here's the link to the story:


  1. I feel like this article could appeal to a wide audience because reading it was almost like watching the Titanic. It definitely had that emotional appeal, especially when it was framed as "good vs. evil" when the accusations about the captain were made. This story was the ultimate example of a car wreck that you can't look away from, because people will read this story just because of their human fascination with disaster.

    i thought that the picture gallery showed an accurate depiction of the scale of the damage but didn't really put any emotion into it because there were very few pictures with people in them. However, the video that one of the passengers took definitely pulled out human interest as you could hear actual people screaming and see the boat tilting.

    I felt like the article automatically assumed that the captain was guilty and only portrayed him in that light. Even though they used words like "accused" and "allegedly," it still seemed to imply he was guilty, even without evidence. Therefore while I was reading it I viewed the captain as the "bad" character in the story and my view didn't really change after I read the whole thing. However, after rereading it I did notice that there wasn't really solid evidence that he was guilty but I still had that impression because of the way it was written.

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  3. The first and second paragraph do an EXCELLENT job of pulling the reader in and wanting to know more. However, that feeling doesn't go away as the story goes on. I as the reader would have liked more in depth description of what happened as the ship was going down. The video does add to the story but without the video there is not much input from the passengers. I finished the story and I just felt as if I wanted to know more!

    I do agree with Anne in that the story seems to lean towards the captain being 'guilty' without any real evidence yet. While the story may make for an interesting read I didn't like the biased feeling.

    The photo gallery is very captivating. It's amazing to see such a large ship sunken under the sea. As Stephanie said, I just always think of such large cruise ships to be indestructible.

  4. After hearing about this from my dad the other day, I'm going on a cruise for spring break, it was nice to read an article about what had happened and see photos of the accident. My dad had speculated to me on the phone that he thought the captain was at fault in some way for the ship tipping but in this article I didn't feel that a finger was pointed.

    This article is definitely newsworthy since so many people vacation on cruises or have family that have before. The article was clearly written with a good amount of detail to satisfy general curiosity.

    The photos were also a great supplement to the article, especially considering there were almost 100. Even though most of them were similar and there weren't any new details or information to be found in the pictures, as I said earlier, it was enough to satisfy viewer's curiosity. People love to see real proof of what happened, something these photos provided.

  5. From this being the main thing I have seen on the news for the past three days, I was immediately interested in the article. It's a unique event that rarely occurs so it has caught everyone's attention.

    I felt the photos were a nice touch. Especially the ones that were under water; it gave the reader a sense of what the journalist was writing about. Although they gave a good image of what happened, it didn't show the emotion that was put into the article. The article was heartfelt and was compared to the titanic sinking. From such a big tragedy, the images are standard.

    Overall, I felt the article jumped from place to place. It was telling the reader too many different aspects of the tragedy and it became hard to follow. It began with the accusations of the captain jumping before helping all the passengers to a "black box" being recovered to peoples experience on the sinking ship. The structure of the piece could have been better.

    The article is over a good topic, but i have read better pieces about the cruise ship.

  6. I, too, was instantly interested in reading this article. I have been closely following this story since I had first heard about it.

    I really appreciate that the writer didn't spend much time reminding the reader what had happened and just jumped right into the newest findings. In addition to the necessary information in the first few paragraphs, I think the writer would have been better off focusing the piece on the stories of one or two people rather than trying to include them all.

    It would be difficult to find photos of a sinking ship that are not impressive. However, I really like the ones included with this article.

  7. I found this story to be thrilling and adventurous, yet very sad and I believe the rest of the world feels the same way. There is no doubt there was some error on the captain's part but I doubt it was done on purpose. I wish the article would have given the credentials of the captain, and they had no way to quote him. He is innocent until proven guilty, and it will be interesting to hear what he will have to say.

    With that said, crashing a huge ship into this island seems avoidable by someone such as me or a normal person. It is common sense for a ship to get farther than they were from an island. It seems to be common sense for me that if you get that close, you're going to hit the bottom.

    I think the other forms of media worked well, and it helps describe the chaos aboard the ship. The pictures help to show something that would be hard to imagine. They paint an excellent picture of what it would be like to be aboard such a disastrous scene.

  8. This story is very interesting. There are so many loose ends that still need to be tied up. I wouldn't be surprised if this stays in the news for a long time, or at least until the captain of the ship goes on trial. A captain should always go down with his ship! this guy is the opposite of the pilot who landed his plane in the Hudson River last year.

    The writers do a good job of providing context as to why the ship might have been so close to shore. The slideshow and video provide eyewitness accounts that bring the story to the reader. I like the use of amateur video which is becoming more relevant in news stories these days.

  9. I thought that this article was very interesting. It did a good job with providing the facts of the situation and not getting into too much unnecessary detail. It was just straight to the point. I liked that it explained the human error of the situation.

    My opinion of the captain is that he is somewhat of a coward. It says in the article that even abandoning the ship in danger can serve 12 years in prison. This just shows how serious abandoning a ship is. However, it don't think that the entire incident can be blamed on the captain. For a ship to sink, I would think, there would have to be some kind of constructional error as well. The cruise company is probably blaming it all on the captain to save the integrity of the cruise ships as a whole. It would cause less damage in the company to blame one person and their personal judgement than to say the ship was not strong enough.

    I thought that the pictures and slide show really added to the article. It gave the reader a first hand view of the crash and just how close to shore the ship was. It related well to the article and was a good storytelling tool.

  10. When I began this article, the picture of the ship sinking definitely captured my attention. Before I saw the quote, "survivors described a terrifying escape that was straight out a scene from Titanic," I was immediately reminded of the Titanic disaster, especially when I saw the photograph. I didn't know that a captain who abandons a ship in danger can spend up to 12 years in prison. That was a fascinating fact.

    This story can be considered newsworthy, because people could relate to this article, if they have ever been on cruises. However, this article could possibly influence readers to avoid cruises, due to paranoia of crashing and mistrust of the captain. Although this is unlikely, it is still possible, because news and the media influence our beliefs.

    Overall, I enjoyed reading this story, but I felt terrible for the ones who have died, and the people who now have to deal with their loved ones' deaths due to the idiocy of the captain. I especially had sympathy for the pregnant passenger who injured her ankle.

  11. I think this was an excellent story, and I really enjoyed reading it. The photographs put it over the edge, allowing the readers to visualize and really connect with the victims and see the disaster first hand. I definitely think the captain should be held responsible for leaving passengers to die, and for the fact that there are still several missing.

    This was a serious accident that with the right captain could've ended differently. It breaks my heart for those who have lost loved ones and are still waiting for other bodies to be found. I really liked how the author included the quote from the pregnant woman, because it shows that they are all regular people and really gets emotion out of the reader.