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The article under analysis is called “France Strikes ISIS Targets in Syria and Retaliation for Attacks,” posted on November 15, 2015 in The New York Times by Alissa J. Rubin and Anne Barnard, whose articles are mostly devoted to the highlighting of the events in the Middle East region (Syria, Lebanon) as well as in Libya, Haiti, and Russia. The article has an informative character and the authors’ aim is to cover the topic of terrorist attacks across Paris on the 13th of November by means of arranging the events in chronological order, providing the visual materials of what was exactly happening and the facts about the further pace of development.
The headline of the article is simple, but succinct. Thus, it helps to draw attention of the readers without the brief review of the article itself. Even a person who does not know about the world’s latest news can understand the context of the article i.e. terrorist attacks taken place in Paris and the military response of France in Syria as a result of these actions.
Right after a succinct title, the authors show the set of pictures concerning the described events. To my mind, the main aim of this step, in contrast to the heading, is not to draw attention to the article, but to demonstrate the seriousness of the situation and to call for a careful consideration of the grief of others. While perceiving the article, the readers become more aware about the events in Paris. As far as the character of narration in the article sharply changes from general to special, this allows the readers to see not only the whole picture, but also the details and the actions taken step-by-step. Moreover, by providing such data as the number of suspects, the relations between them, citizenship, their armory and actions as well as the detailed description of the French military response, the authors clarify who is responsible in this story and for what. The wide usage of active voice serves to emphasize the doer of the action, not the action itself.
Besides summarizing the information and facts, the opinions of experts and politicians on this event are also highlighted, but by combining these actions with the previous acts of terrorism that occurred in France (set of deadly attacks on Charlie Hebdo newspaper). However, the events on November 13 are not in the main focus of attention in the paper. More emphasis is given by the authors to the post-effect of these actions. If one is talking about the very act of terrorism in Paris, it is important to add that it covers the perimeter of the clash between France (and its actions in Syria) and ISIS, an extremist military group and self-proclaimed Islamic State. However, the effect of these actions against humanity has gone far beyond the scope of the conflict between these countries. The very facts of providing “strike packages” to France militarists from the USA government and the meeting of the world leaders at a summit in Turkey discussing how to respond to the Islamic State (ISIS) are the striking proofs of it.
It goes without saying that the actions in Paris were cruel and inhuman.There were killed and harmed many representatives of an innocent population. The authors give the military criteria of the events organized by terrorists (by providing the facts about the plan, armory and numbers). The photos at the beginning depict some kind of social criteria blaming the attacks. However, one should notice that in the article, there is also the ethical criteria, that is the plea for urging caution for the safety of civilians who are not the members of the Islamic State but could be hurt as a result of French military actions in retaliation.
Taking into account such factors as the word choice (for example, the usage of words “civil war”, “violence”, “police officers”, “safety of civilians”) and the narrative style of the article as well as the sentence structure (the predominance of active voice over passive), one can come to the conclusion that this article targets a general audience regardless of age, gender or marital status. The usage of epithets (“longstanding fears”, “peaceful revelry”), synecdoche (“damage unknown”) or metaphors (“barbarians”) makes the article more artistic then scientific.
Moreover, this article is a typical example of “extra mile rule” which means making more efforts than you are expected. In other words, for those who lack knowledge about who is, for example, François Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy, or what is Syria, ISIS and Islamic State, there were made special links to the related articles where these people, countries or groups are in the center of authors’ attention. Extra miles are usually made in order to relieve the readers of the necessity to look for the information themselves and to save their time.
What is important to emphasize is that there is an abundance of related graphic materials and videos in the paper. The graphics make the article easier to understand even for people whose awareness of the topic is poor, while videos of the witnesses of those events are considered as the emotional pieces of information that make the viewers feel the horror. With a regard to the title applied, the inclusion of graphics and additional information, word choice, usage of stylistic devices, appeal to emontions, provision of a great amount of details, it becomes obvious that the audience of this article is general public that is still going to formulate the opinion about the events. With the manner of their writing, the authors prompt the readers exactly which attitude to adopt.
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All in all, this article proves the idea that even after the numerous and effective defensive measures taken after the 9/11 terrorist attack, there is still a high probability of the threat from terroristic and extremist groups. That is why this material about the events in Paris on the 13th of November has a good reason to be considered the signal for other countries to stay alert.