In a world…with lots of places for news…sometimes there’s a satirical feel to it, or sometimes it’s conversational. When comparing Vice News and The Rachel Maddow show, at first they seem pretty different, but in reality they are (sometimes) fairly similar. Both shows address current “hot topics” I looked at reports about the not-quite-but-pretty-clear “Muslim Ban” and the ever put off vote to confirm or not confirm Betsy DeVos to Trump’s cabinet. Both shows seem to be using facts and stats, although more of the former than the latter. While Vice turned to a couple of graphs and copies of documents to give to the people they were interviewing, Ms. Maddow used more video footage of the senate calling attention to what the nation is saying about wanting DeVos in charge.
Both shows seem to be fairly straightforward, although Vice is definitely more to the point immediately. When watching Maddow’s segment about the DeVos confirmation, I wasn’t sure if I clicked on the right video because it started with a bit about a company that, come to find out, DeVos is a huge supporter of, even though there is no evidence that this company actually helps schools. Because of the round-about nature of the intro, and the way Maddow spoke in general, her show seemed much more conversational, but not quite as critical as other shows such as those of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. Vice’s segments on the other hand seemed much more like traditional news coverage, except without any “proper” introductions or conclusions to the segment.
Given that both of the topics I looked at are closely related to Trump, he got some attention in both segments, even one or two mentions (bet his ego is bummed he didn’t get more coverage). However, because he wasn’t the main focus of either topic, I think both shows gave him an appropriate amount of time. Both shows seem to be fairly comprehensive in that they are attributing both decisions—the travel ban and DeVos—to Trump and stating that he defends said decisions, but both Vice and Maddow focus more on the responses to said decisions.
Their headlines are pretty eye catching and make you want to look at their reports, and both seem to be fairly true to the principles of journalism. Listening to Maddow’s commentary makes it sound like she is part of the proverbial “fourth branch,” and Vice seems to be both thorough and neutral in its reporting. It seems as though both also balanced verifying information with finding some new information, which makes them seem more real than other sources I’ve seen in the past. While I think both are decent news sources, I still maintain some skepticism of either report and try to follow up with reports from other news organizations.