Sunday, April 5, 2009

Your Old Man

One problem, I think, with reading the Times online is that there's none of the context of reading the actual newspaper. I went into this article as though it were a news article, but by the end I realized it was probably in the Opinion pages. The sidebar said that Belkin has something called the "Motherlode Blog," and by the end I felt like I was reading someone's blog as opposed to an actual newspaper article.

The beginning of the article does a great job of tying together the larger implications of an Australian study. The study showed that children born to older fathers have lower IQs than those born to younger fathers. Belkin cites several other studies in which the age of the father made a difference to the health difficulties of the child and in which the mother's age did not matter. A useful graphic on the side of the screen also illustrated that the risk increases as age increases. Then comes the helpful summarizing quote from the expert, where Dr. Dolores Malaspina tells the reader, "It turns out the optimal age for being a mother is the same as the optimal age for being a father."

It's at this point that the article undergoes a complete shift. Belkin starts using "we" to talk about women, discusses the differences in social attitudes about age towards men and women, and predicts that older men may "gasp!" start to date women their own age. I wish she would've written a newsy article with this new information, used the sources that she used and perhaps gotten a psychiatrist to weigh in on the social attitudes part, and saved her own opinions for her blog.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you that it's frustrating when an article suddenly switches gears on you. Whether you're doing something newsy or an opinions piece, you should establish the tone of the article from the outset and stick to it. The beginning definitely seemed very newsy and it was strange when the reporter all the sudden started using "we". Seems like poor reporting in my opinion.