On January 19, Shurmer (2010), a writer for the Comment News website wrote an article updating the site readers on the ongoing struggles of Richard Pennicuik, better known as “Tree man. ” Since early December of the previous year, Tree man had been living in a gum tree near his house in Hume Road, in the City of Gosnells, as a form of protest and to save the tree from the city council plans to clear the street of any and all mature trees that may cause harm by dropping large limbs.
As of the writing of the article, he had been in the tree for 43 days and was experiencing physical difficulties on top of his legal issues as there was a severe heatwave and the high temperatures were causing him discomfort. Entitled “‘Tree man’ loses hope,” the article chronicled Tree man’s fading optimism caused by heat-induced headaches; the council fining him $5000, as it deemed the platforms that served as his makeshift treehouse were illegal, and forcing him to remove these structures; and the abandonment of an adjacent gum tree by a rotating team who had occupied it for the same cause.
A couple of months later on March 13th, a Staff Writer (2010) for Perthnow a local subsidiary of The Sunday Times, wrote a relatively more recent update piece on the Tree man. Asking “Tree man Richard Pennicuik for mayor? ” the report comes on the heels of a stand-off the previous day wherein he still refused to come down from the tree even after policemen and tree-cutting machinery had arrived. Apparently, despite the previous report on his morale and health problems, he had stayed on the tree for another 53 days.
The title of the article comes from a comment Tree man had made, saying he had intentions of running for city mayor as the current council he was battling was “laughable and unworkable. ” An analytical comparison of these two Tree man news article updates will be discussed. The first, most noticeable, difference between the two news articles is their marked difference in length, with the first article much longer than the second. Although quantity does not necessarily denote substance, it can be observed that the Comment News article contains relatively more actual facts about the situation than the PerthNow article.
In addition, on a related note, it can also be noticed that the former article has more content related to the actual subject, as denoted by the article title, than the latter. As an example to support both of these observations, although Comment News does not include a quote wherein Tree man explicitly stated that he was “losing hope,” it does mention why this would be the case by including a quote where he said he “didn’t cope well” with the heatwave headaches and how the $5000 fine would “ruin his family.
” The PerthNow article, on the other hand, only justifies the title mentioning Tree man’s mayoral aspirations with the quote: “The current regime is laughable and unworkable and I want to get in there, if I have enough supporters, to run the council the way it should be run. ” The rest of the article, however, does not mention the issue again and only contains a brief summary of the previous day’s stand-off and another quote from Tree man where he reasserts his stance.
The Comment News article does seem to slightly force the “losing hope” theme though, by briefly mentioning that the street was desolate due to the abandonment of the adjacent gum tree, although Tree man is not mentioned as having an opinion on this. However, this observation still contributes to the discussion of the main subject. Coherence to a specific topic is somewhat of a requirement for any formal article, especially one that is professionally written.
The briefness and lack of coherence in the case of the latter article can, however, can be attributed to the writer expecting the reades to already know the details as the situation was already months-long, and there was a climactic update the day before. Both articles do, however, paint Tree man as both a dedicated activist from his acts of defiance, and also a novelty character as the tones of his quotes in the first article are slightly rattled and dramatic and in the second, noticeably vague.He was also described as remaining “defiantly aloft” despite legal and physical danger, and his lawyer’s protests.
References hurmer, J. (2010, January 19). ‘Tree man’ loses hope. Comment News. Retrieved from http://southern. inmycommunity. com. au/news-and-views/local-news/Tree-man-loses-hope/7546357/ Staff Writer. (2010, March 13) Tree man Richard Pennicuik for mayor? PerthNow. com. The Sunday Times. Retrieved from http://www. perthnow. com. au/news/tree-man-richard-pennicuik-for-mayor/story-e6frg12c-1225840398316
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