For this week’s What Works assignment, I was inspired by our timeline assignment and I thought I would try to find an article that exhibited some sort of societal trend that would have benefited from the use of a timeline. As it turns out, I was able to find a really interesting article titled “More than 700 Change Gender on New York City Birth Certificate Since 2015”. The story discussed the evolution of gender legislation and how requirements have changed so drastically over the past two years. This is where I felt a timeline would’ve been useful because there was so much information that would’ve been easier to grasp in a visual context. If I were given the opportunity to rewrite the article I would’ve organized all the information on a timeline and elaborated more on each event within the article itself.
The story was filled with tons of facts and was linked on Fox News, which made me feel like it was a fairly credible article. However, I felt that it lacked real journalistic reporting and could’ve really benefitted from interviewing some people who were affected by the legislation. With the passing of new gender legislation, I’m sure there were plenty of people to be interviewed on both sides of the legislation. The article was really weakened by the lack of primary sources, which is why it is so short and lacks any sort of emotional appeal to the audience. Obviously if I were able to rewrite the article, I would interview some individuals that had changed their names in NYC, perhaps someone who dealt with the passing of gender legislation, and maybe a man on the street. Either way, adding any sort of personal impact would make this story more appealing to the reader.
Lastly, I feel like this story is SEO friendly and user friendly. The headline of the story is SEO friendly because of words like “Gender”, “New York City”, and “Birth Certificate”. The article is user friendly because of the links to other past articles written about gender legislation in New York City. I always prefer to read articles that link to other stories so that I can get more background knowledge on the current story.
Overall, I thought this article could’ve been so much better if the writer had used a timeline and interviewed primary sources. I feel like it really lacked any emotional appeal to the audience even though the passing of gender legislation can be such an emotionally-driven issue. In this particular case, the article didn’t really work for me because I felt that the writer rushed through it and wasn’t really invested in what he was writing.