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Running head: Genre analysis

Genre Analysis
Othon Palma Duque
University of Texas at El Paso
February 14, 2016

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Modern Day Racism
Modern day racism is a really impacting problem our society faces nowadays, because it
affects not only the direct victims, but the society as a whole. Racism is an issue that goes back
years and years ago, and it has been fought throughout time in many different forms. It was
decreasing, or at least it was thought to, but thanks to social media and mobile devices the truth
or the reality of racism comes to light every single day and there is no possible way to hide it.
Catherine E. Shoichet (2015), a writer for CNN, recently published an article called Is racism
on the rise? More in U.S. say it's a 'big problem,' CNN/KFF poll finds. Shoichet (2015) explains
how most people see racism and the attention they think racism deserves. All the information in
her article is supported by a poll, as it is stated on the title and the results indicate that the society
is actually starting to worry again about an issue that was thought to be left in the past. Another
great source of information that supports this idea is a YouTube video from Brave New Films
(2015) called Racism is Real. In this video the author expresses and shares how unfair is the
society with people from different races and the shocking fact that it is an issue being left aside.
Ideas and facts that appear in the video are supported with studies made by different reliable
universities and organizations, such as The New York Times or the U.S. Department of Justice.
Audience & Purpose
Both genres are alike and also differ in many ways, such as their audience, purpose,
limits, vocabulary and other main factors to be considered. The audience for The CNN article is
mostly focused on grown-ups, or intellectual people who like to read the news and be informed,
it includes charts and numbers and not everyone is prompt to that kind of articles. On the other
hand, the YouTube video concentrates more on making the video attractive not only to
intellectual people, but for everyone who might be searching the web. It is a really interesting

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idea, conveyed in a video with cool music and pictures that really transmit the message without
making it tedious. The purpose of both, The CNN article and the YouTube video is basically the
same but also sifferent. The main purpose of The CNN article is to inform the society how
everyone else sees racism and he impact everyone thinks it has on the society, while the YouTube
video focuses also on persuading the viewer to make something to stop or change this problem
that affects every single one of the human beings conforming the community. As opposed to The
CNN article, the YouTube video does not include opinions and points of view. It includes facts
proved and extracted from different studies and investigations made by recognized universities
and Associations, such as The New York Times Economic Review (2015), The U.S. Department
of Justice (2011) and The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (2012).
A big difference between both genres is that in The CNN article the audience is expected
to be at least a little informed about past and recent racism impacting events on the U.S.
community, or if not informed, it expects the reader to investigate a little further from what is
presented on the article. As opposed to the YouTube video where the viewer is not expected to
know nothing beforehand, and the main purpose is for the viewer to grasp the facts and numbers
shared in the video, to process them and come out with the same conclusion the creators of the
video had, modern day racism is real. The audience is not expected to waste much time while
reading or viewing both genres, only about 3 to 5 minutes each approximately. It is possible that
a cult or intellectual reader could spend more time on further investigation about the subject, and
this could go as far as hours, but the genres by themselves are both short and straight-forward.
The two genres where chosen carefully and analytically based on which two ways of
communicating best expressed the topic desired, this being said their language is completely
appropriate for their desired audience. They both use really simple language, not completely

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formal but not informal at all, simple presentation of facts without making the subject look too
complicated.
Rhetorical Issues
The CNN article and the YouTube video are well supported and have good credibility,
which makes them really good and reliable genres for this purpose. As opposed to the YouTube
video, who gives direct sources of investigation and information, The CNN article only shows
information collected from random people on the streets, but the fact that it is written by a wellknown writer and published by CNN gives the article as much credibility as a poll based article
could get. The CNN article has no Pathos at all, this meaning it does not try to evoke any
emotional response whatsoever from the reader, but rather a logical one, in which the reader
investigates further and gets involved in this important matter. The YouTube video, does try to
evoke emotions from the viewer, it is not its main purpose, but by showing the audience how
victims suffer from racism, their sad faces and situations, the creator makes the viewer a little
sympathetic to the racism victims situation. The author of The CNN article got all her
information from surveying more than two thousand people all around the country, to get a grasp
of an idea of what people actually think of the matter. Two thousand people might not be that
much compared to a 322 million people country and the results of the study could be a little
misleading based on the small sample from which the study was made of, however, the author
explains all this at the beginning of the article and she recognizes it is just a simple look, to
confirm or get closer to the hypothesis that racism has either never left, or that it could be
coming back. The author strategized her article by explaining the experiment first, showing the
results with colored graphs and a video, and most important of all, she included actual testimony
and thoughts of some of the people who participated in the poll. This elements and tools help

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support and create her whole article based on simple peoples thoughts and makes it far more
interesting than an article just containing numbers and graphs.
Structure & Delivery
The creator of the YouTube video used a complete different strategy from The CNN
article because its purpose is completely different. The structure and information in the YouTube
video are solely facts, not opinions or surveys, and any fact with a good and trustworthy source
is trustworthy too, but the strategy of the author of the YouTube video was not only to transmit
those facts to the viewer but also to make a subject which might look simple or boring to a
person, a little more entertaining or cooler, so the viewer would get interested and maybe a little
more involved in the matter. The images and video it uses make it really attractive to the sight
and its short time makes it a video that people would be likely to share with their friends either
personally or through their social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.. The main
similarities between both genres are that the two focus on giving the people more information on
the matter and helping people realize racism is actually important and present in our daily
society. On the other hand they are really different because The CNN article shows opinions and
the YouTube video plain facts, making their strategic layout and attributes completely different.
Conclusion
Although both genres are really strong tools for transmitting and even persuading the
reader or viewer to focus more on their topics, the YouTube video might have used a better way
of reaching its purpose. In a matter like these it is better to have everyone possible involved and
informed in your topic, and an attractive video with good music is far more marketable and
shareable than a CNN article with more numbers and information that might not seem relevant to
all audiences. The impact of good genres in discourse communities is huge and is basically the

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only way in which a community can get mobilized and informed to do something good for their
society, we live in a world where the best product is not necessarily the one who sells more, but
the one with best marketing. By having good and attractive genres an author or person can make
or manipulate a community to make or talk about things that had never crossed their minds
before.

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References

Shoichet K. (2015). Is racism on the rise? More in U.S. say it's a 'big problem,' CNN/KFF poll
finds. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/24/us/racism-problem-cnn-kff-poll/
Greenwald R. (2015). Racism is Real. Retrieved from
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTcSVQJ2h8g
Mullainhathan S. (2015). Racial Bias, Even When We Have Good Intentions. Retrieved from
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/upshot/the-measuring-sticks-of-racial-bias-.html?_r=0
U.S. Dept of Justice. (2011). Police Behavior During Traffic and Speed Stops. Retrieved from
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/pbtss11.pdf
The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2012). Housing Discrimination
against Racial and Ethnic Minorities, Retrieved from
https://www.huduser.gov/portal/Publications/pdf/HUD-514_HDS2012.pdf