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spectator safety

            the sports section of the Times, neutrally titled “Fan Safety and Liability Debated in Puck Death” avoids taking a stands either for or against fan safety. Instead, the author, Edward Wong, discussed the debate itself, simply presented the legal obligations the N.H.L. in regards to spectator safety, whether or not Cecil’s family could benefit from suing the Blue Jackets, and the implication of beefing up safety precautions. There is a terse paragraph describing what happened to cause her death, but seems like it is there merely to provide background rather than to influence the opinion of the reader. Cecil is never mentioned personally as “Brittanie”, her picture does not accompany the article, nor does any other, and the article’s most descriptive language is in quotes, which come from a Blue Jackets spokesman and three different legal experts. Because the article doesn’t take a firm position, just states the legal precedent, which in most cases is unfavorable to fans, the reader is not necessarily moved to oppose safety revisions, but is moved to not care about them.
             This is a supreme contrast to the article in Sports Illustrated, entitled “Put Up The Net”. The author, Michael Farber, has already persuaded his audience to his argument before he even begins it not only by his chosen title, but also from a picture consuming most of first page of the article captioned “Safety Zone”, which shows hockey fans pleasantly enjoying a game while seated behind a net. In addition, his argument is given a fantastic prologue by Sports Illustrated, in terms of an eight page expose about Cecil, written by Phil Taylor, which included the illustrations her daily life, intimate interviews of her best friend and soccer coach, blow by blow details of her death, and most shocking, reactions from the players who hit the puck that killed her.