Assignment #1: Why is This a Good Article?
“The unraveling of Rudy Eugene, aka the causeway face attacker” by Nadege Green and Audra D.S. Burch
Last summer, I came across many articles on the epidemic of people using the synthetic drug known as “bath salts”. Most of these stories involved the dangerous side effects from the use of these drugs, which included the users to act in a zombie-like state. One story about a man named Rudy Eugene who viciously attacked a homeless man was frequent in the news. These articles I read focused on how could someone ever attack an innocent homeless man or on the dangers of this new, popular drug. He was forever known as the “Miami Zombie”, as this story went viral. However, I came across an article in the Miami Herald explaining a different viewpoint of the situation through testimonies from loved ones in Eugene’s life.
The article, written by Nadege Green and Audra D.S. Burch did an excellent job investigating and focusing on the facts about Eugene testified from his loved ones. Of course, the fact Eugene began to eat a homeless man alive is a terrible crime; however, it is easy to tell there is more to the story of Eugene. His mother had to suffer through rejections of churches not allowing his funeral to be held at a church. His friends do not remember him as a vicious man. These pieces of testimony help a reader to sympathize with his loved ones through emotional appeal, instead of focusing on reporting about the viral “zombie apocalypse” everyone thought was happening. Of course the zombie apocalypse angle was popular to the people, it was not fair reporting because there is more to Eugene’s story. This article helps prove that he was a real, loved person, despite his last odd, crime. It is important in journalism to pick up different perspectives in a story, and these two writers did just that.
Along with this article being based on unique perspective, these writers wrote an excellent narrative of his mother’s grief after the incident and Eugene’s life before he died. It began with a great lede that appealed to the reader’s emotions. “Ruth Charles could not find a Haitian church in Miami to hold a funeral for her son, Rudy Eugene.” This directly gets the reader’s attention because it is impossible to imagine getting rejected to have your son’s funeral in a church. The writers also unfolded Eugene’s life and explained how he was not just a terrible person, as everyone in America assumed. He carried a bible with him and wore a cross around his neck. Eugene had begun to have many problems in his life, most likely leading to the use of drugs. By digging deeper into Eugene’s life, it helps the readers understand why he would have done such a thing. Instead of blaming it just on drugs, this article goes further into Eugene’s life to try to understand how something tragic could happen like this. This is an example of true, great journalism for the reason that these writers dug deep to find out answers and clues in Eugene’s life to show he truly was a real person, not just some crazy zombie.