Critical Thinking Question

I compared two news reports on the latest HKU Silent Protest March on 6th Oct. Obvious differences can be spotted between the two headings.

Word: defend for academic freedom

Measurement: +7, defend is a little negative, but freedom is very positive, so i give a +7 as the two combine

Activity: +2, as defending is a fairly passive action, but still takes effort and determination to defend for something and it may cost something in return

Potency: +7, there are some more words for even worse situation like sacrifice, fight for etc.

It makes readers to associate with a picture that academic freedom is under attack and HKU students and staff are now fighting against the attack, which is worrisome for Hong Kong people. The picture is quite active and there are clear objectives for the attendant. This may cost the attendants something as you cannot just simply walk away from defending something in general. It tries to warn more HK people to aware of what pressure are HK universities currently under, and to urge them to react.

Word: join silent march

Measurement: +3, as joining something is easy and is quite casual

Activity: +3, joining something requires you to do it actively, but not by much extent

Potency: +3, clearly it is less potent that the word from the article above

I think this one gives a quite different imagination for the readers as joining the march is quite neutral in stands and does not take the attendants much determination. This makes the protest looks mild and it is no big deal, which I think is in line with SCMP stand as it is a bit on pro-Beijing side in recent years, compared with HKFP above which is clearly on pro-democracy (or on the side of “Hong Kong citizens”).