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Year 12 Presentation Of An Issue - Part A
Contention: The presentation of the media debate concerning whether or not HIV athletes should be eligible to participate in contact sports.
Since the AIDS epidemic arose in the early 80\'s, people all over the world have been
intimidated by the deadly disease, which seemed to plague only homosexuals and intravenous drug users. This apparent fear concerns most. The media has re-enforced the use of doctors, football experts and medical specialists to repeatedly highlight the indisputable dangers, which has resulted in constant public exposure, blowing the issue way out of proportion. The equal opportunities board is now debating whether Matt Hall an amateur Footballer, should be prohibited from playing for his local club, after admitting he was HIV positive.
The editorial \'Blood sports\' The Age 25/7/98 (Appendix 1) acknowledges that although there is some chance of Mr. Hall infecting others, the probability of it happening is next to nothing. The opening statement immediately attempts to influence its audience using strong convincing language. The writer begins with a metaphor, describing the situation \'as having as much chance being kicked to death by a duck\'. This metaphor is used perfectly, as we all know the incredible unliklihood of \'death by duck bashing\', shows just how unreasonable the possibility that other players may contract HIV. However, later in the editorial a rhetorical question is used to view both sides of the argument "Is this an acceptable risk?". Added to what seemed a one sided argument, the contrast of such a powerful statement, leaves an unbiased view, allowing the audience to make their own minds up.
Statistics taken from the British Medical Journal, state how an Italian soccer player became infected after colliding heavily with an opponent , which also adds substance to the conflicting argument. Although Matt may pose a threat, the writer feels football is a "mans" game, leading the reader to believe that the game is comprised of \'blood and guts\' and each time a player steps onto the field, he faces the chance he may not return.
The editorial \'Kicking in danger\' Herald Sun 5/8/98 (Appendix 2) is a bold, yet stern judgment against Mr. Wall participation, but dwells on his disability expressing deep commiseration. The piece begins with a generalization, "Nobody can reasonably quarrel with the decision of the Victorian Amateur Football Association..." This statement is obviously opinionated not fact, as the word "Nobody" has been used. Instead of incorporating emotion into the issue to persuade
and draw more readers to a way of thinking, only fact should be used, reasoning with the audience, not just telling them that "its wrong because I don\'t like it." Strong language is deliberately used to enhance the argument such as "Deadly Disease" and "Ignores the Reality." These \'power words\' are trying to snare the reader, endeavoring to give a sence of urgency and panic, that everybody will contract HIV, when we all know this isn\'t the case. Compassion is shown, sympathizing towards Mr. Walls tragedy, despite allowing him to continue may endanger others.
The commentary \'Why Matt should play on\' Herald Sun 11/8/98 (Appendix 3) substantiates his position as an ammetur footballar and focus\' on the likelihood of Matt infecting others. With this idea in mind a more sympathetic approach is taken, attempting to paint a picture that the reader can relate to. Referring to the Wall\'s as a "football family" depicts them as a typical Australian family, leading the audience to assume they are no different to the neighbors next door. The writer justifies his condition using sarcastic humor, "A footballar is more likely to contract HIV during the end of season trip!" As well as this he uses statistics to support his argument, "In the 15 years of the epidemic, there have been millions of sporting contracts world wide and there has not been one documented case of HIV transmission in sport." Mr. Leigh Johns, a discrimination law practitioner voices his opinion using an emotion tone, aiming to sway the audience finishing with a moving statement such as "should he stop play when experts describe the chance as extremely small." However Mr. Johns doesn\'t supply any fact to strengthen his argument, his thoughts and ideas on the subject are sufficient as he is experienced with a
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