Boothe's 4202 Blog

How the Internet and Technology is changing Editing

Word Games

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Case Study 10

When comparing the president’s last three State of the Union addresses the first things that stick out of course on the Wordles are the common key words: America, Americans and jobs.

With the financial mess the president inherited, I don’t think there’s any surprise that calming unemployment worries has been a major facet of each of his speeches. Looking through some of the other larger words like “businesses” in the 2009 address and “energy” in 2012 can give a hint at what his domestic policy was focusing on during that time.

The one thing I was surprised about was the lack of foreign policy keywords. In three speeches I found only one “Afghan” and no mentions of “Iraq,” “war,” “conflict,” “troops,” etc.

Wordle can be a useful visual element when trying to breakdown lengthy bodies of script to their essence. Frequently when writers do stories on speeches they throw out number counts like, “The president said ‘economy’ 40 times.” While that phrasing might be effective, I think Wordle can add another visual layer to a story by showing rather than telling a reader.

President Obama’s Speech Wordles

2012 State of the Union

2011 State of the Union

2010 State of the Union

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Written by jboothe

April 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Excellent analysis.

    Ronald R. Rodgers

    April 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm


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