April 26, 2009

Analysis on Records/Computer-Assisted Reporting: Investigative Reporting on Troubled Bridges in Missouri

According to's Extra! Extra! link, Mark Greenblatt is a reporter who used computer-assisted reporting to help him tell a story about Missouri's troubled bridges. Greenblatt employed records from the National Bridge Inventroy, Federal Highway Administration, MODOT, and a video clip tape transcript Department of Transportation. The reporter would have needed to know how to use Microsoft Excel and navigate these different source banks so he could retrieve the information he needed and design graphs or chart which would help him analyze the numbers. Also, he needs to know how to calculate percentages and percent change. In his report, his KOMU's "computer-assisted investigation" revealed citizens in Missouri are seriously at risk because of mid-Missouri's deteriorating bridges.

April 19, 2009


April 12, 2009


April 5, 2009

Analysis on Numbers in a News Story

March 29, 2009

Analysis on Orbituary

WCCO News reported that WCCO-TV sports reporter and weekend anchor Bob Rainey died Saturday morning after a courageous battle with colon cancer.

Let us examine the manner in which the reporter wrote his obituary.

The main sources used are that of Bob Rainey's family and the abundant evidence of his sports broadcasting work at WCCO News station. The article employs a standard obituary lead where the name of the person, an identifying characteristic, and when the news sportscaster died are listed. Where the news sportscaster died is not listed.

His age was also mentioned. The lead works pretty efficiently. An obituary pays tribute by giving a quick flash of someone's life who is prominent, while a resume details a person's strengths, accomplishments, and experiences.

March 8, 2009

Press Conference by the United Nations on the Quest to end Violence against Women

According to, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday carried a strong message for greater international intervention and for the United Nations to step up and put an end to the violence against women.

When one compares the news report to the press release, one immediately notices some key differences. First, in the press release on International Women's Day, the public relations person focused more on why this campaign to end violence against women is so crucial.


The main goal of this representative is to spark the interests of the news organizations to the point where they will want to take the time to cover this specific event. Secondly, the way the press release is written more in the form of a narrative. It tells the story of what can happen if society does not step up and take a stand to put an end to domestic violence and abuse. Then it appeals to the emotional side of the reader by giving some alarming statistics.

Contrarily, in the news report, the reporter fairly takes the main ideas in the press release, however there are some slight differences to the news angle. First, the reporter crafts the story in such a way that it urges readers to take action about domestic violence right away. In other words, come up with different methods of resolving this problem
and then implement the changes immediately.

The reporter chooses to use a very powerful quotation from the Secretary-General in the lead paragraph which gives the reader a pretty good sense of what the United Nations want men and women around the world to do to fight against domestic violence.

The reporter then follows with the nut graph paragraph that gives a few, brief details about the event.

Thereafter, the reporter injects a lot of other strong quotations, which substantiate the first two paragraphs.

Which brings the reader to the second difference. In a news report, there is more emphasis placed on the actioon and what actually is happening. The reporter has an angle based on what newsworthy for that particular station. Their job is to make the story appealing to readers. Whereas in a press release, the public relations person provides more background information to compel news organizations to report on their event as a top priority.

February 27, 2009

A News Advance on article entitled "AIDS cure using gene therapy"

According to Bangkok Post, this article advances the idea of coming up with an aids cure using gene therapy.

The sources used include the results of an experiment by the journal Nature Medicine, doctors led by Ronald Mitsuyasu
of the University of California in Los Angeles, and the subjects who were part of the experiment. The angle of the story is to spark some excitement and hope for HIV victims who may eventually receive a cure for the AIDS virus. The reporter has crafted more than a listing by describing the specific details of this new technology.

February 21, 2009

Analyis Entry on Spot News and Follows for the article on "2 Charged In Shooting A Deputy In NW Minn."

With respect to the article on "2 Charged In Shooting A Deputy In NW Minn.," the leads differed greatly from the first-day story to the follow-up story the next day. In the first-day story, it was evident that the reporter focused more on the charges being brought against two Twin-Cities area men in connection with a shooting that had left a Mahnomen County sheriff's deputy critically injured. This lead gave ample detail about the charges of the suspects and what they faced.

Where as in the follow-up story talked more about the condition of the deputy who was critically wounded. The reporter highlighted the status of his condition which advanced the news plot by saying the deputy would indeed survive the incident. The main news is summarized into one statement saying that a deputy was shot at while checking a report of shots fired in a neighborhood in Mahnomen. The second-day story is definitely a response to a report from a competing news organization in an attempt to provide new information that other news organizations have not yet done.

February 15, 2009

Analysis Of Structure In The Article "A Dead Man Found On St. Paul Train Tracks"

In analyzing the article on "Man Found Dead On St. Paul Train Tracks" from WCCO News' perspective, it is evident that the reporter was effective in releasing the most important information first. In the first block, the reporter summarizes the news that a man's body was found on St. Paul train tracks late Saturday evening. Then in the next paragraph , the reporter gives a brief description of the man to the audience saying he is 30-years-old. The reporter has ordered the information in a systematic way, giving a general recap of what happened leading into more details. The way the reporter structured the information is perfect, however the same facts could have been stated in a slightly different way.

On the other hand, in analyzing the article on "Body Found on St. Paul Train Tracks" from Fox 9 News' perspective, the reported ordered the information very differently. First, the reporter started off by saying police are investigating why a man's body was found on the railroad tracks on the City's east side Saturday night. Then the reporter went on to state details such as a body was found near Payne Avenue and Phalen Boulevard and how police were uncertain about this man's cause of death. Later on, the reporter takes a quote from Mark Davis with Union Pacific and gives a brief identifier of the man whose name has not been released. This reporter started with a broader sense about the incident and why police were still investigating. It then ended with a tiny piece of information on the man. Details of of where and when the body was found was discussed in the beginning. The reporter was very effective in their synthesis of the fact blocks because they reported the information in an order that made it very easy to follow the events of this case smoothly. Following the hard news approach, the reporter gave the pertinent information at the beginning while tayloring the less important information in the end in a clear, very concise delivery.

February 9, 2009

Analysis Of Leads In The "All People Die Aboard Small Plane In Wisconsin" Article

In the article on "All Passengers Die On Board In Wis. Small Plane Crash," the reporter works the news lead in an effective manner. In the first sentence, the reporter gives the hard news facts stating that all passengers died in a plane crash Friday evening near Menemonie, Wis. The reporter is telling the who, what, when and where all in the first sentence. The what, where and when is detailed in the first sentence, while the reporter did not have much information to report on the who or the why. Ultimately, the reporter chose a straightforward hard news approach detailing the events of this incident.

February 8, 2009

Analysis Of Attribution In "The Community Grieves Loss of Superintendent" Article

WCCO News used informal sources to attribute their story on "Community Mourns SuperIntendent Killed In Crash."
The reporter gathered information their information directly from those who interacted regularly with John Franzoia. These included educators, student, and other school professionals who knew Franzoia. These sources are named and include Rhonda Krutchen who is a Royalton High School alum. and Phil Gurbada who is the Royalton Elementary School
principal. The sources are pretty evenly spread out through the story. They gave the reader great insight into what type of man Franzoia was. Also, the reporter has obviously done their homework to verify the records that these two formal sources can be identified. One is a former student and the other is an elementary school principal. The reporter is effective in setting up the attribution of the story by interweaving the personal commentaries of those who know Franzoia well.

Similarly, KSTP-TV News used the same informal sources. Their reporter also did an effective job grasping a smidget of the profile of what Franzoia was like through the commentaries of educators and students. However, KSTP-TV News added another keen source. They spoke with the State Patrol and authorities who had confirmed the events of Franzoia's vehicle crash Friday evening.