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Analysis - Numbers

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Obama campaign raises $46M in June; Romney takes in $33M

This article compares the amount of money the Obama and Romney campaigns are raising. The writer rounded the numbers to the nearest million and sited their source, the Federal Election Commission, multiple times. In the electronic version of the article, links to the actual reports are provided.

The writer uses percentage to compare Mit Romney's fundraising to the entire Republican party's fundraising by saying, "accounting for about a third of the $106 million Republicans had boasted raising last month."

I do not think the numbers in the article are overwhelming. By calling attention to the percent difference and rounding the numbers, the writer makes the material easier for the reader to take in.

Analysis - Obituary

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George C. Stoney, Documentary Filmmaker, Dies at 96

The obituary in the New York Times for George C. Stoney has a standard obituary lead stating his commonly known name, what he was known for, where and when he died and his age. I think this lead works well because people out side of the public access or documentary film communities would not know Stoney by name.

This obituary differs from a resume in many ways. It doesn't just list his accomplishments, but describes their impact on the community.

The only sources quoted in the obituary are Stoney himself and Rika Welsh, an colleague of his in building what we know now as public access television. Many of Stoney's quotes are said to be "from an interview" with no specific time or place given.

I thought it was odd that the writer chose to say "It appears on the list alphabetically, between "All About Eve" and "All Quiet on the Western Front," when talking about one of his films in the National Film Registry.

Analysis - Speeches

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Biden attacks Romney in speech to teachers

In the lead of this article, the writer states the main message of Vice President Joe Biden's the speech to a very specific audience. Biden's speech, given to National Education Association's annual meeting in Washington, questioned Mitt Romney's values, specifically regarding education.

The writer used quotes in which Biden called Romney by name and were accusatory toward Romney. Most of the quotes are full quotes expressing the entire thought. There are very few partial quotes. Many of the quotes are flattery toward the audience.

The writers gave a little bit of background about the organization Biden spoke to, noting its "tense relationship" with the Obama administration. The writers also explained that members of the organization have been decreasing, but have been encouraged to stay politically engaged.

Analysis - Multimedia


The New York Times has four categories for the multimedia they use on their website: interactives, photography, videos and podcast. Photographs and videos almost always accompany front page and breaking news stories. Podcast and interactives are general used in opinion and filler stories.

The Washington Post has three main categories for their multimedia: photos/slideshows, videos and blogs. They use their blog section as a way to prompt discussion with their readers.

Both the New York Times and Washington Post use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, allowing readers to comment and repost their stories.

These uses of multimedia help to further tell the story by adding visual details and opportunity for people to discuss issues in a public forum.

Analysis - Attribution

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Many of the details reported about the Duluth flooding by the Star Tribune are observational and matters of public record, such as the amount of rain fall and the location of damage. The reporter also included information from Duluth's mayor, a Duluth police officer, the spokesman for the National Weather Service, the community relations director for the local sanitation district, eye-witnesses and "officials" that were not named specifically.

The story was broken down into different sections discussing different effects of the flooding. Each section seemed to have an "expert" source. However, the mayor and National Weather Service spokesman were quoted through the entire story. Using these two sources frequently adds validity to the details, especially when reporting the scope and severity of the flooding. To avoid confusion, their titles were reiterated with their names on the second page of the report, after not being used for a while.

Analysis - Leads

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"Nik Wallenda has become the first person to tightrope walk directly over Niagara Falls, crossing through the falls' famous mists and gusts in less than a half hour Friday night while tethered to a wire at the insistence of the network televising the stunt," begins the USA Today report.

Although a bit wordy, this lead clearly defines the what (Niagara Falls crossing,) who (Nik Wallenda,) where (Niagara Falls,) and when (Friday night,) of the story. If I were writing this story, however, I would re-consider using the stunt-man's name in the lead. It is not necessarily recognizable by the general public. The fact that he is in the seventh generation of a family of circus performers and tightrope walkers would mean more to a reader than an unfamiliar name.

Including the last bit, "while tethered to a wire at the insistence of the network televising the stunt," implies a bit of conflict to the otherwise simple story. He attempted the crossing and it went on without a hitch. This was the first time Wallenda has ever used a harness in any of his stunts and only did so because ABC insisted on it. I think this use of "conflict" may be a bit of a reach.

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