February 2012 Archives

By Alexa Ball

The Star Tribune, Minneapolis newspaper, and Fox News use similar multimedia techniques in their home sports webpages.

Right away on the Star Tribune page there is a slideshow involving three photographs that relate to the top sports stories of the day. The slideshow slowly moves through the pictures. Each image has a short heading underneath it in large blue letters Beneath the heading there is a single sentence summing up the main point of the report that the photograph link leads to. Two out of the three pictures also have links below them that allow you to view more photography that was taken of the particular game/event.

The slideshow allows us to learn about the main action in the world of sports for that day, the writing is clear and straight to the point. We are given the most crucial information right away, and if we want to know more we just have to click our mouse.

The home sports page on the Star Tribune site also shows more pictures with captions, they are not in a slideshow format but the heading and description is the same format. These images are grouped in two sections, one for college sports and another for outdoors.

Even further down the Star Tribune's sports page we see a line-up of recent video or photography that has recently been taken. There are snapshots of the photographs and videos.

The Fox News sports home webpage gives us a video to view at the top of the page, it complies a broadcast of the top sports news of the day. This video starts with a 15 second advertisement before showing.

Further down the page, like the Star Tribune site, we see a photograph that relates with a sports story. Fox News chooses to place the heading that corresponds with the photograph above the image and has their one sentence summary below.

The Fox News sports page has no further multimedia related aspects besides the single video and one photograph.

After analyzing these two different news organizations sports webpages I find myself as a reader more drawn to the Star Tribune site. This is surprising because the Star Tribune is a much smaller organization then Fox News. I would think that the Fox News page would be much more appealing and would hold my attention longer.

I believe that I favored the Star Tribune page because of the larger amount of multimedia use. There were more pictures to look at, more links to click on. I felt more engaged.

The writing usage was extremely similar in both the Star Tribune and Fox News webpages. The headings were short and catchy and the descriptions were almost all one sentence long and summed up the main points. The wording was easy to read and not drawn out.

From analyzing I have come to the conclusion that using multimedia can add to a news story. Using photography or video can aid the readers understanding, as well as adhere to how they understand the story or report being told.


Daytona 500 rescheduled for Monday

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By Alexa Ball

The Daytona 500 was postponed due to heavy rain Sunday, according to Sports Illustrated .

The Daytona 500 will now be held Monday at noon and aired on Fox, Sports Illustrated said.

This is the first time the race has been rescheduled in its 54-year history, Fox News said.

The forecast for the new time holds has a gloomy outlook, there is a 70 percent chance of thunderstorms and the race could start as late as Monday evening Fox News said.

Argentina train crash kills 50, injures hundreds

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By Alexa Ball

A commuter train killed 50 and injured hundreds Wednesday after crashing into a barrier at a Buenos Aires station, according to CNN.

676 out of the 1,500 passengers were injured along with the 50 who were killed, according to Fox News.

Transportation Secretary Juan Pablo Schiav said that authorities believed the cause of the crash was due to problems with the trains breaks, according to CNN.

Passengers said that the motorman struggled with the breaks the entire trip, platforms were overrun and one station was missed completely, according to Fox News.

A federal judge is currently leading an investigation on the accident, Fox News said.


Helicopter collision kills 7 Marines

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By Alexa Ball

Seven United States Marines were killed Wednesday when two helicopters collided near the Arizona-California border officials said, according to Fox News.

The crash occurred midair around 10:30 p.m. during routine training operations Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Base Commander Col. Robert Kuckuk said, according to CNN.

The training took place in southeast California over the Chocolate Mountains, according to Fox News.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the collision, which could take months to complete, so far it does not appear that weather was a factor, according to CNN.

The names of the Marines killed will be released after their family members have been notified, according to Fox News.

By Alexa Ball

An Albert Lea couple was sentenced Tuesday for participating in a counterfeit ring, according to the Pioneer Press.

Travis Cameron, 31, and wife Heather Cameron, 34, pleaded guilty to counterfeiting U.S. currency, according to the Star Tribune. The couple was sentenced to a year in prison each, the Star Tribune said.

Heather Cameron confessed to washing and bleaching $5 bills and reprinting them as $100 bills, according to the Pioneer Press.

Louis Stephens, in charge of the local office of the U.S. Secret Service, said that the process the pair used to counterfeit the currency is sophisticated and requires some expertise to complete, according to the Star Tribune.


By Alexa Ball

An Albert Lea couple was sentenced Tuesday for participating in a counterfeit ring, according to the Pioneer Press.

Travis Cameron, 31, and wife Heather Cameron, 34, pleaded guilty to counterfeiting U.S. currency, according to the Star Tribune. The couple was sentenced to a year in prison each, the Star Tribune said.

Heather Cameron confessed to washing and bleaching $5 bills and reprinting them as $100 bills, according to the Pioneer Press.

Louis Stephens, in charge of the local office of the U.S. Secret Service, said that the process the pair used to counterfeit the currency is sophisticated and requires some expertise to complete, according to the Star Tribune.


By Alexa Ball

An Albert Lea couple was sentenced Tuesday for participating in a counterfeit ring, according to the Pioneer Press.

Travis Cameron, 31, and wife Heather Cameron, 34, pleaded guilty to counterfeiting U.S. currency, according to the Star Tribune. The couple was sentenced to a year in prison each, the Star Tribune said.

Heather Cameron confessed to washing and bleaching $5 bills and reprinting them as $100 bills, according to the Pioneer Press.

Louis Stephens, in charge of the local office of the U.S. Secret Service, said that the process the pair used to counterfeit the currency is sophisticated and requires some expertise to complete, according to the Star Tribune.


Four female NDSU students die in car crash on I-94

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By Alexa Ball

Four female roommates from NDSU died in a car accident Monday on Interstate 94 west of Alexandria, according to the Star Tribune.

Jordan Playle, 19, of Elk River, Megan Sample, 18, of Rogers, Danielle Renninger,18, of Excelsior and Lauren J. Peterson,18, of Prior Lake died in a crash on their way back to North Dakota State University from the Twin Cities, according to the Star Tribune.

The Chevy Malibu the four were in crossed over the median on Interstate 94 and was struck by an SUV on the other side,the SUV was then hit by a third vehicle Minnesota State Patrol said, according to the http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_20024295.

All of the women were wearing their seat belts, according to the Star Tribune.

Kari Christensen, the driver of the vehicle that rear-ended the SUV, said that the accident occurred in less then a second, according to the Star Tribune.


By Alexa Ball

Superstar Whitney Houston passed away Feb. 11 right before she was to attend a pre-Grammy Awards party, according to Fox News. The following news reports from Fox show how the details of her funeral change the lay out of the story.

Feb. 13: Whitney Houston's funeral set for hometown of Newark, NJ, report says

Feb. 14: Whitney Houston's funeral set for Saturday in New Jersey hometown

These news reports are very similar due to the fact that they are about the same topic. You are able to point out the main changes in their titles and leads.

The report from Feb. 13 states that Houston's funeral is to be set for later this week in her hometown, where the report the next day states the exact day that the funeral will be held on.

The first report on the funeral location from Feb. 13 was very short, telling when Houston died and explaining the possible location where her service would be held.

The follow-up report was more then double the size in length. There were many more details about Houston's death and exact information on where the service will be given was listed. This story also told us who was suspected to attend as well as other details about the funeral.

The second day story advances the news by giving more exact details about the event, where the original story gave little uncertain information.


Whitney Houston has private funeral

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By Alexa Ball

Whitney Houston's private burial was held Sunday in New Jersey, according to CNN.

Houston will be buried next to her father at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, said CNN.

The superstar's family and friends attended the brief funeral, fans and on lookers gathered throughout the 20 mile route from the Newark funeral home she was transfered from to the cemetery, said Fox News.

Houston, 48, died Feb. 11 before she was to attend a pre-Grammy Awards party, said Fox News. Her cause of death is still unknown, according to Fox News.

By Alexa Ball

A large number of students have been out of school sick due to a suspected outbreak of the norovirus at Sibley East in Gaylord, according to the Pioneer Press.

One-third of the Sibley East's elementary and junior high students were out with flu symptoms on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the Star Tribune.

An investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health is pointing toward the norovirus as the source, test results should confirm in about two weeks said Laura Reid with the Sibley County Health Department told the Free Press of Mankato, according to the Pioneer Press.

The symptoms of the norovirus include nausea, omitting and diarrhea, and last about 24 hours said Reid, according to thePioneer Press.

The surfaces at the school were thoroughly cleaned Wednesday by staff, and the food self-service line was shut down, according to the Star Tribune.

Toddler dies after being pulled from hot tub

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A toddler died after he was pulled out of a hot tub Wednesday at a northern Minnesota hotel, said the Pioneer Press.

Tony Scovel, 21 months, was at the Sawmill Inn in Grand Rapids he wandered away from a birthday party and ended up in a the inn's hot tub, said the Star Tribune.

Responders attempted to save the boy after pulling him from the water, said police according to the Star Tribune. He was later rushed to grand Rapids hospital and later transferred to St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth where he was pronounced dead, according to the Pioneer Press.

There was no evidence of neglect said Police Chief Jim Denny, according to the Star Tribune. "He just walked into the hot tub, and he obviously was too young to swim," said Denny, according to the Star Tribune.

Honduras prison fire kills unconvicted inmates

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By Alexa Ball

358 inmates were burned alive by fire Tuesday night in the Comayagua Honduras prison, according to MSN.

Many of the prisoners who died were not yet charged or convicted, said MSN.

Officials said that the Comayagua's Governor, Paola Castror, received a call from an inmate who told her that he was going to burn the prison down, according to Fox News reports. She immediately alerted the fire brigade and the Red Cross, said Fox News.

Firefighters were not able to get into the prison for up to a half hour because they were held back by guards who thought there was a breakout or riot occurring, said Fox News.

Life in prison for 'underwear bomber'

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By Alexa Ball

A man on a mission for Al Qaeda was sentenced Thursday to a life in prison after he attempted to blow up a flight on Christmas Day 2009, according to http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/16/underwear-bomber-to-be-sentenced-in-thwarted-terror-plot/.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds sentenced Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 25, to a life in prison for trying to take down a plane with a bomb he hid in his underwear, according to CNN.

Abdulmutallab, of Nigeria, pleaded guilty last fall for trying to blow up the international flight, according to http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/16/underwear-bomber-to-be-sentenced-in-thwarted-terror-plot/.

The plane carrying 289 passengers was about to land in Detriot when the bomb Abdulmutallab held failed to detonate and set him on fire, according to CNN. Witnesses say that four passangers on board jumped on Abdulmutallab to extinguish the flames and took him to the front of the aircraft, he was then taken into custody right after the plane landed, said CNN.

"I carried with me an explosive device to avenge the killing of innocent Muslims," Abdulmutallab said, according to CNN reports.

By Alexa Ball

The following analysis is on Washington state legislature votes to approve same-sex marriage by Tom Watkins, CNN.

The progression of information in the CNN Feb. 9 report on Washington lawmakers voting to legalize same-sex marriage in the state is structured in an inverted pyramid fashion like many breaking news stories.

The report begins with a lead, summarizing the most important facts from the news that is being covered. It gives a general description of how lawmakers have voted to pass a same-sex marriage bill in Washington State. The opening also gives us some information about how many other states that have adopted this law.

The second paragraph in the report is a long quote by the Governor of Washington. The quote from the Governor states the reasons why they should have the law. This is followed by a one sentence paragraph that states when the law would go into effect. The following paragraph gives details on what the exact votes from the House and Senate were.

Next we are given another quote, this time it is from a state representative. He gives his opinion about domestic partnership versus marriage and tells how he and his partner are thankful.

After this a quote from a State Representative who opposes the same-sex law going into place is given.

This is then followed by multiple paragraphs of people and organizations and their explanations for why the law should or should not be passed. Facts are given about other states, and battles involving the fight for same-sex marriage rights are discussed.

Again, the reporter organized this information in an inverted pyramid style. He chose to give the main and most important facts first off and follow with details and opinions later. I believe he did this because using the inverted pyramid is one of the most effective ways to get the news to the reader. All the facts are given right away, you know what the story is about and you know the news first off as the reader. The reporter probably did this because it is traditionally how hard news stories are written.

I think using the inverted pyramid method is very effective. It gives the reader the information they want to know right away, and gives you all of the details later. All of the necessary information is still given in the report. As the reader you are not obligated to find out all of the information if you do not want to either when reading a news story in this style. You can read the first sentence or two and know the basis of what happened.

Using the inverted pyramid is also easy to digest. It isn't confusing because the main points are given right away and then you peel away at them through the rest of the story.

Yes of course the story could have been written in many different ways. The reporter could have used a chronological order or started off with an emotional appeal or attention grabber to draw you in. For hard and brand new news like this topic, I feel that it is best to stick with the inverted pyramid style the writer chose.


A St. Paul man receives nine years in prison Wednesday for assaulting a girl he lured into an alley way according to the Star Tribune.

William O. Labon, 27, has been convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl in June 2009 according to the Pioneer Press.

Labron acted as his own attorney and claimed that he never encountered the girl during trial according to the Pioneer Press.

The girl was not able to identify Labron after the assault said the Pioneer Press, but DNA evidence was taken at the Children's Hospital and later was matched to Labron after the incident according to the Star Tribune.

A Virginia school district is considering banning cross-dressing by students due to concerns said Fox News.

The Suffolk School Board plans to discuss the issue Thursday evening according to the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune.

The proposal would ban clothing that does not stay in a student's gender, causes a distraction while learning or health concerns according to Fox News.

District spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw said that the proposal was raised by Board Vice Chairwoman Thelma Hinton after male students who were dressing in feminine attire had to use faculty restrooms because they were concerned for their safety Fox News reports.

"My main concern is the safety of those individuals," Hinton told the Fox News. "Freedom of expression is good, but there is a limitation. Anytime there is a threat upon a child, to me, that's where you draw the line of freedom of expression."


Russian scientists uncovered an Antarctic freshwater lake Sunday after drilling two miles into the ice according to CNN.

Lake Vostok is roughly the size of Lake Ontario and it is believed to have been covered for 30 million years according to CNN reports.

Russian scientists hope that it may offer signs of undiscovered life on earth said CNN.

"If they were successful, their efforts will transform the way we do science in Antarctica and provide us with an entirely new view of what exists under the vast Antarctic ice sheet," John Priscu, a microbiologist with Montana State University told Fox News.

Drilling to Lake Vostok began in 1998, Russia has still not confirmed the breakthrough said Fox News.

Chrysler's Super Bowl ad content causes debate

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By Alexa Ball

Soon after the half-time performance during the Super Bowl, a two minute long Chrysler commercial aired and is now getting heat about the content it holds.

The commercial is titled 'Halftime in America' and it focuses on the rebuilding of Detroit with Clint Eastwood who narrating in the background. Images of factories, families and workers powerfully enter and exit the screen according to the Star Tribune.

The advertisement has been criticized by some for endorsing the auto-industry bailouts by the government as well as a political campaign ad for Barack Obama according to the Star Tribune.

"...There is no spin in that ad. On this I am certain," Eastwood said in a statement to Fox News late Monday night, according to CNN. "I am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama. It was meant to be a message about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it. ... If Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it."

"I can't stop anybody from associating themselves with a message, but it was not intended to be any type of political overture on our part," Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne told WJR-AM in Detroit, according to CNN.

By Alexa Ball

A 50-year-old man was arrested Wednesday for connection with a Brooklyn Park apartment fire that took place the night before according to the Pioneer Press.

The fire was among three that have taken place recently at Willows Apartments, on 67th Avenue North said police, according to the Star Tribune.

The suspect was arrested for arson 12 hours after the fire took place according to police records according to the Star Tribune.

None of the residents of the complex were injured, but 35 to 40 were displaced from their homes said police, according to the Star Tribune.

by Alexa Ball

CNN Report:
Fire official: 2 children dead in explosion at home of missing woman's husband
http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/05/us/washington-powell-explosion/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

In the story of two children who were killed in a house explosion in Washington on Sunday by CNN, all of the attribution is given to the home owner and a fellow firefighter involved with the expolsion

The story credits Josh Powell, local fire official and owner of the home that exploded, and Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Gary Franz throughout the entire report. Every fact that contains information about the explosion, the family involved and quotes given are all sourced to Powell and Franz. No other outside sources beyond the mens' words are used in the story.

Attribution occurs in every paragraph throughout the story. The writer places the source at the end of the paragraph after the information they provided.

The writer of the story does not make it confusing and it is easy to keep track of who gave what information, although it is very repetitive to state "according to" after each statement even though it is necessary.

By Alexa Ball

David Letterman celebrated 30 years in late-night television on Wednesday according to the Star Tribune.

Letterman commemorated the anniversary by having one of his favorite guests, Howard Stern, attend the "Late Night" show says the Star Tribune.

Letterman and Stern joked about how they had aged and pictures were shown from Stern's first visit to the show in 1984 says the Pioneer Press.

Long-time employees were also brought to the stage during the three-decade celebration. These employees presented the "Top Ten Things Staffers Would Like to Say to Dave on his 30th Anniversary in Late Night," according to the Pioneer Press.

By Alexa Ball

A Hennepin County jury convicted a Minneapolis man for stabbing his friend to death Thursday according to the county attorney's office said the Pioneer Press.

Kevin L. Mims, 29, was found guilty for second-degree murder and second-degree assault. Mims was charged with the murder of friend Brain D. Nelson, 20, on September 12 according to the Star Tribune.

Mims stabbed Nelson in the heart with a scissors after an argument and physical fight arose between Mims and another friend, Nelson attempted to intervene and was pierced with the blade of the scissors. The unnamed friend involved in the altercation was also stabbed but survived with only injury to his arm according to the Pioneer Press.

Mims attorney stated that he acting in self-defense says the Pioneer Press.

Further sentencing is scheduled for March 1 according to the Pioneer Press.

By Alexa Ball

A Minnesota storm chaser was killed Saturday in Oklahoma during a multiple-vehicle car crash according to the Star Tribune.

Andy Gabrielson, 24, died on an interstate about 15 miles southwest of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The multiple car pileup occurred when a vehicle was driving the wrong way on the road according to http://www.startribune.com/local/138739799.html.

Gabrielson was a storm chaser working with the Weather Channel, and they gave confirmation that he was killed in the crash according to the Pioneer Press.

Gabrielson had been chasing storms according to close friend and colleague Kory Hartman says the Star Tribune.

Gabrielson frequently supplied the Weather Channel with severe weather footage and appeared on the show "Tornado Hunt." He was not a meteorologist but he seemed to always know where the storms were going to be said Hartman according to theStar Tribune.

Gabrielson leaves behind a 3-year-old daughter says the Star Tribune.

By Alexa Ball

A family of three was found alive Saturday after they were missing for six days in an Oregon forest according to Fox News.

The family was searching for mushrooms when they lost their way in the forest according to NY Daily News.

Daniel Conne, 47, and his wife Belinda, 47 along with their 25-year-old son were at a campsite Sunday when they disappeared according to the NY Daily News.

The family had no food or water and were all lacking warm clothing for the six days they spent lost in the woods. They took shelter in a hallowed out tree and drank from a stream to survive says Fox News.

Helicopters found the three in a clearing Saturday and immediately they were taken to the hospital. None suffered major injury according to Fox News.

"It's a miracle, really," local Sheriff John Bishop said about the rescue according to Fox News reports.

Thousands stranded by floodwaters in Australia

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by Alexa Ball

Thousands of Australian residents were evacuated to escape rising floodwaters on Sunday according to CNN reports.

Residents living in the eastern Australian state Queensland were air lifted by military helicopters and a C-130 cargo plane according to CNN.

More than 300 homes and businesses have been immerged underwater and the growing flood has taken one life. This natural disaster is the worst to come to Queensland in 60 years says CNN.

The flood has mainly hit the city of St. George, which holds around 3,800 residents according to RTE reports. Jane Sheahan, a woman from the town, was swept away and killed in her vehicle when she was trying to leave the city says CNN.

Local authorities are urging people in St. George to cooperate as they attempt to evacuate everyone from a local hospital to safe ground away from the record-breaking flood according to CNN.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2012 is the previous archive.

March 2012 is the next archive.

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