# Recently in ANALYSIS Category

## Analysis: Story on Romney and how numbers are used throughout the text

By Alexa Ball

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/04/01/dems-sharpen-attack-as-gop-rallies-behind-romney/

A story posted on the Fox News webpage about the Democratic tactics to bring down Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romeny uses numbers to merely restate Romeny's actions as well as explain the current standing in the race for the Republication nomination.

This story which ran Sunday first uses numbers by going over some of Romney's past words when he "casually bet a rival \$10,000." His tax reports are then merely summarized without using actual numeral data and it is added that he carries bank accounts in other countries. I am not sure how effective this was, I am not sure if the reporter is attempting to make Romney look bad because he is known to have a lot of money or not. We are not told why he made the bet or why he has accounts outside the US. I more so feel that these numbers were added to make an assumption about Romney. No mathmatics were needed for this usage, only double checking of facts.

At the very end of this story the standings for the Republican nominee's are outlined. The paragraph reads as so:

"With about half of the GOP nominating contests complete, Romney has won 54 percent of the delegates at stake, putting him on track to reach the threshold 1,144 national convention delegates in June. Santorum, who has won 27 percent of the delegates at stake, would need to win 74 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination."

Here the reporter is stating the percentage of delegates the top two Republican nominees hold. He then outlines the runner-up out of the two, Santorum, would need to win a certain percentage of delegates to win the nomination. Knowing the percentages won by the men does not require any mathematical usage, but finding out what Santorum would need to win may have unless the information was gathered elsewhere. I feel that this is easy to understand. In this paragraph the reporter also mentions the threshold of national convention delegates. This listing confuses me slightly. As someone who is not clear on all political terms I feel as if this was worded differently or even explained a little bit more that it would be easier to understand.

## Analysis: Davy Jones obituary

By Alexa Ball

The obituary of Davy Jones, singer of The Monkees, written by John Rogers of The Associated Press takes us back to his band's time of fame.

The lead of the obituary does not start out in the typical way, Jones' death is not even mentioned until the fifth paragraph. Instead the lead takes us back to the year of 1966 when The Monkees were coming into their prime as celebrities and how Jones was idolized by his fans. In a sense this lead works because of its attention getter qualities, however it takes a very long time to get back to the fact that Jones died- the main point of an obituary.

I was surprised at how few sources were used throughout the lengthy obituary. Jones himself was quoted, as well as a couple others who worked with him and The Monkees. No words from family or close friends were added.

## Analysis: The Star Tribune v. Fox News sports page multimedia

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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.

## Analysis: Follow of Whitney Houston's funeral service date and location by Fox News

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.

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.

## Analysis: Progression of information in CNN report of Washington state's path to legalizing same-sex marriage

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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.

## Analysis: Attribution in story of house explosion that killed 2 children in Washington

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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.

## Analysis: News lead in story about major car crash in Florida

by Alexa Ball

A story ran by CNN on a major car pile up on a major interstate in Flordia did not start out with the typical hard story news lead that you would normally read.

The lead if the story titled Florida interstate crashes 'horrendous,' victim says; 10 dead from CNN reads as follows:
"After the crashes stopped, Steven Camps said all he could hear was the sound of crying as the air, heavy with smoke, shone red from vehicle fires."

The lead details the who right away, even though we are completely unaware of who this man, Steven Camps is. There is no when, or where listed. We are also forced to infer what the story is going to be about. We are able to understand that there are vehicles on fire and people are crying, so we assume there has been some sort of accident.

Usually breaking news stories, such as this one, do not start out this way. In the news lead you get the most information possible and get more specific details like the name of a man involved and what he heard later in the story.

I believe the writer chose an alternative approach to add more emphasis and drama to the story. This news lead is much more of an attention grabber that will lead us to want to read more of the story.