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Analysis: Last Week

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I chose this data on DOE crime reports used in this story.

The writer takes the juiciest and most journalistic data points--usually in the form of paraphrased data--and uses them as paraphrased quotes of the researchers involved in the study. This is an effective way to use large data sets because you can extract the main ideas easily from reading a story. The obvious drawback is that the reader does not get the proper context of the research or variables involved in the data set, and the actual numbers aren't reported typically. The reporter needed to be able to understand a very detailed set of crime reports, and along with the graphics of the article, had to most likely pair with a visual designer to create graphics based on this data set. The news organization must have used databases of information to find these detailed data sets, or attained them from government sources with the task of creating such data.

Analysis: Week 6

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For this analysis, I will be referencing this news report.

The reporter begins with a straight, traditional news lead with all of the main facts of Mayor RT Rybak's press conference in the first graf. The second paragraph features a longer quote from the press conference, which follows the structure of a speech story because the quote is either the most interesting or the most news-worthy quote from the event.

I'm guess that Rybak had a brief or not particularly interesting press conference presentation, because the vast majority of the news story features quotes from Council President Barbara Johnson, instead of Rybak. I think it would have been nice if the reporter would have gotten unique and less formal quotes from Rybak, if they even had a chance to follow up with him.

The reporter certainly did other interviews, such as with Johnson and others, to give Rybak's speech more context and to represent different political viewpoints relevant to the topic at hand (the Vikings Stadium). With political topics, it is important to try to represent this other viewpoints, especially when there are opposing sides (or more than just two) and the public would not know much about a particular issue. The reporter also did a good job of getting both government and private viewpoints on the Vikings Stadium, which helped to give an even more diverse range of ideas.

Analysis Week 6

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For this analysis, I look at this article.

The article does work past a few ethnic stereotypes of Somali people. With the main source, a Somali male, the article describes him as holding "a well-paying job with excellent benefits, and the government paid for his family's home," which may help work past the stereotype of Somali people in a low socio-economic group.

Also, the article grapples with the idea that Somali culture is detached from others, and may be difficult to understand, with lines like "People knew he had not lived in Somalia for many years and expected him to have a hard time with the language and not know much about the culture."

The author does this through the profile of the main source (this is a profile kind of story), whose life is a good jumping off point to discuss Somali and American culture.

Analysis: Week 5

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For this analysis I chose the article "Wild's Cullen improving, could return vs. Calgary"

The article uses numbers in a few different ways: First, the article references a win/loss/tie record for the Wild this season (1-4-1); second, the article uses Cullen's scoring record, which is "12 points in the 11 games"; third, the article uses time, as in "ejected 17 seconds into Saturday's game."

These numbers are easy for a sports person to understand, though they may be a little vague for someone who doesn't know what a win/loss/tie record looks like, but otherwise they are very approachable. To make it easier to read, the author could have explicitly stated something like "W/L/T" or whatever term is appropriate in sports writing.

The author most likely got these numbers from game statistics reported from the NHL or Wild team management, which would be available from any professional sporting event. By pulling these numbers directly from primary sources from the game, the author most likely got out from doing any number crunching.If the article got into more details later on, comparing Cullen's different seasons or comparing Cullen to other players, the author could have portrayed a more in-depth story, which would have involved numerous calculations.

Analysis Week 4

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For this analysis I looked at this obituary of Lilly Pulitzer.

The obituary uses two explicit sources (though they are slightly ambiguous), the Lilly Pulitzer brand Facebook page and Pulitzer's past interviews.

The obituary uses the standard lead style for an obituary, with the name, significant achievements and age of death in the first paragraph. It ends with the age of death as well, just like the traditional style.

The news value comes from Lilly Pulitzer's famous reputation as a designer, as well as her famous name, which is derived from her husband, who is the grand son of the historical newspaper family. Her name is mentioned in the second paragraph, so the reporter saw news value simply in her last name.

This obit differs from a resume because of its personal background information, and the inclusion of potentially sensitive information, which is usually in the knowledge of the public. We get a lot of personal anecdotes, as well as direct quotes, which would never appear in a formal resume.

Analysis: Week 3

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I am comparing the New York Times multimedia story "Snowfall" and the Washington Post's story "The Watergate story."

"Snowfall" is one of the newest large feature stories from the Times with a large amount of interactive multimedia assisting in the storytelling. The different multimedia used in the article include live weather maps of snowfall, an interactive map of an avalanche site and numerous photos and videos.

Much like the "Watergate" story, "Snowfall" is split into several parts, with around 1,000+ words per section. There is a lot of writing going on here still, in these long feature stories.

"The Watergate Story" utilizes investigatory documents from the scandal in order to make the story come to life and support interaction with the writing. Instead of embedded videos and other multimedia, the Washington Post chose to simply link readers to numerous documents, videos, etc. via hyperlinks in the text. This method requires a much more active reader.

The different types of multimedia complement the writing insofar as they reflect the actual writing of the article and its more sensory details. They invite interaction and more modern and digital ways of telling a story. Due to the time required to make this multimedia, news organizations can only invest so much money, time, etc. into creating these stories, and breaking news or hard-hitting news will likely not see this type of modernization.

Analysis: Week 1

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For the analysis entry, I looked at this Star Tribune article on Minneapolis police overreporting sexual assault and rape statistics.

The article contains about 10 attributed sources, with a majority coming from directly quoted interviews. I am assuming there are unattributed sources, at least not directly, regarding FBI statistics, which the authors use as a semi-general term for the information the received from FBI archives.

The sources are scattered out evenly throughout the piece, with most of the directly quoted sources come in the "feature news" or softer news part of the story, toward the conclusion. These sources are used as informational additions to the story that add context and helpful background perspectives.

Depending on what different sources have to say, and how effective their respective quotes are, the authors either introduce sources with one of their direct quotes, or by name and title. The former is shown in the example of Kimberly Lonsway, research director for End Violence Against Women International. The latter is evident in the source Alexia Cooper, a statistician with the Department of Justice.

I like these different styles of attribution because it keeps the story from feeling mechanical and it relies on more interesting segments of the story, rather than giving each source equal interest and weight in the article.

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