Analysis: Structure of hotel shooting story

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By Alysha Bohanon

The article "Man dies after being shot at hotel on Nicollet Mall" from KARE 11 News generally follows the inverted pyramid format, by beginning with the most important information and narrowing down to details near the end.

The story begins with a two-sentence lead. The first sentence briefly describes the shooting. The second explains why it is significant: it is the first homicide in Minneapolis this year. The next two paragraphs give more additional details on who and where.

After the who (except the name of the suspected shooter), what, when, and where are answered, the story goes on to include less important details. This included quotes from two sources: the police spokesperson and a guest of the hotel. The story concludes by asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact police.

Because this was a breaking news story, it generally followed the inverted pyramid, the usual format for hard news. I thought this was effective overall, because in a story such as this I just wanted the facts; however, it diverted from this structure in some instances, such as the quote from the hotel guest. I found this to be ineffective. As I was reading the story, I just wanted to know the 5 W's, and I was still waiting on the why when the story was quoting a seemingly random hotel guest who had no connection to the shooting and wasn't even aware it took place until the next morning. As a reader, I didn't care. I wanted to know why the man was shot, or I wanted the reporter to tell me police didn't know why. Instead, I was holding out for an explanation for the rest of the story and I thought this quote in particular simply slowed me down.

1 Comment

Alysha: You are doing a very nice job on the blogs. Keep up the good work. Nice stories in the Daily, too. GG

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This page contains a single entry by boha0054 published on February 12, 2012 5:49 PM.

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