Main

November 4, 2007

Diversity

The Star Tribune has an Internet feature that focuses on Liberians in Minnesota. Their story is told through videos and slide shows that Liberians themselves largely narrate.This is a really interesting approach to a news story in that it tells the Liberian immigrants' story in a way that could only be done online.

The main page includes a table of contents with various sections. One of the sections focuses on daily life, and within that section there are various topics such as food, music, religion, etc. There is another section that focuses on how people are recovering from the horrors of the war in Liberia, and there are also two individuals' stories.

I think this is an excellent approach to explaining a little-known community to the greater Twin Cities. A single story would not have given a complete picture of what these people's experience has been. This story showed their life from a variety of points of view.

October 28, 2007

Numbers

In the Star Tribune story titled "Union, MnDOT differ over number of bridge inspectors" numbers were used several times throughout the story. They were used to describe the number of inspectors compared to the number of bridges in need of inspection, to describe how many people were killed and injured in the 35W bridge collapse and to describe how the number of bridge inspectors have fallen.

The story is about how the union feels it is does not have enough people to do its job and how the state disagrees. The point of disagreement is in the numbers. Despite this fact, the actual numbers in contention are not mentioned until halfway through the story. Generalizations are made instead of listing specific numerals.

If the specific numbers were mentioned right away, it would have been harder to read. It's easier to understand a statement explaining what the numbers mean first and then see the actual numbers. It's kind of like having a thesis and then backing it up. If you started with the details, the reader would have to think too hard to get the point.

October 14, 2007

Meeting/Press Conference

I compared the Minnesota Daily article about the unveiling of the Educational Sciences Building with a news release put out by the University News Service.

The press release was a lot more sterile and full of dry facts than the Daily article. The reporter interviewed a series of sources about the project and framed it as a coming together of three related departments.

The press release is really uninteresting. I read it before I read the article and wondered how the reporter would bring it to life. The interviews were what made the story worth reading.

September 30, 2007

Structures

The structure of the Pioneer Press' story "Clearing 35W wreckage was tricky, tiring, unforgettable" was very similar to the method we were taught in class.

The lead summarized the important points of the story. It was followed by some background about the bridge collapse and a quote from someone who helped to clear the wreckage. Then there was a chronological account of how the wreckage was cleared.

I think the organization was effective. It was very straightforward and easy to read.

September 24, 2007

Attribution

The Pioneer Press's story, "Girl, 12, is hit as shots ring out at North Minneapolis party" included testimony from a number of witnesses. The quotations gave the story life and made it more relatable. A total of six community members were quoted.

Two of the witnesses did not give their names. They were attributed as "one nearby resident who would not give her name" and "another neighbor who would not give her name."

The witness' names and a description of who they were were listed with each attribution.

I liked the way this story used quotes to tell the story. The dominant perspective was that of the community. A lot of stories rely to much on "officials" to supply the information, but this style was more interesting and was still effective.

September 17, 2007

Leads

"Behind the walls of federal prisons nationwide, chaplains have been quietly carrying out a systematic purge of religious books and materials that were once available to prisoners in chapel libraries."

This lead summarizes all the important points of the article in a concise but engaging way. It doesn't give a great deal of detail, but provides just enough information to give the reader an idea of what the story is about and to convince the reader to go on.

Who: Chaplains - fairly general since it's the federal government that mandated that this be done, but enough info to let the reader know that it's someone in a position of power that's taking the books away.

What: a systematic purge of religious books and materials that were once available to prisoners - like the who, this does not tell the whole story but gives the reader the main idea. The word "systematic" lets you know that there has been some kind of conspiracy to make this happen.

Where: In federal prisons nationwide, in chapel libraries - the word "federal" lets you know that the government is probably behind what's happening. The fact that it's nationwide gives it more importance, since what is happening is not an isolated case.

The why and the when were not included, but were not really necessary. The facts laid out in the lead were interesting and just general enough to make the reader want to know the details.