International News News Analysis 2

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Attack on protesters in Egypt leaves 11 dead

I thought the LA times covered this story very well. The story gave readers information on the recent violence as well as an overview of the political situation in Egypt.

There was something I hadn't seem before in a international story and that was a quote from twitter:

"It's the duty of the state to protect peaceful sit-ins," Aboul Fotouh said on Twitter. "It's not the role of the citizen to face daily attempts to break the sit-in."

The story begins with the news that 11 people were killed and 200 people were wounded at a protest in Cairo. The story says the assailants stormed the 500 demonstrators.

Then, in the third paragraph, the author makes the claim that the violence has exacerbated tension for the countries transition to democracy. The story continues by explaining other violent protests in the past months.

I found it interesting that the reporters used this as a source and it's amazing that Twitter has become a legitimate source. Although, the story does not say at all who this Aboul Forouh is and where in the world he is located. What concerns me about using twitter sourcing is ANYONE could have said it. The reporters do not make it clear who the source is and they may have contacted the person in order to use their quote - but who knows.

Later in the story, instead of "said" the other uses the verb "tweeted" to introduce a quote from a political activist.

Does twitter make information easier and more convenient - or is it cheating?

I think Twitter is a valuable source and the story does not rely on twitter for it's sources as it brings in other quotes. It's just interesting to source a story with information from Twitter - but I feel we always have to be skeptical of what we see and always verify the information by contacting the individual.

National News Analysis 2

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Half of new graduates are jobless or underemployed

Great...good thing I'm graduating next year.

The story is from the AP and it was an interesting read. The story is based on analysis of government data conducted for the Associated press.

The story begins with a strong and clear lede stating that half the of college graduates are underemployed or in positions that don't use their degree. The nutgrat further explains that college graduates are scraping by with lower-wage jobs and gives a few occupational examples.

Then, the author sources the information, although it does not tell your WHO did the analysis!

"An analysis of government data conducted for the Associated Press lays bare the highly uneven prospects for holders of bachelor's degrees."

The source of the analysis isn't given until the 11th paragraph!! The story already seemed a little sensational, but then not to source the information further up in the story really put me off. Although, if anything it discredited the information (which is not such a bad thing in my opinion for this college undergraduate since I'm, well, graduating soon).

The story the highlights college graduates who are not working in their field. Then, the author gives a few statistics and degrees with the least likely employment opportunities. Then, the story ends with a quote from a college student talking about how everyone always tells you to go to college, but once you graduate there aren't any opportunities.

This story bothered me, I couldn't get past the sourcing. It seemed half-assed in attribution. Also, the story really doesn't explain the details of how the numbers were gathered, it simply says a "government data" until in the 11th paragraph the author in regards to the people who conducted the study: "They rely on Labor Department assessments." What?! Seriously. I was so confused to why the source was so buried. Making a claim like that is pretty substantial, but this story failed in convincing me that the analysis was justified.

Local News Analysis 2

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Man charged with attempted murder for allegedly stomping on pregnant ex-girlfriend

This story from the Pioneer Press truly followed the adage "If it bleeds it leads".

The story is about a man stomping on his ex-girlfriend's stomach in attempts to kill the fetus.

Just from the headline, you can tell it's a gruesome story! But, it gives a good example of what runs in order to get readers. The story sure caught my eye.

The story begins with the lede summarizing the alleged stomping, where it took place, and simply says "over the weekend". There is not a nutgraf and the author goes right into the chronological order of events. The story starts with the police arriving and finding blood on the victims sweatpants. The next paragraph tells the reader the name of the man and that he was charged Monday (the day the story ran). The author goes on to give a few quotes from the Fridley Police Dept. and then gives the condition of the fetus, telling the reader that there is still a faint heartbeat but the future condition of the fetus is unknown. The story ends with the man's criminal record.

Overall, the story is very straight forward. It gives a summary in the lede and then the chronological events. The story is newspaper's bread and butter, the domestic abuse souffle. The headline and lede grabs readers attention and one wants to know if the child is okay. Knowing this, the author strategically did not give the readers the condition of the child until the ninth paragraph in order to get them to read the whole story! The story does not teach the reader anything, but gives a gruesome glimpse and what people are capable of (and get's readers to pay attention the story, and ultimately the advertisements surrounding it)/.

News Analysis of International News

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South Korea says North preparing for nuclear test

The story was written by Hyung-Jin Kim of the Associated Press. The story says that South Korean intelligence officials believe North Korea is preparing for a third underground nuclear test. The story also talks about North Koreas preperations to launch a long-range rocket, which has recently been in the headlines.

I was surprised by how heavily the story relied on quotes from sources (which is great!). Perhaps the author used mostly quotes because the tests are not confirmed, so the author is saying- hey, these people think North Korea might be up to something, but they can't be positive because North Korea hasn't said that they are actually doing it.

The story first mentions the report from South Korean intelligence officials and says it was shared with AP on Monday. (only AP? or was it made public?) The author then goes on to use three sources, a White House spokesman, a U.S. ambasador for the UN, and a U.S. Sate Department spokeswoman. The sources match well with the angle of the author since the author talks about how the tests are a threat against the U.S.

One thing stood out for me, and it's because it's AP, but the author uses quotes within the sentence:

She said a launch would be "highly provocative" and a nuclear test "would be equally bad, if not worse.

There are two reasons sentence bothered me. First, the story already mentions 8 paragraphs before that "The Obama administration said Monday it would consider both a rocket launch and an underground nuclear test as highly provocative and leave Pyongyang more isolated."

Then, later in the story the author writes that this women, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, says the nuclear test is highly provocative. It just seemed a little redundant and confusing especially since she is not QUOTED as saying "highly provocative". finger quotes.jpg

Second, the use of quotes within a sentence always feels a little wonky, I can see the imaginary finger quotes as the author writes the story.

If this is the best option, then that's what has to be done, but it just stood out for me.

All in all, the story was very concise and even brought in other related events to help support the story.

News Analysis of National News

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The breaking news for Monday, April 2nd is the shooting at Oikos Univeristy in Oakland California.

The lede is very precise and straight to the point. It tells us who, where, when, and how many people were killed. It even mentions that it is a religious school.

In the nutgraf, the author tells the reader what happened after the shooting, telling the reader that a suspect has been identified and has been taken into custody. The author also says that little is know about suspect's motives and background.

...You could just stop reading right there. The reader knows everything, except the details of the shooting.

Well shall we? The details...

In the 3rd paragraph, the author begins a chronological look at the events that took place. It begins by saying at what time and where the shooting took place. Then, the author mentions an Oakland Police Department spokeswomen, giving the reader details about how Mr. Goh acted alone and how he was a nursing student at the college (though he was not currently enrolled).

Now we're really into the details of the story. The author uses the voice of the Mayor to mention that most of the victims were Korean. The author then says the police were called at 10:30am which helps him bring in first hand experiences and transitions into the authors interviews.

The first interview is of a man whose wife called from the college and told him to call the police when the shooting occurred.

From there, the author provides first hand accounts of what happened and mixes in sentimental words from Oakland's mayor.

The author also decides to bring up the religious affiliation of the school. One quote talks about hearing the gun shots and people screaming, but the interviewee goes on to say "I'm a Christian and I believe God protects me."

Finally, the story ends with a women, Mary Ping, who works as a receptionist at the college. The author tells readers that Ms. Ping received a call at 10:30, but was unable to pick it up.

This is where I got a little confused, because Ms. Ping says that she believes her daughter was calling and this must mean that she's alive. But then the story ends without saying if Ms. Ping was able to get in touch with her daughter. This definitely leaves a cliffhanger on the story, but also, since the story is running in tomorrow's newspaper (April 3rd) I feel like they'd be able to connect by then (if she's alive). To me, it seems like an odd note to leave on.

The majority of the story consists of first-hand experiences. The author tells the story through the people who were affected by the shooting. The story is concise, but also lends itself to a compelling story.

News Analysis of Local News

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Newspaper: Star Tribune
Headline: Writing in chalk was her right, protester's lawsuit claims

Reporter Dan Browning gives an overview the legal situation of Melissa Hill, a women recently banned from the federal building in Minneapolis for writing anti-war statements on the sidewalk last June. Browning's angle focuses on the attorney's that will be defending Hill- Dorsey & Whitney. With a little research, I found that stories have already been done on Hill's situation back in June (along with many other story about arrests and protests - Hill has been quite an active citizen). The angle is different, but I'm not sure how interesting it is. The story relies heavily on the information from lawsuit that was made public on Monday (time peg).

First, Browning gives a brief summary of Hill's situation back in June. Browing goes on to say the lawsuit is alleging that the courthouse security personnel and a Minneapolis police officer violated Hill's constitutional rights by detaining her, searching her backpack without permission, and issuing a no-trespassing notice that bans her from public property.

Browning then goes on to name the defendants in the suit and details about how Hill's rights were violated. He also gives background of other charges that Hill has been issued.

The main point of the story was the recent lawsuit by Hill and the major legal representation of Dorsey &Whitney, but Browning goes on for 12 paragraphs! I got bored. My first critisizm is his sources. The lawsuit was about all he had. He couldn't even get Melissa Hill to comment on the story.

Next, because Browning relies heavily on the lawsuit, he tends to use more complicated language like:

"It alleges that Dayton, Swanson, Baez and the city violated Hill's rights under the Fourteen Amendment to due process of law because the trespass laws allow for arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement" - whoa, that's a mouthful.

All in all, I feel this story could have been much shorter. Also, the ending! Browning ended with a quote about how Hill settled with Hennepin County on charges from a Occupy MN protest:

"Hill could not be reached for comment Monday. But she said after settling with the county that she felt vindicated.

'I was arrested on a public sidewalk. This sends a strong message that they can't be misusing their trespass policy to suppress free speech.' "

So, you couldn't get a quote about this story, but used one from another story so that there was a nice quote to finish the story? Huh?

The only way I can really think to improve the story would be to get living quote about the lawsuit, not a quote about a past violations and settlement that relates to the story only because it refers to the "sidewalk". Although, if that was all he had to work with, it could be considered a creative way to get a quote in there if he simply couldn't get the sources together. Also, it just need to be shorter. Although, I'm one to talk because this blog has turned out to be a lot longer that it should. Oh hypocrisy...