Recently in Notable and Analysis Category

Analysis of a story with large data sets

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In a story for Florida Center for Investigative Reporting , the authors explore how Florida schools are failing to prepare graduates for college and use some convincing data to back it up.

The main discussion of the article is the need for remedial courses for students before they enroll in college. The need for these remedial courses stems from the lacking abilities in math, writing, and reading when students graduate high school.

Most of the data in this story is statistics about students. One piece of data found that over half of Florida high school graduates who took a college placement test in the 2010-2011 school year found out that they had to take a remedial course to gain basic skills before enrolling in college, 54 percent to be exact.

Research also showed that students who take remedial classes are less likely to graduate college than those who arrive ready for college course work.

One of the sources of data for this report was the 2011 Florida College System Readiness report using 2009-2010 data.

Another data source was the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability. This research office found that Florida's attempts to improve K-12 education had not improved college readiness.

The computer skills that the reporter of this article might need include understanding statistics and being able to implement into a story so that they make sense with the words.

The reporter might also want to have the ability to find statistics in the event that they are only given raw numbers.

There were no interactive graphics used in this story, which may have helped the reader understand the statistics and information.

Obama family lights tree at the White House

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The Obama family came out for the 90th annual lighting of the National Christmas tree, according to Huffington Post

The ceremony was hosted by TV star Neil Patrick Harris. Other performers included Jason Mraz, James Taylor, and The Fray.

Michelle Obama and actor Rico Rodriguez read from 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

The tree is located on the ellipse, according to USA Today , a park adjacent to the White House and National Mall.

Analysis of a news report based on a speech

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In a report in The Washington Post , the author reported on a speech given by Grover Norquist, an anti-tax lobbyist.

The author writes about what Norquist said and includes the most important quotes that would best explain what Norquist was trying to say.

The article doesn't really go deeper into what Norquist was saying and what the significance of it is, it only highlights his opinions of the "fiscal cliff".

In another report about a speech in Fox News , the author uses a similar format but goes more into depth about what the speech giver, Ted Cruz, had to say by using more quotes.

I think using quotes is extremely important when reporting on a speech because we want to give the reader the experience of having actually heard what the person had to say rather than how the journalist paraphrased what the person said.

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has fallen under the attack of Republican politicians for her recent statements on talk shows.

The controversy surronds public statements made by Rice after a Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

Rice has stressed that her original comments about the attack being a protest triggered by an anti-Muslim video were incorrect, according to the Los Angeles Times

Rice has been accuse by Republicans for using these misleading statements to help the president stay in good favor during the event of the attack.

According to the Associated Press, some of Rice's talking points may have been started by the intelligence community and only repeated by her.

Legislative redistricting in Wisconsin may have had an impact on the outcome of the 2012 election.

Republicans have regained control of the state senate with a 21 seat majority, according to The Capital Times

The Democratic assembly candidates won 193,000 more votes across the state than the GOP, but the districting of voters may have tilted the scale towards Republican.

Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said that redistricting lines were "drawn in a way that squeezes most Democratic voters into a few districts and widely disperses their voting power across the rest of the districts."

The redistricting of Wisconsin, based on the 2010 census, was believed to have been done mostly in secret by Republicans who controlled the legislature at that time, according to Isthmus

In March, three federal judges did not contest the validity of the redistricting when Democrats accused the GOP of gaining an electoral advantage, which is technically not illegal.

This redistricting of Wisconsin may foresee a mostly Republican future for the state. The Democrats targeting certain Republican incumbents will also rely on the outcome of Scott Walker's actions in the next year to determine which direction they will be heading.

Analysis of a data focused story

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In an article about China's economy from the Associated Press , numbers are used to demonstrate the economic upswing the Chinese economy is currently on.

The numbers in this story are mainly used to show the reader how the economy has turned around. For instance, export growth increased to 11.6 percent from the previous month of 9.9 percent. Numbers like these are easy for a reader to understand and grasp the concept of export growth.

A lot of people don't have top notch numeracy skills so it was nice in this story that they used numbers in a clear way for anybody to understand.

The source of much of this data is "Trade data".

Another important set of numbers is used in this piece when talking about China's global trade surplus widening by nearly 90 percent over a year ago to $32 billion. A big number like that makes people look and take notice. Obviously you shouldn't insert a big number in your story just to get people to look if it isn't true, but if you have the opportunity those types of numbers are impressive to people no matter what the story.

Tommy Thompson and Tammy Baldwin's relationship goes back farther than most people would have thought, according to Wisconsin State Journal

Thompson knew Baldwin's father in college whom Baldwin had never met since he died before she was born. Now Thompson delights in telling Baldwin little anecdotes about her father.

Analysis of a Notable Obituary

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The female architect, Gae Aulenti, died at 84 on Wednesday in her Milan home. Aulenti was most famous for designing Paris's Musée d'Orsay, according to an obituary in the Los Angeles Times

A number of different sources are used in the obituary who knew Aulenti as a person, and add a personal perspective of who she was.

For instance, Emily Sano, who worked with Aulenti as director of the Asian Art Museum when Aulenti was renovating it, said that Aunlenti "had a very profound understanding of classical architecture ... but also an extremely modern sensibility." She also provided details about Aulenti's ability to create objects and spaces that deeply affected people.

A couple of other sources include Aunlenti's own words from past articles she wrote for magazines, including Architecture and Urbanism magazine. Also, there is a quote from an interview she did with the New York Times in 1987.

This obituary does use the typical lead that many paid obituaries use. Instead it contains more information about her life rather than her death. It contains all the basic information about her death, but also elaborates on notable achievements in her life, such as the Musée d'Orsay, more than would a typical person's obituary.

The main news value to this story is the importance Aulenti had in the world of architecture. The Musée d'Orsay is one of the most famous museums in the world, so she is an architect more famous than others. The fact that she is a female also makes this a bit more news worthy since most famous architects are male.

The difference between this obituary and a resume is the quality of writing is much more human in the obituary. A resume might be more of a clinical list of achievements and notable facts about a person whereas this obituary tells a story and takes the reader on a short journey of her life.

The reader gets a bit of insight inside her struggle as a female architect and the way she grew up believing that architecture was only a male profession. After reading this obituary, the reader may feel like they know Aulenti as a person with feelings and struggles and not just a face with a list of achievements.

Paul Ryan visits Green Bay Packers Lambeau Stadium

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The Wisconsin congressman and his family visited the Green Bay Packers Stadium before the Sunday football game, according to Wisconsin State Journal

Two of Mitt Romney's sons and four of his grandchildren accompanied the family.

Ryan did not make any formal remarks about the election and did not go inside the stadium, only socialized before the game.

The congressman is now headed to Ohio, Minnesota, and Colorado for campaign rallies.

Last month, Ryan visited a practice of the Cleveland Browns.

Analysis of different multimedia options available.

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The Wisconsin State Journal and The Star Tribune both offer a number of multimedia options to expand your use of the news over multiple platforms.

Both publications have a Facebook and Twitter account in order to keep up with social media. Star Tribune has both a Pinterest and Instagram account as well.

Through the Wisconsin State Journal's Facebook page, it can post updates or points of interest that will be relevant to their followers. People can get easier access to the news since these updates will show up in their newsfeed.

There isn't a whole lot of writing in these Facebook posts since most of them link back to the publication's website. Usually there is one sentence, similar to a lede, that summarizes what the article is about.

The Star Tribune also posts similar updates that link back to articles on their website.

These types of updates can complement news stories because they may help readers find articles they would normally not read if the update didn't come up in their newsfeed.

There are also colloquial updates about things like weather that readers might see in their newsfeed in the morning.

Twitter accounts act very similarly to the Facebook accounts because they link back to relevant articles that followers will want to read.

Since many people do not receive prink copies of newspapers or visit the publication's website, these multimedia tools provide a way for the publication to get their content out there in the most accessible way.

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