February 2010 Archives

Multimedia analysis

I noticed a big difference between the multimedia options on the BBC website and on the Reuters website. The BBC in general is much more visually oriented than the Reuters. Both have a slideshow of photos on the main page but Reuters, unlike the BBC, does not have a very user friendly site.

Whereas the BBC has a side bar that categorizes the news based on geographic continent, Reuters has simply a list of headlines, unorganized at first glance. The BBC has its top news stories accompanied with a photo and a lead. Also, many of the hard-news articles have video. The news stories on the home page that catch your eye are all hard-news. The BBC does a good job of compartmentalizing their website. The features and analysis pieces are under their own category, this way the audience can "pick and choose" exactly what they want to read and when.

The Reuters site is similarly organized, but it is much less detailed. Though there are pictures and multimedia, it is not as well organized as the BBC site. There is no distinction between hard-news stories and features. As I mentioned there is only a list of headlines. Only a handful of the headlines have photos, and few of the articles have video. Depending on which headline you click, some articles are written as news stories, some are written as features. It makes the search for news stories much more tedious.
Just by observing the lay-out of the different websites, I noticed the importance of news sources to have an appealing website. The more difficult it is to mentally organize and separate the news, the less likely I am to stay on the site.

Hennepin County sheriff's office to join D.A.R.E. program.

The Hennepin County sheriff's office will be the first law enforcement agency in the country to partner with Minnesota D.A.R.E. on their new pilot program, the Pioneer Press said.

DARE - Drug Abuse Resistance Education -- is led by law officers that try to educate K-12 students about the dangers of drug and alcohol use. Until now, DARE officers have been active-duty officers, said the Star Tribune.

Due to budget-cuts, D.A.R.E has difficulty with the demand for cops to teach the lessons.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said using retired officers will make D.A.R.E. programs more cost-effective and accessible. The program will begin with one retired deputy the Pioneer Press said.

Community leaders unsettled by sudden local violence.

This weekend there were multiple shootings in the metro area. Alisha Neeley,17, was fatally shot standing outside a house Saturday night, The Start Tribune reported.

Two teenage boys are recovering from being shot on the Metro Transit bus in north Minneapolis Saturday night, The Pioneer Press said.

Shortly after Neeley's shooting Sunday morning, two men were shot and wounded in north Minneapolis, the Star Tribune reported.

Two other shootings on Sunday include a man found wounded in an apartment complex at 2312 Blaisdell Av. S. and a man in his 20s shot in the back at W. Broadway and Bryant Avenue N., the Star Tribune said.

Police do not know if the violence is connected, but the sudden series of events has unsettled community leaders and authorities.

Obama asks for an "up or down" vote on new health care plan.

Obama is asking the Senate for an "up or down" vote on the health care bill that he is trying to move through Congras, USA Today reported.

Obama's $950 billion health care bill unveiled last week would extend coverage to 31 million Americans. It would require everyone to obtain health insurance, and would provide financial aid for those who could not afford the expense right away, USA Today said.

Republicans are united in their resistance of the new bill, but there are Democrats who are drafting different bills based on the one President Obama just unveiled, said The New York Times.

Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, tried to rally Democrats around the final bill, said USA Today.

Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office on Health Reform said that Obama would be willing to use a legislative tactic in the Senate requiring only 51 votes to pass the bill, USA Today reported.

At a time when Democrats are worried about re-election, some Democrats don't think the bill does enough, Dennis Cardoza, Democrat of California said in The New York Times.

The Turkish government released its top military leaders Thursday after questioning their involvement in an alleged military 'coup' code named "Sledgehammer", Reuters UK reported.

The military leaders have not been charged, but are still under investigation, the BBC reported.

The release of retired air force head Ibrahim Firtina, former navy chief Ozden Ornek and former deputy army chief Ergin Saygun has eased rising tensions between the secular armed forces and the Islamic-rooted AK government party, Reuters UK said.

The three leaders were among the more than 40 officers arrested Monday, of which 20 have been charged and are still in custody.

The Turkish military holds a lot of respect in Turkey. "We were shocked to see that the generals are not as untouchable as they thought they were," Mehmet Sirdik, 20, said to Reuters UK.

President Abdullah Gül assured Turkey that the coup plot will be resolved within the Turkish law, the BBC said.

Analysis

The story the BBC covered on Greece's national deficit has been updated multiple times over the last few weeks. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8456216.stm)
The updates have primarily been with the gain of more information.

As the meetings of EU summits investigate the deficit in Greece, the issue seems to get increasingly complicated. The updates of the news story has the effect of a play-by-play, allowing its audience to get the last statements by officials and the most recent attempts of solve the issue.

Though there are, most definitely , other new stories that answer questions or shed light on 'mysteries' of a story. This story only updates the development of a debate.

Toyota documents call into question the company's integrity.

Toyota boasts of $100 million dollar savings as a result of recall negations, The New York Times said. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/22/business/22toyota.html?ref=business)

According to a document released to the AP from a 2009 internal Toyota meeting in Washington, Toyota boasted of their savings as a result of a negotiation that limited a recall to equipment, reported the Pioneer Press. (http://www.twincities.com/national/ci_14445151)

The document, titled "Wins for Toyota--Saftey Group" was turned over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee citing millions of dollars in savings resulting in delays in safety regulation's and slowing down industry requirements, said the Pioneer Press.

There is a question in Congress over whether or not Toyota values customers safety over profits, said the Pioneer Press.

Toyota, who has had a recent history with minor recalls, recently issued its biggest recall yet due to issues of sudden acceleration and sticking pedals, the New York Times said.

Government investigators are searching to make sure that Toyota is doing everything necessary to ensure customer safety, said the New York Times.

Man convicted for the second time of killing his wife.

Gordon Weaver convicted for the second time of killing his wife, Jean Weaver, last Thursday, Pioneer Press reports. (http://www.twincities.com/north/ci_14430208?nclick_check=1)

Weaver, 52, was convicted once before in 2005 for unintentional second-degree murder and arson .

The first conviction was appealed because the coroner had testified about lab results that had been destroyed prior to the trial, reported Kare 11. (http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=842496&catid=14)

On Thursday, more than tens years later, Weaver has been convicted of two accounts of second-degree murder, one involving arson; his sentencing has been placed on April 2nd, reported the Pioneer Press.

EU meets to discuss Greece's national deficit.

Leaders of the European Union met in Brussels to discuss solutions for Greece's national deficit.
Leaders are ready to stand behind Greece to find a way to reduce their 12.7% deficit (which is four times EU regulations), reports the BBC. ( http://tiny.cc/BBC180)

Eurozone finance ministers may discuss financial support package for Greece in a meeting on Monday an EU source told Reuters ( http://tiny.cc/Reuters ), but they will not release details in order to keep the market guessing, the source said.

In the summit's statement, they required that Greece reduce its national debt by 4% in 2010, reported the BBC.

EU leaders said that they are willing to help Greece but did not give details as to how, reported the BBC.
Greece is willing to take extra action to reduce its deficit, Greek Prime Miniester George Papandreou said in a report from the BBC.

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