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April 23, 2007

Tech gunman shot victims over 100 times


This story is another story about the Virginia Tech Shootings and what is left behind. It is mostly about evidence trying to figure out what happened and why it happened. The main focus was that Cho killed 32 people using 100 shots and many of them were shot many many times. It also discussed why Cho did it speculated mental illness or possibly drugs but they have not gotten the blood tests back yet. The final part discusses the fact that the police have not hard evidence connected Cho two the first two victims they found later victims matched the Cho used but the first two have not solid connection.

The most interesting thing I thought in this article was that they used an anonymous source quoting him as "an official close the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe is on going, that source said "Authorities had to return to the victims' dorm rooms and homes to collect fingerprints so they could make identifications." Its an interesting deal because they could identify them, and its a better way of saying they could not identify some victims. Also, it serves as a less gruesome way to illustrate how destroyed some of the bodies were. I also found it interesting how describes in length why the source was anonymous, but he didn't reallysay anything telling could the reporter have not found someone else who could go on the record saying they had to collect finger prints to identify bodies?

Here is another story talking about the shootings
San Jose Mercury news "33 dead, 15 hurt in gunman's rampage at Virginia Tech"

The story from the San Jose paper went into much greater detail about what happened even though they are located much further away from Virigina than the first story out of the South Carolina paper. The San Jose story had student accounts and spoke with victims and witnesses and put a face on the story. Really the stories served different purposes the first story is more removed from the actually incident and is discussing the legal aspects and trying to figure out why and how this happened.

Sex offender denies rape in 'dungeon' case


This article was about Kenneth Hinnson who was suspected of raping two 17-year-old girls in a small cellar he built. Hinnson is claiming he did not rape them and the sex was consensual and thats all that happened. He says he was hiding from the cops for four days because he thought they wanted him on a drug charge because he built the cellar in order to keep marijuana in. On the night the girls said they were there he had four pounds of marijuana down in teh cellar. The girls are accusing him of kidnapping them out of their bedroom while they were sleeping and dragging them into the cellar and raping them.

A couple small things I noticed and are things you talk about in media ethics class and have touched on in our class is using the middle name when identifying the suspect. You definitely don't want to miss identifying someone you are charging with raping two girls and previously raping a 12-year-old girl. The second thing I noticed was they did not name the victims but they did mention that they were surpressing the names because of the associated presses ethics, nothing printing the names. This is a tough story because of the case involved and the victims, the reporter tried to give a back and fourth of the accusers (and council) and the accused, but some fo the comments he used and the information he added leans the article to assuming guilt. He chose to use a quote from opposing council, a very intriguing quote, timplies strongly Hinnson is lying but they don't use a strong quote from the defense. The reporter also writes about a witness and then explains how the witness is actually a convicted felon and was buying drugs when he overheard information, which is information that has to be used but the manner in which it is used is very skeptical.

The Washington Post's Coverage of the story: "S.C. Rape Suspect Brags About Dungeon"

The first story is misleading, kind of. It ends with the judge setting him free but that was really after his served time for his first offense which was the rape of a 12-year-old girl.

Here is how the first story dealt with his history as an offender:

"Hinson was convicted in 1991 for the rape of a 12-year-old girl.

Two review committees recommended Hinson be committed to a state program for sexually violent predators after serving a nine-year prison sentence, warning he could commit a future sex crime. However, a judge rejected the plan and set Hinson free."

However, there is no mention of this first offense until right here following other talk about his current trial. So when they talk about the review committees and the setting free there are talking about that second offense but it is not clear. The first time I read it I thought they meant he was set free for this offense.

The Washington Post story makes it much more clear. They are discussing his background case its not mixed with talk about about the current case here is their version:

"The case attracted national attention when McMaster said during a four-day manhunt that Hinson _ convicted in 1991 for the rape of a 12-year-old girl _ could have been indefinitely committed to a state program for sexually violent predators after serving a nine-year prison sentence. Two review committees had recommended that Hinson be placed in the program, warning he could commit a future sex crime."

Brief and clear, it doesn't take a second read to understand what is going on.

The Post story also used the quote more effectively not using them in an incriminating way. Hinson is quoted saying : "I was very proud of it," he was talking about his cellar that he constructed. The quote works because it does not assume guilt and it is a simple thing that the defendant said.

I preferred the Post article because it was much more clear to me what was going on and the sequence of events. I also thought they covered in fairly. While the first story was not biased I felt it leaned slightly to assuming guilt on the part of the suspect.

April 22, 2007

Nigerian candidates Rejects Poll


This article is about elections in Nigeria. For the first time they are having an election to replace an previously elected official. However, there are complaints that the elections were rigged and they were coupled with a lot of violence is Africa's most populace nation. Twenty-four different candidates were looking to replace the president of Nigeria. One student in Nigeria was quoted as saying, "the more thugs you have the more votes you get." Amongst all the violence people did think this election was more sucessful then the previous state election a few weeks ago, but they did not go into what that success wwas.

I thought this article was a little disjointed, it had to main parts the first kind of overviewed what was happening, the violence the elections and candidates. Then the second half went into more detail about specific violence incidents.
First part a broad overview of the situation, the violence the election everything. While is seemed like two separate articles I did like that they really showed what happened instead of just telling us it was violent, when I was reading the first half I kept thinking okay it was violent but what happened. Also, it seemed weird that there was no discussion of any causalties, with that much violence someone must have gotten hurt. Finally the ending to the article seemed out of place, its this long article about elections and violence then suddenly it is mentioned that Nigeria has a lot of oil. Its tacked on at the end with three lines and does not really relate to the story, outside of the fact that oil has been a big issue in a lot of the violence in the area.

Al Jazeera's coverage of the story

From the minute this version of the story opens you get an idea of what happened exactly they get right to the casualties in their lead which I think is important because that's a question everyone is going to ask did people get hurt? This was their lead:

Violence has left at least 14 dead in Nigeria's south as Nigerians go to the polls to choose state governors in the first of two elections intended to solidify civilian rule.

Also, the Al Jazeer coverage was more indepth it gave a background on the area and what had been going on, I know I'm not up with Nigerian politics so I had no idea waht the history was reading the first story. They also show that this is not a random incident and that violence has been ongoing in the area.

In my opinion Al Jazeer's story was better because it was more detailed and the way it was written it kept my interest easier, there was more information included and more specifics.