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May 7, 2007

More than 18,000 get naked for Mexican photo shoot


This story was about an artist from Brooklyn who routinely shoots nude photos of large groups of people. He has done shoots in London and Buffalo and now the biggest yet attracted 18,00 people in Mexico City. It is for art and for change the artist said. People need to be more open and understand and that is why he does this kind of art said Spencer Tunick.

The biggest thing that jumped out to me was that this was an AP story so it went through their editing then it ran on CNN.com hopefully being at least looked at by CNN's personnel and still a basic spelling error still made it on to the page they ran this "United Sates." Yikes.

Overall, it was a good story, vivid and used come good quotes from the artist. However, I think this would have been a more interesting story if they would have profiled the artist a bit. Get to u nderstand what he is doing and why. Really get a feeling for his art and his mission.


I liked this story that ran in USAtoday better because while it was not much longer and did not really profile the artist it gave better description of what was going on for example this passage really set the scene and lets you know the ethusiasm of those involved:

"The shoot had the feel of a rock concert. Volunteers did "the wave" between poses and chanted "Mexico! Mexico!" Some participants said they drove four or five hours to participate."

7 looting suspects arrested in storm-ravaged Kansas town

7 looting suspects arrested in storm-ravaged Kansas town

A storm leveled the town of Greensburg, Kansas. But this story was about the looting that took place in the town after the terror of the storm. Four soliders and reserve police officer were arrest while looting along with two men who were not members of the Red Cross but wore Red Cross jackets. The soliders were not there to help out with the relief effort neither was the police officer.

The best quote on the page was not even about the story but about the storm itself, under a picture of the town devestated was a paraphrase but what the sentence said is not really important but the one word really described the picture. Simply a city administrator said the town was "gone." I found that to be a very powerful quote because the town was really gone, in the picture only a couple of silos were still standing.

I kind of went back and forth with the reporters use of the word "scores." He was describing how many people were injured along with those killed. While that is not very descriptive and an estimate of people was probably made he still used that vague description. How many is a score? According to definition it could be around 20 and if that is how many people were injured then it was a creative and unique way to say it, however it still is a confusing to readers how many people are going to know how many a score really is?

With the changing media landscape it is always interesting to see online news articles accompanied by video. This story had a video on the page of the destruction of the town, which allows the readers to really see what happened.

Another article on Foxnews.com talked about the arrests:

The first story I talked about was from the AP and I would bet the foxnews story was too because mostly it was the exact same story jumbled up in a different order but with the same sentences and thes same quotes. While both stories are credited to the AP they are still different. Do media outlets usually run the AP story as it was sent to them or do they normally mix up the order of the story? Or did the AP send out both these versions?

The second story flowed a little better even though they were basically the same thing. The first story mentions the soliders and then abruptly mentions the 2 red cross jacketed peopel involved, but then goes back to the soliders. The second story goes with the soliders first and once it is done talking about them moves on the Red Cross people. It is a less jarring read.

Gas prices hit record high


This report was on a survey taken on gas prices around the country. The highest recorded was in San Fransico at $3.49 the lowest was in South Carolina at $2.80. The average price of gas (with inflation included) comes close to the record, which was $1.35 at the time but with inflation would be $3.13, the average right now is $3.07.

This story was interesting and scary. As a driver the rising prices seem to have no end, they only recede for awhile then jump back up. However, this story could have been stronger by using more details. In class we talk about showing not telling, however this story was defiintely all telling. For example, the reporter used partial quotes like:

"Last month there was 'substantial evidence'...."
"...but a series of 'incidents' at a dozen refineries..."

What is quotable about "substantial evidence?" or "incidents" nether of these words are unique or telling, they are simple statements that could have been paraphrased with no quotes. Or an even better plan would have been to tell us what that evidence was or what the incidents were, those would have aided to the showing what happened and would have taken out partial quotes which we say should be avoided if possible.

However, I did like how the reporter added some examples of prices around the nation which gave the story a good prespective.

What's Behind High Gas Prices? NPR.org

This story dealt with maybe a more important issue, we all know the gas prices are high, but the real question here is why? I like this article more because it tackeled an article that is more intriguing it does not take a genius to figure out the prices are high and staying high. However, I could not find mention of who was being interviewed in this story which just seems like slopy journalism.

BBC man missing for eight weeks


Alan Johnston a reporter for the BBC was abducted on March 12 from Gaza City where he was permanently stationed. The 44-year-old reporter has been missing for eight weeks and no one knows how he is doing. No demands have been made by his kidnappers. Palestinian Authorities, the BBC and the UK government have all been working as hard as possible to get Johnston released but so far no progress has been made.

The thing that was most missing from this article was details. The repoter used a lot of vague statments for example:

"But the Palestinian Authority, the BBC and the UK government say that they are working as hard as possible to secure his release."

What are they doing exactly? What have they done to contact the kidnappers? Who are they calling to try to find him? What exactly is being done? I do not know if the reporter asked these questions and just could not get answers, or if the questions were just not asked. There is so much more that could be added to this story but that was not I felt like I wanted more answers and did not get them in the story.


This story did not have much more detail on what was being done to get Johnston released, but with the lack of that kind of information this story covered other issues surrounding the the missing man. Since they could not tell what was being done the story provided more history on the situation surrounding his abduction and the history of the area in general. While The questions I posed before were not answered this story did provide that they heard Johnston was still alive. Also, I feel I got answers to the why it happened and who the man was in this story.

Overall, the second story was better because it answered more questions and went more in depth. I felt more satisfied by this story and I feel that the reporter for the second story did more work to get the story written.

Dubai's palm island hit by blaze


A fire broke out on an island in Dubai. The island is man-made and shaped like a palm tree, and is suppose to be a huge tourism spot. No one was killed in this fire, but one man was hospitalized and two more workers were treated for smoke inhalation on the site. In January another fire broke out that killed four men and start discussion about improving the safety of the constructions sites.

This article seemed a bit short. For me there seemed like there was a lot more information that the reporter could have told us about the island itself and the previous fire. Other than that I thought the article was handled pretty well, it provided the basics and covered what happened.


I found this article much more descriptive, it really showed what had happen on the island and gave good visuals. Also, it provided more information about the casualties of the first fire, not only four people died but 57 others were injured the first article did not mention that. It also explained a little bit of Dubai's struggle to become a bigger nation and add some more tourism to it economy. This article was very brief like the first one, I would have liked more bredth.

Overall, I thought the second article better because I felt I learned more about the situation in that article then I did in the first article.


Both my grandparents were journlists for the Grand Rapids Herald, which died with a lot of afternoon papers. My grandpa was the sports editor and we have pictures of him with Rocky Marciano. But was impressed me most was my Grandmother, she worked in a time when a lot of women were back at home. Eventhough I never really met my grandmother, or have no memories of her anyways, I have always been impressed with the kind of woman she was. For most of her life she raised 5 kids on here own, the youngest being only one when her husband died. Writing is a way a can feel close to both of my Dad's parents eventhough I never really knew them.

I've also been inspired by Hunter S. Thompson, and I know he is not a role model to follow especially in new writing, but what I love about him is he was out there crazy and found a place for his writing. It inspires me that there is a place out there for almost any kind of writing.

My final inspiration is sports. Up until I was 12-years-old I thought I was going to do for women what Jackie Robinson did for black men, I wanted to be the first female professional baseball player. Then I realized I'm not that good at, surprise surprise. But ever since then writing sports journalism has interested me, or even maybe broadcasting hockey games. I like the idea of writing sports because I'm passionate about sports and I think there is a lot of interesting stories out there to be writen.

Overall, I want to write for magazines. Someday I would like to be able to freelance. I think Magazines give a more creative outlet for writers. I also have some interest in putting together the story of my aunt (even if it i just for my family as christmas presents) because she was a very powerful and amazing women who died far too young.