Recently in Analysis Category

Diversity analysis

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I thought this article from CNN was especially interesting because the man that they profile is deaf, gay, and HIV positive.

Although it is obvious that the article is meant to be positive and show that he is capable, I thought the fact that he had to deal with stigmas was the only "special" part of the story. They over sensationalized his accomplishments and the writer made it seem like he shouldn't be able to do anything at all and that this was amazing that he was even able to communicate about the subject. I know of a man, John, who is in a fraternity on campus, that has two deaf parents. He said that many times the media presents deaf people as mentally challenged and that sometimes people treat them as if they can't do anything for themselves.

For example, the article referenced above, quotes Meletese and then writes "in sign language" after his quotes. Would we say "____ said, in Chinese" if we were interviewing someone who simply spoke a different language? No. It seemed degrading and unnecessary.

Also, his last quote in this story is: " I respect the disabled people for trying in this world."

How awful.

Numbers analysis

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Article using numbers from Bloomberg

This article is all about the super PAC Restore Our Future and how they are using money to support/derail candidates from the GOP presidential nomination.

Money is mentioned many times to show the difference between how much they are spending on attack ads for Gingrich and Santorum vs. support ads for Romney. They attribute the numbers for $35 million spent on attack ads vs. $1.1 million spent on support ads to Center for Responsive Politics, who track political money handling.

The reporter also uses numbers to describe the amount of broadcast spots that Romney's campaign has released since the beginning of his campaign: 12,817 spots, according to the CMAG, which doesn't seem to be written out anywhere before that mention.

Also, the reporter uses the number of negative ads that Restore Our Future has released: 41,612 vs. the number of ads that have come from Gingrich's and Santorum's campaigns: 8,172 and 8,121.

I think that the numbers make it easy to see direct comparisons. However, this is an emotionally charged article, obviously against Restore Our Future (understandably). There weren't really any percentages or percent change figures, which would have been more compelling since the campaigns are on completely different scales. Also, there could have been clearer attributions.

Obit analysis

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Although Steve Jobs died last October, I thought his obituary in the New York Times had a lot of impact.

The lead used the classic New York Times style with the full name, identifying factor or claim to fame, and age at the end listed simply as "He was 56."

The lead was effective because it stated simply that Steve Jobs completely changed life as we know it in the digital age, siting many avenues like music, movies and mobile communications.

There are many sources listed. Some of them are:
-Family friends
-Previous interviews
-Bill Gates
-Twitter users
-Steven Levy, author of "Insanely Great"
-Edwin Catmull, co-founder of Pixar
-Regis McKenna, a Silicon Valley marketing executive

The obit differs from a resumé because of the ability to see into the person's character rather than just their accomplishments. Other people have the ability to weigh in on the person's life.

Speech analysis

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Clinton's Speech on Climate Change

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton made a speech at the Department of Energy conference last week. Since this was a relatively confusing subject, there was a lot of background information placed strategically in the story without oversimplifying the subject matter. Clinton was speaking on behalf of the Clinton Climate Initiative and as an expert on the subject.

The speech was a calling the the Obama Adminstration to invest more of the budget on clean energy development, so the reporter referenced Obama's future plans/how Clinton's differs.

However, I did not think that the reporter put the "news" first, at least with the quotes. I would have put the more loaded quotes at the beginning that had to do with Clinton calling out the Obama administration. The reporter put those near the middle and toward the end, while more irrelevant quotes were put at the beginning.

Multimedia analysis

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New York Times Multimedia Page

Washington Post Multimedia Page

The Washington Post Multimedia page seems like it focuses mostly on photos and galleries with a few videos. The main galleries today were from the carnival in Spain, spring training, and Ash Wednesday. The way that the captions were set up were the same way that we wrote ours in class...the first sentence was a description of the picture, and the second sentence was more information about what was going on, a fact or a quote. Most of the photos added more information and intrigue to the stories.

The New York Times Multimedia page was a little different than the Washington Post. There were photos and videos, but more interactive features than the other page. There was a feature called "Leaving Iraq" that I enjoyed with audio from a reporter and audio from soldiers. I thought that this was a lot more effective than things I found on the Washington Post site. It felt so much more real and emotional. It is something I am interested in doing in the future. It was much more narrative and added a lot to news.

Spot follow analysis

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First Story

Second Story

First lead: A 21-month-old boy is in critical condition after being pulled from a hot tub at a northern Minnesota hotel.

Second lead: A toddler pulled from a hot tub at a hotel in Grand Rapids died Friday.

The stories were written about four hours apart, but had about the same amount of information in the leads. The leads were both intriguing, and obvious the advance in the story is that the boy that was formerly in critical condition had died.

The story used the fact blocks and the reporter did not change the order of the information much, just the content.

Also, the reporter talked to someone, "investigators", that told them that there were no signs of negligence in the death.

I believe that the story was followed by many news organizations because of the age of the child, but I doubt that this story was in response to competition.

Structure analysis

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Star Tribune

The news value of this story is that a well known author was killed in a car accident, so the writer focuses on that.

Most of the top half of the story is about his accomplishments and what he was doing before he was killed.

The reporter put statements from family and friends near the top because the family and friends are notable members of their community and are well-known throughout most of the United States.

If the victim of the car accident was not someone famous or well-known, the hard news would have been at the top of the story.

The way this story is formatted is:
-Interesting information
-Hard news
-More detailed information

Attribution analysis

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The story above is about a couple who is being prosecuted for prostituting an autistic teen.

The sources that are named are: the authorities, a criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County, the girl, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Two of the sources, the authorities and the girl, are people and two are records/other sources, the criminal complaint and the Pioneer Press.

The reporter set up all of the attributions at the beginning of the sentence.

Example: The girl told investigators...The St. Paul Pioneer Press says...

It made things clear because it was very obvious where all of the information came from right away.

Lead analysis

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This is the lead that I have chosen to analyze:

LYNN HAVEN, Fla. - A Florida man has been arrested for allegedly hacking to death a Connecticut man and eating the victim's eye and part of his brain, police said Wednesday.

The full story here: KARE 11

I think that this lead was successful because it used the strength of the story to get readers more interested. The only real news elements to this story are emotion and novelty. It is not every day that a murderer eats the brain or eyes of their victim. Also, leads like this suggest that the story will be complex and complicated, which it was. The main aspects of the story are all included in the lead.

Who: A Florida man
What: was arrested
When: Wednesday
Why: For murdering and cannibalizing a man

The who and what were general while the why was the most important part of the lead. Since it is taboo in most cultures to consume human body parts, that was the most interesting and news worthy part of the story to showcase.

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