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January 27, 2007

Animal Market Bombing in Baghdad

In a box full of pigeons a bomb was hidden inside and exploded. The explosion killed 15 people and injuring 66. The first version of the story was from the New York Times and second from the Washington Post. The think both of them told basically the same story, accept for the statistic aspect. The New York Times said 15 people were killed and 66 injured. The Washington Post said at least 14 people died and 33 injured. I believe both of the stories sounded the same because of the difficulty getting a wide range of sources. Both shared almost the same paragraph sequencing and quotes. For an example both newspapers used this quote from a Raad Hassan, "My friends and I rushed to the scene where we saw burned dead bodies, pieces of flesh and several dead expensive puppies and bird."

Here is the link to the Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/26/AR2007012600230.html

The article from the New York Times is nowhere to be found. I went on their website to find the article again and it's gone. I looked at my history page on my computer and the link directs me to another article! I read the article on Friday and today is Sunday, here is the link to the other story : http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Iraq.html?ref=world

University of North Carolina's Big Mistake

University of North Carolina sent an e-mail to 2,700 undergraduate applicants congratulating them on their admission to the university by mistake. The message was intended for applicants who had already been admitted but unfortunately was sent to those still waiting for a decision. Once the mistake was noticed, another e-mail was sent apologizing for the inconvenience. Stephen Farmer the director of the undergraduate admissions for the university said, "We continue to express our deep regret for this error". The university is coming up with better ideas on how to prevent a recurrence of the mistake. The reporter who wrote the story from the New York Times was objective in the story. He did a great job of telling what happened, but the article itself was shallow and bland. I wanted to know more facts about the school and their admission process. I wanted to know more on how the admissions department was going to fix the problem. I also want to know if technology has become a bigger problem for universities around the nation-- to the extent of how much technology is being used on such formal business. A reporter from The Washington Post wrote about the same event. I think he did a better job of reporting the story because he gave more details on how the University is handling their mistake. The reporter wrote that it was two employees that sent the e-mail to the undergraduate applicants and that it stated , "Congratulations again on your admission to the University." If I were the applicant I don't think I would be terribly excited because the letter implies that I should have already received a first letter before and the University is just telling me again. When the New York Times reporter wrote the story he implied that the letter was a first time e-mail informing the applicants of his first letter of acceptance. The Washington Post reporter also gave the statistics on how many people apply each year to UNC and the how many freshmen enroll at the school. Having these statistics allow the reader to make his own judgement, which I think is critical for any news story.

January 26, 2007

3M Chemicals Found in Drinking Water Wells

A chemical called perfluorobutanoic (PFBA) was made by the 3M co. and used
for decades until 2000. PFBA is used to produce stain removers, lubricants,
fire retardants, film, and other products. PFBA was found in water wells
of six cities in Washington and Dakota counties. It appears that PFBA is
not as harmfully toxic than other 3M products, but no long-term research
has been conducted. In the Star Tribune newspaper the story was placed on
the front cover. The writer provided the audience with quotes from local
residents, the Health Department's environmental health division, a 3m
spokeswoman, The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, city administrators and a
public works adviser. I think the reporter did a great job in finding
a wide-range of news sources, which can be difficult when discussing such serious issues. Excluding the effected residents, the
interviewees were objective in their claims. I believe this made it easier
for the the reporter to be objective throughout the story. When director
John Linc Stine said, "Finding this chemical at low levels does not pose an
immediate health risk for residents", he also said little has been done
about long-term effects and how long PFBA has been in the water. The
Pioneer Press explained why PFBA was even tested which the Star Tribune
neglected. The Pioneer Press used an insignificant quote from John Linc, "
This is like a detective novel. We thought we were all done with this, and
were closing up the file." They used another significant quote from Ryan
Schroeder , " We want to pay attention to it, put we don't want to
overreact". The Pioneer Press also didn't say who Ryan Schroeder was, which
is bizarre. Since the Pioneer Press article was shorter in length
than the Star Tribune's article, it had to back a lot of information into a little
space. Still the use of wording was ridiculous. The Pioneer Press used
dramatic words: seeps, smokey, massive, slipperier. The Star Tribune used
more direct and straightforward wording. I believe that in this case the
Star Tribune did a better job reporting the story than the Pioneer Press.
The length of the story could have played a huge part on the content.