May 7, 2007

Thousands of Mexicans strip for photo shoot

A record of 18,000 people took off their clothes to pose for U.S. photographic artist Spencer Tunick on Sunday in Mexico. Tunick broke his record from 2005 that was 7,000 people naked from Spain.

In the Reuters story reported by Tomas Sarmiento started the third paragraph in a narrative style. He writes, "Directing with a megaphone, Tunick shot a series of pictures with Mexican models simultaneously raising their arms..." This sort of style I think is perfect for this topic because he's talking about art and he is writing in an artistic way.

Sarmiento also wrote about the experiences that the Mexicans went throught in preparing for the photo shoot. He wrote, "Mexicans are not used to showing skin. Most men wear shorts only while on vacation and women ten not to put on miniskirts because of unwanted whistles and states." I think this is a vibrant quote because it's showing the artist in his element, which important when covering arts and entertainiment.

In the Ohio News Network Associated Press reporter Istra Pacheco covered the same story. In the lead second paragraph it talks about what the scene of 18,000 naked people looked like. She wrote, "Standing up to salute, crouching in a fetal positions and lying prone on the tiles of the Zocalo plaza." I think this is an extrodanary way to describe a scene, it's sounds so fascinating. She also captured the voice of the artistest just like reporter Sariento, she writes, "What a moment for the Mexican art scene."

I think both of these reporter did a great job in reporting the art scene. I do think that both reporters should have reported more on Tunicks reason for the photo shoot. The only reason was that he just creates shapes and forms with human bodies. I think that there could have been more of a story. How was this artist capable of gathering 18,000 Mexicans that known for covering up their bodies? I think more of an explanation would have been more interesting in both stories.

Bombings killed 8 U.S. soldiers and 30 Iraqis

In Baghdad, eight American soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb on Sunday. The bombings tolled the highest single-day deaths this year. The deaths were announced on a day when car bombs killed 30 Iraqui civilians.

I read two stories, one from the Washington Post and the other from the New York Times.

In the Washington Post story, reporter Karin Brulliard wrote in the lead about how the deaths in Iraq threaten to deepend "sectarian tensions." Bruillard is taking an aggressive angle, she is stating that the deaths are creating deep tensions. Brulliard needed to verify this statement and she did a great job in doing so. She quotes Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, "All of us believe that in the next 90 days, you'll probably see an increase in American casualities because we are taking the fight to the enemy...this is the only way we can win the fight."

I think Brulliard did great in finding a good quote and supporting it with a reliable source. The problem that I see is that she is taking one opinion from a servicemen and crafting a controversy herself. This is huge because she is being biased. She only quotes Lynch, which proves my point on how she is taking information from one angle and creating it as news. She is setting a scene that there is deeping tension in the Iraq because of these bombinbs. Yes, I know that the war has done a number on soldiers and civilians, but Brullard should fuel the fire by stating an opionion as a fact.

Brulliard goes on about the future of the U.S. forces by quoting Lynch. She writes, "Lynch predicted that by August or September, U.S. forces would have a decisve effect on enemy formations." I would not personally use this quote because once again it's supporting the lead which is purely an opinion.

Although Brulliard uses a better quote in the following paragraph. She writes, "Lynch said he did not feel the same way about Iraq's political process, 'I don't see there will be signficant progress on the government side between now and can't just build a government overnight." Now this quote produces a much better angle on Lynches point-of-view NOT the point-of-war from Lynches perspective. Even though Lynch is in high ranking he still not a reliable source to get the war's future, UNLESS there were more than just one source.

In the New York Times story, it was reported by the Associated Press. In the lead it says, "Roadside bombs killed eight American soldiers in seperate attacks Sunday in Diyala province and Bagdad, and a car bomb claimed 30 more lives in a wholesale food market in a part of the Iraqi capital where sectarian tensions are on the rise." Once again they say that tensions are on the rise. Maybe they are but how can the journalist prove that tensions are truly there without finding mulitiple sources?

The AP story goes on it talks about past events that produced many deaths. It also quoted Iraqi civilans, which I think is a little better than the Washington Post because it's getting the perspective of the Iraqi people. The quote says," He called the attack 'a terrorist act aimed at creating more sectarian tension and strife." NOW this is right. The journalist was going to the people who are living in the city and who deal with death, injuries, sorrow, and war everyday. A journalist needs to go to the people who witness the ordeals, not a Maj. Gen. who doesn't experience these events at a personal level.

Kenya Jetliner Crash

A Kenya Airways jet with 114 people on board crashed early Saturday. The jet went down near the town of Lolodorf, about 155 miles south of the coastal city of Douala, where it had taken off after midnight. No word was available on survivors. A regional Communications officer, Alex Bayeck said that search planes were flying over the forested area where the airliner gave off a distress signal, but no wreckage had been spotted.

I read two stories. The first, from the Washington Post and the second, The New York Times.

The Washington Post story was reported by Emmanuel Tumanjong. Tumanjong wrote about how the jetliner was found. He wrote about how dozens of rescue workers and journalists walked through a swamp at night but did not find any survivors. I think that he did a great job of creating an immediate news worthy event. What I mean by that is he writes about what was done to find the victims and what needs to be done. The information was written so simplistic which I think creates an ergency. He also paraphrases reporters who at the scene, which you don't read too often.

Tumanjong than summarizes what happened in the crash. What he added to the summary was that the cause of the crash is still unclear. He does a great job on explaining what happened in the following paragraphs, making up for the unclear causation. This shows the readers that the reporting is thorough and gives insight from many different angles. He also avoided telling too much background too soon. This is important because it's not forcing the reader to understand the whole event all at once. If Tumanjong would have given too much information in the second paragraph it would have overwhlemed the reader and the reader would have moved on to another story.

The New York Times story was reported by the Associated Press. The story is from May 5, so it does not talk about how the jetliner was found, but about the crash its self. In the last paragraph, it says, "The flight departed Douala at 12:05 a.m. and was to arrive in Nairobi at 6:15 a.m." I think that this information should have been in the second paragraph. It should have been in the second paragraph because it's vital information about the story. Information that does not matter should be at the end, the time the jetliner was suppose to land is important. Also toward the end was the number of people involved in the crash, again this is important information that should have been placed in the lead. Maybe if this was a follow story it could be placed toward the end, but it was not.

French President Sarkozy Wins

On May 6 Nicolas Sakozy was elected French president for 5 years. I read two stories one from the New York TImes and the other the Washington Post.

The Lead.

The Washington Post reporter John Anderson, talked about how the president's father is a Hungarian immigrant. That the president is promising a new generation of leadership to France and restore its self-respect and reinvigorate ties with the U.S. and Europe. I think Anderson could have left out that Sarkozy's father is Hungarian. It's sort of racist, the fact that he is of Hungarian decent is irrelevent. Anderson also used the present tense toward the end of the lead. Journalists should avoid using present tense in a lead because the event ended by the time I read it.

The New York Times reporter Katrin Bennhold, talked about how Sarkozy is an immigrant's son who had the French presidency in his sights for three decades, and won a victory that would keep him in power for the next five years. I think Bennhold wrote a better lead than Anderson because it grabed my attention better. First because Bennhold told an interesting detail--his father wanted him to be president for the past few decades. WOW! With that said I just wanted to keep reading. Bennhold also used the word immigrant rather than Hungarian, which I personally sounds much better.

In the second Paragraph.

Anderson from the Washington Post wrote, "Sarkozy, a member of the ruling party and France's former top law-enforcement officer, defeated Socialist Segolene Royal, who waged a determined battle to become France's first female of state." He also said that Sarkozy won by a 53 to 47 vote. In the first sentence Anderson did write the second most important information. I do that the way he writes it could have been more effective. The part of the sentence, "...who waged a determined battle to become France's first female..." Well I'm sure that it true, but Anderson doesn't know for sure if she was really that determined to become the first female, she could have been more determined to do something else. Rather than being the first female, maybe be the first to change France in significantly.

Bennhold wrote a much better second paragraph, although I do think it's too wordy. She writes, "With 86 percent of the vote counted, the consevative former interior minister won 53.3 percent...His socialist rival, recieved 46.7 percent, ending her quest to become France's first woman president and dealing a severe blow to her party. I like this lead because Bennhold actually writes the exact stats on the election, which I think is important when the race was so close. I also like how she used the word, "quest" when refering to Segolene Royal. It makes more sense than to say determined because any presidential nomminee is on a quest. I also like how she ended the second paragraph by saying, "severe blow to her party." Yes, it sounds melodramatic, but I still want to read on. Bennhold shows the conflict and ends it perfectly.

The first quote.

The Washingtion Post quotes Sarkozy. Anderson quotes Sarkozy, "voters have chosen to break with the habits and behavior of the past." This quote is great, I think it shows Sarkozy's real attitude and personality, which is important because a journalists is providing the reader with only a snap shot of reality. Anderson does a fine job capturing this.

Bennhold uses a superficial quote that does not grab the reader. She quotes Sarkozy, "I love France as one loves a dear being." This quote is weak and does let the reader see Sarkozy's real personality or attitude, it just sounds so political.

April 2, 2007

Somalia Attacked

On Thursday in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, an untold number of civilians were killed and wounded. The fighting was the Somali givernment forces and Ethiopian troops against Islamic insurgents. The fight has been the called the heavist fighting in Modgadishu since the early 1990s. On Friday, insurgents shot down an Ethiopian helicopter gunship and mortar shells slammed in to a hospital, leaving dead bodies piled in the streets and hundreds of people wounded.

The Washington Post headline: Somali Civilians Hit Hard In Fighting in Mogadishu. Reporter Salad Duhul wrote about the event and how it's affecting the civilans. He writes, "The victims are the civilans. Only the civilainas are dying and getting wounded in this fighting," said Khadiko Farah Warsome, 45, a mother of seven who lives in Modgadishu. The International Committee of the Red Cross said dozens of people have been killed since Thursday and more than 220 wounded, most of them civilians.

Duhul gave a quote from a civilian. This is an important perspective to place in a story because it shows the outcome of two fighting countries. It is not the leaders who are being hurt, but the people who are stuck and cannot defend themselves. I think Duhul made a wise choice in placing a quote from a civialian. Ethiopia says its troops have killed more than 200 Islamic insurgents since the assult.

Duhul goes on about how significant this fight is. He writes, "But the fighting is so severe and widespread that bodies were not being picked up or even tallied. Hospitals are overwhelmed, with patients sleeping on floors."

I think Duhul is really painting the picture for his audience. Simply using the phrase, "so severe" can place an image in the reader's mind. The event is so severe that patients are sleeping on floors and dead people are not even being counted or picked up. Duhul is using very powerful language. I think that it's so powerful that it almost sounds opinionated. But because of the circumstance I think that it can be allowed.

After giving insight into the fighting, Duhul gives possible anwers to all the fighting. He writes, "The insurgents are linked to an Islamic movement that was driven from power in Ethopian soldiers. The United States has accused the movement of having ties to al-Qaeda, an allegation the group denies. He adds, " The insurgents have long rejected any secular government and have vowed to fight until Somalis becomes an Islamic emirate.

Duhul does a fine job giving an explanation to the crisis. I am curious on why he felt the need to mention al-Qaeda. The insergents themselves say they have no ties with al-Qaeda, so why write about the accusations? I think that Americans can associate the seriousness of a crisis based on affliation. I think Duhul purposly placed al-Qaeda in the middle of the story to once again bring back memories of 9/11 and let Americans engage in imagination of what these civians feel, because Americans were in their situations in 2001.

The New York Times headline: Truce Fails to Stop Somali Fighting by the Associated Press
The story summarizes the truce that was broken between the government and Islamic insurgents. AP says that the only country contributing to peacekeeping is Uganda, which has about 1,400 troops and lost its first soldier on Sunday.

The story goes on about the fears of the conflict widening. AP also quotes the Foreign Ministry, "Egypt is following with great concern the military confrontation in Somalia." There is so much conflict happening that I would guess a journalist could find a better quote than that. The quote doesn't show any emotion or significant meaning. The quote is pointing out the obvious and fails to let the reader relate to the crisis.

March 26, 2007

5 Soldiers Killed in Iraq In Two Roadside Bombings

Five American soldiers were killed in two seperate roadside bombings Sunday in Iraq. Four soldiers were killed and two soldiers wounded during patrols in Diyala province. The fifth soldier was killed while clearing roads in northwest Baghdad. Also Sunday, three Sunni mosques were attacked south of Baghdad, one day after 11 people were killed and 45 wounded in a truck bombing outside nearby a Shiite mosque.

The Washington Post has two reporters on the story, Karin Brulliard and Saad Sarhan. The story was confusing because it gave lots of facts in little space. In just one paragraph they wrote about three different bombing that has happened within the past two weeks. The headline says, "5 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq In Two Roadside Bombings." I think that topic should have been emphasized throughout the whole story. If both reporters wanted to add other bombings that had happened then it should have been added at the very end because it is irrelevant to the headline topic.

They also mentioned other killings about three chlorine-truck bombings in Anbar. I think that the reader will feel overwhelmed by reading about five different bombing stories that has literally been packed into one story. Because of all the different stories, this one story lacks good transitions. The story talks about many different bombings that it might have been difficult to make logical transitions between paragraphs. I think this could have been because of limited space.

I think that the headline should have been adjusted to what the article was actually going to talk about. This way the reader will have choice on what they want to read. If the reporters wanted to talk about other bombings that has happened in the past, then they should have waited until there was enough space to allow a time consuming piece.

The New York Times wrote about the same story. I think the associated press did great job delivering the message. They write, " Roadside bombs killed five American soldiers in Iraq on Sunday, including four in a single strike in the volatile province of Diyala, northeast of the capital, the military said."

The second paragraph focuses on how the bombings happened, a very important detail. This gives the reader the how in the story that the Washington Post forgot to write about. At the very end of the article it talks about how many people besides soldiers who have died.

I think that the New York Times did a better job in reporting the facts and the story's event. It was clear and got to the point. When the reader read the headline, the reader from Times actually read what they thought they were going to read. The Washington Post reader was given a lot more then what was expected.

February 26, 2007

4 Guatemalans Die

Four imprisoned Guatemalan policemen were killed Sunday during a rebellion by inmates, days after the officers were arrested in connection with the deaths of three Salvadoran politicians, the police said. The four killed included Luis Herrera, head of the Guatemalan National Police organized crime unit, and three of his officers. On Feb. 19, Herrera and his officers abducted and killed Eduarado D'Aubuisson--the son of the former Salvadoran right-wing leader Roberto D'Aubuisson--two other Salvadoran officials and their driver. Their bodies were set on fire while they were still alive and was found along a road 20 miles from Guatemala City. The accused officers were taken to prison, occupied mostly by members of the dangerous Mara Salavtrucha gang, after their lawyer said their lives were in danger at the detention center in Guatemala City.

The New York Times article posted their version of the story once the accused officers were murdered on Feb.26. The Washington Post posted their version once the politicians were murdered and the accused officers arrested on Feb 22. The New York Times has the most current information. The Washington Post did not post another story about the accused officers being murdered. I think it's important for a newspaper to do a follow-up story, especially when the story made headlines and the second half is newsworthy.

The Washington Post version of the story was very confusing. Reporter Juan Carlos LLorca had help from Associated Press Writer Diego Mendez. I think LLcorca puts too much information into the article that was not necessary. He writes that about D'Aubisson's late father and his history with politics and crime and how he died. He used a really poor quote as well, from Interior Minister Carol Vielman, "We could give 10 different hypothesis but that would not be anything definite." I think that this quote is useless, it doesn't provide the reader with anything about the investigations and is redundant. His lead is okay. I guess it gets the job done, but it's really boring. He also uses a lot of names which is overwhelming because he connects each name with their association. It's necessary to make that association but I think he could have written it much tighter.

It was probably easier for the New York Times to write about the aftermath of the murders because they know all the facts and they don't have to explain every detail. The story was a lot easier to read and clearer on people's association to one another. The NYT also used a pretty lame quote, national police spokeswoman Maria Jose Fernadez said, "It's confirmed; they killed the four of them." Of-course it's confirmed! Why would the reader be reading the article if it wasn't confirmed and if it wasn't confirmed the reader would have known that in the lead.

February 20, 2007

Train Attack in India Kills 66 people

Washington Post Lead: Muneeza Naqvi reported an explosion on a train headed
for Pakistan set off a fire that swept through two cars and killed at least
65 people in an attack that a government minister said was aimed at
undermining the peace process between India and Pakistan. Naqvi gives an
explanation of the attack, it had to do with peace between India and
Pakistan. This lead provides the reader with the who, what, when, where,
and why. Although, Naqvi says it was the government minister who said the
attack was from the peace process between India and Pakistan, Naqvi is
making that claim as well. With the attack being so serious and involving a
lot of people, I personally would be skeptical on what the true motives

New York Times Lead: Somini Sengupta reported a day after two homemade
bombs killed at least 66 people on a train traveling to Pakistan from
India, the governments of both countries on Monday condemned the attack and
pledge that it would not deter their aim of reducing longstanding
hostilities on the subcontinent. Sengupta provided his readers with more of
a objective explanation of the attack. He gives a positive reaction to the
bombings, the governments of both countries pledge that it will not alter
the hostilities between the two countries. I think that Sengupta
diffidently showed the readers what is the most important: the bombing will
not change anything political. I think Sengupta carefully chose this route
because a lot of people were involved and hostilities are a reality. It's
best for a reporter not to play with fire when burned bridges are being

New York Times: Sengupta reports that 13 survivors somehow escaped,
including an infant and Kamruddin, 60, a small thin man from Multan. It was
hard to tell who the victims were and whether they were Indian or
Pakistani. This is very descriptive. I think that intense descriptions such
as this one is important because it puts the reader at the event, the
reader can feel for the victims and their families. It also shows the
reality of terrorism. The NYT also gave a picture of the the two cars of
the Samjhauta Express. I believe that readers NEED to see these sort of
graphic photos because people need to see how gruesome terrorism is and that
citizens cannot ignore these tragedies.

The Washington Post: Naqvi reports, at least 30 passengers who were burned
or injured in the blaze have been hospitalized in the nearby town of
Panipat. Naqvi does not paint a scene of the reader, but simply state the
facts. It's important to report accuracy--that's the job of being a
reporter. But the reporter also has an obligation to show the reader how
tragic this event was and show them why they should care, even though it
was thousand of miles away. The Washington Post did not provide the website
with any photos of the bombings. Once again this is crucial. Whether or
not your readers want to hear about or look at horrible attacks of death
and injury it's important for humanity.

He gives information about the past peaceful talks between India and
Pakistan for three years, saying "yielding little more than accord on
transportation links like the Attari Express. They have fought each other
in three wars since independence from British rule in 1947.

NYT Sengupta gave quotes from railroad minister, president of Pakistan. He
talks about the investigations. He reports that three other bombs were
found in the train's other coaches...a suitcase packed with eight to nine
bottles filled with an unknown liquid. In the attack, bombs went off inside
two coaches, toward the back of the train, shortly after in left Diwana at
11:53. By the time fire trucks arrived, the two coaches were ablaze and
the air smelled of burning plastic a flesh (very descriptive). This last
sentence once again paints the picture of how horrible this attack was. As
a reader I want to know more and how the India's government is going to
handle the situation. And most importantly, if a war or disagreement
between India and Pakistan did happen, I would have a clear understanding
of why India is so pissed off.

The Washington Post: Naqvi investigation reports that because of security
concerns, the train is kept sealed...passenger may have been trapped inside
the burning cars. People who live near the tracks rushed to the train with
buckets of water soon after the fire broke out. The blaze was eventually
extinguished after fire engines arrived.

February 19, 2007

Fossil Exhibit in Kenya

In the Kenya National Museum, mankind's oldest relics: Turkana Boy is
stored in a cabinet. There is much controversy over the skeleton because it
questions evolution vs. creationism. "I did not evolve from Turkana Boy or
anything like it," says Bishop Boniface Adoyo. Archaeologist Richard Leaky
who found the bones said, "Whether Bishop likes or not, Turkana Boy is a
distant relation of his."

I read about the Turkana Boy from the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press, both
printed the same exact story on-line. I could not find another news website
that reported the same story. I will focus on reporter Anthony Mitchell and
how he delivered the message.

Mitchell at the beginning of the story said that the Turkana Boy created
controversy of the evolution and creationism debate. He gave quotes from a
bishop, an archaeologist, and a Protestant. As far as, providing the reader
with multiple point of views he did a great job. When a reporter is
covering controversial or serious topics it's crucial to have many sources
who have different things to say. This also makes the reporter to sound
less biased and show objective writing.

Mitchell covered historical evidence, he writes, "Dinosaur fossils and a
bone from an early human ancestor, dating back 7 million years, will also
be on show along with the bones of short-necked giraffes," he adds, "Among
the 160,000 fossils to go on display is an imprint of a lizard left in
sedimentary rock, dating back 200 million years..." Mitchell provides this
information and shows it as a known fact. When any subjective point of view
is written he supports it with a source. For an example, "They provide the
clearest and unrivaled record yet of evolution and origins of man, say
scientists." I believe that Mitchell is letting the reader know that this
is a strong view by scientists, yet there are other point of views on
evolution and creationism.

Mitchell also gives information of the Turkana Boy himself and Kenya's
financing with the project, which I think keep audiences interested. People
who will find this interesting are those who a sick-and-tired of hearing
the evolution debate. Instead of thinking about what is right or wrong,
these people will just think it's cool that archaeologists found the oldest
prehistoric human. I think that providing this insight gives an overall
balance between two rival sides, which I think some people will

February 3, 2007

German torture victim challenges the C.I.A.

Khaled al-Masri a German Lebanese decent man accused the CIA of kidnapping and torturing him for five months in 2003. Masri wants an apology from the U.S. authorities. The German prosecutores have ordered the arrest of 13 suspected CIA agents that kidnapped Masri in Macedonia and flew him to Afghanistan. News stories are calling this an example of "extraordinary rendition". BBC News defines, "extraordinary rendition" as a practice whereby the U.S. government flies foreign terror suspects to third countries without judicial process to interrogation or detention. The New York Times defines it has, "in which terrorism suspects are seized and sent for interrogation to other countries, including some in which torture is practiced. I believe that these two definitions are very different. The BBC News focuses on how it's breaking the law, in that the U.S. government authorities are breaking policies and not following the rules. The New York Times focuses on how terrorists are caught and then tortured. With this set in mind both articles are influence by their own definitions. The NYT talks about what happen during the torture process, "he was shackled, beaten and interrogated about alleged ties to Al Qaeda...Masri has asserted that he was interrogated three times inside his prison in Kabul, Afghanistan, by a German who indentified himself as "Sam." The BBC News talks about the emotional effect the torture victim faces today," I'm suffering from stress-this experience has left me traumatised... he is feeling isolated and depressed...his life isn't back to normal, he was tortured, nobody cared about him until now. The trauma is so deep in him, needs a lot of help, not just psychotherapy. Nobody was able to give him a simple job." I believe that the NYT did a better job of explaing what happened than BBC. I'm an American so it's possible that there is a small language barrier and how the news is presented in England.

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:

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 :