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Analysis: Data Sets

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In the New York Times article, "Obama Budget Seeks Deal in Mix of Cuts and Spending," the author uses large data sets of President Obama's 2014 budget.

The author includes a link to the actual 2014 budget proposal, allowing the reader to find the information about the budget on areas that they are interested in. The article also uses some of the data to explain possible repercussions of the budget proposal and the opinions of different politicians on the budget proposal. The article also links to an interactive graphics, where the reader can compare the president's proposal to proposals from both parties and historical averages. The interactive graphic also shows what percentage of the budget proposal would be covered by deficit spending and revenue spending. To make the interactive graphic, the reported would have to have knowledge of a computer program that makes graphics. The reporter would have had to look at several budget proposals to create the interactive graphic. The interactive graphic would engage the reader, by allowing them to compare different budget proposals.

Analysis: Diversity

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In the Star Tribune's article, Immigrant Beat: Somali Culture Museum in the Works, the author writes about Osman Ali, a man from Somalia who wants to open the Somali Artifact and Culture Museum in Minneapolis.

The author writes about what they are actually seeing to introduce the reader to what is likely a new culture for them. The author went to Ali's restaurant and viewed some of his collection that he plans to include in the museum. The author spoke with Ali about how he got the idea for the museum, and why it is important. Ali told the author that many artifacts that were in the national museum in Somalia, have been moved or lost during the civil war in Somalia. The author included info on how Ali obtained some of the artifacts, where he has already shown them and where he wants to put them permanently. The author also included information about an event benefiting the museum. The article seems a bit superficial, because she only spoke with one source. Her information and detail that could only have come from seeing Ali's collection, helps makes the story more substantive. The author could've dug deeper for the story by talking with other community members. She should've spoken with the libraries or schools that have shown his collection and someone in the West Bank Community Coalition. She could've also spoken with other members of the Cedar-Riverside community, possibly some of the customers at Ali's restaurant. She could've tried to speak with someone who not from Somalia, but who had seen his collection for another perspective.

Analysis: Numbers

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In the Star Tribune article, "Bike Sharing Program Looks To Keep Momentum Rolling," the reporter used lots of numbers.

The reporter used "two-wheelers" to describe bicycles. He wrote that the Nice Ride program has 1,500 bicycles that will be in service this spring, adding that there will be 24 new stations. The reporter included two figures to show how much money different organizations are contributing to the Nice Ride program. He used numbers to describe how the number of rides taken on Nice Ride bicycles has increased since 2010. The reporter used numbers to describe how much it costs to ride one of the bicycles and how long that can be rented out for. He also used numbers to describe the usual distance traveled by Nice Ride bicycle renters. The reporter used numbers to tell the reader how many people had season passes last year and how many had daily memberships. The numbers in this story are not overwhelming because they are pretty well spaced out and are not about a complicated subject. The numbers in this story helped show the reader how many people use the Nice Ride program compared to a few years ago and that the program is expanding. Without numbers, the reader would not have known how many new stations will be added and the story would not have seemed credible. The numbers of this story come from Nice Ride executive director Bill Dossett. A lot of these numbers can also be found on Nice Ride's website, which the story provided a link to.

Analysis: Obituary

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The obituary for former St. Paul legislator Robert Johnson from the Star Tribune gives the reader a sense of his personality.

The reporter used a variety of sources: Johnson's son, a family friend, and the manager at a restaurant Johnson used to frequent. The lead has an alternative format. Instead of stating what Johnson is known for (being a legislator), the reporter used an anecdotal, story-style lead to show Johnson's personality. This obituary has news value because Johnson was a legislator in St. Paul, had a lot of involvement with the community and the University of Minnesota and had married into a wealthy St. Paul family. The obituary differs from a resume because it describes his personality and personal life. It goes further than just listing his job history. It also uses quotes from people who knew him well to give the reader an idea of who he was.

Analysis: Speech

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In the New York Times article, "Hagel, in First Day on Job, Warns of Challenges Cuts Pose for the Military," the author wrote about the new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's first speech as secretary.

The author described who Hagel was speaking to as well as the style of Hagel's speech. For example, the author wrote that Hagel did not stand behind a lectern, but walked in front of the audience. The author chose to add some of Hagel's history to the article, including his history as a senator and a link to a foreign policy group (Atlantic Council) Hagel used to be a part of. The author spoke with other sources to include information about the issues that Hagel will deal with in addition to the budget cuts. The author also included information about how the Senate voted in Hagel's confirmation. The speech was broken up into pieces and separated by fact blocks and quotes from other sources or information about Hagel's past decisions. The author chose to end the story with a quote about a joke that Hagel made during the speech. The reporter used the information from beyond the speech to give readers context and understanding. A lot of readers wouldn't know who Chuck Hagel was and why he was qualified for the position of Secretary of Defense. Readers also need information about what events and issues Hagel has to deal with, so they can understand his quotes about those topics.

Analysis: Multimedia

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Kare11's multimedia story "89-year-old Librarian Spreads Passion For Books" by Boyd Huppert as part of Huppert's Land of 10,000 Stories series.
This story contains a video, text and photographs.
The video complements the story by giving it a feature-quality. Huppert's narration gives it a story-like vibe and shows Ruth Boldan's character. Her "son-of-a-gun" comment while struggling to open the door gives her personality and learning about her history as a teacher adds another angle to her passion for books.
The text re-states what is said in the video, by Huppert and Boldan. This gives the reader the option to read along with listening to the video, or to skip the video and just read the story.
One photograph shows the library and the other shows Boldan. The photographs give the reader something and someone to connect the text with.

The New York Times "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" slideshow shows pictures of a new Broadway production of Cinderella.
The story contains photographs and text captions. The photographs show the actors and actresses on stage in costume in several scenes of the show. The captains provide the names of the performers as well as where the production is showing and the designers of the set, costumes, lighting and hair. The photographs and captions make learning about the production quicker than reading a lengthy, descriptive story about the show. This method allows the readers to see parts of the production for themselves and read the basic details (who + where + when).

Analysis: Follow Story

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In the Star Tribune's article, "Mound Westonka Hockey Players Suspended After Cafeteria Dance," the author leads with the information that some players on the Mound Westonka boys hockey team were suspended and not allowed to play in their section game Friday because they danced to the "Harlem Shake" in the cafeteria.

This lead summarizes what happened, to whom, and why. The article then says six hockey players and other students filmed the "Harlem Shake," a current Internet phenomenon, and had the video camera taken away by the school's activities director. The hockey team ended up losing their game and parents reportedly confronted the activities director.

In the Star Tribune's follow up article, "Mound Westonka Reduces Suspensions of Hockey Players," the author leads with information that school officials were reducing the punishment, but the involved students' parents' want dismissal of the administrators who authorized the discipline.

This lead has a lot of new information to the story. The follow up article describes how parents and students were notified of the reduced suspension and quotes from the school's principal. The follow up article also has more quotes and opinions of affected parties. The article also mentions a $75 ticket that the students were fined by police, and that the school is asking police to reconsider the tickets.

The main news is summarized by putting the main details of who, what, why, when, and where in the beginning, then adding quotes and more detailed information and description of what the "Harlem Shake" video is.

The second story advances the news, by reporting the reduction of the punishment and including the school's principal's voice as well as more student voices and parent voices.

Analysis: Structures

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In the Star Tribune's article, "Jackie Cherryhomes Enters Race For Minneapolis Mayor," the author starts off with the lead, informing readers that Jackie Cherryhomes launched a bid for mayor.

The author then adds relevant facts in several blocks. Cherryhomes had been Minneapolis City Council Presdient and that she had left politics to pursue other areas of her life, including owning a consulting and lobbying business. The author uses a chronology of events to describe events that took place in the 1990s when Cherryhomes was on the city council. The author also mentions other candidates who want to replace Mayor R.T. Rybak. The author includes some paraphrased thoughts from Cherryhomes about what she wants to accomplish as mayor. The author ends the article with a kicker quote from Cherryhomes supporter, former Mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton.

This martini-glass style of writing is effective because it informs readers of what is important at the beginning of the article, and if readers care to read on, they can learn more about Cherryhomes history with Minneapolis, what her history is and why she thinks she is a good mayoral candidate. The story could have been done in an inverted pyramid style, but the amount of information in this article is better suited to the martini-glass style, because the author uses information from events in the more distant past (going back approx. 20 years).

Analysis: Attribution

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In the Pioneer Press' article, "German Immersion School Will Move to St. Paul's Como Park Area," the author uses four named sources.

The school board chair, a parent, the school's director and a parent who chairs the school's facilities committee were named as sources for the article. The sources were scattered pretty evenly throughout the article. A new source was named every 3-5 paragraphs. A couple facts in the article, including, "Minnesota charter schools cannot directly own buildings," are not attributed to a source. I infer from the sentence that the fact is a public record and that the audience of the article (parents) might already know that charter schools cannot directly own buildings.

Two of the sources are names in between quotes or information that they provided for the reporter. The other two sources are named at the start of their paragraphs. In this story, these methods are effective because they tell you why you should believe or care about what each source said. An employee of the school gives the information credibility and a parent's perspective offers something for readers to relate to.

Analysis: News Lead

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In the Star Tribune's article, "2 die after car goes through ice on Lake Minnetonka channel," the author wrote a hard news lead containing the 4 Ws:

"A man in his 30s and an elderly woman whose vehicle plunged through the ice of a channel on the east side of Lake Minnetonka have died, authorities said Sunday."

This news lead contains the What: 2 people die after their car goes through the ice, Who: a man in his 30s and an elderly woman, Where: channel on the east side Lake Minnetonka, and When: Sunday. This news lead specifies the location and what happened. This news lead gives a general description of the people involved and the time it happened. After the lead, this news story elaborates more on where the two people were from, how their car went through the ice, more specific information about where the car went through the ice and more information on a recent, similar incident.

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