Recently in Analysis Category

Speech Analysis

Gov. Tim Pawlenty gave a press conference Tuesday on the state budget. His office issues a press release on the event later that day, and the Minnesota Daily reported on the budget on Wednesday.

The press release frames the press conference as a call to action for the Minnesota DFL to present a balanced budget plan by March 17. He discusses the urgent need to reduce the state's deficit, and credits his administration with improving the budget outlook by $209 million.

The article from the Minnesota Daily, on the other hand, takes a completely different approach to the budget. The article discusses Pawlenty's press conference and quotes the governor, but discusses some numbers that the speech and news release left out; the budget deficit is expected to get worse, not better, in the next two-year cycle.

The article cites federal stimulus spending as he reason for the short term budget improvement, and not the work of Pawlenty. Additionally, it attributes the future growth in deficit to Pawlenty's only temporary budget unallotments and a decrease in income tax revenue due to the high unemployment rates.

This article shows just how important it is to research a story from all angles and all sides, with the understanding that speeches and press releases do not tell the whole story.

Multimedia Analysis

The CNN and Fox News Web sites both integrate multimedia content in with their traditional
news stories.

The CNN home page feature text, interactive slide shows, as well as links to video clips.

The Fox News home page features text and video clips.

Both of these Web sites seem to be created with Internet users in mind, so the writing is more concise than what you see on, for example. Instead of being text-heavy, the sites are organized with lots of links and lists of the most popular news items of the day.

The CNN home page has less content than the Fox News Web site, and easier to navigate because it requires less scrolling.

Both Web sites also offer search bars, which makes navigating through the online content easier than finding a story you want to read on a certain topic in a print newspaper.

The writing in the photo captions on the CNN Web site are all just one sentence, and the site provides links to related stories.

Structure Analysis

Attribution Analysis

This Reuters article about corruption in some Haitian relief programs includes very little attribution. When the reporters do state a fact, or a supposed fact, their attributions are no more detailed than "aid agencies around the world".

The article only uses 4 named sources, in addition to the reporter's own observations. There are also a number of observations attributed to unnamed groups, such as "groups of protesters".

A bulk of the information seems to come from people's experiences and observations, even if the article does not detail who these people are.

When the reporter does use attribution, he or she usually uses quotes followed by a statement using said as a verb. It is effective when attribution is used.

Overall, I believe that more of the article should have been attributed to sources, and sources that are more clear than the ones used. This is especially true because of the controversial nature of the article in that it implies corruption of some aid programs.

Leads Analysis

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The lead on a Sunday Pioneer Press story about a Minneapolis police officer accused of holding up a bank is vague, at best.

Hoping to capture the readers' interest, reporter Frederick Melo leaves out important details from his opening paragraph, including what the story is about. Very little links the headline of the article to the lead paragraph.

The lead of this item does not find the main point or provide a summary of the article, which are two of the lead guidelines.

News elements that are present in the lead include who, although the person involved does not make this a newsworthy item, where, and when.

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