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September 30, 2007


For the story about Brett Favre the reporter does a nice job with the order of information. He or she first states that he has broken a new record which was the main point of the story. They then go through and explain how it happened and what the reaction at the scene was. Basically every aspect of the record breaking event was covered including the inclusion of a quote from the previous holder of the record. Then once the specific record was covered from many angles the story shifts to focus on Brett Favre and other records that he has broken and ones that he has a chance to break.

It is a very effective set up because in the first few paragraphs you receive all the information that is important in telling you how the record was broken. After that is done then more in depth information is given regarding Brett Favre and his career.

Another approach could of been taken where his career could of been summarized and they could of talked about Favre's previous accomplishments first. However, this approach wouldn't of been nearly as effective. Also, a game summary could of been included in the article but that would of detracted from the emphasis of the article which was Favre and his accomplishments.

Favre Makes History

According to ESPN Brett Favre set a new record for career touchdown passes by throwing No. 421 Sunday in Green Bay's 23-16 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

With 4:56 left in the first quarter Favre threw a 16-yard slant to Greg Jennings for the score. Instantly Favre sprinted to the end zone and picked up Jennings and carried him over his shoulder. Favre was then showered with hugs and congratulatory statements from his teammates while the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Even those supporting the Vikings were on their feet.

The game was stopped to honor one of the NFL's best quarterbacks of all-time. A video message was played from the previous record holder, Dan Marino. He stated that he loved holding the record but was glad that someone like Favre was the record breaker due to his level of competitiveness.

The record is yet another accomplishment added to a marvelous career. Brett Farve has appeared in two Super Bowls, winning one of them, was the leagues MVP for three consecutive years, holds the record for most consecutive games started by a quarterback (241), most wins as a starter (151), and most pass attempts (8,394).

Before the end of his career he has the chance to break other records as well. Including the most passing yards, most interceptions, and the most consecutive games started by any NFL player.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Favre still had the team in mind as he approached a personal milestone. "I'm so glad we won the game. There was so much emphasis on this record and not the game itself," he said. "Everyone's like, 'What are you going to do? Are you going to have a big celebration?' Put yourself in my shoes. I want to help this team win. I do not want us to get blindsided by this record and what we're actually here for."

Turkey Causes Havoc

The Star Tribune reports that a wild turkey has been creating problems in Blaine, Minnesota.

The turkey has been seen delighting some while frightening others near Cloverleaf Parkway since spring. "It went after elementary kids at a bus stop, and it doesn't scare away," said Police Chief Dave Johnson, whose department has fielded numerous turkey calls. (Star Tribune)

Johnson has also received a call from a police officer on his staff. The turkey had trapped the officer in his squad car and would not scare away even after the siren was turned on. The officer finally ran at the bird and scared it away.

While some are frightened others are delighted by the presence of the turkey. "He prances around and stands out here and gobbles as the cars go by," said Dorala Christensen, 73, a resident of Cloverleaf Courts apartments, near Hwy. 65 and 93rd Avenue.

Anoka County animal control has tried to capture the gobbler several times but have failed and a wildlife management firm has been brought in for help. Wild turkeys are protected by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) but they will issue permits for police to kill aggressive birds that harass people, and the state allows police to kill without a permit if a turkey is an imminent threat, said Bill Penning of the DNR.

Christensen, one of the residents, hopes this turkey survives its detractors. "He means no harm," she said. "I'd hate to see him be killed. I'd miss him." (Star Tribune)

September 29, 2007

Airport Restrooms to get Revamped

According to the Star Tribune two men's restrooms at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, including the one where Sen. Larry Craig was arrested, will have longer dividers installed to decrease the number of sexual encounters.

$25,000 will be spent to place the elongated dividers in the men's bathrooms on the airport's main shopping and eating thoroughfare where police have made 41 arrests on suspicion of illicit sexual behavior since May.

The Pioneer Press reports that the new stall dividers will be just 2 to 3 inches above the floor, instead of as much as a foot now.

Airport officials have also learned that the two restrooms were advertised on the internet by men for a place to meet as they changed planes.

"We are trying to take pro-active measures that don't require us to tie up police officers' time and still protect the public interest," said spokesman Patrick Hogan. Complaints about sexual activity in the bathrooms have evaporated since Craig's arrest and people realized the bathrooms were under police surveillance, Hogan said. (Star Tribune)

Citizenship Test Redesigned

According to the New York Times Federal immigration authorities introduced 100 new questions that will be featured on the civic test that immigrants have to pass to become American citizens.

It is the first time the test has been redesigned since it was created in 1986. Changes were made due to complaints by various groups. Conservatives have said the test was too easy and immigrant advocates complained that it was too hard. Both sides were not pleased with the release of the new test as immigrant groups feel the new test is even harder.

Alfonso Aguilar, a senior official at Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that designs and administers the test, said it was not intended to be punitive.“We don’t seek to fail anyone,? said Mr. Aguilar, an architect of the test. (New York Times)

The $6.5 million redesign took six years before it was completed. Historians, immigrant organizations and liberal and conservative research groups were used to write and discuss potential topics and questions to be featured on the test.

In the pilot runs of the revised test, Mr. Aguilar said, the pass rates improved over the current tests, with 92 percent of participants passing on the first try, as opposed to 84 percent now.

According to the Washington Post the format of the test will remain the same. The citizenship test is administered orally and, except in rare cases, in English. Applicants must answer correctly six out of a randomly assigned, representative selection of 10 questions.

Taiwan Plans for Missiles

According to the New York Times Taiwan is planning for the development of missiles that could reach China.

Earlier this year Taiwan tested a cruise missile that could carry a 900-pound warhead more than 600 miles, military analysts said. With that range the city of Shanghai, the financial capital of China, could be hit. Senior military officials and lawmakers from Taiwan have confirmed that cruise missiles are in development.

Taiwanese military specialists have argued for the development of offensive weapons for decades. China has threatened to attack if Taiwan seeks formal independence. The weapons therefore serve as a deterrent to the mainland.

“They want to make mainland China hesitate before launching any attack,? said Andrei Chang, a Hong Kong-based expert on the Chinese and Taiwanese militaries and editor in chief of Kanwa Defense Review magazine. “These missiles could not only destroy military targets, but financial and economic targets as well." (New York Times)

The Washington Post reports that the U.S. could pull the plug on the missile program by withholding sophisticated satellite guidance technology from the Taiwanese military said Wang Kao-cheng, a defense analyst.

“We sternly warn the Taiwan authorities not to play with fire,? Li Weiyi, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, told a regular news briefing on Wednesday, according to a report carried by the official Xinhua news agency. “Whoever plays with fire will get burned.? (New York Times)

However, many believe that Taiwan will continue to develop missiles as China continually adds about 100 missiles each year to its arsenal that faces Taiwan.

September 23, 2007

Blog on Attribution

Military Funding

The previous link leads to the story that I chose to analyze this week. Five different sources are used in the story. Of the five sources only Joesph R. Biden specifically named. The other sources that are named just state that they are officials from a department of the government such as Pentagon officials. However, one source was "a senior Defense Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly on the issue." (New York Times)

The sources are scattered throughout the paragraphs of the story and are all from actual people and not records. I believe the writer did a poor job of setting up the attributions as she always simply put down their statement followed by "officials said" or vice versa with the statement following the attribution.

The fact that they were scattered and only one specific name was given made the article real confusing. She would attribute a statement to Pentagon officials and later she would attribute a different statement to Defense officials. Then she would simply attribute a statement to just plain officials and you didn't know which officials it came from. More names would of been beneficial to the article.

MoveOn to Pay Full Ad Rate

According to the New York Times, the liberal activist group announced today that it will pay $142,083, the full advertisement rate for its "General Betray Us?" ad.

The ad appeared in the A-section of the New York Times on the same day that General David Petraeus delivered status reports on the troop surge in Iraq. was originally given a discounted rate of $64,575. Usually such a rate is allotted to “advocacy? groups on a standby basis with no guarantee of when the ad would run.

The ad generated a lot of buzz from Republicans and also Democrats. Republicans tried to link claims to Democrats that the message was unpatriotic, especially during a period of war. Rudy Giuliani who took out his own ad in response, was said to get the same rate.

Meanwhile Democrats tried to distance themselves from the ad but did not want to anger MoveOn and its followers too.The Washington Post reports that the Senate voted 75 to 25 to denounce the ad. President Bush stated "most Democrats . . . are more afraid of irritating [MoveOn] than they are of irritating the United States military."

MoveOn said it will wire the rest of the money to the New York Times on Monday and claims that Giuliani should do the same.

Man Commits Fowl Crime

According to the Star Tribune, a Denver businessman could face jail time and a $5,000 fine for ripping the head off a tame duck at the Embassy Suites in St. Paul.

The 26-year-old is being held in jail on suspicion of felony animal cruelty and will appear in court Monday. The man was staying at the hotel, which has a pond with eight domestic ducks inside the lobby and atrium, according to police.

"One of the security guards watched [the man] corner one of the ducks and tear its head off from its body," said Sgt. John Wuorinen, citing the report. ( It occurred around 2:30 a.m. Saturday police said.

The Pioneer Press reports that Clark turned to onlookers and said: "I'm hungry. I'm gonna eat it," said Wuorinen, quoting from the report. They also identify the man as Scott D. Clark. Police believe that alcohol played a role in the incident.

Military Funding to Increase by $50 Billion

The New York Times reports the Bush administration plans to add $50 billion for military operations on its 2008 financing request. Almost $200 billion would be spent on the war effort for the year 2008 if the request is accepted.

The majority of the money is intended for the repair of military equipment and for the purchase of new protective equipment for troops, said officials. “We’d put in an original request for 7,000 MRAPS, but we’re going to double that number,? said a senior Defense Department official. MRAPs are mine-resistant, ambush-protective vehicles, which cost around $1 million each.

“We have no higher obligation than to protect those we send to the front lines,? Senator Joesph R. Biden Jr. said in a statement on Wednesday. “So when our commanders in the field tell us that MRAPs will reduce casualties by 67 to 80 percent, it is our responsibility to provide them.?

The request comes after several weeks of partisan politics which included the infamous General "Betray Us" ad in the New York Times and the failed attempt by Democrats to to limit troop rotations.

Iran Grants American Family's Request

According to the New York Times, the Iranian government said that family members of a missing former F.B.I. agent will be allowed to comesearch for him in Iran.

Robert Levinson has been believed to be missing since March 8 when he flew from Dubai to Kish, a free-trade-zone island off the coast of Iran, which doesn't require foreigners to posses a visa. Levinson worked for more than 20 years as an F.B.I. agent and has been working as a private investigator since.

Mrs. Levinson talked to her husband before he flew out of Dubai. She became worried when he didn't arrive in London on March 10 and she couldn't reach him on his cell phone or through email.

The Iranian government has said that they have been investigating but have not found any evidence of Levinson's presence in Iran. But according to the Washington Post, "His wife, Christina, believes he is in Iran because his name has not shown up on any flight manifests of planes leaving the country, and his passport has not been used anywhere."

Minneapolis Girl Shot in the Head

The Star Tribune reports that a 12-year-old Minneapolis girl was critically wounded after being shot in the head Friday night.

According to police and Minneapolis officials the shooting occurred in the Willard-Hay neighborhood, where a shooting killed 14-year-old Charez Jones earlier this summer. "The ages of the people being shot and the ages of the shooters has gone down over the past four, five years," said City Council Member Don Samuels.

The latest shooting has people concerned that youths are turning to crime much earlier than in the past. "Among the city's 60 homicides in 2006, 11 victims were younger than 18. Eleven juveniles were charged with homicide or related offenses. Among the city's nearly 2,800 reported robberies last year, more than half were committed by people 13 to 17 years old." (

As of Saturday the girl remained in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center. When her family was reached they refused to talk about her injuries or the shooting.

September 16, 2007

Blog on leads

The following lead was present in this New York Times story

WASHINGTON. Sept. 15 — A rally on Saturday to protest the war in Iraq, which began with a peaceful march of several thousand people to the Capitol, ended with dozens of arrests in a raucous demonstration that evoked the angry spirit of the Vietnam era protests of more than three decades ago.

When analyzing the previous news lead several observations can be made. First several news elements are present. The lead contains the time, the location, what happened, and why it happened. However all four elements were rather general. The time of day is not included it just says Saturday. It states that a march occurred but it doesn't state who participated in the march or why the demonstrators were arrested. Also when it states how many were arrested it chooses to say dozens rather than a specific number. The lead basically is a typical hard-news lead, however at the end of the lead it makes a comparison to of how the arrests during the "raucous demonstration" were similar to the "angry spirit of the Vietnam era."

Romney Seeks to Ban Iranian President from U.N. Appearance

According to the New York Times, , Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, is seeking to bar Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from appearing before the General Assembly next week.

Romney is sending a letter to the United Nations Secretary General on Monday, which states "With the disturbing news that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmandinejad is planning to address the United Nations General Assembly next week, I call on the United Nations to revoke any invitation to President Ahmadinejad to address the General Assembly. The only way he should be greeted in the United States is with an indictment under the Genocide Convention."

Last year several influential figures including John Bolton, the former United States ambassador to the United Nations and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, lobbied for the United Nations’ International Court of Justice to indict Mr. Ahmadinejad for incitement of genocide. They base their argument on his calls for the destruction of Israel.

This weeks planned appearance would be Ahmadinejad's third visit to the United States. He plans to go to Venezuela after his U.S. stay to meet with President Hugo Chavez.

Drunken Driving Sting catches Thousands

According to the Star Tribune, 2,270 motorists were cited for driving while intoxicated during the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's "Safe and Sober" campaign which ran from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3.

More than 400 agencies across the state participated in the initiative. The state patrol lead all agencies with a total of 343 drivers who were impaired behind the wheel. Meanwhile, the Minneapolis police cited 58 drivers for drunk driving, and the St. Paul police cited 57.

The Associated Press reported that authorities statewide cited nearly 42,000 motorists for drunken driving in 2006, a record high for arrests. Also drunk driving was the cause of 166 deaths in the state last year.

Cyclist Death is ruled a Homicide

According to the Star Tribune,, the police continued their investigation Saturday into the violent death of a man who had been riding his bicycle in south Minneapolis.

Mark Loesch, 41, of Minneapolis, death was ruled a homicide by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office, after he sustained multiple blunt-force head impacts. He left his house around 10 p.m. Wednesday night and was later found barely breathing on a lawn on the 3700 block of Elliot Avenue S. -- less than 1.5 miles from his home -- about 7 a.m. Thursday. He died before paramedics arrived to the scene.

MSNBC reports that Samantha Loesch called police early Thursday after she woke to find that her husband of 16 years had not returned home. About an hour after she called, a police chaplain arrived at her front door with the bad news.

Loesch was a loving husband and father of three girls and will be sorely missed. Jim Balabuszko-Reay worked with Loesch at Healthia Consulting, an information technology company in Golden Valley. He said he and other colleagues were shocked when they learned Loesch was killed. "This is a horrible nightmare," he said. "For something so random to happen, it was just a shock. He is such a sweet person."

Antiwar Protests Anything but Peaceful

Several thousand gathered on Saturday for what began as a peaceful march against the war in Iraq, but it ended with dozens of demonstrators being taken away in handcuffs.

According to The New York Times ( ) , the police, including some officers dressed in riot gear, tried to halt demonstrators as they sought to climb over a low wall near the Capitol after a march that had begun near the White House in a festive atmosphere. Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the Capitol Police, said that the authorities had arrested 189 people and that they would be charged with illegally crossing a police line.

Chris Hager, 62, of Falls Church, Va. was one of the protesters present said that he wants to make America aware of what is going on over there. “We want to make people think about what is happening. This certainly wasn’t the country I was brought up to believe in,? he said.

The Washington Post,
reports that several notable speakers were present at the rally, including Ralph Nader and former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark, who talked about Iraqis who were refugees, hungry, or ill. "You can't believe a word the administration says," Clark said.

September 15, 2007

Former Chechen Official Held for the Death of a Journalist

According to the New York Times
, Russian investigators arrested Shamil D. Burayev, a former Chechen official on Thursday, who is accused of organizing the contract killing of an independent journalist.

Burayev was once the leader of Achkhoi-Martan, one of the administrative districts in Chechnya, but was dismissed from the post several years ago. In 2003 he also ran unsuccessfully for the Chechnya presidency. His arrest occurred due to suspicion that he was sent the journalist's address by a F.S.B. officer, Col. Pavel A. Ryaguzov.

Anna Politkovskaya, was fatally shot last October as she was walking into her apartment building. She was internationally known for being very critical of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and The Washington Post, claims Politkovskaya's persistent reporting of atrocities against civilians in the war-scarred Chechnya region had angered the Kremlin and the Kremlin-backed Chechen leadership. Those who are close to her have no doubt that she was killed in retaliation of past articles.