December 2, 2007

Blog on Records/CAR

In the Star Tribune story, "13 Seconds in August", computer assisted reporting was essential.

First, the designers and journalists involved with the project had to be able to search databases to be able to find the individuals involved in the tragedy. In order to do so various electronic databases must of been used. Knowledge to properly use search terms and skills were necessary to be able to associate victims along with the cars that they were driving when the bridge collapsed.

After specific names were obtained, their contact information or family information had to be obtained on the internet so that interviews could be obtained for the project.

Besides skills that were necessary to gain information, various computer program skills were needed. The article allows for readers to interact by clicking on specific areas of the computer screen to obtain information about the various victims of the disaster. Knowledge in some design program was needed to be able to do this.

There was also some videos embedded in the article that would require some computer expertise.

November 11, 2007

Blog on Diversity

The article I chose is from the New York Times and it focuses on the cancellation of a pre-meeting for the upcoming international meeting on Middle East peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The general stereotypes associated with Israelis is that they are obsessed with the security of their nation. Whereas the general stereotype is that all Palestinians resort to suicide bombings. The article includes both as it discusses Israels use of roadside checkpoints and walls to prevent suicide bombers from entering from the Palestinian controlled Gaza Strip.

The story eventually moves past the stereotypes though when it describes the situation that will occur when the two sides are supposed to meet in Annapolis to discuss peace terms.

The story really emphasizes how real minuscule things can cause tension between the Israelis and Palestinians. It shows it through detailed descriptions that were included such as: Mr. Qurei has complained about having to take a circuitous route to Jerusalem, through checkpoints, which turns what used to be a 15-minute journey into one of more than an hour. (New York Times)

November 4, 2007


The story I used for this analysis was an ESPN story about Adrian Peterson's record setting game.

Numbers were crucial in telling the story as they were needed to describe how well Peterson played when compared to NFL legends. They were also used to describe the plays that occurred throughout the game.

There were an overwhelming amount of numbers in the story as they are important in sports stories. However, the writer did a great job of separating the figures in separate paragraphs and also placed them far apart in sentences. Also, when talking about Peterson and the records he broke and has the chance to brake, the writer separated each record category into separate paragraphs.

Some math was also used to calculate his average yards per carry and also how many yards he is on pace for the year. The sources of the numbers come from NFL statistics.

October 28, 2007

Blog on Obituaries

For the analysis I used the obituary of Max McGee.

The sources used were Sgt. Chris Whiteside of the Deephaven Police Department, former teammate Paul Hornung, former teammate Jerry Kramer, Packers historian Lee Remmel, and the Max McGee National Research Center for Juvenile Diabetes at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin website.

The lead is relatively standard for an obituary, however it is a little more descriptive than other ones I have seen. It gives a long description of what McGee was famous for. It wasn't simply Max McGee a Packer legend but it was "Max McGee, the free-spirited Green Bay Packers receiver who became part of Super Bowl lore after a night on the town, died when he fell while clearing leaves from the roof of his home. He was 75." (Star Tribune)

The lead works because it gives a lively description of the man that Max McGee was.

The obituary differs from a resume because it doesn't just give accomplishments that he achieved in his life. Rather it gives anecdotes from people who were close to him and gives insights about what kind of person he was.

October 21, 2007

Blog on Event Coverage

The article I chose New York Times is a story that outlines an upcoming convention dedicated to NBC's "The Office" that will occur this weekend in Scranton, Pa., which is the setting of the show.

The sources that the story included were show creator Greg Daniels, Cathy Hinesley, an assistant to the mayor of Scranton, Michele Dempsey, a resident of Scranton, as well as organizers of the convention.

The angle of the story focuses on the show and how it has interacts with Scranton, both on the show and in real life. The show for instance has never been filmed in Scranton but has real references and items placed throughout episodes. The story also features talk about how the show has helped revitalize the town and bring them closer together, since they are planning the convention which some of "The Office" stars will appear at.

The reporter did an amazing job of creating something more than just a simple listing by providing insights to people who might be interested in such an event or the show. He stated how the only part of the show which was filmed in Scranton was the opening credits which was shot by John Krasinski. He also reports how the town was chosen as the setting. The background behind the creation of event is also stated which is interesting. For example he writes that the idea was first discussed in one of the local bars and then mentions that the mayor and other residents taped a music video inviting all the actors to the event. Instead of just giving the basics of the event he entices the reader to attend the invite by giving rather interesting perspectives about the relationship between the show and the town.

October 14, 2007

Meeting/Press Conference Analysis

I had a hard time finding newsworthy press releases from government agencies, so I decided to compare the press release from the Norwegian Noble Committee announcing 2007's Noble Peace Prize winners and the New York Time's coverage of the story.

Right away in the second paragraph the news article uses the press release by stating in quotations the reason the committee chose the two parties for the award: The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised both “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change.?

The reporters, after mentioning why the two parties split the award, showed various sides of the on-going issues of global warming such as Gore's award winning film An Inconvenient Truth, how the United Nation's panel was once vilified, and included a quote from a peace committee member, who usually don't comment on the award.

“I hope this will have an effect on the attitudes of Americans as well as people in other countries,? said Berge Furre, a peace committee member.

The reporter then chose to include more of the press release. In its formal citation, the Nobel committee called Mr. Gore “probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.? It praised the United Nations panel, which is made up of 2,000 scientists and is considered the world’s leading authority on climate change, for creating “an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming.? (New York Times)

The news article then focuses on how past award winners have bashed the Bush administration such as 2005 co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, made no secret of his opposition to the American invasion of Iraq and has angered the Bush administration by his measured methods for trying to rein in nuclear proliferation, particularly in Iran. But the article reminds us how the committee looks past the politics and to their achievements when selecting winners.

The reporters also chose to end the article with two very powerful parts of the Nobel press release.

In its citation on Friday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said the United Nations panel and Mr. Gore had focused “on the processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world’s future climate, and thereby reduce the future threat to the security of mankind.?

It concluded, “Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man’s control.?

In my opinion the reporters showed that they supported the argument of global warming by ending with the above quote that calls for man kind to act before it is too late to save earth. So one could argue that the reports did have a considerable bias when it came to reporting this story.

October 7, 2007

Blog on First Day/ Follow Up

This article is the First Day: 10-3 Nuclear Talks

This is the follow up article: 10-4 Nuclear Talks

The stories focus on North Korea discussing a deal that would stop their nuclear ambitions. The first day lead informs the audience that the United States had reached an agreement with North Korea. The follow article includes more detail and includes reaction from the Bush Administration. The first day article as a whole details the specifics of the agreement with some quotes from government officials disscussing the specifics of the deal. It gives you background of the talks and how they came to reach the deal. However, the follow up article includes all of the previously mentioned and also includes reaction from various groups and officials. Such as how conservatives feel like the U.S. was too soft on North Korea.

Both news stories were from the same news source and the same author, Helene Cooper.

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.

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.

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."