Computer-assisted reporting allows the reader to view a story in different ways and stimulate different senses. The story "Pepco: a Washington Post analysis" used computer-assisted reporting to display the year's power outages in Washington, DC. The map displayed the number of customers affected by power outages. This map provided evidence to the story. In order to do this reporting, the reporter needed to know how to manipulate Google maps. Knowledge of software such as Microsoft Word would also be needed to produce the bar graph.
Recently in Analysis Category
Hindu traditions and Diwali were celebrated by Indian students at the University of Minnesota Nov. 8. For Hindus in India, Diwali marks the end of one year and the beginning of another. The time is celebrated with fireworks, sweets and gambling, the Minnesota Daily said. The Minnesota Daily reported on the festival of lights held by the Indian Student Association. The news story did not move beyond stereotypes, Niha Patel, an Indian student, said. "I'm glad they included a story about Indian culture," Patel said. "I feel like the only thing they focused on though were the traditional aspects." The Minnesota Daily used observations and quotes to provide substance to the news story. The story could have provided input on how Indian students are different or similar to previous generations. "Diwali is special, but it doesn't mean we all wear traditional clothes," Patel said.
A news story discussed the ranking, demographics and ticket sales about the movie "Megamind." The reporter used numbers to describe how "Megamind" compared to other movies. "DreamWorks Animation's $130 million superhero film slipped only 35 percent from last weekend for a cumulative total of $89.8 million," according to CNN. The numbers are overwhelming. The story includes data from various movies. The story has too many comparisons to make the numbers worthwhile. The reporter could have made it easier to grasp by focusing the comparison to one other movie. The source of the data came from Entertainment Weekly.
Jill Clayburgh, an Oscar-nominated actress, died Friday. She was 66. Her news obituary appeared in the Los Angeles Times. A standard obituary lead was used in the New York Times formula. The lead began with the name of the person, a notable identifying fact, then when and where the person died. The age is added in a separate sentence at the end of the lead. The lead effectively used this formula and identified Jill. Sources included Clayburgh's husband. An obituary differs from a resume because an obituary details more than a person's accomplishments. It includes unique characteristics of the individual too.
President Barack Obama visited Minneapolis Saturday and spoke in support of Democratic governor candidate Mark Dayton. Dayton's website had a press release that announced the event earlier this month. The press release gave a simple outline of the event and the topic. The topic was the kick-off of the DFL's Get Out the Vote campaign. The news reports on the event used the basic outline of the press release but discussed more about how Obama highlighted success by Democrats. Quotes of crowd members were also included in the Minnesota Daily.
Mutlimedia option work to enhance and complement news stories. The Star Tribune and the Minnesota Daily used multimedia in their stories about University of Minnesota head football coach Tim Brewster being fired. The Minnesota Daily features Brewster's coaching record and provides a link to a blog about the subject. The Star Tribune used a slideshow to chronologically mark Brewster's time as head coach. Photo galleries are also included along the side. Each news source allows viewers to comment about the story at the bottom of the web page. In these items, the writing is similar to other hard news stories and includes quotes to give the story a voice. They seem to follow a martini style where the story begins with the inverted pyramid then uses chronological order to tell the story.
Spot and follows allows a story to progress as new information becomes known. The rescue story of the Chilean miners by Reuters is a good example as information changes with each day. The two leads differ because of the advancements in the rescue operation. The initial story focused on finishing drilling while the second story focuses the very final steps in the rescue operation. The importance changes with new information. The follow responds with more specific details of the rescue shaft.
The inverted pyramid is a structure where the journalist puts the essential and interesting elements of the story at the beginning. Supporting information then follows in order of diminishing importance. There are other options that include chronological order and the "martini" style that incorporates the inverted pyramid and chronological order. Many hard news stories use the inverted pyramid since this allows readers to stop reading at any point but still have the main points of the story. In "Students hospitalized after chemical spill," by James Nord, the inverted pyramid style has been used. He begins with a lead that includes the pertinent information of what, when and where. The following paragraph after the lead adds specific details, such as what chemical was actually spilled. Information then follows in the order of importance. A quote is also used to begin a paragraph and add life to the story.
Sources and quotes give a story life. In "Hit-and-run turns fatal" by Jennifer Bissell in the Minnesota Daily, sources are used to provide facts and depth to the story. Police were used as a source in order to give the story details on the car accident. Co-workers and friends were then quoted which gave a personal touch and life. The sources are scattered throughout the story, beginning with the explanatory police statements and leading into personal anecdotes from co-workers. In order to give these sources attribution, the author often began with the quote and followed with the noun and verb, such as Schmidt-Danner said. Bissell used direct quotes and paraphrased which was an effective way to tell the story.
News leads are typically constructed with a structured format in mind. The leads are typically one sentence and summarize the story while emphasizing the important news values in order to draw in the reader's attention. In the news article "With Ping, Apple dives into social media" by the Minnesota Daily the new lead worked into the story. The lead includes the news elements of who, what and when. The lead provides details about the what; specifically about what Apple will be accomplishing with Ping. Ping will allow Apple to join the social media market. This is the main topic of the article. The lead cannot provide all of the information at once. It leads into the specifics of the article by providing some general facts as well. The lead introduces the product Ping but it does not discuss how to use Ping. The lead works into the story where this aspect is discussed in further detail. The lead finds the action in the story. This particular story does that by eliminating details you can retell more specifically in the following paragraphs and the most important information is first to attract readers.