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Pipe Bombs found on New Ulm Campus



The Star Tribune article, “Pipe bombs found on New Ulm campus,� is about how two pipe bombs were found in a student’s car on the Martin Luther College. The student’s roommate found it and alerted police, and the bombs were deactivated without any one being harmed.

This writer had the challenge of finding a structure to write the story in. This writer chose to write the story in an hourglass structure. The lead and the next two paragraphs have the most important information about the bombs being found and deactivated without any one being harmed, and that the student may be arrested depending on the investigation. Then the writer begins to tell the story from the beginning starting with how the student’s roommate took him to a hospital for erratic behavior that morning, then found the bombs and alerted police, and then the writer told the sequence of events of how the school alerted the students and how the bombs were deactivated.

The Mankato Free Press article, “Pipe bombs found at New Ulm college,� is also about the pipe bombs being discovered and deactivated. This writer also had the challenge of finding an efficient structure for which to write the story. This writer also did tell the important facts first and then the same story of how the roommate took the student to the hospital that morning and then found the bombs. However, instead of telling the rest of the story in a chronological order like the first writer, this writer finished telling the story with less important details. Thus, this writer wrote the story in the inverted pyramid style.

In my opinion, I like the Star Tribune article better because I think the hourglass structure gave this story more detail and emotion by giving the step by step progress of how the bomb was found and then deactivated throughout the day. Although, I did like the lead much better in the Mankato Free Press because this writer was more specific by saying which college campus and also the writer said that the student was an Iraq war vet, which is a prominent and novel fact that would be important to include right away. I thought the lead in The Star Tribune story was vague by not specifying what college campus the bombs were found because as a reader I would want to know right away what college campus. Also, this writer did not include the prominent and novel fact of the student being an Iraq war vet until towards the end of the story.


I agree with you I felt like the Star Tribune provided better details and playing with emotion.

The Mankato article I think was poorly written. Well, maybe not the whole article, but the lead for sure needs work. It says, "A veteran of the war in Iraq attending Martin Luther College has been...found two pip bombs...Friday morning." There was not one eye catching detail about the news story. It was so boring!

The story then goes on about how the New Ulm Police figured out where the bombs were placed. If I were this reporter I would have had timely lead, and then talk about how the pipe bomber was a war veteran. Then I would give some quotes and then police information.

It seems like the reporter failed at showing the inverted pyramid form of a news story...better luck next time.