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May 5, 2007

14-year-old stabbed in Mall of America

A 14-year-old girl was stabbed Saturday afternoon in the Mall of America. Another 14-year-old girl was the assailant, and she was apprehended 15 minutes after the incident. The victim has multiple wounds that may be critical. The police do not believe that the incident was random. They said that there is reason to believe that the assailants knew each other.

The story was covered by both major papers in the Twin Cities, the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune, written by Richard Meryhew and Paul Gustafson, has a long in-depth story involving the incident, including background on the prevalence of crimes at the Mall. They have details of the incident high in the story, carefully attributed to the police. They also talked to a mall spokesperson to get details about crime at the mall. The story was posted around 7.30 p.m. on Saturday.

The Pioneer Press's story, written by Tom Webb, is little more than a brief. They posted their story around 6 p.m., but had only relevant, immediate information. They also included that the mall remained open for the rest of the day. This was never mentioned in the Star Tribune article, though it was implied from the last paragraphs of the story.

I'm curious if the Pioneer Press will have a more comprehensive story tomorrow, and if they were pressured to publish a brief before the Star Tribune. I'm also curious if the Star Tribune posted a brief and later added to the story.

The handling of the incident was delicate because it was a breaking news story, and because both the victim and the assailant were juveniles. The Star Tribune even stated that explicitly in their story—that the police declined to name either because both were juveniles.

May 1, 2007

Hatch Resigns

Mike Hatch resigned from his post in the Attorney General's office today, amid conflict with current Attorney General Lori Swanson and her staff. Ten percent of the staff has left since Swanson took office.

Pat Doyle of the Star Tribune has an article posted on this subject 45 minutes before I am writing this blog entry. This is breaking news, and this is the way that the newspaper deals with it. It was the top story on the Star Tribune website. His article provides a large amount of information considering that this is a breaking story. They have specific figures about Hatch's salary and the circumstances of his leaving. The article also quotes heavily from a letter from Hatch to Swanson about his resignation.

The Pioneer Press also covered this story, with reporter Bill Salisbury, within minutes of the Star Tribune article. This article is shorter, and does not have all of the information that the Star Tribune article does. This is more of a brief to get the breaking news out. However, they do provide a paragraph about the recent election that involved Mike Hatch and how Swanson won her position as Attorney General. The Star Tribune article does not include this information.

Most interesting about these articles are the other things on the website. The Star Tribune article includes the phone number of the reporter that wrote the article right at the end. On the Pioneer Press website, there include a link to the full text of the letter from Hatch to Swanson.

Both served their purpose of alerting the public of the breaking news and both strove to place this story in context, but they did so choosing different contexts.