Main | October 2007 »

September 30, 2007

This is One Sturdy "Structure"

The story I chose to analyze is the Star Tribune , story about the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) hiring their first female museum director.

Information that is vital to the story is in the beginning. Things like the fact that this is the first time that the MIA has hired a female director, her name, age, and where she worked before, are in the first and second graphs. The reporter summarized her name, age, where she worked before, and when she begins her new job all in one sentence. In that same graph, the reporter mentions who she is replacing and the new job the old director took.

The story was broken up into four different sections. The first was all of the vital information. The next was information on the process of how she was selected. The rest of the article was background information on the new director. I think it was good the reporter structured the story like this. I personally thought the article was easier to read because of the different sections. I was able to figure out where different information was in the article. The reporter could have just left out the headings of each section. I think it would have been just as effective. The headings kind of distract the reader sometimes because they draw to much attention. The background information could have been after the vital information instead of talking about how the committee chose her. That way the reader can learn more about the new director right away.

Favre Breaks All-time Touchdown Record

Brett Favre broke Dan Marino's touchdown record of 420 Sunday in the Packers 23-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

According to the Associated Press, Favre threw his record-breaking 421st touchdown pass in the first quarter with a 16-yard pass to wide receiver Greg Jennings with 4:56 left in the quarter. Favre then sprinted to the end zone and hoisted Jennings on this shoulders.

The Vikings then played a video message from former record holder Dan Marino where he said, ""I loved holding the touchdown record for the past 13 years, but if someone was going to break it, I'm glad it was someone like you, who has always competed at the highest level and always played to win."

The Packers moved to 4-0 on the season.

Ten Peacekeeping Soldiers Killed in Darfur

Rebel forces stormed a small African Union base and killed at least 10 peacekeeping soldiers, while 30 other soldiers remain missing.

According to the Associated Press article on msnbc.com, about 1,000 rebels from the Sudan Liberation Army. The article said that the army began attacking the base located outside of Haskanita on Saturday night after sunset, and finally stormed the base on Sunday.

This was the worst attack on African Union soldiers since they were deployed to Sudan in 2004, Reuters said. They said that the African Union reports that 40 soldiers are still missing and eight are wounded. One rebel commander said that the attack took place in order to obtain vehicles, weapons, and a seat at peace talks in late October.

Trucker Shot by Squirrel Hunters

Two juveniles shooting at a squirrel in St. Louis County accidentally struck a truck driver in the forearm, the St. Louis County sheriffs office said.

According to the Star Tribune , the 56-year-old truck driver was heading north on Hwy. 53 when he was shot through the passenger side window. The incident occurred around 11:30 a.m. According to authorities, the juveniles were 11 and 12 years old.

The St. Louis County reminded parents to supervise their children when allowing them to use firearms, the Pioneer Press said.

September 26, 2007

Minneapolis Institute of Arts Names Female Director

Kaywin Feldman, 41, has been named the director of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, becoming the first female director of the Institute in its history and the fifth female museum director in the Twin Cities.

Feldman replaces William Griswold, who is leaving to become the head of the Morgan Library in New York, the Star Tribune says. For the past eight years, Feldman has been the director of the Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis, Tenn. Feldman was chosen unanimously by an 11-member search committee.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Feldman was considered for the job originally in 2005, when the Institute hired Griswald. They go on to say that, "she was not a finalist in that search but made a favorable impression on the search committee." By coming to Minneapolis, Feldman takes on a much bigger task. The Brooks Museum in Memphis has about three-fourths the amount of gallery space, and its collection is about one-tenth the size of the Minneapolis Art Institutes's.

September 24, 2007

Record Steroid Bust in U.S.

The Drug Enforcement Agency says they have arrested 124 people and busted 56 labs in the biggest steroid investigation in U.S. history.

According to CNN.com, the investigation went of for 18 months under the code name "Operation Raw Deal." Arrests were made in 27 states. The DEA said they targeted, "traffickers who allegedly imported raw materials from China and used them to make anabolic steroids, human growth hormone and insulin growth factor."

Reuters.com reports that authorities seized 533 pounds of raw steroid powder. They also report that the charges said that worldwide manufactures of steroid ingredients marketed their products using Web sites and also gave advice on how to find steroids and how to manufacture steroids themselves.

September 23, 2007

Attributions and Sources

The story I looked at was the Star Tribune story about the gun shots heard at the Target Center on Sept. 16.

Total, there are four sources of information, the witness, the Minneapolis Police and their spokesperson, the Target Center's web site, and a spokesperson for the Target Center. The story is front-loaded with information from the witness, Jeff Wichern. A few graphs down, the writer uses the police's information from the spokesperson, Sgt. Tammy Diedrich. Then it starts to jump around a little. They use a quote from the Target Center spokeswomen, Sandy Sweetser and then go back to the police's quotes, and back to the witness. You only see one other quote from the Target Center spokesperson.

Most of the information is from people. Only the time a person wasn't used as a source was to see how many seats the Target Center holds. The way the attribution is set up isn't too confusing, it just goes back and forth a little. I liked how his lead was eyewitness testimony. I thought it was effective to start the story with someone who was actually there. Then he goes into the facts that came from police. After that, it starts to jump around. It's not really confusing, because you can tell who is saying what. It just goes from person to person. The story also relies pretty heavily on the witnesses testimony, but that could be because the police didn't have much information at the time.

Packers First in NFC North

The Green Bay Packers are all alone on top of the NFC North at 3-0 after beating the San Diego Chargers 31-24 Sunday.

According to the AP article posted on ESPN.com, Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre threw his 420th career touchdown pass, which ties Dan Marino's NFL record.

The touchdown also gave the Packers a 24-21 lead with two minutes and three seconds left in the fourth quarter, according to Green Bay Press Gazette's website. They also report that Favre did not really care about the record. "I’m so glad we won. I could care less about the record today," Favre told the Press Gazzette. "There’s no better feeling than winning.?

After throwing the record tying touchdown, both media outlets reported that the Packers got the ball back on the Chargers' 2-yard line and Favre had a chance to break the record, but he personally chose to run the ball. Running back Brandon Jackson ran for a 1-yard touchdown to give the Packers a 31-21 lead. The Chargers then added a field goal to make it 31-24, but it wasn't enough.

September 21, 2007

Unversity and Strikers Reach Agreement

The University of Minnesota union workers will be returning back to work after an agreement was reached between them and the university.

According to the Star Tribune, the AFSCME Union decided to take the university's original offer that was submitted on Sept. 5. The offer was a two year contract that "contains a 2.25 percent cost of living increase for clerical and technical workers, a 2.5 percent cost of living increase for health care workers, plus annual step raises for experience and a $300 lump sum in each year."

The Pioneer Press reported that the two sides were a percentage point apart. According to the article, "The union wanted cost of living increases of 3.25 to 3.5 percent and scorned the U's initial offer as unfair given the money it got from the Legislature and raises granted to other workers."

September 20, 2007

Senate Rejects Attempt to Regulate Combat Tours

The Senate voted down a bill Wednesday that would regulate how much time troops spend in combat.

According to the AP story on MSNBC.com, the votes were 56-44, which is four votes short of passing. The bill would have required troops to spend as much time at home as they did in combat.

Reuters reported that this was widely seen as the Democrats best chance to change the strategy of the Iraq War. They also report that a bill similar to this one has passed in the House of Representatives.

Both outlets report that Republican leaders called this a "backdoor" way of withdrawing troops out of Iraq. MSNBC.com reports that Sen. John McCain called the bill "'backdoor method' by Democrats to force troop withdrawals. Reuters reported that "Pentagon Secretary Robert Gates called it a backdoor attempt to pull troops off the battlefield in the unpopular Iraq war"

September 18, 2007

Afghanistan Wants Candian Troops to Stay

Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked Canada not to withdrawal troops from Afghanistan when their mission ends in early 2009, fearing that the Taliban will take back the country.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's website, Karzai made the plea during a private meeting with Canadian journalists in Kabul, Afghanistan. He also told them that "Afghanistan would not be able to stand on its own by February 2009, when Canada's current combat mandate ends."

So far, 70 Canadians have died in Afghanistan, most in road-side explosions, according to Reuters. Canada's minority Conservative Party says they will not extend the mission unless parliament approves.

September 17, 2007

Gunfire in Target Center

Police are looking for a man after gun shots were fired in the stands at the "World Fighting Championship-Downtown Throwdown" held at the Target Center late Saturday night.

The Pioneer Press, reports that two men were involved with the shooting and they knew each other. The shooter fled the scene after the shots were fired. Police interviewed the 27-year-old intended victim.

The Star Tribune story, reported the victim's name to be Yarzue Slowon of Minneapolis. The Star Tribune story, which was much more in-depth, described the scene of the altercation, "...a [witness] and his friend walked hurriedly through Section 133. There was a light pop from the entrance to the concourse, [the witness] said, and one man fell down about 10 steps."

September 16, 2007

"Lead"ing is Fundamental

The story I chose to analyze was the CNN.com story about the student advocate who was charged with drunk driving. The elements in the lead are the who and the what. The who are pretty detailed even though they do not use the name of the student right away. It states what school the student attends and why he was important to the school. The what is a little more generalized. It says that he said that college students were being unfairly portrayed in the media, but it did not really get into details about what he said. The lead is a straightforward hard-news lead. The story itself is short, concise, and to the point. I personally would have approached the story a little more lightheartedly because of the irony in the story.

Student Advocate Busted for DUI

A Pennsylvania college student, who recently said that college students are unfairly portrayed by the media as being irresponsible, was charged with drunken driving last weekend.

CNN.com, reports that Christopher Bevan, 21, was pulled over while driving over 50 mph in a 15-mph zone. Bevan is the president of the student government at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Penn.. They also report that his blood-alcohol level was .147 percent. The legal limit for Pennsylvania is .08 percent.

CNN.com also reports that "Bevan recently wrote a letter to the Press Enterprise of Bloomsburg about media coverage of the central Pennsylvania college's annual Block Party, an event critics have described as rowdy and alcohol-fueled." In the letter he said that the media coverage of the event "painted BU students with a negative brush" and was unfair to the thousands of responsible students on campus.

Fires Burn in Southern California

CNN.com is reporting that a fire burned around 15,433 acres of the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California on Sunday. On Saturday, CNN.com also reports that another smaller wildfire burned down 1,000 acres in eastern San Diego County. Overall, 1,500 residents were forced to evacuate.

The San Bernardino County Sun, reports that the national forest fire began late Saturday. They also report that as of Saturday, only one firefighter had minor injuries and no homes were damaged, but a maintenance building at a campsite was destroyed.

The smaller fire forced the entire city of Julian, Calif. to be evacuated, according to Union-Tribune's web site SignOnSanDiego.com. Three firefighters were injured in that blaze, which has been 20 percent contained according to CNN.com.

September 13, 2007

Boy Killed While Crossing Hwy. 36

A 13-year-old boy was killed while trying to Highway 36 in St. Paul during rush hour traffic on Wednesday.

According to the Star Tribune, the boy was identified as Joseph J. Wright of North St. Paul. They also report that the boy was with his younger brother and "may have been trying to cross Hwy. 36 near McKnight Road to go to a nearby Target store when he was hit about 5:30 p.m," according to State Patrol Lt. Rochelle Schrofer.

The Pioneer Press mentioned that, "a pedestrian bridge was recently constructed just east of the accident site. The bridge leads foot traffic over the highway from Helen Street on the south to North High School on the north." They also reported something sadly ironic. "The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced last week that there will be a ceremony at 10 a.m. today to commemorate the new bridge, which was built to increase pedestrian safety."

Both news outlets are reporting that the truck that hit the boy was hit by a pick-up truck. However, the Star Tribune stated the man's name, James J. Ryan, 46, of Oakdale. The Pioneer Press does not, but did state the man's age and the make and model of truck, a 1996 Dodge Ram.

September 12, 2007

Two Earthquakes Shake Indonesia

An earthquake Wednesday night and another Thursday morning rocked Indonesia and the island of Sumatra, which was hit by deadly tsunamis in 2004.

The Associated Press reports that five people died and several dozens more were injured in the 8.4 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday. That quake also triggered a small tsunami on the island of Sumatra. Thursday's earthquake was measured at 7.8 magnitude and hit the same area. The quake could even be felt in the neighboring countries of Malaysia and Singapore "where tall buildings swayed."

Wednesday's 8.4 magnitude earthquake was the largest recorded quake of the year, according to Reuters and the U.S. Geological Survey. Their report differs with the AP report, as Reuters is saying that six are dead and 40 are injured, according to Indonesia's Health Ministry crisis center in Jakarta. Reuters also spoke with David Oppenheimer of the USGS who said "the death toll could well rise as authorities take stock of the impact in the light of day."

September 11, 2007

Thieves Withdrawal Entire ATM from Hamline University

Thieves stole an entire ATM machine from the Klas Center on Hamline University's campus in St. Paul early Friday morning, taking off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The Star Tribune reports that the break-in occurred around 2:20 and 3 a.m. The ATM was owned by Associated Bank of Green Bay, Wisc. St. Paul police spokesperson Tom Walsh said there are no suspects at this time. Walsh also said "the thieves pried open a door to gain access to the four-story building."

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Walsh also said that "a small dolly was used based on tire tracks they found.... but they don't have much other evidence."

The Klas Center is part of the athletics complex on the university's campus. It houses university memorabilia, lockers for Hamline athletes, a banquet hall, classrooms and meeting spaces.