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December 2, 2007

Goodbye Forever 3101 blog!!!!!!!!

Well blog, we've had some good times and we've had our bad times. But like they say, all things that get really old doing every Sunday night at 11:00 p.m. must come to an end.

For my final news analysis of the semester, I have chose a CAR story about the I-35 W bridge collapse. Oddly enough, we talked about this in class. The story is the "13 Seconds in August" story by the Star Tribune.

I actually have explored this story on my own and I found it very interesting. The records and analysis used in the story are the people's stories that are told. They also used records like license plates and car makes and models to find out who these people are so we can here their stories. The reporters also needed hospital records to found out about the injuries sustained by each individual that was on the bridge that day. They also needed police reports to find out what people died, when certain events happened, etc.

The main computer skill that was needed is how to use a Flash player. That is the main portion of the story. Also the reporters also needed to know how to post videos online. Work with digital photography was also a necessity for this type of story.

November 11, 2007

What's the deal with diversity ?

It seemed hard to find articles about racial diverse groups, but I did just that in the nation section of the Star Tribune.

The article I found was about how nooses are becoming a disturbing trend as a symbol of hate. The reporter mentions cases where nooses were left intentionally as acts of racism. They mention the Jena Six and a noose that was found at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. They also write about how some believe the noose is replacing the burning cross as a symbol of hate. They also discuss the dark history of lynchings and hangings of Black people in America from 1882 to 1968.

I believe the story is very substantive. It has very deep sociological discussions about American society and what using nooses represents to most Black people in America. It also details how many African-American leaders are wanting nooses to be added as part of hate-crime laws. The story tells me a few things I didn't know. One of the was that I didn't know that between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 documented lynchings in the United States. Also I never heard the story of how an editor of the college newspaper at MCTC hung a noose in their office as a motivational tool to his staff. He was fired from his position, but was cleared of any bigotry. The reporter does this by just mentioning facts and data, although there is not much attribution.

November 4, 2007

What's the deal with them numerals?

The story I chose was a boring NY Times economics story about how Citigroup's chairman Charles O. Prince III stepped down and Robert E. Rubin was named the chairman.

The way numbers are used in the story is to show how much in write-downs the company will have to make, which could range from $8 billion to $11 billion. For those of you who do not know what a write down is, the NY Times dictionary says it is a reduction of the entered value of an asset. They also used numbers to show how much Rubin has made as a board member at Citigroup. They also used numbers to show how much Citigroup's earnings have fallen.

The numbers are not too overwhelming. They are spaced out well throughout the story. However, if you are not great in economics, then you might be confused by what some of the terms mean. The reporter did not have to do any number crunching because all of the figures were public record. The sources of those numbers come from the third-quarter earning reports of that Citigroup released in early October.

October 28, 2007

What's the deal with dead people?

The obit I am blogging about is from the Star Tribune about a U of St. Thomas prof. Francis Mayer.

Some of the sources they used were a former student of Mayer who also is a St. Thomas administrator. They also spoke to a retired marine who sang in his choir. The story has the standard obit lead where they name the person, their age, and what they did for a living. The lead works because it is simple and to the point. It differs from a resume because the reporter talked to people who were affected by professor Mayer. On a resume, they talk to people who weren't necessarily affected by the person. They also only list things from his life that were important, not just every single thing or job the person worked.

October 21, 2007

What's the deal with event coverage?

Sadly, I decided to pick the first event I saw on the Star Tribune's website. Out of all the events happening in Minneapolis, the one that is on the homepage of the website is the "Hanna Montana" concert happening at the Target Center on Sunday night. After writing a story about Harry Potter and then this, I feel like I'm 13 all over again.

The reporter does not really use any sources. The article is in the entertainment section of the paper, so some of the facts that are used can be easily verified. For example, the reporter says that the actress that plays Hanna Montana, Miley Cyrus, will be greeted by 14,000 fans. That fact can probably be verified by Target Center Officials.

The angle of the story is how many ticket brokers bought up as many tickets as they could and re-sold them, some for even $1,000. Also, the reporter touches on the ideas of how the Disney television show, "Hanna Montana," has become such a craze, and how many adults have no idea what the hell "Hanna Montana" is.

The reporter has created more than a listing by writing about the national controversy that has occurred due to the ticket brokers and online resale stores. The reporter wrote about how four different state attorneys are investigating how some created software that can hijack Ticketmaster's Web site and how tickets sold out literally in seconds. The story also doesn't feel like a listing because of the way the lead was written. It kind of poked fun at the so-called "Hanna Montana" craze.

October 14, 2007

What's the deal with press conferences/meetings?

The story I chose was an AP wire story about John Edwards comments made about Hilary Clinton flip-flopping her position about Iran and the press release posted at the John Edwards for President Website.

The press release was a statement made by John Edwards for President communications director. It obviously was pretty biased because it was coming from the Edwards campaign. It basically said Clinton was not being honest about her stance on certain issues. The AP news story was what Edwards himself said at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. The news report also addressed what other Democratic Presidential candidates voted on a measure to allow President Bush to call the Iranian Revolutionary Guard terrorists. Clinton voted for the resolution while other candidates did not. The news report goes on to say that Edwards blasted Clinton for trying to pander to voters by saying one thing and then saying something totally different. The news report also had comments from the Clinton campaign.

The reporter who wrote the story decided not to use anything in the press release, which is a good thing. Otherwise the story might have seemed biased toward Edwards, because Clinton's campaign only gets one short graph to defend themselves. The reporter mainly focused on what Edwards himself actually said. But the press release basically summed up what Edwards said without all of the rhetoric. The reporter also talked about other candidates which is also good, because then not all of the coverage is going to a few front-runners.

October 7, 2007

First Day and Follow Ups

The story I chose was the story about the threats that were made at St. Louis Park High School in the Star Tribune.

The first day story was about the actual threats that were made at the school and how the administration dealt with them. A rumor was started at the school that something violent was going to happen, and that rumor was broadcast through text messages. The school then added extra security for the next few days. All of this came after a fight last Friday. The follow story was about how the school has been continuing their homecoming events this week.

The two leads don't differ two much. The first day story was straightforward and got to the facts. The follow story was also to the point. The main news in the first day story was summarized pretty tightly. It described what the administration decided to do and summarized the fight that happened. The follow story was a little more like a feature. It summarized the activities the school did for homecoming and how the students were reacting to the events of the past week. At the end, they summarized what had happened this week. The way the follow story advances the is that it describes how the students and faculty have felt about the events of the past week. The first story was all facts. Also, it shows the aftermath of the threats that were made at the school. It shows that they really haven't overshadowed the school's homecoming plans and they are trying to move on.

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.

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.

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.