This news blog is an educational exercise involving students at the University of Minnesota. It is not intended to be a source of news.

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Analysis: data

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The reporter used a lot of statistics and data, and trend information for the article. In one half of a paragraph, there are a number of figures used: "Its revenue, which exceeded $1 billion for the first three months of 2013, was a record. Minutes after the figures were announced Monday, Netflix stock soared more than 23 percent." The reporter would need a working knowledge of how stocks work, and how to accurately identify and report trends.

The article has a couple accompanying multimedia. The first is a side-by-side comparison of the biggest Web TV services (Netflix, hulu, etc). There is also a comment section. Both are intended to engage the reader, and help them understand the story. There are also hyperlinks scattered throughout the story which lead to other stories or information for further reading.

Analysis: Diversity

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Find a news story or a feature about a cultural group different from your own. Discuss whether and how the story moves beyond stereotype into something more substantive. Be specific. What sources did the reporter tap to gain information?


It moves past stereotypes, but the article really only interviewed higher-up officials and discussed statistics. An interview or two from black baseball players, or aspiring black baseball players, would have rounded out the article.

The article uses a lot of direct quotes-- the last two paragraphs are just direct quotes-- so that doesn't leave much room for the author's own voice, or for the article to get very in-depth.

Analysis: numbers

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The article uses a lot of numbers throughout. The reporter used numbers to explain how much ice has melted in a period of time. The reporter also uses dates and ages to discuss the history of occurances like this one.

The reporter did a good job of keeping the numbers readable, and the reader is not overwhelmed.

Many of the numbers are in direct quotes, but they are still clear and easy to read, so the reporter didn't have to do much number-crunching. Sources include a couple glaciologists, a climate scientist, a chemical analysis, and a science journal.

Analysis: Obituary

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What sources are used? Does it have a standard obituary lead or an alternative? What is the news value? How does the obit differ from a resume?

Obituary analyzed

The obituary attributes information to Cal's son, Christopher, and Cal's 1986 oral history for the Time Inc. A Life editorial is a source,

The lead is a little different from a standard obit lead. It opens by telling the reader a few of Cal's most notable accomplishments. The reader isn't told he has died until the second paragraph.

The news values are prominence and impact.

The obit differs from a resume because it doesn't just tell what Cal has accomplished, but it also goes into the effects of his accomplishments, more personal details then what you would find in a resume, and it contains quotes.

Analysis: Covering Speeches

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The reporter took a traditional route in the layout of the story. The lead gives the general idea of the speech, and the second paragraph has a direct quote that supports the lead, and tells the reader where and when the speech happened. The story alternates between paraphrase, quotes, and background info.The article includes photos and video.

The reporter really tried to capture the tone of Michelle's speech. One way she does this is by using sentences such as "the point was clear as she weaved a tapestry of their early years together..." and " that end, the first lady painted a portrait of a leader who knows first-hand the struggles of everyday Americans". The reporter writes in a flowery and sometimes cliché way ("paints a portrait..." is used more than once).

The reporter goes beyond the event by including additional information not directly pertaining to the speech. She uses the background information to support the main ideas of the speech. One part of the article says, "Malia and Sasha, are also expected to join them on stage during the convention's closing night, leaving voters with fresh images of the photogenic family."

There are some comments that I think are unnecessary. They do help support Michelle's agenda and the feelings the speech is trying to evoke, but some author-comments also start to feel biased. For example, "Mrs. Obama never mentioned the president's Republican challenger, who grew up in a world of privilege and wealth." If Michelle didn't mention it, then why should the article? There are a lot of distracting details, and this one felt particularly snide.

Multimedia Analysis

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News organization example 1:

The New York Times article incorporates a lot of hyperlinks into its stories, as well as large, high-quality photos. In the article about the Holocaust, there is also a sidebar labeled 'multimedia' that has a couple maps of the ghettos and concentration camps. The story is about the results of an attempt to count the number of ghettos and concentration camps. It gives the figures (42,500) but the maps help a reader really grasp the sheer number.

News organization example 2:

This article by NPR is about how scientist believe they have cured a young girl of HIV. It also includes a lot of hyperlinks, and big photos that wouldn't look nearly as good in a newspaper. NPR's articles include the chance for its readers to comment on individual stories.

Both stories are able to achieve much more depth because of the multimedia features. The writing is more layered and detailed because hyperlinks provide additional information, background info, and save the author from having to describe everything-- they can just point the reader to a past story. Features like photos and video are useful because it can help different learners access news. For example, the map of the ghettos may help a visual learner better grasp the significance of the numbers.

33 fans injured in 12 car crash at Daytona 500

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33 fans were injured in Sunday's Daytona 500 race when a race car flew into the fence.

Kyle Larson's car became airborne, crashing into a fence during the last lap of the race. Debris hurtled into the stands, including at least one tire, injuring 33 people. No one died, according to Kare11.

The front of Larson's car was completely gone from the impact, and the engine landed in a hole in the safety fencing around the track. None of the 12 drivers involved in the crash were injured, however 14 fans were taken to various hospitals, and 14 more were treated onsite, according to the New York Times.

Analysis: Follow stories

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I'm going to compare two stories from the AP, a first day story and a follow story.

Story one:

Story two:

Story one's lead: British tourist Michael Baugh and his wife said water had only dribbled out of the taps at the downtown Cecil Hotel for days.

Story two's lead: More testing must be done to determine the cause of death of a 21-year-old Canadian tourist whose body was found wedged in a water tank atop a downtown Los Angeles hotel, authorities said Thursday.

Story one begins sounding like a feature story or narrative. The focus is not initially on the woman who was found, even though she is the news. It is effective, however, at grabbing the readers' attention. Story two has a more traditional lead. It packs a lot of information in, including the newest news (more testing must be done) and context (body was found wedged...)

The first story waits to tell the news until the third paragraph. It builds up interest and curiosity, then breaks the shocking news. It then loops back around, picking up where the intro left off.

The follow story gives many of the same details as the first. It elaborates on the woman's autopsy results, as well as follows up with the results of the water tests that were mentioned in the first article. There is also an interview with a friend of the woman's.

Analysis: Progression of Information

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The story I will analyze is by the AP and published by the New York Times: Florida prisoner who fled is killed

The reporter has summarized the important elements by putting like-information into fact blocks.

The lead contains a lot of information. It summarizes the story's "who, what, when, where, story background (..stabbing detective...) and some detail (..officers responded to a report..).

Paragraph 2 details the circumstances of the shooting itself which is the news. Paragraphs 3 and 4 are also detail, but involve more background information. The last paragraph circles back around to how and when the prisoner escaped in the first place.

The story is, I suppose, written in a traditional inverted pyramid style, but I felt it didn't read as easily as it could have. There are a few things that are ineffective. I found the lead confusing. I think the info about how he escaped should be saved for a later paragraph (the news is that he was shot). For some reason the story waits until the last paragraph to explain some questions raised in the lead (such as how on earth he stabbed the detective with glasses). It would help to move the last paragraph up to the paragraph 3 spot.

Analysis: Attribution

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The story I will look at is by the Associated Press.

The story is short, and there are only two sources listed. The first is a police spokeswoman, who is clearly named in the story, Melissa Stratton. The second is simply "the police."

The sources are scattered throughout the story, and it is made clear that the majority of the information is directly from them-- other than the third paragraph which states some information that makes the assumption that we have heard about the story before-- it's referencing past stories.

The information is from people. The reporter sets up the attribution by first introducing the source as "a police spokeswoman," and then in the second paragraph stating her name. The second source is simply "the police," and doesn't have any more of a lead-in or introduction. It is effective, because the story is short and doesn't need a ton of different sources to make its point. I think even having 3 sources would have started to muddle it.

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