March 2010 Archives

Darcy Pohland

WCCO reporter Darcy Pohland died at age 48 in her Mendota Heights, Minn., home.

WCCO does a nice job with the obituary. It really follows the margarita glass concept we talked about using in class for writing obituaries. There's a good amount of information about her life, along with memorable quotes she said throughout her life.

The Star Tribune also does a really nice job of capturing Pohland's life in a few simple grafs. The only difference between this story and the one run by WCCO, is that the Star Tribune focused a lot on how Pohland's disability never got in her way while doing her jog as a reporter. It was a different more inspirational, in my opinion, take on her life.

Profiles written to make the reader dislike the subject.

Jesse James's mistress, Michelle McGee, is getting the brunt of just about every joke now after the two came out about their affair last week.

People does a good profile on the mistress, however it is extremely one sided and is written in a sense to make the reader dislike McGee even more. Then at the end in a few little grafs, there is another side shown of her according to what is tweeted on her twitter. It's an interesting profile on a very controversial person of this time.

This profile of McGee, is a extremely sarcastic in how it's written, with snooty comments about her credentials. But then it has nice quote from her landlord of all people, about how much of a nice girl she is. Then ends on how she has two grade school age children. Its again a very pushing story to make the reader dislike McGee.

Michelle Bachelet

Chile elected their first woman president, Michelle Bachelet, on January of 2006.
CNN, which wrote a more recent article about her, writes about her background and some trying moments in her life; One being when Bachelet and her mother were arrested by Chilean police and tortured. It's a different approach to looking at her background, more of a rags to riches story compared to the other one done. They wrote this article on her because they said she was intriguing, they didnt write anything too intriguing about her in the profile.

Although this is an older article, the writer does a great job of writing a profile that gives a lot of background and a chronological sequence leading up to her presidency. The only things that lack are quotes from Bachelet, friends and family that would give this piece a more personal feel. I feel like it is a written out resume convincing the reader why Bachelet is good for the presidency.

Andriene "Andy" Aalund died at age 71 in Mounds View, Minn., and leaves behind her husband Roger, two sons, and four grandchildren.

This obituary, done by the Star Tribune, is dry and lacks a lot of information. It gives no detail about Aalund's life, just that she survived by a husband and has children. It doesn't even give the place where she lived or died.

The obituary done by Pioneer Press isn't any better. Although it gives the town in which she lived with her husband, there is still a lack of personality to it. Even though Aalund may have been an "Average Joe", I'm sure at some point her life she had a great story that is worth telling after her death to celebrate her life.

A Legand of the Entertainment Industry dies.

Mission Impossible's leading man Peter Graves died Sunday morning at age 83 at his home In Los Angeles, Calif. Although the cause is unknown, his publicist said it is suspected that he died of a heart attack.

CNN gives a nice memorial video depicting his life both on and off screen, along with a short piece on what happened Sunday morning after his death. Then following the incident was a written out form of an acting resume of Grave's 60 year career in the entertainment industry.

Legacy, also does a nice job with the obituary, a better job in my opinion than CNN because it is more personal. The reader can learn more about his personal life and how important his family was to him, rather than read just about all his credentials. There is also quotes by Grave's that also gives this piece a more personal feel, and shows some of his personality.

In New York, more than 10,000 workers are finally getting compensated for health problems that racked up $657.5 million in health bills from dust that was produced after the towers fell on 9/11.

MSNBC does an ok job with putting together this story that has been in discussion for 10 years. However, there isn't anything said from the standpoint of those finally being compensated for their health problems. Just quotes from the mayor which seems to be right out of a press release.

CNN does the same thing with this story, as it has almost the identical lead and quotes. Even though it is a big story that comes with a lot of information that is important for the reader to know, it would have been nice to get the viewpoint once again from those who are finally being relieved for their work on ground zero.

Help Could Hurt Haiti

With all the help that has comes Haiti's way after the devastating earthquake on January 12, the country is doing better, but Haitians are worried that in the long run all the aid may conflict with the independence of their country.

CNN does a great job putting together a nice piece about how the Haitian people are worried that all the aid coming their way after their January disaster is going to hurt the country in the long run. The writer for this story has a lot of input from the people of Haiti which helps clearly express their concern. One quote in particular that stands out in showing this is, "We're not a country anymore, says Ronald Agenor, "We're a place where people go to give money." This and many more quotes give a voice to the writing of this story and in my opinion does a great job with the interviewing they did.

A story by Zimbio, also does a good job using Haitian voices to talk about their freedom and independence after the quake, but in a different context. For this story, the focus is on how at first when the U.S. Military arrived, Haitians were afraid that we would take over, and that we were bad. Troops were quick to be labeled as not bad, or harmful as a Haitian child yelled, "Your not bad," as they walked through the streets handing out food and giving aid. The interviewing was great for it retrieved many good quotes that like the other story, give the writing a unique more personal voice.

The Chosen One

Conan O'Brien picked one person to follow on Twitter, and the result for the chosen one Sarah Killen a 19-year-old Mich. native, this is something she never expected.
Killen went from three followers on her twitter to 20,000, with gaining a150 followers per minute, once O'Brien announced his decision to follow her.

The Pioneer Press, did a nice job of covering such a out of the ordinary story, but could have used more quotes from the two the story is written about the give the story more life. There is a lot of information and interesting personal facts that are told in the story, it would be nice to have more of a voice behind them.

A Detroit news paper called Click on Detroit, wrote an article about Conan's twitter pick, and had a voice to it that the Pioneer Press didn't. Whether this reporter had the advantage of interviewing Killen or not, they choose the better route, in my opinion, and told the story through Killen's voice through many quotes that gave the story a different and better element.

Threats from Down Under

Threats from online of school shootings closed Minneapolis schools this morning. Cretin-Derham Hall was just one of the many Minneapolis schools that were brought to a code Yellow this morning resulting in tighter security around campuses and closings. What officials didn't know till later in the day was that these threats were coming from Australia.

The writers for this story, Mara H. Gottfried and Doug Beiden from the Pioneer Press, did a great job of getting and using a lot of money quotes from the St. Paul police chief and the sergeant from the Minneapolis police.

The star tribune, had a broadcast reported by James Lileks, that just barely skimmed the story. It gave some of the same quotes as the Pioneer Press, but didn't have as nearly as much to say about the situation, and focused more on what the parents were suppose to do, and what they received as directions from the school district.

7-year-old Hero

A 7-year-old boy called 911, while hiding in the bathroom of his house with his younger sister, as three burglars attempt to rob their house at gun point in Norwalk, Calif.

The reporter Mike Celizic for MSNBC, does a great job of taking the 911 phone call from the boy, and making it into the narration of the story, while also incorporating important information about the story. It really gives the reader a sense of being in the scene with the boy and his sister as his parents are held at gunpoint.

Brooke Baldwin for CNN, starts the broadcast with almost the exact same information as the lead from MSNBC. Then they have the dispatch call play, then after she goes into the rest of the story, then interviews the 911 dispatcher who took the call. This interview was great, and really added a lot into the story and added a personal level to it because the dispatcher talked about how she has two sons of her own. As the dispatcher is talking she says she wanted to "just jump through the phone and give the little boy a hug." She then started to cry when she talked about hearing the boy screaming when the men found him and his sister in the room. Having the dispatchers' interview and learning her side of the story added to this story greatly.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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