Analysis: SPCO Locks Out Union Players, Quieting 2nd Orchestra

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http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/stageandarts/175168831.html

This story's lead begins with a broad statement that editorializes the consequences of what the story's title already tells its reader: that the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra has locked out its musicians in the midst of a labor dispute. The 2nd paragraph introduces what the news is: two orchestras in the Twin Cities were locked out of their practices Sunday night in connection with contract negotiation disputes.
Following these introductory paragraphs, the article explains the recent history of lockouts for both the SPCO and the Minnesota Orchestra. After that explanation there comes a quote from SPCO President Dobson West that demonstrates how far management and musicians are from acquiring an agreement and beginning performances again. Next, an explanation of a few other major cities' recent lockouts during union negotiations are recapped. Last in this segment of the story a musician and representative from the SPCO union is quoted on her opinion of the lock out.
Next, a subsection titled "Back and forth last week" recaps in detail the expiration dates and negotiation efforts made most recently. This section uses quotes and paraphrasing of interviewees to explain that this week is a "black-out week" where most musicians knew they would be locked out, so they found work in other concerts around the country and world.
The final paragraphs first capture musicians' critiques of the contract negotiations, stating musicians can not afford to take pay cuts, and that funding could instead come from higher ticket prices. Next comes a comment from the SPCO President that low ticket prices are essential to keep donors supporting the accessible orchestra. Last is broad, general information including what will happen to individuals who hold tickets for cancelled concert dates and info about future negotiation dates that may occur between the union and SPCO management.
The story is organized in a way that makes readers question how the orchestras' absences might affect their communities or the world's perception of the Twin Cities. It progresses from those sort of generalizations and somewhat broad comments to the specifics of negotiations, contract points of contention and what is yet to come. The entire article is organized logically, but I can see how reordering it to focus earlier in the piece on the two main critiques the union and its management have of one anothers' stakes in bargaining could lend itself better to capturing the audience's attention earlier in the article.

1 Comment

Good work this week, Sara. I like your eclectic array of source material.

On your analysis, pretty solid work. Your key points came too late in your thought/writing process, however -- last graph. Put more emphasis higher up on how you would have improved the piece and a spend a little less real estate on chronologically detailing how the story WAS structured.

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