April 26, 2009


In this story about dirty police, the reporter uses a lot of public records for sources. These records range from police arrest blotters to transcripts of official police reports. The reporter needed to know how to dig up information on the internet in order to be this comprehensive. They also had to have access to information that not very many people had available to them.

April 12, 2009


In this story about Easter celebrations around the world, the writer does not really dwell on any particular stereotype, choosing instead to show how different groups of Christians spent their Easter holiday. The story tells me about the different routines that Christian groups go through for Easter and what they decided to do different this time. Overall this story is very good and does not get caught up in racial stereotypes at all.

April 5, 2009


In this story about Chrysler, the reporter uses numbers to show how many U.S. jobs Chrysler employs, how many employees it has laid off, and how much Chrysler owes suppliers and other businesses. The numbers are credited to Chrysler's own turnaround plan it filed with the government, and it is listed whole. The reporter uses numbers effectively to advance the story and the reader is never overwhelmed with the numbers. This piece is very effective at letting numbers tell the story but never overusing them.

March 29, 2009


In this obituary the New York Times uses a pretty standard obituary lead. The reporter uses many sources, from the person's son to his colleagues. The obituary differs from a resume because it has a much more personal voice. It isn't just a list of achievements but it also has people who knew the person commentating on his life.

March 8, 2009


In this story about the upcoming Northwest Sportshow, the author doesn't only discuss the event but links it to his childhood by recalling the memories he had when his father would take him and his brother to Minneapolis from North Dakota to see the show.

The author doesn't use a lot of sources, he mainly reminisces about what the show was like to him as a child. He uses a couple of quotes from a few different sources but he mainly discusses his experiences.

The author turns the event into an opportunity to reflect back to his earlier life and how different the Sportshow has become from when he first went to see it as a child. This gives the story an angle of reflection instead of just listing the essential information regarding this show.

March 1, 2009

Press Conference

In Obama's speech addressing the withdrawal from Iraq, the Star Tribune makes a couple of changes to tell the story better and get the information across more efficiently.

For one thing, the article only uses a couple partial quotes, choosing to paraphrase much more often. This helps the writer summarize the president's points much faster than delivering what he actually said would. The article also gives us some background information regarding the plan; how it has been received in Washington and who supports/opposes it.

The article also gives us some information regarding the site of the speech, which was the same site George Bush used in 2003 to deliver one of his speeches, and what some political figures thought of the decision.

The article basically uses the speech as a jumping off point but focuses much more on the news itself than the actual speech. It gives background information and opinions regarding the speech as well as excerpts from the speech.

February 22, 2009

News Story Leads: First and Second Day News

In a story about a Shakopee police shooting, the leads between a first day story and a follow-up varied greatly. The first-day story had the immediate facts first; a man had died after police shot him in self defense. The follow up story doesn't even mention the man's death until the eighth paragraph. This huge leap is taken because the writer assumes that the readers are familiar with the basic premise of the story and it leisurely fills in specifics that might not have been known in time for the first day story. The second day story advances the news by adding things the first story left out, such as what time the man was shot.

February 15, 2009

The Progression of Information

In this follow-up story, the reporter puts the newest information at the very beginning of the story, then goes on to summarize what events led up to the story. The information is ordered by when it was received as well as by relevance. The reporter puts out the new data and then rehashes what has already been covered, so that readers are able to read this follow-up story without having to go back and read the first coverage of the plane crash. The way the reporter has presented the information is very efficient, because it allows readers to get the new information in the first two paragraphs. It also lets readers new to the story get all caught up in the first three paragraphs. The story could have been covered chronologically but I don't think it would have been as efficient.

February 8, 2009


In this story about a large chunk of ice that broke off and stranded over one hundred people on Saturday, there are numerous source types used. Interviews are a major part of the report, of course, but the story also cites a National Weather Service report and another newspaper. The sources are spread out over the story, arranged in a way that makes it easy for the reader to gather information without ever being overwhelmed. Most of the information comes from people directly, such as taking quotes from the irate sheriff and the rescued people. This reporter basically attributed every source immediately after he used it so there was no confusion over which information came from what source. It is a very effective method of attribution because it doesn't bog down the story and it properly credits all sources of information.

February 1, 2009

News Leads

In this story about a sunken treasure discovery, the news elements present are the who, deep sea explorers, and the what, a new treasure discover. Both of these elements are detailed, as the lead says that the explorers are the same ones who found $500 million in sunken treasure two years ago, and that the discovery was a legendary British man-of-war that sank 264 years ago. The generalities are the when, which isn't listed and the where, which is also not mentioned. The lead takes a straight-forward news approach and is only a single sentence.