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A Marriage over the Web

The article I read was from the Isanti County News website and is called, "Love won't wait." The article reports on a Minnesota Army National Guard member and his fiance home in Minnesota who wed via the Web on Valentine's Day. Keith Swanson, stationed in Iraq, was not able to get back for their July 2007 wedding due to "an extention of wartime service," but him and his fiance, Amanda Watson decided to have the wedding anyway and earlier with an interactive teleconference.

Although this article is on a specific event that took place and may not seem to have a direct relationship with the readers, there are many news values within it. Obviously, the article is timely, seeing as the wedding was on February 14. The story does have an impact on not only Minnesotans but the whole country, as well. The article definitely shows the frustration of the war and the impact that "extension of wartime service" has on those who are serving in the war and those who are close with soldiers:

**“I bought my dress yesterday (Sunday) and I’m on my way to the hair dressers right now,? she said in between classes on Feb. 12. “I think the hardest part is how sick I will be after the ceremony, knowing I won’t be seeing Keith for another long time.?**

The reporter added another tidbit on the couple's relationship while Swanson is in Iraq, which made it hit home:

**She said they mainly talk through e-mails, and once in a blue moon, Keith has time to give her a phone call. Swanson currently works as either a convoy driver or gunner. Recently, his HUMVEE suffered a hit after contacting an IED, but he escaped with a minor injury.**

Everyone in the country is affected in some way, whether it is directly or not, by the war. This article is an example of that. The geographic and emotional closeness is what attracts readers to this story, therefore proximity comes into play. This situation became an "internal conflict" for those involved, therefore the article does have some conflict value. This is a very unusual event, obviously. People don't get married over the internet very often. That makes it a human interest story.

One thing to take into consideration was the audience. Watson is a Cambridge-Isanti grad. Therefore, the article went into more detail about the wedding than other articles might because one of the individuals is a part of that community.

This article can be found here: http://isanticountynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=266&Itemid=1

The second article I looked at is from WCCO.com and is titled, "Soldier Marries Minnesota Woman Via The Web." This article is more of a news story than the other (which seemed to be more of a human interest story). This story is timely, is unusual and has proximity value, seeing as these individuals are from Minnesota - all for the same reasons as the other article. I feel the impact isn't shown as strongly as it is in the other article; however whenever there is a story where soldiers are involved, I feel the reader feels some sort of impact, especially when the individual is from the same area or same state. The lead has some emotional impact:

**National Guard Spec. Keith Swanson and Amanda Watson had planned a July wedding with 500 guests.
Instead, they had a long-distance wedding on Valentine's Day. He blew her a kiss and she puckered up to his image on a 72-inch screen.**

This article can be found here: http://wcco.com/topstories/local_story_046072828.html

I feel that these two articles are drastically different from one another. Like I mentioned before, the first one is more of a human interest story and the second is a strict news story, inverted pyramid style. The first one was more interesting to read because of all the details; the reader gets a better idea of what the ceramony would be like and how they managed to make it work. Simply, it answers more questions while the second article from WCCO is very plain and not colorful. The event itself hits home because of the war in general and really is something that the entire country would find interesting.

Comments

This is a tremendous discussion of news values. You have taken the concepts and applied them with a sharp eye. Bravo.

You also threw in an insightful comparison of their different story structures. Great work.

I want to encourage this level of discussion, although in fairness to you I will note that you could write shorter and still fulfill the assignment.