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April 26, 2009

Analysis

This report by the Washington Post investigates a police killing of a young boy last year.
Records obtained by the Post included previously closed police records, and officer and witness statements. The writers analyzed these documents and used them to piece their own story and investigation together.
I am not sure how the reported obtained the records, or what skills she had to use to get them. However, it is obvious the reporter had to do a lot of synthesizing and piecing together of a lot of information in order to create her own timeline of events, which discovered many police oversights and wrong-doings in this highly controversial case.

April 12, 2009

Diversity Analysis

This story, on a Minneapolis gay couple being included in Easter ceremonies at the White House, deals with a cultural diversity issue of gay people becoming accepted into society. This was the first year that gay families have been included in the "Easter Egg Roll" on the South Lawn of the White House. The story does move beyond sterotypes, and explains the family just as it would any other (how they came together, why they are excited). The story explains that the Bush administration inadvertently invited the first gay and lesbian couples to the Egg Roll, something I did not know, through quotes from the two gay fathers. I was also unaware that gay couples had been excluded from the ceremony in the past, which is shown through quotes and general observations.

April 5, 2009

Numbers Analysis

This article, which discusses a new bus line that has shown growth and profit even in the current economic times, uses numbers in a variety of ways.
The numbers are used to show how much the company has helped the local area though job numbers, how the company has gone against the trend by showing percent growth and profit numbers, and also to show what the company does and provides by showing how many buses they have and how many people they serve. The numbers are not overwhelming, and the reporter spaces them appropriately as well as uses the correct form. While it doesn't appear the numbers were crunched by the reporter specifically, the sources of the numbers included the bus company itself, as well as associations involved in mass transit. The numbers are not listed completely, but picked and chosen to add to the story and develop the angle.

March 29, 2009

Obituary Analysis

This obituary on Natasha Richardson, done by the New York Times, uses a standard obituary lead.
The first source used is a spokesman for Liam Neeson, her husband, and also uses Richardson's most recent spokeswoman.
They also use quotes Richardson gave the New York Times in previous interviews.
The lead does work as a standard approach and gives a clear view of what happened.
The article is different from a resume because it deals with more personal information than just her job history and descibes her family and interests, as well as details about her life and accomplishments.

March 8, 2009

Advance Analysis

This advance, published in the Minnesota Daily, previewed a debate on marajuana held on the University of Minnesota campus.
No sources were used in the story, and unfortunately the story feels very much like a listing. In using no sources, there was no other information available besides a bit of background on the event and who would be participating in the debate.
While somewhat of a listing, the author does provide a bit of an angle in placing the event of the background of a Minnesota Judiciary Committee decision protecting medicinal marajuana patients. This is really the only way the article stands out from a listing that could be found on an advertisment or event invitation.

March 1, 2009

Meeting Analysis

This article was written the Marshall Independent on the Marshall City Council Meeting. This is the agenda for the meeting.
The first thing I noticed about the article is that the writer had to pick out what she thought was the most newsworthy. Much like other forms of writing, chronologically did not work. The item that she chose to lead with was the 14th item on the agenda, and much of what was said before it was completely skipped or barely mentioned. The entire article mostly is based off of that one item.
In order to reach other less important items, the author then crafted some of the story in a list much like the agenda. She provided a sentence or a mini-lead for other important items. While the agenda is very long, the author only really covered four of the over 20 agenda items.
This clearly shows the choices that must be made in reporting the news and how much power the media have in deciding what is important and what the people get to hear about. The author really needs a good idea of her audience and what they want to hear and what they care about in order to do her job well.

February 15, 2009

Structure

The story in the Star Tribune on the man who was hit by a train in St. Paul uses a bare minimum structure that puts out the facts but little more.
The story starts with a short and succint lead that says who, what, where, and when. The man remains unidentified by police, so his name is also left out of the second graph.
The second graphy moves on to paraphrase the St. Paul police statement, the only source used in the story. It tells where the body was found, when, and by who, which adds more detail to the lead that he was found.
The next most important part, who the man is, is discussed next. The writer explains as much as he can about the man, and tells the reader why he is not identified.
It then uses a quote from police. The last graph seems to end the story awkwardly. I believe one way the story could be changed would be to switch the last to paragraphs in order to end with a "kicker quote."

February 1, 2009

Lead Analysis

In this story, reported by the Star Tribune on the Senate Economic Stimulus Bill, the journalist chooses a hard news lead with a focus on a quote.
The lead begins with a "who" or Republican leader Mitch McConnell. Because the lead focuses on what he said, and also because he is a fairly well known and important person, the author chooses to use his full name and title. It then tackles the "when", or Sunday, and only then begins to talk about the "what", or the stimulus bill.
Another person is then mentioned, President Obama, due to his prominence and involvement with the bill, but then becomes more general with "congressional Democrats". This could be because Obama is now considered the head of the Democrats, and so in mentioning Obama, specific reference to other important Democrats is not neccessary.
Then finally, the lead discusses what McConnell said, or that the bill could be defeated without certain parts of the bill cut.
I find it interesting that the author chooses to use a quote or paraphrase lead rather than a hard news lead. Although this is certainly a hard news story, it does mostly discuss the decision of a group of people, and the paraphrase quickly outlines what that decision will be and why. Also, due to the high number of stories on this important bill, the author may have wanted to focus on a specific angle and set the angle clear in the lead in order to attrack the attention of the reader.