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March 30, 2007

Hillel events

The Hillel is hosting many Jewish events because of the upcoming Passover. It might be interesting to highlight what Passover is and how the events Hillel puts on for Jewish people help those who are far away from home.

Rabbi Sharon Stiefel-612-379-4026
Sarah Routman, Executive Director of Hillel at the University of Minnesota-612-379-4026
Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker, Mount Zion Temple, (651) 698-3881

March 29, 2007

Ferry Accident in Sydney

The Boston Herald published an AP report on an accident that killed three people on Wednesday night under Sydney's Harbour Bridge. A passenger ferry crashed into a pleasure boat that carried members of Australia's ice skating team in Sydney to participate in a weeklong seminar by U.S. figure skating coach Kathy Casey. Australian figure skating judges Alan Blinn and Simone Moore were killed and the identity of the third victim is unknown at this time.

The reporter faced the challenge of not putting blame on one boat of the other. The reporter avoided placing blame and used quotes from witnesses. " 'The boat basically just disintegrated,? said witness Clive Marshall, who was on another ferry passing nearby. ?There were a couple of people hanging onto the wreckage. We had people in the water and bits of boat and the boat sinking and people screaming for their missing friends.' " This quote helps give the reader an idea of what happened without taking sides.

The Austrailian also reported on this accident. This report came very soon after the accident and the lead was used as an announcement of the confirmation of the identities of two of the deceased. This reporter talked more about the area underneath the bridge and quoted a government official. The reporter also wrote about the impact this will have on the figure skating community. "In Australia's close-knit ice skating world, the accident has hit hard. Simone Moore's childhood friend Debbie Noyes said she was someone who was always there.
“I'm just shocked and numbed. I'm expecting to pick up the telephone any minute and just ring Simone and say Hi,? she said.' "

The reporter from The Australian says theree were 15 people on teh boat, where as the AP reporter said there were 12. Both stories had the same time of the accident, 10:45 pm. The reporter from The Australian did a better job in my opinion because he got reactions from people close to the vitcims and didn't simply state that there was an accident, like the AP reporter did.

March 26, 2007

Reason for Anna Nicole Smith's death

The Houston Chronicle puclished an AP story about the reason for Anna Nicole Smith's death. The cause of death was "an accidental overdose of a sleeping medication and at least eight other prescription drugs, and she had recently had a bacterial infection from injecting drugs into her buttocks, authorities said Monday." The reporter also goes on to describe the various drugs Smith was taking and the events leading up to and following her death. The reporter also discusses the simliarities between Smith's death and the death of her son.

One challenege for the reporter is to stay unbiased. It is tough because many people speculate that Smith overdosed on illegal drugs or on purpose. By quoting the medical examiner, it gives credit to the cause of death and the reporter isn't speculating.

The Detroit Free Press also reported on this news. The reporter used many quotes from the medical examiner when discussing the cause of death. This is needed to show some authority over the information given. This also helps keep an unbiased story because some people think she died from other things.

I liked the Detroit Free Press article better because the reporter didn't re-tell the events that have happened. Most people following this story already know what happened. A brief paragrpah summarizing the past events would have been more helpful than several paragraphs.

March 23, 2007

smoking bill

The Freedom To Breathe act didn't pass in the Minnesota legislation on Wednesday, so is it going to be brought up again? The author of the bill could give insights into the next step for the bill and if it will be changed or not before being brought up again. Supporters and opponents could give their reaction to the bill not being passed and if they will continue to fight for or against the bill.

Kerri Gordon, spokeswoman for ClearWay Minnesota- 952-767-1403
Jim Farrell, executive director of MLBA-651-772-0919
Yvonne Prettner Solon-author of the bill-651-296-4188

March 19, 2007

Gopher Men's Hockey Team Gets Number One Seed

The Star Tribune published an article about the Gopher men's hockey team getting a number one seed in the NCAA regional playoffs. They will play Air Force in Denver on Friday night. Coach Don Lucia is friends with Air Force coach Fank Serratore, who has teased Lucia about messing with Atlantic hockey because of the Gophers loss to Holy Cross last year. Air Force in the number four seed and will be using Holy Cross as a motivational tool, but so will the Gophers to remind themselves that they can have it all taken away if they don't work hard. Also in the bracket are Michigan and North Dakota. Since the Gophers are the number one ranked seed, they should have played the No. 16 seed but since neither Denver nor Colorado College made the field, the selection committee thought it was best to put Air Force in Denver.

The reporter starts the story with a small story displaying the friendship of the two coaches and wraps up the story with more commentary about the friendship. "Considering they are best friends, Carol Serratore, a St. Paul native, and Joyce Lucia likely will sit together in the stands when their husband's teams face off Saturday. Likewise, the coaches will have their time together when the work is done." This brings the story full circle and gives it a lighter touch. The reporter doesn't show any bias as to what team will win, even though the reporter is writing for an audience consisiting of mostly Minnesota residents.

The Pinoeer Press also reported on this. The reporter took a different approach, which was that the Gophers won't have an easy path to the Frozen Four. The reporter outlines how the Gophers got to the point they are in and he uses a nut graph to tell when the Frozen Four is. "The winners will collide at 5 p.m. Sunday for the right to advance to the NCAA Frozen Four on April 5 and 7 in St. Louis." The reporter gets alot of quotes from Lucia and some of the players. The awards the team has won so far are also added to this article.

I liked the Star Tribune article better because it had a lighter feel during a very intense situation. Although it lacked many quotes, it still gave the important information and let the reader know what was going on. Since I follow Gopher hockey, I know about the awards they have won and what they could accomplish the rest of hte season, so it was nice to see a different side of the upcoming game. The Pioneer Press article was very straight forward and gavea lot of facts. It wasn't very interesting to me, since I already knew them.

Bong Hits 4 Jesus

The San Francisco Chronicle printed a story by AP telling about an event that happened in 2002, but is coming to court today. Joseph Frederick, a senior in high school at the time, displayed a banner that read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" at a school sanctioned event to watch the Olympic torch pass through the city on its way to the Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Frederick's principal Deborah Morse suspended him and now are in court. The story also raises the issue of the amount of free speech a student has at school. This court case is a precedent that will be set for the future relating to that topic.

The reporter didn't lean one way or the other relating to if the student was wrong in displaying banner or if the actions of the principal was wrong in the actions she took. The reporter wrote about the time line of things that happened which helps since this happened five years ago and many people don't remember what happened. The reporter also told of who supported Morse and who supported Frederick using quotes. This helped the reporter stay unbiased.

The Boston Herald also reported on this controversial story using an AP story. The reporter used quotes from the courts and from Frederick. This gave more substantial information because it came from a first-hand account. This reporter also tells of Frederick's previous run-ins with school administrators. " Frederick had previous run-ins with school administrators before the banner dispute. He said he first saw the slogan on a snowboard and thought it would make a good test of his rights because, though meaningless, it sounds provocative." The story seems to be in favor of Morse when that paragraph is read, but his previous background with the school helps show what kind of student he is in order for the reader to make a judgement. This story was also delayed in published time than the story from the Chronicle. One way they differed is that the story that was published later gave more background information because the reporter had more time to get background information.

I think the Boston Herald did a better job because they brought in different aspects of the story, like the firing of Frederick's father in connection with the lawsuit, to show what is happening. It gave a full picture of how this happened and how it can effect the future. It had the latest news in it and it was an updated version.

March 9, 2007

spring break

During spring break, many people dont leave the twin cities for various reasons. An advance featuring some of the more interesting things going on around twin cities would be be helpful for some of the people not going anywhere for the next month. The things highlighted would be in Minneapolis and St Paul and easy to get to.

Walker Art Center-612.375.7600
Science Museum-(651) 221-9444
First Ave-612-332-1775

March 7, 2007

Mysterious death of a reporter

Moscow News has reportered that the mysterious death of a Russian reporter has prompted an investigation. Ivan Safranov was a military affairs reporter for the Kommersant, a Russian newspaper and died after falling from the fifth floor of his apartment building on Firday. He was working on an article about Russia's plans to sell weapons to Iran and Syria via Belarus and had received many warnings not to publish it. His death has raised concerns about the safety of journalists in Russia. The International Federation of Journalist asked authorities to look into his death and the death of jouralists in Russia in the last 20 years.

The reporters did not mention if there were any specific suspects in the case. This is good because a reporter doesn't want to name suspects that might end up not having anything to do with the death. This saves the reputation of both the suspect named and the reporter. The reporter also quotes from the newspaper he worked at and the authorities.

The Boston Globe reporter had a much longer article relating to this event. It includes a more attention grabbing lead: "A journalist who plunged to his death from his apartment building window faced threats while reporting on a highly sensitive story that Russia planned to sell sophisticated missiles to Syria and Iran, his newspaper reported yesterday." This is a good summary of the event. The Boston Globe reporter goes into more details about the implications that could follow if Safronov would have published the report. This reporter used alot more sources for quotes, like an independent analyst. The reporter gives a timeline of Safronov's relevant actions up to his death.

I think the Moscow report was more concise and gave the simple facts, without digging deeper. The Boston Globe gave background information that helped the reader know the situation. I liked the concise report better because the details bogged me down when I read the Boston article. The Boston article, though, did a better job reporting the story.

March 5, 2007

Bus Crash

The Cincinnati Post reported that the bus carrying the Bluffton University baseball team crashed on their way to spring training, killng four students, the driver and his wife. The cuase of the crash is unknown at this time. Many Blufton University students worried and waited while officiails released the names of the four students killed. Surviving teammates found phones in the wreckage and used them to call family members and friends. About 30 of the players returned home on Sunday, some limped off and some had slings.

The reporter reported on the human aspect of the story first. He wrote about how friends and family members were feeling when they were unsure of who survived the crash. This is the dramatic side of the crash, showing the terrible feeling of waiting to know who survived and who did not. "The agonizing wait for the university's 1,200 students left them not knowing whom they should pray for and whom they should mourn.
Nine hours passed before university officials released the names of the four students killed in Atlanta, along with the bus driver and his wife. Calls poured into the school's main switchboard, including some from relatives who had not heard from players." The unknown reason for the crash is not reported at the bottom of the story. It has less importance to the emotional side of how family members and friends did not know for a long time if their loved ones had survived.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter took a different approach to the story. She took the angle of how and why this crash took place. She listed the deaths in the lead, but after that discusses the speculation surrounding the crash. She also outlines the debate that is taking place as to how or if signs should be posted near the on-ramp the crash took place, in order to prevent more crashes. She does quote family members about the loss of their brother and other people about the crash towards the end of the story.

I think the story reported in teh Cincinnati Post was better because it showed a new aspect to the crash. The terrible feeling of waiting to hear from a loved one in the aftermath of a deadly accident is outlined with quotes from students and family members. It paints a picture of a different side of an accident.

March 3, 2007

The Pope and the Witch

A follow-up piece pertaining to people's reactions and critic's thoughts on the play. It would be on people's reactions to actually seeing the play. Quoestions could be asked how some of the Catholic community feel about the U not cancelling the play. A reaction of people who attended the talkback about the play could also be included.

American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property- (847) 692-2585
Program Director- Judy Bartl- 612-625-0894
Professor John Mowitt (host of the talkback about the play)-612-624-8099