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April 29, 2007

Damaging Storms

The Indianapolis Star published an AP story on the storms that created tornadoes in LaPorte County in Indiana on Thursday. The story reported on LaPorte County Police Detective Shayna Mireles' experience in the storms. SHe was trapped in her upside down squad car.

The reporter just gave basic facts. They reported the county only, a reader unfamiliar with the counties of Indiana would not know where these storms hit. He/She reported on what happened to one person and left out what happened to the rest of the county. The audience could wonder if any buildings were damaged or if anyone was hurt or killed. The reporter didn't give much information about the storm or where it hit.

The day before, on April 27, the Boston Globe also reported on this storm. It was reported that seven people were injured from the storm and specifically where the storms hit, Ohio, Tennessee and Illinois. The reporter discussed some of the damgage the storm caused, specifically to a nursing home. The reporter quoted a father on how his family survived the storm.

The story in the Boston Globe was better because it gave more information about the storm. Granted the second story was a follow-up on how one person survived the storm in an unusual way, it wasn't that interesting because many people have to go through unusual things in order to survive a storm. The first story was more interesting and gave more information about the storm that the second one didn't give. The information was probably not given because it had already been covered the day before.

April 25, 2007

Yeltsin Buried

The Reuters Canada website published a story about the burial of the first president of indepedent Russia. During his burial a few bars of the Soviet anthem were played, an ironic detail because Yeltsin destroyed seven decades of Soviet rule. Funeral attendees included former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa.

The reporter described much of the emotion that happened: "Boris Yeltsin's sobbing widow stooped over his open coffin to kiss his face." This emotion showed the importance of the event. The reporter decribed Yeltsin as "A bear-like man who had an easy rapport with ordinary people," but in the next paragraph says "in office he disappointed." This shows a great deal of bias towards a world leader. Laterin the story, the reporter quotes Putin, Yeltsins successor, " Putin said Yeltsin had "earnestly tried to make the life of millions of Russians better ... Personalities like that do not go away. They live on in peoples' ideas and ambitions." This balances out the negative sentances in the beginning of the story.

The Boston Globe used an AP story on their website. One major difference is the addtion of a picture of a man holding a poster of Yeltsin reading "The poster reads: President must always be victorious." This caption gives off a positive vibe that an average man cherishes his former president. The reporter also said of the funeral "It was a quiet finale for one of the most dynamic figures of Russia's recent history." The reporter also gave more of the history of Yeltsin's rule in Russia.

The Boston Globe did a better job with this story because they were respectful of his death. The reporter of Reuters used negative words in his/her story and when covering the death of a world figure, the reporter needs to stay unbiased. Even though the AP wasn't completely unbiased, the reporter did stay respectful.

April 24, 2007

Johnson Will Take the Leap

The Pioneer Press reported on the decision of Gopher Men's hockey star Eric Johnson to move up to the NHL and sign a contract with the St. Louis Blues. Johnson, a freshman at the U of MN, was picked first last June. "I mulled it over after I said no the first time," Johnson said Thursday. "I was kind of going back and forth, then decided this would be best. I wouldn't have said yes if it wasn't right for me."

The reporter got quotes from Johnson and coach Don Lucia. Those quotes are able to show the reader what Johnson is thinking, since the Gophers have had history with players leaving early to pursue dreams in the NHL. "Lucia, whose team lost star forward Phil Kessel after just one season a year ago and also lost sophomore Kris Chucko and juniors Ryan Potulny and Danny Irmen to pro signings, has become accustomed to early departures, and the coach recruits with that in mind."
The quotes from Lucia are representative of how the Gopher hockey team is feeling. Lucia's quotes show the support from Lucia, but also give a small undertone of frustration. "It's good news for him, bad news for us," Gophers coach Don Lucia said. "

The Star Tribune shows Johnson as more confident in his decision. "I'm confident in my decision," said Johnson, a Bloomington native. "I knew either way I would be in a good situation, but I'm looking forward to a new challenge.""
The reporter also discloses the details of Johnson's contract, something the Pioneer Press did not do. The reporter also showed the support coming from Lucia. "St. Louis feels he is ready," Gophers coach Don Lucia said. "He's a big part of their future, and I'm sure they wanted to get him in there and start working with him. I can understand that." This quote and others in the story also show a small undertone of disappointment in losing another talented player to the NHL.

I think between the two stories, the Pioneer Press did a better job of disguising the frustration of Lucia. It is visible in quotes, but isn't put out there point blank. Both stories did a good job of not painting Johnson as a bad person for making this desicion and overall both were presented well. Some of the readers may feel angry at the decision Johnson made, but the reporters cannot trash a 19-year-old kid for trying to reach his dream. Both stories did a good job on this subject and one was not better than the other.

April 17, 2007

What might be the final game of the season

The Star Tribune reported on what the Minnesota Wild need to do in order to win their game against the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks lead the series 3-0 and could eliminate the Wild. The Wild need to step up their power play because they are 1-for-15 in the playoffs. They also need to figure out how to skate through the neutral zone and into the offensive end to get the puck deep. The top scorers on the Wild need to score. They have combined for 2 goals, and 1 assist. The go-to guys are going to have to battle through many things in order to get to the net. The Ducks have four soild defensemen so that will be a task. "Parrish said: "We don't care where the goals come from. It's the wins. There is only one stat that counts in the playoffs and that's wins."
And right now, the Wild has zero."

The reporter used alot of metaphors that are typical in sports reporting. "Trying to skate through the Anaheim Ducks is as maddening as trying to change lanes on the 405 late on a Friday afternoon." The reporter also got comments from Wild players and coach Lemaire on how each of those things can happen. This is interesting to read because it connects the reader with the team and gives insight into their strategy. Alot of the terminology would be confusing for any reader that is unfamiliar with the game of hockey; like "neutral zone" or "offensive zone." This story would not make sense if the reader doesn't know a little bit about hockey.

The Pioneer Press also covered this upcoming game. More sports adjectives are used. "Gaye Stewart shares NHL history with J.P. Parise as emotional touchstones for a generation of teams facing imminent doom and grasping for means to scale the Everest of playoff deficits." This article focuses more on how only two other teams have come from behind 3-0 to win a series.

Both newspapers took different approaches to what could be the final game for hte Wild in the 2006-2007 season. The Star Tribune took the direction in what the Wild could do to improve their game and squeak out a win. The Pioneer Press took the direction of comparing the WIld to the only two teams who have come from behind to win the series. This direction is over-used and any team that is down in a series is comaperd to these two teams. I liked the Star Tribune article because it was more optimistic and gave strategy on how the Wild could win. The Pioneer Press had a depressing feel to it since it pointed out only two other teams have gone on in the playoffs when they were in the same position as the Wild are.

Chicago gets the bid

The Chicago Tribue reported that Chicago is the U.S. bid city to hold the Olympics in 2016. Now that this happened, Chicago needs to gain international support, start its fundraising efforts and refine the city's venue plan, among many other things. "In the coming months, Chicagoans also can expect to see "a pick-up squad of events jockeys," or experts in various aspects of running an Olympics, said Frazier, adding they will conduct extensive testing of the city's proposals, which can be expected to evolve during the coming 2 1/2 years."Chicago beat out Los Angeles and now faces Tokyo, Madrd, Rome, Prague and Rio de Janiero in international competition. The reporter compares Chicago's bid to New Yorks failed bid for the 2012 games.

The reporter discussed the funding of the Chicago bid and it was explained well in one paragraph. "The committee has raised more than $32 million in cash to support the bid, of which up to $5 million has been spent on the domestic campaign, Ryan said last week. Overall, the bid itself is likely to cost $50 million or more, if the experiences of New York and London for the 2012 Games are any indicator. The Chicago 2016 committee also is counting on private donations to help build some venues. Ryan said it will be seeking about $15 million for the equestrian center planned for Lake County and another $15 million for the aquatics center planned for Douglas Park on the West Side, which also would be funded by the sale of air rights to the developer of the Olympic Village south of McCormick Place." This kept the flow of the story giong. The reporter kept the more interesting things in the beginning of the story and as the story got closer to the end, it also lost its exciting momentum.

The Baltimore Sun also reported on this exciting news. The reporter looked mainly to the future and compared Chicago with Atlanta, the Olympic host in 1996. "When Atlanta won the right to hold the 1996 Olympics, it was like finding out that the unremarkable kid from Mrs. Smith's fifth-grade class - the kid whose only talent seemed to be belching his name - had gone on to own a Fortune 500 company." This story is very biased against the city of Atlanta. This story also gives the impression that Chicago is almost a definite winner of the international bid. The story does mention the cities that Chicago is up against, but makes fun of them:
The Colosseum. The Roman Forum. Circus Maximus. The place is in ruins.
Prague, Czech Republic.
I have to be very, very careful here because my mother-in-law is Bohemian, but if the cuisine of a country is built around the humble dumpling, should it get an Olympics? I'm just asking.
Doha, Qatar.
Anybody else notice that Qatar is right across the Persian Gulf from Iran?
Baku, Azerbaijan.
Anybody else notice that Iran sits on this country's southern border? Again, just asking.
We just swallowed Los Angeles like a California roll, so what would we do with Tokyo? Make it feel like it just ate some bad blowfish.
St. Petersburg, Russia.
One of its sister cities in the United States is Los Angeles. The other, for some reason, is Lansing, Mich.
In July and August, the temperature often tops 100. The good news is that housing won't be a problem; citizens often leave town to escape the heat. Anybody up for an Olympic marathon?
Monterrey, Mexico.
Rio de Janeiro.
I'm still working on why this one is a bad idea. Bikini wax issues?

The repoter from the Baltimore Sun did a good job of giving hope to the US that Chicago will for sure get the bid. He points all of the bad things about the other candidates and this makes the article feel like propaganda. I think the Chicago reporter did a better job explaining the whole situation without making it seem like Chicago is the best city on the Earth.

Bullfighter Hurt

The LA Times reported that a 14-year-old Spanish bullfighter is in critical condition after being gored by a bull in Aguascalientes, a city north of Mexico City. Jairo Miguel was injured on Sunday as he attempted to perform a risky track called a "cape pass." This is when the bullfighter directly faces the bull and attempts to fake the animal in a direction. It was a very deep goring that penetrated his thorax," Carlos Hernandez, a medical official with the group that organized the bullfights. "The horn penetrated his lung and passed very close to his heart," said Carlos Hernandez, the medical official with the group who organized the bullfight. As his father and a paramedic carried him to the bullring's infirmary, Miguel reportedly could be heard calling out, "I'm dying, father, I'm dying." He is the world's youngest bullfighter and came to Mexico at the age of 12 because he was not allowed to compete in his native country of Spain. In Spain, a bullfighter has to be 16 in order to sign professional contracts.

This reporter didn't list Miguel's injuries until the last paragraph. They should be listed closer to the beginning of the story because that is what the story is about. The comments made by Miguel as he was being carried off were also interesting and I think the reporter should have put those closer to the top of the story. The issue of Miguel's age was close to the top and that is an interesting part of the story.

The Cincinnati Post also reported about this story, however, it was a short summary of what happened. The reporter used a lead that captured the attention of the reader: "A 14-year-old matador who left Spain to escape his home country's ban on young bullfighters was nearly gored to death in a Mexican ring, his lung punctured by a 900-pound bull." This gave most of the important information to the reader right away. The summary went on to explain how he was injured and used his quote of "I'm dying, dad, I'm dying."

The Cincinnati Post did a better job on this story, I think. The reporter put the more interesting inofmration in the beginning of the story. The reporter mentioned the same things as the LA Times reporter, but did so with better organization of the information. The lead in the Post story was also better.

April 15, 2007

crime reports

I went to the University of Minnesota Police Department and they said that many journalism students come into the station to get crime reports. They handed me a stack of reports that I could chose from. I picked one about a lady who was stopped because she didn't stop at a stop sign. The other one I picked was a report about a stolen cell phone. The process was very easy beceause the people at the station I went to were very helpful since this happened on a regular basis. At a station where this didn't happen often, an average person might have some trouble because the people at the police station might not be used to people requesting crime reports. Some of the crime reports available were more serious than others, like someone getting pulled over for a broken headlight to someone getting arrested for a stolen car.

April 9, 2007

global warming

Global warming is becoming a more popular topic. What is being done to slow it down? What will Minnesota look like if it continues at the current rate? How do students react/feel towards global warming? A story about what is happening and the future trends associated with global warming.

Brad Moore, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner- 612-296-6300
Senator Amy Klobuchar-612-727-5220 (fort snelling office)
Sangwon Suh, an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota's bioproducts and biosystems engineering department, 612-624-5307

April 3, 2007

Amish School Re-opens

The Kansas City Star published a story by AP about the Amish schoolhouse that reopened on Monday. The new schoolhouse replaces the one torn down 10 days after the Oct. 2 attack by Charles Carl Roberts IV. The school house is more secure with a private drive leading up to the school and state troopers guarded it on Monday. New Hope Amish School has a steel door that locks from the inside but no phone. Its location behind a row of non-Amish homes provides a way to quickly summon help in an emergency, since during the rampage, a teacher had to run to a neighboring farm to call 911.

The reporter got many quotes from the zoning officer and a neighbor. This gives color and perspective to the story without the reporter sounding too one sided, even though this is a tough situation. The reporter also gave a brief update on the condition of those who were wounded during the attack. He also described how the school was paid for.

The reporter for the Baltimore Sun used a very descriptive lead "As a morning mist burned off the surrounding pastures, four children hurried up the long driveway carrying lunch pails. The smallest boy skipped. " This contrasts to the next paragrpagh that described the attack and proves why the childrens happiness is so important. The reporter got a quote from a member of a liberal Amish sect who explains that the school hosue is a "stark reminder." The reporter described alot of what was happening on Monday morning at the school house. The repoter also filled the reader in on where the students had been studying since the shooting.

I think the reporter of the Baltimore Sun did a better job because they painted a picture of what was happening and how the community was reacting. They also wrote about what happened between the attack and the opening of the new school. This gives the reader a full story and complete time line of events.

Fast French Train

The San Diego Union Tribune printed a story from AP on the French train that has 25,000 horsepower. The train is called V150 and can reached 357.2 mph, compared to 186.4 mph of a normal French train. It beat the record of 320.2 mph set in 1990 by another French train on Tuesday. It has two engines on either side of the three double-decker cars. The demonstration took place 125 miles east of the capital on a new track linking Paris with Strasbourg. The feeling on the V150 is similar to an airplane takeoff.

The reporter did a good job explaining how this is relevant to readers and why this was important. ""The goal was more than ‚Äúsimply breaking a record,‚Ä? Cuccaroni said, adding that data from the test should help improve the security and comfort of passengers. " The reporter compared it to other trains that the French use, which can help the reader put the speed of the train into perspective, if they have ridden on a French train before.

The Australian also picked up this story. The reporter described what happened at certain speeds: "From about 380km/h, vibrations in the train became more and more noticeable.
At 490km/h passengers started to get slightly dizzy.
At 540km/h it became difficult to remain standing up despite the stability of the train.
At 570km/h, the driver - filmed on camera - wore a very big smile. "
This helps a reader understand what happens when certain speeds are reached and they can put it into perspective better.

The reporter from the Australian did a better job, I think, because he put the speeds the train reached into descriptive actions. The reporter from AP compared the speeds to other French trains. It is hard for a reader who has never been on a French train to understand how fast the train went.