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 17, 2007

Bullfighter Hurt,1,2373471.story?coll=la-news-a_section
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 3, 2007

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 “simply breaking a record,? 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.,20867,21501919-1702,00.html
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.

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.,20867,21469619-2702,00.html
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 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.

February 27, 2007

Crypt holds remains of Jesus and family
A crypt in Jerusalem contains the bones of Jesus, according to a documentary by the Discovery Channel, reports the New York Times. It also claims that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and they had a son named Judah. The remains were found in two limestone boxes and were unveiled at the New York Public Library by the documentary's producer, James Cameron. There is a lot of skepticism by several archaeologists, Christian leaders and New Testament scholars. Many also feel that this discovery is being unveiled to jump on the "Da Vinci Code" band wagon.

The reporter quoted many people, including Cameron, a professor of archaeology of Israel at Harvard and an archaeologist who worked on the discovery. This kept the story from leaning toward one view over another. Especially when religion is involved, the story could have been very opinionated.
The Mercury News also reported on this discovery. This newspaper reports that the documentary comes out on Sunday. This newspaper has a better quote from one side. "Biblical experts and archaeologists who are familiar with the central evidence instantly discounted the claim, which Discovery Channel has touted as possibly "the greatest archaeological find in history," as an ill-informed, recycled publicity grab. " The quote has strong language that reflect how that side feels. The reporter also quotes Cameron "It doesn't get bigger than this," Cameron said before the basic findings were presented Monday at a New York news conference. "We've done our homework; we've made the case, and now it's time for the debate to begin."

I think the Mercury News did a better job at reporting this story because the reporter had better quotes. The quotes used in the Mercury News had stronger language and really revealed how the sides felt. The main focus of the story was on the tension between the two sides, not the discovery itself. This makes for a better story because drama is always more interesting than the hard facts.

February 19, 2007

False Bomb Alaram at Canadian Embassy
The Houston Chronicla reported on Monday an employee at the Canadian Embassy in Paris got a nosebleed after opening an envelope and getting a nosebleed. The envelope had a piece of tissue soaked in liquid, said a fire department spokesperson. The envelope turned out to be a false alarm which was discovered after the Embassy was evacuated. The employee was taken to a hospital for treatment.

On challenge for this story is to not start a panic. The reporter from the associated press gave the bare facts and didn't go into much detail but that is considering that this only happened this morning. The reporter also didn't start naming suspects which is good because the reporter doesn't know for sure who is to blame for this and since it was a false alarm, no one may be to blame for this. They attributed what little information they knew correctly; "The envelope in question contained a piece of tissue soaked in liquid, raising the alert, said Florent Hivert, a fire department spokesman. Initial tests found that the contents were not toxic, he said." The reporter also mentioned that the Embassy was unavailable for comment.
The Vancouver Sun also reported on this story. The reporter used the same quote as the Houston Chronicle, but that is because it is an important quote to the story. This story noted the location of the embassy and that onlookers were kept behind a police line. The reporter also used good imagery: "Men in white protective jumpsuits and gas masks went in and out of the building. "

The Vancouver Sun did a better job with this story because they mentioned the location of the embassy, which is important for international readers. The reporter also gave a big picture when he/she mentioned the witnesses outside the embassy. The imagery gave the audience a clearer picture, where as the reporter for the Houston Chronicle didn't mention the men in white jumpsuits.

February 13, 2007

Whaler threatens to ram

The New Zealand Hearald reported today that skipper of the Sea Shapherd will not follow through with his threat to ram a Japanese whaling vessel. He was going to ram the vessel bceause the Japanese hunted humpback whale. Captian Paul Watson "will not watch a whale die." The conservation groups are usually in a verbal fight with the Japanese whaling fleet and this confrontation escalated when a Japanese observation vessel collided with Captain Watson's sister boat.

The reporter stayed objective through out the whole story. He got both sides stories and arguements. A lot of quotes were used to show what each side thought of the other and this kept the reporter from picking what side he thought was right. The desicion to chose who is right or wrong should be left up to the audience.
The Boston Globe also reported on this story. The reporter wasn't as objective as he could have been. He used loaded words and didn't give the same amount of space to both sides. It made the story look one sided. "The sharp rise in the number of whales being hunted shows that anti-whalers have to compromise too." THis shows favor of the whaling industry.

I think the New Zealand Hearald reporter did a better job on this story because he stayed neutral throughout the whole story. The allowed both sides to have a fair chance to persuade the audience. It also keeps a fair view of the situation and doesn't place blame on one side or the other.

February 10, 2007

Mistaken Identity
The New York Times reported that U.S. troops accidentally attacked a guard post in Mosul who are allies of the U.S., known as the Kurds. The Kurds live in Northern Iraq and have control of eastern Mosul. The U.S. believed they found insurgents near a bomb-making cell. Five Kurds were killed in the mistake.

The reporter had to face the challenge of staying objective. He used quotes to show the point of view of one side. The reporter didn't describe what happened until very late int eh story. He instead gave background information and used jargon to describe the relationship between the U.S. and Kurds. This can confuse the reader and they may not fully understand what is going on.
The Star Tribune also published a stary about this accident. The reporter mentioned the deaths in the lead and the New York Times reporter waited until the fifth paragraph. The reporter also used many quotes to show how the U.S. is acting after the incident. It showed how others are responding to the mistake, for example, the Kurdish officials.

The Star Tribune article was easier for me to read because it didn't use as much jargon and gave me the facts with in the first couple paragraphs and details later on the article. It mimicked an inverted triangle style of writing.

January 30, 2007

Stonehenge discoveries

Six homes have been found by the Stonehenge monument reported the Washington Post (">) .They were found underneath the Stonehenge Wold Heritage Site and show that Stonehenge is part of a larger monument. The excavation started in the summer of 2006 and will continue through 2010. In the homes contained tools, jewelry, pottery, and human and animal bones. The six newly excavated houses within the Durrington Walls were dated to the same period, Michael Parker Pearson, one of the main researchers, said, leading the team to conclude that they housed the men and women who worked on the structures, and people who came to the site for ceremonies. The homes were 16 feet by 16 feet and housed men and women who worked on the monument and came for funerals.

The reporter, Marc Kaufman, used alot of fact in his article, since there really is no opinion associated with this topic. He quoted a main researcher, but doesn't say if the person is important or not. The quotes are used to show what the researchers think about the uses of Stonehenge.

The Star Tribune also published an article about this discovery ( Their reporter, Thomas H. Maugh li, was shorter and focuesed more on how this will effect the archaeologists' community rather than historical meaning. Maugh also quotes the same person as the Washington Post, Michael Parker Pearson, but the Star Tribune says Parker Pearson led the team. Maugh also quoted someone who wasn't involved in the reasearch but it is used to show reaction and opinion about the discoveries.

I think the Washington Post reporter did a better job of informing the audience of what was found. It was more interesting for me to know what was found rather than how it will effect a community I have no relation to. It would have been nice to have a quote from someone other than Parker Pearson, but the focus of the story seemed to be more on the findings to show the real meaning of Stonehenge.

January 24, 2007

death in helicopter crash
The New York Times reported that five men were killed Tuesday when their helicopters came under attack during a routine protection detail. The first helicopter carrying four men crashed into one of central Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhoods. This sparked a five-hour battle where the second helicopter was hit by gunfire. American forces recovered the bodies and secured the area. It is unknown the condition of the bodies as well as exact details about the attack. Violence overtook the city and included bombings. Groups of insurgents tried to escape across lakes in boats or atop roofs. Many recent attacks have also killed 12 American soldiers.
The author put the whole picture together. He wrote what, to whom, where, why and when it happened. The story provides a clear timeline of what happened. He didn't write how this will effect the war in Iraq, but he does explain the current situation. His lead was strong but the first sentance was wordy. He mentioned the action (death of soldiers), when it happened and how it happened. It grabbed the attention of the reader and continued to explain what exactly happened. It is hard to stay objective in writing about a war, but the author does a good job of keeping his opinion out of the article.
The Star Tribune also wrote about this event. The Star Tribune wrote about who was responsible for the attacks, although at this time that information is unknown. Both stories do not name the soldiers involved in the shooting because that information has not been released. The Star Tribune doesn't mention the second helicopter until the fifth paragraph. The New York Times wrote "the gunner in a second helicopter apparently died when he was struck," whereas the Star Tribune wrote "a second helicopter also was struck, but there were no casualties among its crew." The Star Tribune's lead was also wordy but gave most information to draw the reader in because they mention how the soldiers were killed. The Star Tribune wrote that the soldiers were killed execution style while on the ground but the New York Times doesn't mention this in the article.
I think the Star Tribune did a better job of providing a strong lead to the story, although the facts between the two stories are different. The New York Times offered a better idea of what happened once the hellicopter crashed. Overall, the New York Times did a better job of reporting the story, in my opinion.