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 17, 2007

Chicago gets the bid,0,4911477.story?coll=chi-business-hed
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.,0,5182363.story?coll=bal-sports-olympics
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.

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.,0,6741136.story?coll=bal-home-headlines
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.

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 19, 2007

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 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.

February 27, 2007

No one into Hall Again
The Houston Chronicle reported that for the third straight election, the Veterans Committee admitted no new members for the baseball Hall of Fame.
The committee didn't want to lower its standards and be pressured into chosing someone. In 2001, the committee was reorganized because of charges of cronyism. THe new committee votes every other year for players and ever four years for the others. Hall chairman Jane Forbes Clark is dissappointed that no one has been elected in the past three voting cycles.

The reporter used many quotes from both sides of this problem to show how each side feels. The article was very balanced because of the fairness given to both sides. "We're being blamed because something hasn't happened," Hall member and vice chairman Joe Morgan said. "If you're asking me, 'Do we lower our standards to get more people in?' my answer would be no." This quote was from the side of the committee showing why they didn't vote anyone in.
This quote shows the other side: "We are disappointed that no one has been elected in the three voting cycles," Hall chairman Jane Forbes Clark said. "We will be evaluating this process and its trends at our next meeting, which is March 13, and discussing whether there should be any changes."
The reporter also gave many names of people that have been on the ballots and why there should be voted in. This was a little biased because it showed that there were deserving people on the ballots.,8599,1594241,00.html
Time magazine also reported on this problem. The reporter mentioned that Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn were were elected to the Hall by the Baseball Writers' Association of America in January. One side of this problem was quoted "The process was not designed with the goal to necessarily elect someone," Hall chairman Jane Forbes Clark said." There wasn't a quote from the other side.

I think that the Houston Chronicle's report was better because it gave a clear picture of both sides of the arguement. Both sides were represented and quoted, that way the journalist stayed unbiased, but the reader got both sides of the story.

February 22, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith Death,0,4667216.story?track=mostviewedlink
The Baltimore Sun reported on the ongoing battle over Anna Nicole Smith's body with a story from the Associated Press. A judge decided on Thursday that Smith will be buried in the Bahamas and left the decision up to Smith's 5-month-old daughter. The dispute needed to be resolved fast because Smith's body was rapidly decomposing, according to the medical examiner. Smith's estranged mother wanted her buried in Texas but Smith's boyfriend wanted her buried in the Bahamas. Dannielynn, Smith's daughter, is currently in the custody of attorny Richard Milstein. The judge gave a recommendation on the location of Smith's burial, saying " I want her to be buried with her son in the Bahamas. I want them to be together.''

The reporter did a good job staying objective because he did not pick a side on where Smith's body should be buried. It is important in this story because the story has been in the media very frequently the past weeks. He gave where each side thinks she should be put to rest and the reasons why. He quoted the judge because the judge gave an opinion. "It wasn't immediately clear what Milstein would do, but the judge expressed his own preference: 'I want her to be buried with her son in the Bahamas. I want them to be together.' " The reporter also put less important information at the end of the story. For example, when Smith died. He also stayed very vague and unbiased when he was describing Smith's death because it is still unsolved.,1,7571474.story?coll=la-headlines-entnews
The LA Times also reported on this story. This reporter didn't mention the other side of the story; that Smith's mother wants her buried in Texas. This shows the other side of the story and why a judge had to decide where she was going to be put to rest.

I think the AP covered this story better because the reporter gave both sides of the story. The LA Times reporter focused more on the judge's ruling, but didn't even mention that Smith's mother wanted her buried in Texas. This would have shown the drama that surrounds the death of Smith.

February 13, 2007

Gunman kills in mall

The Salt Lake Tribune reported today that a man used a chotgun and randomly started shooting at people in a Salt Lake City Mall. He killed five and seriously injured at least four other people. Witnesses are describing the gunman as emotionless, calm and silent throughout the shooting. Police shot the gunman and are unsure of his motives and the exact events of the shootings.

The lead is very biased in this story. "The expression on his face never changed. Not as he walked into the crowded mall. Not as he began to fire. " Witness' later back this up with quotes, but it gives the story a very biased start. The number killed isn't mention until the third paragraph and that is the most important part of this story. This story is biased because it doesn't give the gunman's side of the story, which is hard to do because he is dead and police don't know his motive. The headline reads "Emotionless killer gunned down victims randomly" is true but mentions nothing of the people killed.,0,3530047.story?track=mostviewed-homepage

The LA Times also reported on this story. Their headline reads "Teenage gunman kills 5 people in Utah shopping mall." This shows the main point of the story and isn't biased. The story sticks to the facts and gives some witness quotes. This helps set up what happened in the mall. It attributes alot to the police chief and reports.

The LA Times story was less biased than the Salt Lake Tribune. The events that happened are unfortunate and it is easy for a reporter to become biased but police don't know anything about the gunman yet, so it is hard to pass judgement. The headline for the Salt Lake Tribune is very emotional and attention grabbing, but also very biased. It makes the gunman look like an emotionless robot with no feelings.

February 7, 2007

Billionaire robbed

A California billionaire returned to his home to find it being robbed. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Ernest Rady was shocked by a stun gun and joined his wife and housekeeper when he was tied to a chair. The burglar stayed in the house for more than five hours after posing as a delivery person. According to Rady, the burglar used a walkie-talkie to communicate with accomplices outside. Police didn't say if anything was taken from the home. Rady is in the financial and real estate business and has made several large donations in the last couple years. In 2005 he donated $30 million to the University of California for the Rady School of Management. He also gave $60 million to Children's Hospital in 2006.

The reporter started to tell what happened than inserted a paragraph about Rady's financial history and than went back to telling what happened. The financial background isn't as important as telling the reader what happened. The description of the burglar was in the last paragraph and that information might be important in finding out who this person is. It could have been put in the top paragraphs and used to describe the burglar. The reporter used alot of attribution, especially since most of the information they know of had come from the vicitms.
The New York Times also featured a report on what happened. The reporter went into more detail of how the burglar got into the house and what happened. The reporter also gave a specific attribution to the San Diego Police Department commander, where as the other newstory just used the term police. This story also mentioned what was taken from the house, but doesn't include a description of the robber. This might be because the robbery happened in San Diego and the story was published in New York. This reporter put the financial background of Rady in the last paragraph, but doesn't mention the donations he gave only how he made his money.

I think both of these stories are very different. The story in the New York Times is shorter but gives more details about the robbery. The San Diego newspaper gave a description of the burglar. I think the New York Times reporter did a better job on this story because they gave more details about the robbery and the story flowed, where as the San Diego reporter's story didn't flow because he put Rady's background in an awkward spot.

February 2, 2007

Drug Kingpin

A notorious drug dealer from Brooklyn was convicted of murder. Kenneth McGriff is guilty of paying $50,000 to have two rivals killed in 2001. McGriff is facing the death penalty. There are discrepencies as to if McGriff continued to sell drugs after facing an earlier drug charge in 1999.The defense painted the victims as thugs while the prosecutor said McGriff "is on of the most dangerous, feared, ruthless gangster in all of Queens." The jury will return on Tuesday to decide if McGriff will get a sentence of life in prison without parole or the death sentance. The reporter gave history of McGriff's crimes.
-the Washington Post:
The reporter used a strong lead because not too much information is given. The reporter did get a quote from the U.S. District Judge Frederic Block asking prosecutors to reconsider the death penalty. The reporter used quotes from people related to the vicitms that balanced out the objectivity of the story.

The New York Times also reported on this story. The reporter didn't use as many quotes but did give alot of history of Mcgriff's criminal record. This makes the story very biased against McGriff.
-The New York Times:

I think the Washington Post version of the story was better because the quotes proived gave a better picture of how both sides felt about McGriff's possibility of getting the death penaliy.

January 24, 2007

President Bush's state of the Union address
President Bush's state of the union address on Tuesday night focused on an international and domestic agendas. Bush has less then two years left in his term and he warned the democratic about not approving his new Iraq strategy; allowing more troops into Iraq. There was no mention of rebuilding new orleans, limiting stem cell research, banning gay marriage or remaking Social sSecurity like he said he would 2 years ago. Another domestic propsal included taking steps toward a balanced budget, dealing with the long-term financial condition of Social Security and Medicare, and imposing tighter standards on schools. He got a "polite reception" from the Democrats in the crowd even though he spoke with a confident tone.
The New York Times used a lot of jargon in this article. Examples are "bipartisan resolution" and "exert some leverage by accusing Democrats of intransigence." They quoted the words that Bush used but did not explain what those words meant. This could confuse a reader. The lead contained an opinion. "President Bush tried to resuscitate his ailing presidency Tuesday night, using his State of the Union address to present a modest agenda of energy and health care proposals while warning an increasingly assertive Congress against undercutting his new Iraq strategy." Not everyone may think that his presidenct is in trouble or that Congress is assertive. This puts a bias on the whole story and shows a disliking for the president. The article explained the actions that would result from his proposals and how Congress might react. There were a lot of quotes responding to his speech.
The Pioneer Press also covered President Bush's State of the Union address. The lead also wasn't objective; "President Bush used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to try to revive his presidency against what may be the greatest odds any chief executive has faced in a generation." His presidency might not need reviving or he may not be facing the greatest odds any president has faced. This article assumed that the "president's problems all stem from the same reality." The author made many assumptions and this led to a biased report. It isn't untill the fifth paragraph that the author let the reader know what was in President Bush's speech.
I think the New York Times did a better job reporting because it mentioned the key things in Bush's speech right away. It was more engaging from the begining, where as in the Pioneer Press I had to wait until the fifth paragraph to learn what Bush actually said in his speech. If I was actually reading the article in the Pioneer Press, I would have quit reading because it didn't tell me the important information. The Pioneer Press was also more biased against the president.