May 5, 2008

Record Analysis

For this entry I will be examine an article on the life and crimes of con-artist Cindy McKay that was written in The Baltimore Sun.
In the article there are obviously certain public records used, such as police reports and criminal histories. This is apparent when the article says that police determined the house of McKay's ex-husband was burned down in 2002 by careless smoking, when actually McKay had stabbed him to death and then burned the house down herself. The reported had to go back and look at the police report from over five years ago to discover what was though to be the cause of the burned house.

This three-part series used a lot of different online tool to further enhance the story. My favorite one is the interactive map that had spots throughout the eastern United States to click on that detailed the various crimes and periods in McKay's life. The reporter had to know how to create an interactive map like that on the computer.

April 13, 2008

Diversity Analysis

For me diversity analysis entry, I will be looking at the Star Tribune article about the controversial Muslim public school in Inver Grove Heights.

The story is definitely not a stereotype. It goes into the various practices that occur in the TIZA school that violates laws of mixing public school with religion. The story is pretty balanced all in all. At one point the author notes that if the same thing was going on with Christianity at a public school, that the situation would have been taken care of long ago. You can tell that the author is looking at this story with an unbiased eye and is simply comparing what is going on at the school with what is actually legal.

I actually learned a few things about Islam that I didn't know before reading the story, mainly based on the first hand accounts of the substitute teacher, Amanda Getz. I didn't know the details about the ritual washing that occurs before Muslims pray for example.

I already knew that their are laws against mixing public schools and religion, but I didn't know some of the finer points about them that this story pointed out. The article does a good job of articulating these laws so it makes it easy for the reader to decide if the school violated them. The article definitely does have its own opinion on the story, but it is such a well supported opinion that I think just about everyone can agree that it is essentially a fact that some of the practices at this school are illegal.

April 6, 2008

Numbers Analysis

For my numbers analysis, I will be looking at the New York Times article about increase food stamp use.

The reporters used numbers throughout the story. He used numbers of the amount of people receiving food stamps, percentages of populations using food stamps and percent increase of the number of people using food stamps in certain states. The reporter also uses numbers to state the average family incomes and average amount of aid received in the food stamp program.

Despite the large amount of numbers used, the reported has organized and explained them well so that the reader doesn't get lost.

The reported obviously had to do some math to calculate some of the numbers. One example was when he reported that food stamps recipients grew 10 percent or more in a number of states from Dec 2006 to Dec 2007. The reported had to look at the old number of people who received food stamps and the new number of people and calculate the percent change.

The reported used a lot of different sources to get the numbers for the story. The Congressional Budget Office, the Michigan Department of Human Services and the Department of Agriculture were all among the numerous sources used.

March 29, 2008

Analysis on Obits

I will be analyzing the obituary written in the New York Times about Robert Fagles, the famous translator of the classics. The lead is exactly like the one we learned in class. It begins with the his name, then identifies him as a famous translator, followed by the time and place of his death. The first paragraph also ends in a 3 word sentence that says "He was 74." This is also exactly how a standard obit is written. I think the lead works well in that you get the most important information about who Fagles was in the very first sentence.
There were many sources use in this obit, which was pretty extensive. The reported obviously used some sort of bibliography for some of the information, but also brought in a variety of other sources. The reported used quotes from a New York Times interview in 2006, as well as a of his colleagues at Princeton University, who commented on his style as a translator

March 10, 2008

Event Coverage

My analysis is on an article from the Minnesota Daily that previewed the Big Ten Wrestling Championships that were held at Williams Arena March 8-9.

In the article, the author quoted head wrestling coach J Robinson, as well as wrestlers Jayson Ness and Tyler Safratowitch. Besides those three sources, the author also used rankings taken from W.I.N. Magazine.

The angle of the story was that the Gophers would have their 'ideal' team on the mat for the first time this year. The author noted the wrestlers that had missed time with injuries.

The angle for the story was nothing overly creative or earth-shattering, but I think it was a worthwhile take on the upcoming event. Obviously injuries can play a major role in how sports teams do, and it was good to inform the readers of all the hurdles the wrestling team has faced this year. If a casual observer took note of how the team has underachieved significantly this year, they might be wondering what happened to the University of Minnesota Wrestling team that won nationals last year. By explaining how this weekend would be the first time the Gophers have their top wrestlers all in the lineup gives some context to the season they have had so far.

All things considered it was an informative article for the casual observer and gave all the necessary facts of the upcoming event as well as a relevant and somewhat interesting angle.

February 18, 2008


I will be analyzing the structure for the Star Tribune article on the death of Demond Reed. The Story starts with a lead about the arrest of Poole for beating Reed and gives details about when, where, and how Demond died. Then the story went into the key details of what happened leading up to the death of Reed. This part was pretty much a summary of the story about Reed’s disappearance that ran last week. Next the article talked about the search for Reed and how they discovered him. I think the organization of this story was effective. The reader receives all the vital facts up front. Then the article refreshes the reader with what they presumably already know about the story, because the information ran last week. But it was still good to review what was already known about the case, before leaping ahead to the new information about the searching and discovering of the body. I think this method helped guide the reading clearly through the process of what happened. Chronologically the story is a little bit confusing, considering the boy was already dead when his disappearance was announced last week, but the was this story was structured helps keep everything strait for the reader.

February 11, 2008


In the article about Indian doctor from the Star Tribune, there were several sources used. Two newspapers, the Toronto Star and the Times of India, were used in the article. The article also used local news reports and the Indian police as sources of their information, though the local news report they used isn't named. There are also many times throughout the article where the words "police", and "authorities" are use which may be referring back to the Indian police. The information from the police is scattered throughout the article probably because it is the main source being used. Each newspaper that was used has its own little paragraph with all of the information, so it's easy for the reader to keep track of what is going on. The format for attribution in this article is that the writer cited the Indian police at the beginning, and proceeded to use words like "police", "authorities" and "investigators" for the remainder of the story. This is somewhat confusing because they all could very well be referring back to the Indian police, but I can't be sure. It was effective how the writer kept the information from the two newspaper together, but it really would not have made sense to do it any other way. I did like though how the writer separated the two newspaper sources in the article though to avoid confusing.