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Record and analysis with computer skills reporting: Analysis

The article I analyzed was from

In this story, the reporter used computer-assisted reporting to help move the story along. The story is about high radon levels in a basement where police in Ann Arbor, Mich. worked.

It used records and analysis from the past to give the story merit. For instance, in the analysis it compared the level of radon in the building compared to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's action level. The article claimed the levels in the basement were seven times the action level. By doing this, it puts into perspective the risk the officers were asked. I, for one, do not know much about radon levels. But, if you tell me that a building's radon level is seven time what the EPA says it should be, I know that something is not right and there is a story to be told.

This reporter uses computer skills to put numbers and averages into perspective. The reporter uses statistics from the EPA to give the reader an ideal of the exact number. The EPA gives a statistic and the reporter breaks it down and gives an exact number.

The reporter uses the records to enhance the analysis. The whole article averages and comparisons are being broke down to make his points. Some of these numbers have been figured out by using a computer. Averages and EPA radon levels have been analyzed by computer reporting to advance the story.

Cultural group analysis

I read an article in the USA Today about adoption. The article was called "Adoption increasingly crosses racial, ethical lines."

This article gave statistics that showed how parents with different race than their adopted children is becoming more common. It explains that multi-racial families are becoming more normal.

An interesting point in the article was the opinion of an associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago who said that parents with the goals of teaching their kids to be "colorblind" might actually be a wrong approach.

I had a source lined up for this analysis but something came up and they backed out on me. Therefore I will analyze it myself. This article did seem a little stereotypical to me. Gina Samuels, the associate professor, was quoted as saying "Colorblindness actually creates discordance." Essentially Samuels is saying that this makes children think race doesn't matter. To me it was almost framed as if even with the advancement of multi-racial families, society is not improving with racial issues.

Also, statistics are given about international children and national children being adopted, but there is no statistic about what race is adopting them. This article seemed to throw in quotes that portrayed the information as bad information. I think that a child of any race being adopted by a family of any race is a good thing. If that child is given a home and if that home teaches that race doesn't matter, then that child will grow up that way and society will advance. The quotes took away from the statistics.

Numbers analysis

The article I choose to analyze came from the USA Today. It was called "Ford outsells GM for second time since 1998."

The numbers are used in the story to emphasize how big of a deal it was for Ford to outsell GM. The reporter also uses dates and years to factor in the point being made. The numbers, dates, and statistics basically tell the story themselves. In a way the article is saying "the numbers don't lie."

I did find the numbers a little overwhelming. The reporter threw a lot of numbers and dates out in each paragraphs. I think it the numbers were cut out a little bit, or focused in on a specific type of car, or even just given a broad point it would have flown better.

The numbers were crunched and did tell the story. However, a couple of times it was too much numbers and I found myself skimming the article. I had to go back and read it again.

The numbers given seemed to be provided by GM and Ford, but aren't specifically attributed. They also aren't listed completely, but it is mentioned several times that both companies "said" something.

Obituary analysis

I looked at a news obutary for Michael Gough in the New York Times.

This reporter used the BBC, Michael Gough's grandson, a review from a play Gough acted on years ago, and quotes from Gough in the past for sources. The reporter also noted several popular performances Gough gave in his 70 years of acting.

This obituary uses a standard obituary lead. This lead works because it explains what Gough was known for and says how old he was when he died in the second sentence. However, it does not say how Gough died. Granted, he was 94, a cause of death was not given.

This obituary is different than a resume because it gives some personal insights and information about Gough. It doesn't just lists his work; it mentions his family and trademarks he had. It also highlighted several aspects of his career.

Public meeting agenda and news story analysis

Barack Obama was in South Florida at a Miami high school on Friday to start off his month focusing on education.

The White House Blog summarized why Obama was there and gave the majority of the transcript of what he said. Their release about his public meeting was factual with no agenda other than saying what happened. Everytime there was an applause for what he said, the report said "applause." It did mention that he was there with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. The release did mention a portion of his State of the Union address, but did not mention any issues between Republicans and Democrats.

The article from the Denver Post also covered his trip to the high school. The headling starts with "With a Bush at his side." It also mentions that Obama is "joining forces" with a Bush in the Denver Post. The article mention that Bush was a popular governor and brother of the president Obama suceeded, George W. Bush. Unlike the release from the White House Blog, this article talked about other issues than the one the president was focusing on. Such as the issues of budget cuts Republicans and Democrats are battling over right now. It also only mentioned portions with some quotes about his speech. Furthermore, this article also talked about Jeb Bush. This article crafted the story to give it more drama with a lot more background. The White House Blog basically reported what happened.

Multimedia Analysis

In comparing two new organizations' multimedia options, I choose to analyze two local papers, the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press, respectively.

The Star Tribune has a slideshow on their home page of the top stories of the day. This portion is updated throughout the day. Also, each slide contains a photo with a caption about the story. Furthermore, it is easy accessible to read about the story because all you have to do is clink on the picture for a more elaborate story. It complement news stories because it keeps them updated. All the writing being used is considered a lead. It is generally a sentence or two related to the image being shown.

The Pioneer Press does have a multimedia option as well. However, you have to follow the multimedia link to access it. It is not on the home page like the Star Tribune. They do offer photo galaries with several sections, as well as videos by them and videos sent in by users. Their photo section does offer a couple hundred pages to select certain stories. Each story has an image next to it with a sentence or two about the image. When clicked on, a slideshow appears with text captions on each slide. This gives the reader a visual to the story. It appears that all of the news and writing are leads. Each slide is brief and advances the story.

Breaking News Analysis

There was a suicide car bomb in Afganistan on Friday. The first article that I will be discussing was released by the BBC on Friday. The second article was released by the Los Angeles Times on Saturday.

The story by the BBC ays the attack killed at least 11 and left many wounded. A quote saying that a lot have been injured and the number may increase. They also take a quote from a local police chief.

This story also says police blamed the Taliban for the attacks and that violence has increased in Afghanistan.

The Los Angeles Times story was a lot more in depth. It also gave the police chief's name and a more specific description of the bombing. This story also elaborates that police recieved a tip about a possible planned bombing.

The Los Angeles Times story also includes another incident in northern Afghanistan with this one.

These two stories came from seperate newspapers. The second story released elaborates more on the story, as well as releases more names and details. The first one basically explains that a bombing happens and suspects the Taliban. The newer story gives more background about bombings in Afghanistan, as well as another incident on the same day.

Structure Analysis

In the "Suicide bomber strikes Shiite pilgrims in Iraq" article in the USA Today, the article was structured in a very successful manner.

There is a lot of information and background given in the article. The reporter uses the lead to explain the actual event. The second paragraph gives background as to why the bombing occured. Then quotes are given as well as more background information about the shrine. Also, the writer includes the history behind the shrine and a prior bombing. So, by giving the backgound of the shrine and the feud between the Sunnis and the Shiites, the writer shows the history, importance, and foreshadowing this bombing may have.

This order is very effective because it explains the latest development of many. It could have been ordered differently, but by starting with the actual bombing, the writer can then lead into what the bombing means and why it happened. If the reporter started with all the background the reader would consider it old news.

Analysis on attribution

When looking at the Star Tribune article on Kevin Love making the NBA All-Star Game, the attributions add to the story. Especially since it is an accomplishment being recognized in a local paper by a local member of society. The attributions give it a sense of hometown pride. They are used throughout the article, but are not cluttered.

The article used three seperate people for quotes to give the accomplishment credibility. Furthermore, all three names are given. Kevin Love, whom the article is about, is quoted five times in the article. These quotes are effective because they show his sense of pride and accomplishment. The story is about him and the reporter does of a good job of getting Love's opinion on the matter.

Kurt Rambis, Love's coach, is also quoted by the reporter. This was also effective because the quote used by the reporter shows that Love's accomplishment is deserving as recognized by his coach.

However, the third person quoted is not effective. This quote was one sentence long and really did not add to the point of the story. The reporter had the right idea to get one from a teammate, it just was not an effective one to choose.

Heskett's week one analysis

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In the "California man jailed in alleged attempt to blow up Dearborn mosque" article in the Detroit Free Press, the lead works because it gives the reader the who, what, where, when, and why all in the first sentence. The reporter lets us know the most important aspects of the story in the first sentence.

The reporter tells us exactly where and when the incident took place. The reader also immediately knows who is involved. In the first sentence it is shown why the man is being arrested. However the writer waits until later in the article to let the reader know why he chose to do what he did. So, the lead gives a general summary of the story that follows. It works because the next few paragraphs give elaborated details as to what took place.

It is a straightforward hard-news lead that has no opinions, it is all facts. It works best as a hard-news lead because it is a sensitive issue. It deals with race, religion, and politics so a story about an attempted hate crime is best to keep as a hard-news story with a hard-news lead.

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