February 2012 Archives

Analysis: Multimedia

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A popular multimedia feature that is used on the websites of CNN and FOX NEWS is the slideshow. These websites maximize this feature by embedding a slideshow of pictures to accompany a story with compelling images. Slideshows enhance the reader's experience by allowing them to see AND read about major events in the news. The writing in the captions is concise, normally containing a summary of the given picture along with a piece of important information that ties to the story,.

Both CNN and FOX NEWS have an entire page on their site dedicated to presenting news stories in video form. On both websites, the button to access the "Video" page is right next to the "Home" button on the site-navigation bar. This could be an indicator that consuming news via video clips is becoming the most popular way for news to be obtained by site visitors. There is hardly any writing that accompanies the videos, other than a seven or eight word sentence that briefly explains the content of the video. In some cases, a video will be at the top of the page above the actual news article. This is a well-designed feature to appeal to site visitors because they can choose between learning about the news story by watching and/or reading.

Jablonkski surprises teammates before playoff game

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Injured high school hockey player, Jack Jablonski, made a surprise return visit on Thursday night to support his Benilde-St. Margaret's team in the playoffs, KARE reports.

According to KARE, it was the first time Jablonski had been back to the arena with his teammates since the accident.

The 16-year-old suffered a severed spinal cord at the neck and two fractured vertebrae during a junior varsity game in December.

WCCO reports Jack watched the game from a back corner, sharing handshakes, high fives and laughter.

The Benilde-St. Margaret's Red Knights beat Holy Family 7-0 on Thursday to advance in the playoffs.

Student stabbed near University of Minnesota campus

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A student was stabbed near the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Pioneer press reports.

According to KARE, Minneapolis Police spokesman Steve McCarty says the incident took place around 7:30 p.m. on the 500 block of Huron Boulevard. Investigators say the suspect walked up to the 22-year-old woman from behind and stabbed her several times.

The woman suffered minor stab wounds and was taken by paramedics to Hennepin County Medical Center, McCarty said.

Police do not have any leads on who is responsible.

Former Minneapolis pastor gets life in prison for murder

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A former Minneapolis pastor convicted of murdering a popular North High School staffer in what prosecutors said was a jealous rage was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Star Tribune reports.

Derrick Trevor Griffin, 41, was sentenced Friday for his convictions last month on charges of first-degree premeditated murder and first-degree murder in the May 2011 drive-by shooting of Kristopher Miller.

WCCO reports that according to authorities, on the evening of May 10, 2011, Miller was at Elk's Club on Plymouth Avenue with Griffin's wife, who was separated from Griffin. When they left the club around 11:15 p.m., she saw a white Cadillac parked across the street and said Griffin was stalking her. Miller walked her to her car, then went to his car and drove home alone.

Just a few minutes later, witnesses heard gunshots outside Miller's home at 1116 Irving Ave. and observed a white Cadillac drive away.

The Star Tribune reports that investigators used cellphone records, a bullet taken from Miller's body and surveillance cameras to trace the killing to Griffin, a onetime associate minister at True Vine Missionary Baptist Church.

Murdoch launches paper to replace disbanded tabloid

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Rupert Murdoch launched a new British tabloid Sunday to replace his disgraced News of the World, seven months after the best-selling Sunday paper was shut down over a phone-hacking and bribery scandal, CNN reports.

This "new" Sunday newspaper is not entirely new. The Sun, which is Britain's biggest selling newspaper, is now a seven-day operation instead of six.

Murdoch flew to London to oversee the launch of the newspaper and was at the printing presses north of London on Saturday night to see the first editions appear, USA TODAY reports.

According to CNN, the Sunday Sun launched with a print run of 3 million, far more than any daily newspaper sells in Britain, but well below the 4.75 million sales for the last issue of News of the World.

News of the World was closed down in 2011 in light of the phone hacking scandal that led disgust in the British community, USA TODAY said.

BP oil spill trial postponed

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The trial to determine civil liability for the April 2010 oil spill that was scheduled to begin in Louisiana federal court on Monday has been postponed, CNN reports.

The trial will be delayed a week, according to CNN.

Among the defendants are BP, rig owner Transocean, construction contractor Halliburton, and other firms associated with the project.

The thousands of plaintiffs include fishermen, hotel owners, and other Gulf Coast residents.

The Washington Post reports that District Court Judge Carl Barbier has allotted a total of 6 hours 40 minutes for 11 opening statements from multiple plaintiffs. More than 300 depositions and 72 million pages of documents have been produced, according to one lawyer involved in the case.

Due to its complexity, Barbier has ordered that the case be broken down into three phases.

The first phase will focus on responsibility for the accident itself. The second will address efforts to contain the spill and the exact quantity of oil released. The third phase will examine the response to the disaster and the clean-up effort.

The final payouts that BP and the other firms involved will owe in civil penalties and to the victims are still largely an open question. BP could end up paying roughly $17 billion in civil penalties alone, to go along with the tens of billions more that it will likely owe the victims, said Edward Sherman, a professor at Tulane Law School in Louisiana.

It is uncertain as to how long the trial will last. Pavel Molchanov, an energy analyst at Raymond James, said the case could stretch into 2014 before any appeals are taken into account.

Spot and Follows Analysis

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The initial article that the Star Tribune posted about the train-hopping tragedy is significantly different from the follow-up story they posted the following day.

The first story is short and contains only five paragraphs. The story includes the surface level details of the story; what happened (a 15-year-old boy was found dead near railroad tracks), where it happened (northeast Minneapolis), the time the police was called, the cause of death, and a statement from a representative of the railroad company. The lead

The follow-up story was posted the next day. It contains details regarding the victim's family, details about the victim himself, and details about what happened the night of the accident from the point of view of the boy's mother. The majority of this article revolved around what the mother had to say regarding the incident and her son in general.

The leads were different in the sense that the first one was more formal, stating the who, what, when, and where of the story. The lead of the second story was not a normal lead. It was more of an attention grabber for a profile story about the victim and his mother.

The second story advances the news by adding depth to the story by including details about the boy's family and the specifics of what happened leading up to the boy's death. More statements are included which give insight on the situation and allow the readers to understand what happened in greater detail.

The follow contains more emotion than the initial article, as the boy's mother expresses her grief about her son's death. The first article has no testimonies and is straight forward in conveying the details.

ESPN fires writer of offensive Jeremy Lin headline

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CNN reports ESPN has fired the employee responsible for writing an offensive headline about Asian-American NBA star Jeremy Lin. ESPN has also suspended an anchor who used the same ethnic slur, the sports network said Sunday.

The headline read "Chink in the Armor," referencing the New York Knicks' 89- 85 loss Friday night to the New Orleans Hornets that ended the team's season-high winning streak.

ESPN called both incidents "separate and different" in a statement regarding the comments on their website.

The statement on ESPN's website said "We again apologize, especially to Mr. Lin. His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN. Through self-examination, improved editorial practices and controls, and response to constructive criticism, we will be better in the future."

When asked about the issue, Lin said he did not think the headline was intentional.

"I don't think it was on purpose," Lin said. "At the same time, they've apologized. I don't care anymore."

Teen dies in train hopping incident

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The body of a 15-year-old boy was found near railroad tracks in northeast Minneapolis on Thursday night, the Star Tribune reports.

The body of Christopher Hanson was found less than two miles from where he lived in northeast Minneapolis, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.

Police were dispatched to tracks near 14th Avenue Northeast and Fillmore Street at about 10:20 p.m. after a railroad employee found the teen dead, police spokesman Sgt. Steve McCarty said on Friday.

The cause of death is multiple blunt force craniocerebral injuries, the Star Tribune reports.

WCCO News reports two of Hanson's friends were train-hopping with Hanson the night of his death. They were able to jump to safety, Hanson was not.

The night before Hanson died, his mother, Melissa Standal, said she talked to her son and his friends about train-hopping and how dangerous it was, according to WCCO.

Facebook helps Willmar cops arrest two suspects

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The Star Tribune reports that Willmar police used Facebook to help identify and arrest two suspects in recent thefts.

One of the thefts was a Jan. 25 robbery at Trav's Dino Mart. The other was a Feb. 8 robbery at Korthuis Jewelry in downtown Willmar, said the Star Tribune.

Police posted pictures of the suspects from security cameras on the Willmar Police Facebook page.

Police Chief Dave Wyffels says more than 790 people saw the postings, and they ultimately helped solve both cases.

The West Central Tribune reports the tactic proved to be so successful that police are considering using Facebook more often, Wyffels said.

Washington avalanche results in 3 deaths, more missing

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Three people were killed Sunday in an avalanche near a ski resort in Washington state, said King County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Katie Larson.

The Herald Sun reports that as many as eight are still missing.

The avalanche occurred at Stevens Pass, a ski area in the Cascade Mountains northeast of Seattle.

The deaths occurred in an out-of-bounds area near the resort, Sergeant Cindi West said.

All of the skiers were experienced and had the appropriate equipment, Larson said.

Heavy snow has fallen in the area recently. A post on the resort's website Sunday reported that more than 2 feet of snow fell overnight Saturday.

Officials say at least 40 killed in Mexican prison riot

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At least 38 people died during a prison riot in northern Mexico on Sunday, CNN reports.

The riot broke out early Sunday morning in Apodaca, Nuevo Leon, state security spokesman Jorge Domene said.

New York Daily News reports that the riot started in one cell block and spread to a second cell block. A guard was taken hostage during the riots.

Domene said at least 40 people died before authorities regained control of the prison a couple of hours later.

Worried families of the prisoners gathered outside the prison Sunday morning, demanding to know the status of the victims involved in the riot.

According to New York Daily News, deadly fights happen periodically in Mexican prisons as gangs and drug cartels stage jail breaks and battle for control of penitentiaries. Prison officials are often involved.

Analysis: Structure

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I chose this article as the focus of my analysis on the structure of a news article.

The reporter presents the information in a format which delivers the most recent updates at the beginning, followed by an overview of the main incident, and then proceeds to include information that is indirectly related to the underlying theme of the article (in this instance, information or news relating to hate crimes).

The main piece of news that the reporter is trying to initially convey to the reader is that one of the three suspects in the beating of a gay man has been arrested. After providing details about the suspect, the reporter jumps into a recap of the story. During this recap, the reporter includes the details of the attack (when, where, who was attacked). The facts are not presented in a chronological order, and they tend to skip around between details of the evidence the video provides and quotes from the victim as well as government officials. The article ends with a reference to a study on hate crimes, and a statistic about an increase in hate crimes from 2009 to 2010 is mentioned.

I think that the information in this article is presented in an effective manner. The most recent news (the arrest of the suspect) is at the beginning, which is what a reader who has been following this issue would want to know first. The reporter's decision to include the details of the initial incident that occurred about a week ago provides the readers who have not heard anything about the story with the background information that is crucial for the news of the suspect's arrest to have any meaning. The facts about hate crime studies toward the end of the article conveys the idea that even though this story focuses on the attack of one man, hate crimes are still an issue that need to be addressed.

I cannot envision an alternate way to structure this story. It delivers the information that is the most timely at the beginning, and from there the reporter traces information back in time to provide the reader with a broader scope of the main issue at hand. The article was clear and concise, allowing for a smooth reading experience. There is little to no confusion regarding the details of the story. I think that the structure of this article is sufficient, as it presents the information and message of the story in an efficient manner.

Whitney Houston's death casts shadow over Grammy awards

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Pop icon Whitney Houston died on Saturday at age 48.

Houston was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Saturday, where she was preparing to attend a pre-Grammy party.

The investigation of her death is expected to take weeks, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles County coroner's office performed an autopsy Sunday, but no official cause of death has been determined.

In light of the tragedy, the 54th annual Grammy Awards began with a prayer in memory of Houston. LL Cool J, the host for the Grammys, commemorated Houston at the beginning of the ceremony.

Unused Wi-Fi costs Minneapolis millions

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According to the Star Tribune, Minneapolis uses only a small portion of the Wi-Fi services that it is paying for.

Minneapolis' decision in 2006 to spend more than $1 million each year has proved to be less fruitful than what was predicted. A city report at the time said "laptops and handheld devices could be used in any room or area of City Hall without the need for tethered connections."

City Hall still remains a Wi-Fi dead zone and other intended purposes for the extensive spending, such as the ability to monitor the city's water meters, have yet to be placed into action.

City tech officials have made recent strides to boost future usage, but Minneapolis used only 11 percent of the bandwidth it paid for in 2011 anyway.

The city has been working to allow more city services to have access to the Wi-Fi. City police are finally receiving technology that maximizes the capabilities of the city's Wi-Fi. Police now have the ability to monitor remote cameras throughout the city.

Man killed at downtown Minneapolis hotel

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A 33-year-old man was shot and killed on Saturday at the Millennium Hotel, the Star Tribune reports. It was the city's first homicide of the year.

The crime is considered a rare occurrence for the hotel, police say.

Jeremy Robert Shannon of Minneapolis, died as the result of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Hennepin County medical examiner.

There were several witnesses to the shooting, police spokesman Sgt. Steve McCarty said. Shannon was pronounced dead at the scene.

A male suspect in the shooting fled to the Hyatt Regency Hotel across the street and was arrested without incident, McCarty said.

FOX 9 reports that the suspect is identified at 33-year-old Brian Vincent Green. He was booked into Hennepin County Jail Saturday morning on murder charges.

Griffin has a criminal history which includes multiple charges of assaults, drug possession, terrestic threats and recklessly discharging a firearm.

Mitt Romney wins Maine caucuses

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Mitt Romney narrowly beat Ron Paul in Maine's caucuses on Saturday, pulling in 39% in the polls. Paul came in second with 36%.

This win comes at a crucial time for Romney, who recently has suffered a string of losses that have taken momentum away from the campaign.

Republicans will not vote again until the significant primaries in Arizona and Michigan on Feb. 28, followed by Super Tuesday on March 6, when 10 states will hold elections.

The Star Tribune reports that Romney could not afford to lose again. For Paul, the future looks dismal. This loss serves as a sign that it is unlikely that he will be a threat to the leaders in the Republican race.

CNN reports that the most recent tactic of war used by Syrian government forces involves using civilian hostages as human shields by placing them on government tanks to prevent the Free Syrian Army from fighting back.

The spree of violence in Homs has lasted at least eight consecutive days. The Baba Amr neighborhood was attacked again on Sunday by President Bashar al-Assad's troops.

At least 23 people were killed Sunday, including a woman and two children, according to the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria.

According to the article, CNN cannot independently confirm details of the fighting in Syria because the government has severely limited the access of international journalists.

The al-Assad regime has ravaged Syria since it began almost a year ago. U.N. officials estimate 6,000 people have died since protests. The LCC says the toll has far exceeded 7,000.

The regime "is now assassinating and targeting anyone they suspect of joining the revolution or thinking of defecting," Free Syrian Army Col. Malek Al Kurdi said to CNN.

Al-Assad's regime has insisted its efforts are aimed at armed gangs and foreign terrorists bent on destabilizing the government. However, virtually all reports from within the country indicate al-Assad's forces are slaughtering protesters and other civilians.

The international community has repeatedly failed to convince al-Assad's regime to stop the massacre, so it's unclear what effect the Arab League talks could have.

Turkey called Friday for rapid international action to supply humanitarian assistance to the attacked cities in Syria, the Washington Post reports.

"We are talking about what should be done today," said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in Washington for discussions with the Obama administration.

The situation remains bleak, and it seems unlikely that the conflict will end in the near future, TIME reports. The rebellion is still resilient after a year of fighting, but there is little chance of foreign government intervention at this time.

Analysis: Attribution

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In this article, the writer gets the information primarily from a statement released by the Civil Aviation Administration of China as well as a press briefing involving Markus Ederer, the ambassador to China for the European Union. There is one direct quote included from the company's vice president, Chai Haibo.

The information is formatted clearly, and the statements from both companies are presented in a concise manner. The article is not confusing, as it is short yet summarizes the information in an effective manner. The writer arranges the article so that information between sources overlaps, allowing the story to flow easier. The reporter set up the attribution in the story so that the readers can trust the source of the information. It is clear where the information is coming from.

Giants defeat Patriots in Super Bowl... again

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The New York Giants scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to beat the New England Patriots 21-17, winning their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history.

Eli Manning led the Giants on a nine-play, 88-yard drive that ended on an Ahmad Bradshaw touchdown that won the game. Manning was named the game's MVP.

Bradshaw capped the winning drive with a 6-yard run up the middle. He wanted to stop at the 1-yard line to run time off the clock but fell backward into the end zone.

"It just feels good to win a Super Bowl. Doesn't matter where you are," Manning said, clutching the silver Vince Lombardi Trophy. "It's been a wild season. We had a great, tough bunch of guys who never quit, and had faith in each other. I'm proud of these guys sticking together."

This is the second time Manning has trumped Brady in a Super Bowl. They squared off in Super Bowl XLII in 2008.

Construction worker survives nail-gun accident

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A North Dakota construction worker unintentionally shot himself in the head with a nail-gun last week, the Star Tribune reports.

Jeff Luptak, 45, was working on a house when he accidentally triggered the nail-gun, sending a nail three inches into his skull.

The nail struck him at an angle that did not cause him any pain or blood loss. The doctors told him that if they left the nail in, it would rust and he would die. If they pulled it out, he would bleed to death.

Luptak was flown to the National Brain Aneurism Center at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul. Dr. Eric Nussbaum and a team of surgeons removed the nail during surgery and also repaired the damaged vein in two spots.

"He's one lucky fellow and somebody's looking out for him," said Dr. Nussbaum.

Dr. Tariq Janjua said the nail grazed major artery vessels. Luptak would not have been as lucky if the nail had entered at any other angle

A woman who was charged with trespassing during the Occupy Minnesota demonstrations last year will be paid $15,000 by Hennepin County as part of a lawsuit settlement, MSNBC reports.

Melissa Lynn Hill was issued a trespass notice on Oct. 13 for writing slogans in chalk on Hennepin County Government Center plaza. The county barred her from the plaza and Government Center property for a year.

In a federal lawsuit, Hill alleged that two days later she was arrested by a deputy sheriff while she was standing on the sidewalk adjacent to the plaza.

Her attorney, Jordan Kushner, sued Sheriff Rich Stanek, two deputies, a security officer, the county, and others associated with the county, alleging the county had violated due process and other Constitutional rights.

According to the Star Tribune, Hill says she feels "vindicated."

A county spokeswoman says the settlement was reached between Hill and Hennepin County, and the other defendants were dropped from the case.

An Alabama robbery suspect fatally stabbed a police officer in jail, escaped in a stolen patrol car and wounded another officer before he was killed, authorities said Friday.

CNN reports that Lawrence Wallace Jr., 24, approached the counter of a store with lighting fluid and a lighter and demanded money, said Ashley Rains, a Mobile Police spokeswoman. As the cashier tried to open the register, Wallace jumped on the counter and sprayed lighter fluid on the floor.

After being taken to Mobile's metro jail, Wallace managed to stab and kill Officer Steven Green and escape in a patrol car, police said.

Wallace eventually abandoned the car and hid under a home. He was shot and killed a short while later following a standoff.

The funeral for Steven Green will be held on Wednesday. Green served as a Mobile police officer since May 2010. The 36-year-old officer had a wife and three children.

Protests in Cairo ensue after deadly stampede

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Protesters faced off with police outside the interior ministry in Cairo on Sunday, according to CNN.

Protesters threw rocks at police, who retaliated with tear gas.

Tensions in Egypt have been escalating since the riot that occurred at a soccer game at Port Said on Wednesday, which lead to the death of more than 80 people. According to BBC, the governor of Port Said resigned on Thursday.

Protesters nationwide are demanding that the government take steps to make reforms and improve security. At least 40 have been arrested in the protests.

"Egypt is facing a dangerous situation that is not simple to deal with," Deputy Interior Minister Gen. Ahmed Gamal El Din said in a statement Sunday.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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