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Analysis: Speech

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The New York Times story on a Feb. 15 policy speech by Obama can be found here.

The reporter chose to focus her story on President Obama's policy speech in Chicago turning personal, as it is Obama's home state.

The lead was about Obama's personal comments and stories he made throughout his speech. The story then focused in on gun violence and the reporter mentioned the story of the teenage girl who was shot in Chicago a few days after Obama's inaugural parade, which the shooting victim participated in. The victim's parents were sitting in the crowd, the reporter said, and when Obama recognized them the reporter said there was an awkward applause.

The rest of the story was focused mainly on Obama's talks of gun violence, which was obviously the reporter's angle. I think the reporter did a good job of weaving in background information about gun violence, quotes from the president, and the crowd's reaction.

Analysis: Follow-up stories

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The two respective stories are from Pioneer Press. The first story can be found here. The follow-up story can be found here.

In the first story's lead, the author wrote that the Maplewood police were looking for a man possibly connected with the death of an unidentified woman. The second story's lead identifies the stabbing victim as 16-year-old Anna Lynn Hurd of North St. Paul. The two stories were written by separate reporters, which I thought was strange.

The first story was quite short and it stuck to the facts of what the reporter was told by the police at the time. The second story, however, described the attack in more detail, stating that Hurd was stabbed several times by the unknown suspect.

The first story noted that the police were looking for a male who might have been involved with the death, but the follow-up story notifies readers that the police said the person of interest described earlier is no longer in question and they do not call him a suspect.

The Pioneer Press did a good job of following up on this story with more details and facts, but I think it would have been stronger if the first author wrote the follow-up story because he probably knew the background information and he was already in contact with the police officer cited in the two articles.

Analysis: Story progression

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This story in the Chicago Tribune can be found here.

In this news story about two men being arrested for the shooting of a Chicago girl, the author begins with the newest information (the arrest) in the lead and also adds an interesting anecdote: The Chicago girl was shot the same day her younger sister went to see President Barack Obama speak on gun violence.

The author then goes into the details of the arrest and the shooting in the next three paragraphs, where he includes the "who", "what", "when", "where" and "why" of the story more thoroughly. The author is very concise in his graphs, which helps the story flow.

I thought the author did a good job of telling the story of the shooting and the individuals being questioned while also adding information about the gun control speech. The gun control angle made the story more interesting and gave it more substance. It didn't seem like the author just threw in things about the gun violence speech; he did it in a way that flowed from one angle to another.

Overall, the author positioned the facts and information in the story in an effective way. I wouldn't change how the author arraigned the information, but it would have been nice if he would have gone into more detail and made the story into more of a feature about gun violence.

Analysis: Attribution

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This article can be found here.

In the Associated Press article, "3 Dead in Copter Crash on Calif. Reality TV Set," the author used nine different sources to complete the story.

The sources named include a Los Angeles County Fire dispatcher, a Discovery Channel spokeswoman, a statement from the Discovery Channel, a statement from a production company, a spokesman for FilmLA, "Records", a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, the Polsa Rosa website, and Internet Movie Database. Four of the sources are from specific people and a few are from Internet websites. There are also statements from companies used to cite information in the article.

All of the individual sources are clustered together within the story, which is OK but the author should have used quotes from certain sources, such as the Discovery Channel spokeswoman, in different areas within the article. For example, the story could have ended with a strong comment from the Discovery Channel about the helicopter crash deaths.

The author did a good job of properly citing all of his sources and providing titles with the names or companies, but he did cite one piece of information from "records" without specifying what record it was. Overall, the author used many sources, which helped complete the story, and provided clear titles for sources.


In a New York Daily News story, reporter Victoria Cavaliere wrote about a photograph where President Barack Obama was firing a gun. This was made news because the president is currently trying to tighten the laws on gun control.

The lead read: "Gun control is more than a political issue for President Obama."

A news lead is supposed to answer the "who", "what", "when", "where", and sometimes the "why", of a story. This lead only answers "who" and a bit of "what". This lead lacks detail and is much too general and vague. I don't see how this lead fits into the story, either. The story was about President Obama's released photo of him shooting a gun in the midst of all the current news on gun control. This lead did not give any insight to that, and it really did not make much sense. In this case, the author was attempting to catch the reader's attention by keeping the lead short and sweet. However, I don't believe she succeeded because it was vague and misleading.

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