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Multimedia comparison analysis

by Maddy Hughes
The models for the multimedia sections of The New York Times and The Washington Post don't have any immediately discernible differences, in fact they seem to be pretty similar.

Both include photos as slideshows one can click through, with one line above the photos giving the theme or event that the photos are based on. On the side are tiny descriptions (cutlines) of each photo.

Both have more photos than anything else, and the videos and audio slideshows are listed to the right of the photo albums. The Washington Post also has an interactive feature just like the one in The Times, with a map that can be clicked on and moved listing events and their dates, on their places on the map. Information is given underneath the photos or videos.

The Post also includes an interactive feature advising on how to buy better groceries, with buttons for all the nutritional information of commonly bought items, a place where you can add food to your cart, and then a list that you can print for yourself to bring to the real grocery store.

The Times has some variants of the click-on map as well. There are features, which are videos that give thorough run-downs of events in the news, shorts, which are videos looking into the matter with more intimate and isolated situations affected by the event, and "moments" that are slideshows. There are numerous topics listed above the area where the media shows, and each topic has information from all of this media. Both of the sites' interactive media are not as obvious as the videos and photos.

Structure in article on uprisings in Arab world

by Maddy Hughes
This article in The New York Times addressing the numerous uprisings among Arab states as of late delivers the story through a narrative-like structure, beginning with a mini-anecdote about the exchanges between Tunisia and Egypt amid the Tahrir Square protests.

After the first paragraph the author puts the introduction into context, explaining the larger picture to which it related: youth from Arab states are joining together to fight for democracy in places where they haven't usually gotten it from their governments.

The mention of the position of Hosni Mubarak's son in relation to his father's removal from the presidency comes at the right point because it paints a picture of the results of these countries' collaborative efforts.

For the most part, the rest of the article is chronological in its recounting of historical events that focus around the theme of unity in revolt. The article reads smoothly because of the concise background information given in the beginning, which is just enough to set the background but also dive into the phenomenon as it came about over time.

Attribution in a piece on the Wojnarowicz controversy

by Maddy Hughes
This story from the Wall Street Journal, which focuses on the misunderstandings of the David Wojnarowicz film "A Fire in My Belly" that was taken down from the National Portrait Gallery in November (and later restored) attributes many sources, probably a necessity considering its goal of clearing up confusions and providing a clearer picture of the piece's background.

The sources are not clustered together, but mentioned as they come up in different points made about the film's story. This is a better method because the names are not confusing, and clearly relate to different ideas.

The first source is introduced with a short graph preceding his quote. It reads, "The people closest to the artist's estate say..." Shortly thereafter, the article attributes another source clarifying the context for "A Fire in My Belly." The author notes that this source was Wojnarowicz's partner at a time.

One source, "Messrs," is mentioned without any introduction, which is confusing. But the two sources attributed in the beginning are quoted time and again for the rest of the article, each time with a "Taylor/ Rauffenbart said" following.

The article consists of many quotes, and at the end it is noted that a new source replied via email. This source's words are not in quotes.

How news lead in The Guardian addresses riots in Egypt

| 1 Comment

by Maddy Hughes
In the opening sentence for The Guardian's main story about events in Egypt, the writer gave a short summary of the basic message of the article.
If a reader were to come to this page and only read the opening sentence, they would know that most of the action was occurring in Cairo, and what the action was (the conflict ensuing between protesters and officers).
By the second sentence, they would understand the reason for these events.
The lead was written in bold type, as was the case with beginning sentences of fact blocks for the rest of the piece.
The bullet points made the format of the lead unusual because it resembled the form of a reporter's notes as they were witnessing an event.
The lead worked well to engage the viewer directly and immediately; this is a perfect example of a good hard news lead.

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