Analysis: Attribution in Story about a Sexual Assault and Robbery at U Fraternity

A story by the Minnesota Daily about a sexual assault and robbery at a University fraternity house is an example of good attributing in a short news story.
Four different sources are used in the story including: the police and official police reports, the crime alert issued by the University, the victim's friend, and the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life coordinator. The victim's friend, Sarah Knutson and the OFSL coordinator, Chad Ellsworth, are attributed by name in the story.
The sources are grouped throughout the story ("police reports said" in first two paragraphs, "Ellsworth said" in fourth, fifth, and sixth paragraph, "police said" in seventh paragraph, "Knutson said" in eight, ninth, tenth, and eleventh paragraph, etc.) and almost every paragraph has an attribution.
The paragraphs with the most description of the incident come from Knutson, the paragraphs with the legalities of the U's Fraternity and Sorority policies come from Ellsworth, and the descriptions of the official police reports come from the police records and the crime alert that the University issued.
The reporter sets up the attributions of Knutson and Ellsworth by giving a brief description of who they are and why their role is in the case.
The reporter uses "according to police" and "Knutson said" fairly often throughout the story and the attribution almost always is at the end of each paragraph.
I think the way this reporter set up his attributions is very effective because they provide the reader with a logical flow throughout the story and keeps the different bits of information from overlapping one another and becoming confusing.

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This page contains a single entry by humme060 published on September 26, 2010 8:58 PM.

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