March 30, 2009


The obituary of Archie Green uses a standard lead. It opens with the name of the person, a few identifying facts and characteristics as well as when and where he died. It also included that he was 91-years-old in the simple "he was 91" format.

The reporter used sources such as the Library of Congress, his son Derek, Pennsylvania State University as well as several other collegiate institutions. These sources were used to correctly to describe him as the ambitious union activist and folklore loving man he was.

This obit differs from a resume because it does not list every one of Green's accomplishments throughout his life. Instead, the reporter picked two specific topics and used them as his angle in the obituary.

March 9, 2009

Weekly Analysis: Event Coverage

I chose to read an event advance in The Post Bulletin that reported on McCartney and other headliners preparing to perform at a benefit concert in New York on April 4.

Two sources used in the story include the Radio City Music Hall and David Lynch Foundation in which the benefit is being held for.

The reporter chose to focus on the fact that popular stars such as Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder, Moby and Bettye LaVette are performing for a benefit foundation.

The story gives details regarding the foundation's mission statement as well as their current actions. Details about the event are also included but are not the main focus of the article.

March 1, 2009

Meeting/Press Conference

I chose to look into a public meeting concerning drilling operations in Bradford county, PA.

Turning a public meeting agenda into a news story requires putting the pieces of dry information together to make it as smooth and coherent as possible.

The author of "CHK Chesapeake to Hold Public Meeting" chose to put the "when," "where," "what," and "why" concepts into the lead.

The author also did further research in order to obtain quotes from the meeting. As well as combining the raw information with details from the meeting, the author of this news story put a few sentences of background information into the news story.

I feel that by adding the additional information the author was able to turn a public meeting agenda into a compelling news story for a public audience.

February 23, 2009

Spot and Follows Analysis

I am looking at a series of stories concerning the wildfires in Australia. On Feb. 10th, the headline read "Australia Police Confirm Arson Role in Wildfires." The next day was "Australia Fire Toll Could Exceed 200."

The main news summarized in the first article was that arson has been determined in at least one of the fires. The second focuses on the fact the the death toll could be more than expected.

The second story advances the first by re-capping the previous days news and adding to the urgency of the situation.

The fires in Australia are one of the most the most talked about international news of today so the follow-up piece is definitely a response to a report from a competing news source. Additional sources and interviews have been used to shape the second story.

February 15, 2009


The news story "Man struck, killed by train in St. Paul" written in The Star Tribune uses the classic "upside down" model of news reporting.

The reporter has ordered the events to be put most important to least important. He tells when where and what happened in the lead and goes on to tell the suspected age of the victim. Other details including that he was already on the tracks and that foul play is not suspected was also included in the following paragraphs.

I believe that this is an effective approach for a news story of this sort. Few details are known at the time but the ones that are were structurally sound within the story.

The only thing that I believe would have made the story a bit stronger would have been to put that the name of the victim has not yet been identified early in the order of the story. I think many readers would be curious to see that bit of information, or lack there of.

February 9, 2009


Death Toll in Australian Fire Climbs to 108

Six different sources are used to complete this news story in The New York Times. The sources include a police spokeswoman, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, hospital officials, two local residents and a news media report.

All of the sources are evenly spread throughout the story making the article concise and coherent. The source appropriately provides enough detail to each paragraph.

The attribution is different for each source, for most of the people, the attribution is put in between their quote. For news reports and hospital officials, the attribution followed the paraphrased information.

I believe that the reporter used each source effectively and in a style that was neither dull nor confusing for the reader.

February 1, 2009

Week One: Leads

"MAYFIELD, KY. -- Gov. Steve Beshear deployed every last one of his Army National Guardsmen on Saturday, with his state still reeling after a deadly ice storm encrusted it this week."

This lead works to recap a news story that was reported earlier in the week while also starting with the most recent updates.

The news elements that are used in this lead include:
Who: Gov. Steve Beshear
What: deployed every Army National Guardsmen
When: Saturday
Where: Mayfield, KY
Why: to aid the state following a deadly ice storm

The elements of this lead that are more detailed include "who," and "what." Both of these details are most important to lead a follow-up story such as the one above.

The most general element of this lead is the "why" aspect. It is briefly stated that an ice storm hit in the Midwest but there are no specifics such as exact location, severity of the storm or total number of victims.

This lead is used to cover hard news so the reporter followed the standard "who, what when, where and why" pattern.