This news blog is an educational exercise involving students at the University of Minnesota. It is not intended to be a source of news.

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In As Firearm Ownership Rises, Florida Gun Murders Increasing the reporter leads with a gun death story before using numbers which makes the dive into more numbers smooth.
The amount of gun murders is then released from 2011 and 2012 with a percent increase between the years included.
At the bottom of the story an interactive graphic that appears to be just a graph comparing the number of murders in Florida by firearms across the years brings up the the exact number of deaths. This is helpful because then the reader doesn't have to have estimated number by where the line marks with the numbers on the graph.
The reporter would have to know how to plot a spreadsheet and enter each record in the cells and then slice the pop-ups in a web editing program to provide the exact number of deaths when the mouse goes over the each part of the graph.

The article covers the American Indian Community Development Corp.'s proposal to turn two buildings at Fort Snelling into a K-12 charter school and an outpost of the Leech Lake Tribal College (link here).
The lead references how to American Indians the land that the government calls Fort Snelling's Upper Post is known to them as the Upper Bluff. This is substantive because it shows their attachment to the land past just a simple need for space.
The article puts it into context of the history behind Fort Snelling but really doesn't compare it to what it means to the American Indians.
The reporter references Roxanne Gould, co-chair of the charter school's board with her saying, "The Dakota people had always hoped that land would be returned to them," The Star Tribune reported.
The reporter also wrote that Gould said the school would be called Bdote, a Dakota word referring to the convergence of rivers.
The reporter makes sure that the importance of Dakota and Ojibwe history comes across as just as important as history like Dred Scott.
The article doesn't go very far to move into something substantive, but instead does it lightly and centers around the land.

In the Associated Press's article about Portugal's continuing spending cuts they use numbers to tell the story by talking about money, percent, and time. Most of the numbers are not overwhelming especially when money is mentioned because I think those amounts are easy for people to grasp. The only time it's a little over whelming is when four percentages are given in the same paragraph. It makes sense but its just too many numerals.
It doesn't really seem that the reporter crunched numbers as much as only reported them. They took amounts from different years and put them next to each other and future predictions.
No direct sources, just mentions of events and cases when there was an amount of money or percent to measure.

Analysis: Richard Griffiths obituary

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The obituary of Richard Griffiths from the Associated Press uses Agent Simon Beresford as a source for the cause of death. The reporter also uses Beresford as a quote admiring Griffiths. Nicholas Hytner, artistic director at the National Theatre is quoted and used because he worked closely with Griffiths professionally. Daniel Radcliffe is also used as a source for closely working with Griffiths during the Harry Potter movie series.
A standard obituary lead is used, it begins with his name, followed by a notable fact about him, and then his age.
The news value to this story is immediacy and prominence because its reported the day after his death and he is a celebrity for Harry Potter fans and a popular stage actor. \
This obituary is different from a resume because it indulges in his accomplishments instead of just listing them. It is also sentimental because it has quotes from celebrities complimenting Griffiths.
The obituary does not go into a background before his professional accomplishments. It does say who Griffiths is survived by.

Analysis: Karzai's televised speech

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In The Associated Press article about Afghan President Hamid Karzai's speech on Sunday shows good use of quotes, paragraphs that back up or explain quotes, and use of information outside the speech to offer a point of reference.
The reporter leads with Karzai's accusation and then a following paragraph of what Karzai specifically gave an example as. The next paragraph is quote which gives a voice to Karzai and reiterates what was just reported in Karzai's own words.
The reporter then offers background information about Karzai being known for using public speeches as a tactic, citing past speeches about Karzia threatening to join the Taliban.
The article goes on for a few paragraphs of U.S. responses to the speech and what the Afghan government said about the speech. The reporter takes a break from Karzai's speech for awhile to explain how others feel about it.
The article then continues to show other specific examples Karzai used in his speech.
The reporter really goes beyond the event by covering what Karzai has said in the past speeches and finding other comments in reaction to the speech. The reporter does a good job of structuring the article by giving the right piece of information to make the facts flow. Each fact block seemed to fall into place even though the story told was not chronological.

Analysis: O.C., California shooting

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The Los Angeles Times followed the O.C. shooting with many follow-up stories providing more information about the event and about Ali Syed, the shooter.
In a story published Tuesday (link here) the story leads with general information beginning with the police looking for Syed and then describing the event.
One of the following stories that published was published Wednesday (link here) goes into information about Syed. The lead assumes that the reader has prior information and begins by calling Syed by name and describing him as a video gamer. The structure was a bit confusing because even though the lead was very guided, the information provided after was the general events of the shootings. A paragraph later in the article gives a short brief about how Syed was a video gamer. The content provided doesn't really deserve the specific lead and headline "O.C. killer an obsessive video gamer.
The Tuesday article is much more oriented and provides the specific events of the shooting. After some information a links are provided for people who are not up to speed with the change of amount of information about the story.
The Wednesday story hardly advances the story and is only there to bait the reader by teasing that they found more information about Syed. The Wednesday story gives people who do not know about the shooting an overview and those who already read the Tuesday story a tiny bit of information about Syed.

Analysis: Pope Benedict to resign

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In CNN's article, "Too tired to go on, Pope Benedict resigns," the author uses a "martini-glass" structure to report the story of Pope Benedicts coming resignation.
The article begins with a strong lead stating that the pope is the leader of "1.2 billion Roman Catholics" (link here) and that he announced his resignation because of his old age.
The article continues with fact blocks containing information about his age, the Catholic world's response, replacement and how the new pope is elected, respectively.
After those fact blocks the article goes straight to the stem of the "martini-glass" structure. The information after pertains to the given subheads, "Benedict's legacy," "Praised criticized for actions regarding sex abuse," and "World, Catholic leaders express surprise, admiration." After the most important news was already covered, the reporter gave some more broad information not about his resignation but instead about his life.
Like a pyramid structure, any of the information after the breaking news of the pope's resignation could be cut and the reader would not miss any current events.
This reflects the importance of putting the most important information at the beginning so it is the first thing that the reader sees.

Analysis: Water line break floods downtown St. Paul streets

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In The Associated Press's article, "Water line break floods downtown St. Paul streets," the author names two sources which are also named. One source immediately follows the other. A short paraphrase from Rick Larkin is followed by information attributed to Rick Larkin. The rest of the quotes are from Larkin. When the sources are first introduced the reporter begins the paragraph with their name, position and then what they said. After the first introduction to the source the reporter goes attributes in the middle of quotes and at the end of quotes. It would be more effective to attribute at the end of the paraphrase or quote so the reader's first glance isn't a name or position but a piece of information. The attribution still remains somewhat effective because the reporter justifies the quote by stating the two sources are professionals who have useful information to offer. The quotes after the first introduction to sources are effective because the reporter get the attribution out of the way with a simple, "Wagner said" (link here). After a few attributions of "Wagner said" the reporter uses "he said." This is effective because after the reader has seen only one person be attributed for a while they know who the quote should be attributed to. This might be an unsafe assumption to direct the reader towards but once the author goes back to quoting Larkin he clearly attributes him.

Analysis: Teen pleads guilty to shooting death of 5-year-old

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In the Pioneer Press's article, "Minneapolis teen pleads guilty in shooting death of 5-year-old," the author does not use a straightforward hard-news lead but instead chooses to hook the reader by shocking the reader with a teen going to prison.
The author provides who, what, and when in a detailed format and excludes where and how for later. By providing detailed information the author was trying to hook the reader by providing enough information to keep reading. The author writes, "Unwilling to gamble on spending the rest of his life in prison..." (link here). The author captures the reader's attention by using the word "gamble" and the mention of prison. The author goes on to mention it is a teen which makes it all the more interesting. The author writes at the end of his lead that there was a "hail of bullets" (link here) as the 5-year-old slept. The author could have presented the information by stating that the boy was hit by a oncoming bullet as he slept. Again, this is to create a more captivating story to keep reader's interest.
Although the author is specific with his choice of words, the information provided is general. The age of the teen is omitted from the lead as well as which gang he is from. Where he admitted to his role and where the shooting took place is also absent. Both names are excluded from the lead. The author excluded this information because it would make the lead too dense and could be provided later in the article. By being vague the author also compels the reader to keep reading.

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