Recently in Notable and Analysis Category

Analysis: Computer-assisted reporting

I found a story about the White House visitor logs from www.nicar.org--the EXTRA! EXTRA! link.

The reporter used statistical computer skills to do this reporting because they needed to look at the White House visitor records requests and figure out in what way the visitor logs are incomplete or if they look incomplete in any way contrary to what the Obama administration says about them.

These are necessary computer skills for the story because it is a lot of data from a pretty long time period and would be extremely difficult to go through without the help of a computer.

The story also has a live data feed from whitehouse.gov, and that extra feature is another computer skill that the reporters had to have been aware of to produce this story.

Here is the link to the story: White House visitor logs riddled with holes

Analysis: Cultural group story

Voodoo, an anchor, rises again

I found a news story from the New York Times website about voodoo focusing on Haitian-Americans, who have the biggest concentration in New York, and how people respond to the religion v. what the religion does for the followers.

I think that the reporter definitely moves beyond the stereotype of the voodoo religion in the way that he explains how voodoo has empowered many Haitian-Americans, especially after the devastating earthquake that shook Haiti and destroyed a lot of the country.

The description at the beginning of the story about the voodoo wedding, the quotes from Jack Laroche and the voodoo scholar Dowoti Desir, and the previous data about the crime that happened in New York in connection to a voodoo ceremony definitely move the story to something very substantive.

This is an analysis for a public blog, analyzing a story that was written by a male reporter from the New York Times.

Analysis: number use

Number use story

I found a news story from the Los Angeles Times website that reports on multiple studies in connection to a new heart valve replacement procedure. The reporter used the number of how many Americans develop aortic valve stenosis each year. Then the percentage of how many people are effected over the age of 65, and reported that in a trial of one of the studies, that the median age of the patients was 83.

The numbers are not in anyway overwhelming because the reporter really chose the numbers carefully and used them effectively to tell the story. The reporter did use some math to tell the story and paraphrased some results, for example "Strokes and minor strokes were about twice as common in the minimally invasive group, and vascular complications such as bleeding or need for repair were about three times as common." That is much more concise and reader-friendly compared to if the reporter used every figure for every result.

The sources of the numbers come from multiple studies, all of which were funded by Edwards Lifesciences.

Analysis: news obituary

I focused on the obituary of Geraldine A. Ferraro, whose claim to fame was being the first woman to be nominated for national office by a major party.

The sources that are used in her obituary range from her family, to Ann Richards (who first handedly experienced the time when Ferraro was nominated and what that meant for women politicians), to President Barack Obama and also includes other notable politicians.

The lead is not quite standard as it more so paints a picture of a prolific moment in Ferraro's life, but also includes what was most notable about her as a female politician. I think the lead completely works because it gives specificity but also only focuses on her political accomplishments and not her life as a mother or in another type of role.

The obituary differs from a resume in the sense that I do not get a list from the reporter about her accomplishments and when she accomplished what. I think that the information is presented in a way that really shows Ferraro's impact on the political world and future politicians.

Link to the obit

Analysis: Press conference coverage

This story from Winona Daily News covers a press conference that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker held on Tuesday at Colgan Air Services in La Crosse. The agenda for this press conference is what Walker will do for local governments and schools once his budget repair bill is passed, and his budget is enacted.

In comparison to the agenda of this press conference, the news report illustrates how Walker's bill and his proposed two-year spending plan will directly affect state employees using percentages and specific numbers. Walker is trying to get support for his budget from people of the state Legislature but this audience would react differently than say if state employees were the audience for this conference.

The choices that the reported made in crafting the news story is that they put the most newsworthy information first. The most important aspect to take from Walker's press conference is that his budget would cut more than $1 billion from state aid that goes to local government and school districts. The reporter made the choice to focus on more of what his budget would actually do if passed than what he said it would do during the press conference.

Analysis: multimedia options

The New York Times features pictures of the day, videos and interactive maps/graphs. A good example of an interactive graph on the NY Times website is a chart they put together that profiles all the countries that are involved in some sort of political upheaval. They attached articles about each country, what people are saying on Twitter, a map showing where the country is located and facts about the current leader. All the writing that goes along with the interactive features is incredibly concise but still gives enough information to understand the story.

The LA Times also has a photography and video section on their website and like the NY Times, the writing is very concise but informative. The LA Times sometimes incorporates a little bit more background information to go along with the picture, but for the most part both news organizations use the same style of writing.

The main difference between the two sites is that the NY Times incorporates their interactive features a little bit more into the main content than the LA Times does.

Analysis: Protester clashes in Libya

The Los Angeles Times reported on the unrest in Libya and published an article on Feb. 19th. The lead in this story talks about how Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi responded to the protesters by deploying troops, and mentions the number of reported deaths known at the time the story was published.

Story 1
Story 2

The lead in the second story released by the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 20th differs in that it talks about both Libya and Yemen, and how both countries developed similar situations, both with protesters being killed.

The main news in each article is summarized with the most important information first, focusing on how the government reacted to the unrest and the fact that people were killed by the different security forces.

The second story advances the news by making a connection between Yemen and Libya and their current situations, which were influenced by neighbors Egypt and Tunisia.

The second-day story is not a response to a report from a competing news organization, even though the NY Times released articles about Libya's situation at the same time. If anything, the first-day story tried to compete with the NY Times because it was constantly being updated with new facts. The second-day story was more developed and gave deeper information.

This story about Obama's budget proposal that he will present on Monday, from the Los Angeles Times, organizes the most relevant information that the U.S. citizen will be most interested in.

The first paragraph summarizes the challenge of creating a budget plan when there is a Republican dominated House. The story unfolds to describe how Obama will have to argue his budget blueprint to win the support of the Republicans who want deep cuts in programs.

The reporter organized the article to first articulate how his budget proposal that he presents on Monday, will be received from politicians in oppositions. This is effective because any national decision on budget cuts will affect how the economy runs, and in turn how many jobs will be created.

It could have been organized differently but it would not be as effective because the most important aspects are: how the Republicans react to the proposal, what the proposal entails, and how the proposal will affect the economy. That is exactly what the reporter focused on and it worked very well.

Analysis: first lady to focus on restaurant nutrition

The New York Times reported on this story that focuses on Michelle Obama's ambitions to eliminate the child obesity epidemic within a generation, through promotion of exercise and healthy-eating.

She now looks to restructure certain aspects that pertain to the restaurant industry.

This story uses around 12 sources and the sources that were identified were specific people who were quoted directly. The sources were scattered throughout the story, lending more credibility and development to the article as a whole.

The quotes were from specific people and the information as well came from credible representatives, from companies that are involved with the first lady's future plans.

I found the attributions in this story to be very effective because the reporters set up the facts, and then they directly supported them with logical attributions.

For example the reporters talk first about how she persuaded Congress to encourage schools to incorporate more healthy foods in the lunches, and lawmakers to have restaurants print nutritional information on menus. The attribution that follows is from Lanette R. Kovachi, a corporate dietitian for Subway, and she effectively comments on Michelle Obama's tactics that were mentioned a sentence before.

This story idea was spurred from all the recent coverage in regards to the Obama administration's formal stance on the Defense of Marriage Act, and the two new federal lawsuits that threaten to define that stance.

The news lead in this story by the New York Times works because it incorporates prominence and impact, involving the Obama administration, and conflict, portraying the different decisions the administration faces.

The prominence is detailed in the news lead because it involves President Obama's administration. Also the impact is detailed, showing that the administration has been on the fence and now is forced to decide due to the new lawsuits.

This story's lead generalizes the timeliness news element because it is not as important as the impact of what the same-sex marriage lawsuits imply.

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