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January 27, 2007

Winter Carnival gets warm reception

The St. Paul Winter Carnival started this weekend and the Pioneer Press chose to make it a big story. This event is covered in more of a feature or soft news manner because 1) it is on-going and 2) it is annual. The P. Press lede follows suit by focusing on the individual story of a team of snow sculptors and thier Winter Carnival experience. The lede does not reveal much about the story. It makes no mention of the what, the why or the how. The lede does give a who and a when but both of these are very personal and specific references, since it is a feature piece.

Thousands protest war

Both the major papers covered this protest march in Washington, DC.

Interestingly, both papers also appear to have used the same (or very similar) Associated Press articles detailing the event. Although both the P. Press and Strib use the same information and follow the general same format, their ledes differ in style and content.

The P. Press lede focused mostly on the who (who the marchers were) and also touched on the why (why they decided to march).

The Strib lede touched on the who but not in as much detail. It also explained the why, when and what in more detail than the P. Press lede.

Death after Iraq

This story, although some may consider it to not be news because of its personal details, is about a Marine from New Prague who committed suicide after returning home from Iraq. He attempted to check himself into the VA hospital in Minneapolis but was told he was 26 on the list of veterns waiting for admission.

The best part of this article is the subhead, in my opinion, because it reveals that coming home from war isn't happily ever after for many young veterns.

The lede in this story re-emphasizes this point without revealing how the Marine died. It is an example of a feature-style lede because it does not detail the 5 w's and instead chooses to start with an anectdote. This lede works because it foreshadows the tragic end and also leaves the Marine with some dignity by saying he was "a U.S. Marine to the core."

Interestingly, the story was only covered by the Star Tribune.

January 26, 2007

MN troops rescue torture victims

Another story covered in both major market newspapers today was the involvement of Minnesota National Guard in rescuing three torture victims in a house near Fallujah, Iraq.

Both the P. Press and the Strib started their lede's with mentioning the Minnesota National Guard. This is important in Minnesota, obviously, because it is a hometown connection to the story.

Both ledes mention the three torture victims discovered in the house. Neither gives any detail as to who these people are or how long they had been there.

Both ledes also paint the gruesome picture of the scene by saying the walls were bloody. However, the Strib takes this point further in the lede by also detailing some of the weapons used to torture the victims. The P. Press does not mention these details.

Community protests neo-nazi event

Both the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune picked up this story for today (Jan. 26). Both pieces focus around the community reaction and outcry against a planned neo-nazi book burning event that was schedualed to take place somewhere in the Twin Cities today.

However, with a focus on ledes for this week, the two reporters chose different ways to tell this story.

The P. Press used a striaght-forward approach that outlined the who, what, why and where in the one-sentance lede. The nut graph then further explains the who and where, while introducing the when.

The Strib, on the other hand, picked a human-interest lede. Their lede uses a Holocaust survivor to lead (ha ha ha) into the who, what, where and when. This is not as hard-hitting as the P. Press's lede, but has the ability to pull the reader into the story.