Main

December 2, 2007

CAR Analysis

I found a story using the Extra! Extra! link recommended by you in our guide.

Here is the link to the When Seconds Count story.

This story was about how ambulances are taking a long time to respond and arrive to reach the victim's at their homes or places of business.

A reporter did an investigation to track it and then reported on it. The number were actually quite shocking and a lot of the victim's and their family members reported in the story were upset.

The reporter looked at more than 70,000 EMS response time records and tracked them all. You can tell he used CAR for this story as he looked in the county's database for the records, which was stored electronically.

He then needed to analyze the numbers mathematically. I'm assuming critical thinking came into play in doing so. He needed to analyze it so he could write it for his readers to understand in a clear and simple way.

I'm also assuming some sort of spreadsheet software (Excel) was probably used in analyzing the data and figuring out the mathematical aspect. The reporter had to be efficient enough to use the spreadsheet software and whatever other programs were used in doing a full analysis.

A lot of numbers were used in the story and many figures were reported. The reporter, at the very least, had to possess some basic math skills.

November 4, 2007

Diversity Analyses

I read a story about foreign-born maids and how they are brought over to the United States to serve middle and upper-class Americans. To me, this deals a lot with cultural, ethnic, and racial diversity. All these women are being taken advantage of because they come from poor backgrounds, a different culture and all of them are of ethnic descent.

Many of the women are beaten by their employees, sexually harrassed, and some even forced to sleep in closets. All of them are extremely underpaid and overworked.

The story does move into something extremely substantive. It is written with great detail and really makes the reader feel for the women the writer is writing about. It describes their backgrounds, their work environment, and the abuse that they receive. It explains the appearance of the women being interviewed and what has been done so far to change this issue.

I know this story probably isn't the typical story for a racially diverse group but I just thought it was really interesting and in its own way, fits into the category.

October 28, 2007

Numbers blog

The story I chose to analyze the ways news uses numbers is in regard to the First Lady of Argentina winning the Argentinean presidency.

Many numbers are used in this article and they're primarily used to explain the voting polls. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had to win by 40 percent with a 10 percent lead over her nearest rival. The story mentions percentages probably four times and with different groups of numbers. It also discusses percentage points in numbers as well. Also, it states that there were 12,700 polling stations open late for the people to vote. It also gives several different dates to explain previous elections and past political issues. It also says there are 21.7 million people that are required by law to vote.

The numbers were a little overwhelming and was a little difficult to follow because there were so many. I had to read it three times so I could really understand the magnitude of the situation. It could have been easier if there weren't so many numbers, maybe the writer could have left some out; I don't think all of them were really necessary. The numbers definitely helped the writer to tell the story more effectively and the math was minimal. The numbers helped to the readers to understand what was going on and why as well.

The sources were primarily the electoral officials. Also, I think with polling numbers it's just more credible because you can look them up anywhere. They are pretty publicly known. The sources were not listed completely, if not at all.

October 21, 2007

Obit blog

The news obituary that I chose to look at was Senator Paul Wellstone's. He was a MN senator. I read his obituary from the New York Times.

To my surprise, his obituary was extremely long; three pages, 1965 words. It was written by David E. Rosenbaum.

The lead was not a traditional. It didn't offer the standard what, when, why, how. In my opinion, the lead could have been written better. Being he was a senator, I wouldn't expect the standard lead you would most likely see. I would expect some creativity. The first sentence was this: "Paul Wellstone often seemed out of step." It wasn't very catchy for me and I had no idea what the writer was trying to say; maybe that was the point, I don't know. The lead didn't work for me personally.

Sources in this obituary varied. Many quotes from other senators were included and a lot of quotes of Paul Wellstone himself were used as well. A lot of information was given about him, but little attribution was present simply because he was a well-known man. Most facts or information could easily be confirmed.

An obit differs from a resume because a resume is just facts. For most new stories, that's a good thing. For an obituary, I think it's important to capture the essence of the person, especially if they are a well-known person or public figure. It should captivate meaning and offer something more than just facts about the person. Loved ones often times cut obituaries out of the paper and keep them forever as a remembrance of that person. I just think it's necessary to be creative when writing obituaries making them special.

October 14, 2007

Blog on meeting/press conference

I couldn't find a news report about a pubic meeting or a press conference by a governmental organization. I looked at three websites and was unable to locate a story that covered any of the above. I usually do the blogs on Sundays, which could be why I had no such luck, but I want to be sure to make deadline so instead I thought I would write a paragraph regarding the issue (hopefully I can still receive full points).

When sitting in on an important meeting, you're going to have to pick and choose what elements you want to include when writing your story. Everything on the agenda isn't going to be mentioned. You have to find the news value of the meeting and go from there. I would include who was at the meeting and any important background information surrounding the issue. I would also be sure to write down any odd facial expressions or gestures from any of the participants in the meeting. Sometimes what you see becomes apart of the story. And I don't think that following the chronology of the meeting would be of best interest. I'd tell the readers what's important and why it's important to them.

October 7, 2007

First day/follow story analysis

I looked at two different stories regarding the latest beef recall. One story was written on Oct. 4 and the other one, the following day. Both stories were published in the New York Times.

The leads differ in that the stories are both taking on completely different directions. The first story lead explains that lawyers are suing Topps Company, who had the beef recall. The second story explains that the United States Department of Agriculture didn't respond to the recall quickly enough and that they're taking speedier methods in future recalls.

The first story went into detail about the different cases that had arised from the recall, giving specific details about the people involved and the exact situations that occurred.

The second story was more about the technicality of the recall, what E. Coli is, and why exactly the recall had occurred. It went more into detail about the timeline of the recall. It just gave more specifics than the first story, probably because more information was obtained the next day. It also explained what states the lawsuits were happening in. The second-day story was not a response to a report from a competing news organization.

October 1, 2007

Structures

The story I chose to analyze for this analysis is the Favre story.

The reporter wrote the story very effectively, I thought. When writing about sports, I think you have to be careful how the information is placed. I don't know for sure but I think there's a different structure for it. Anyways, the writer stated all the very important information right away in the first few sentences. She states that Packer's quarterback Brett Favre broke the world record, how he broke it, and that the Packers led in victory during Sunday's game. That was the story in a nutshell and the reader knew just by reading the first few lines. Then the reporter goes on to tell the order of events of the game against the Vikings sort of following a chronology. She included many sources and quotes from players that helped tell the story. Some of the quotes really added drama and meaning to the story and made the reader feel excited for Favre and his team. I think how the story was written was effective and good decisions were made. It obviously should have started with the most important facts up front right in the beginning, then a mini play by play of the big game, then follow-up with some quotes, sources and information about what's going on with the Packers (their goals, victories, plans, etc.). It could have been written differently. The reporter could have written the beginning sentences differently. She/he could have created a scene for the reader before diving right in to the hard news. She could have not included a detailed play by play of the game and could have chosen her sources and quotes differently. The drama aspect could have been left out but I think it was a good idea to add it.

September 25, 2007

Attribution

The story on President Bush and the children's insurance bill was the story I choose to focus specifically on attributions. This story has a number of sources, but not as many as I thought. A lot of the facts stated in the story aren't backed up as to who said, or where the facts were found because they are easily accessible facts, such as public records or knowledge that is easily understood after researching the story.

President Bush is the main source and receives several attributions in regards to thinks he said as well as direct quotes. He is sporadically mentioned throughout the entire duration of the story. I think this was good because it presented the story with great credibility. Everyone knows who the president is and everyone knows that what he says is mostly true and isn't made-up.

A governor was also attributed and cited as a quote as well. The governor was in opposition of Bush's statements and made the story more interesting to have it included.

The writer is effective in using all the sources he/she had and correctly attributed as well because they are very clearly to the reader. Well, for me anyways. There were also attributes to groups of lawmakers, and the democratic and republican parites (very general and broad).


*Note to GG: This entry did not meet Sunday midnight deadline due to technological problems either with my computer or the website, but I went in and added it anyways. Taken into consideration when analyzing my final grade for course.

September 16, 2007

Leads Analysis

A 14-year-old boy was in surgery at Regions Hospital in St. Paul after he was hit by a vehicle while riding his bike to school, said Lt. Brian Sturgeon of the West St. Paul Police Department. -Star Tribune

I think this lead does work for the story. It gives most of the facts up front leaving the reader with minimal questions as to what the story is about. Several news elements are sated in the lead; such as Who? (the 14-year-old boy), Where? (St. Paul), What? (hit by a vehicle), The only element that is missing is the When? There is no day indicating when the event happened. I think the writer should have definitely included this as it is a pretty important element. The lead also does give other interesting facts that the reader would probably want to know, which is why the day might have been left out. The writer obviously thought the fact that the boy had surgery and was in the hospital was more important. I do, however, think the day should have been included anyways.

Aside from the day not being stated, I think the lead works. It's very factual, informative, giving detailed descriptions of the event. It doesn't go too into detail which is a good thing as you are supposed to give specific details after the lead.