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January 28, 2007

This Marine’s death came after he served in Iraq

By Kevin Giles
Star Tribune, Saturday, January 27, 2007

Although the headline hints at the outcome, the lead of this top story takes the tone of foreshadowing, since it isn’t until the fourth paragraph that the reader discovers the Marine committed suicide. The story concentrates on Jonathan Schulze’s struggle to live a normal life after returning from serving in Iraq. His inability to be admitted to the VA hospital is explained bye his surviving family members and told in pictures.

Death Of Traumatized Minn. Marine Came After Iraq
(AP) Stewart, Minn.,, Jan. 27, 2007

The AP version of the Marine’s story that was covered on WCCO-TV Friday night included details of a particularly distressing combat event Schulze suffered in Iraq, and also included the personal detail that the Marine left behind a young daughter, Kaley Marie. This version also includes his family’s claim that Schulze didn’t get the help he needed to survive, whereby the Star Tribune article only seems to imply that statement.

Thousands Protest Bush Policy

By Michael Ruane and Fredrick Kunkle
Washington Post
Sunday, January 28, 2007

Tens of thousands of protestors led by some celebrities (Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Jane Fonda, Rev. Jesse Jackson) marched on the Capital in Washington, D.C. to push Congress to take action against the war and to urge senators to oppose the Bush administration’s plan to send additional troops to Iraq.

Fonda leads army of celebs at anti-war rally
By Adam Nichols
Daily News
Sunday, January 28, 2007

The New York Daily News chose to lead this story by mentioning “Hanoi Jane? Fonda as attending her first anti-war demonstration since her controversial anti-Vietnam protests 34 years ago. The rest of the article highlighted quotes from three Academy Award winners, previously mentioned Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon, along with Tim Robbins.

This tabloid-style newspaper seemed to be more celebrity-oriented with its war protest coverage as opposed to the Washington Post’s more thorough news coverage on this topic.

January 27, 2007

Blair Aide Arrested in Honors Probe

By Mary Jordan
The Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, January 20, 2007

Another aide of Prime Minister Tony Blair was arrested in connection to the ongoing criminal investigation that the Labor Party traded seats in the House of Lords and other government honors for cash. Representatives for Scotland Yard explained that although Blair is the first sitting prime minister to be questioned in a criminal inquiry, that it is in the capacity as a witness rather than a suspect.

Later in the story it is made clear that both the Labor Party and the Conservative Party are being investigated in this scandal.

The London Telegraph said that Scotland Yard has uncovered a “paper trail? leading right to the prime minister in the “cash-for-honours? investigation. Detectives believe that a hand-written note by Tony Blair shows that Downing Street intended to give peerages to major lenders to the Labor party’s 2005 election.

It is my opinion that the media in London take consider this ongoing scandal to be more important than our papers in America do. Although this might make sense since the United Kingdom is a distant proximity to us here in Minnesota, I believe the prominence of Prime Minister Tony Blair being so closely related to a scandal tied to Downing Street should be covered in America’s news.

Hibbing college puts football program on hold

By Richard Meryhew and James Walsh
Star Tribune, Thursday, January 25, 2007

Consistently poor academic results of students recruited to play football at the Hibbing Community College caused college officials to suspend the football program indefinitely. They plan to recruit students with the intent to increase diversity instead of for football prowess.

Later in the story a point other than poor academic performance is made as to another possible reason for this move: a string of incidents and crimes involving football students during recent years.

Meanwhile, Hibbing’s local newspaper got right to the point by putting the word “suspended? in the headline. The paper also included information about a public forum where citizens weighed in on the decision with the majority of those who voiced an opinion in favor of continuing the football program.

The local paper concentrated on the poor academic performance as being the reason for the suspension. There was no mention of any other possible reason for discontinuing the football program, such as the crime incidents brought up by the Star Tribune.

January 25, 2007

Boy, 4, put off school bus; but why?

By Joy Powell
Star Tribune, Thursday, January 25, 2007

A 4-year-old boy was stranded for at least an hour on a St. Paul street Monday, after he was already on a school bus heading for school. For some reason, the bus driver put the boy off of the bus instead of taking him to school.

The reporter chose the Delayed Identification Lead and never did actually name the child or his family. This could be to protect his privacy, or because the reported may not have been given that information.

The article did not disclose much information at all about the incident. It must have been a challenge for the reported to report on a story that was newsworthy, but didn’t offer many facts for the reader.

Since KMSP-TVwas cited in the article I chose to use that report as a comparison.

The online article not only offered more identification detail such as the boy’s name, Nicholas, it identified his mother in an interview, Blia Vang.

The online article named the boy, Nicholas, but the did not mention his last name. It did mention the name of another mother talking about her two toddlers and had a photo of them.

It wasn’t until I watched the sidebar video that I discovered the children pictured in the print article and their mother who was interviewed, Latrice Harris, were not the boy and his family. Later in the video a short interview clip identifies Nicholas’ mother, Blia Vang. The boy is never shown.

I feel the KMSP-TV reporting was misleading. It is my opinion that TV news offers more personal identification details in their reports than corresponding newspaper articles do, and that was the case with this story. I feel that identifying the young boy’s first name, his school and his mother’s full name was unnecessary and possibly dangerous to the boy’s safety.