February 2011 Archives

Analysis: Multimedia

By: Andrew Krammer

In comparing the New York Times' and MSNBC's multimedia features, I found that the features offered are often similar.

For instance, the New York Times has slide shows that incorporate visual images that tell the story a way print could not. MSNBC does the same thing, using images with short news-related captions to tell the story.

The writing that accompanies these slides is usually short and precise. The first sentence usually tells of what the reader is viewing, the second simply adds context and facts to the progressing story.

The New York Times also offers other interactive map and graph multimedia options that allow a reader to get involved in aspects of the story that they otherwise could not.

One dead and one arrested after a Brooklyn Park house fire

By: Andrew Krammer

A 54-year-old Brooklyn Park man has been arrested after police found a dead woman and a fire inside a home early Saturday, Kare 11 reported.

Police said they were responding to a request to check the welfare of someone inside the split-level house in the 6200 block of 70th Avenue N., the Star Tribune reported.

Two children were found in the home, unharmed, and when firefighers were called to put out the fire they found the woman's body.

The cause of death and the relationship between the two is still unknown.

Boeing gets contract worth $35 billion from Air Force

By: Andrew Krammer

Boeing has received a deal from the Air Force to build 179 aerial refueling tankers, CNN reported. These tankers allow the military to refuel aircraft in mid flight, which extends the range smaller craft can travel.

This contract will create tens of thousands of jobs in the states of Washington and Kansas, where the bulk of the work will be done, MSNBC reported. The only competition for the contract came from the North American unit of EADS, which owns Airbus.

"(This contract) represents a long overdue start to a much-needed program," Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said.

The fleet being replaced is from the Eisenhower era, with delivery dates ranging from 1950 to 1965.

By: Andrew Krammer

The world's largest mud volcano, which first erupted back in May of 2006, is expected to keep erupting for another 26 years, BBC reported.

At its peak, the volcano was spewing 180,000 cubic meters of mud a day, which is 40 Olympic-sized pools, FOX reported. Thirteen people were killed and a total of 13,000 families were left homeless after the volcano "Lusi" erupted in Sidoarjo, East Java back on May 29, 2006.

There was a provisional estimate in 2008 as to how long the volcano would erupt, but there have been significant improvements in the methodology since then, Richard Davies, a geologist from Durham University's Department of Earth Sciences, said.

"Also, for two or three years there was a lot of debate about what caused it," he said.

By: Andrew Krammer

A Texas hacker has admitted to stealing more than $250,000 from a subsidiary of an e-commerce company Digital River Inc., based in Eden Prarie, the Star Tribune reported.

Jeremey Parker, 26, of Houston, pleaded guilty Wednesday in St. Paul federal court to wire fraud. From December 2008 through October 2009, Parker hacked into the computer networks of Digital River and stole $274,000, KARE 11 reported.

Parker also admitted to hacking into two NASA computer servers on Sept 24, 2009 that supported access to data being sent to Earth from satellites gathering oceanographic data.

Ford recalls 150,000 F-150 trucks, possibly more

By: Andrew Krammer

Ford Moter Co. announced Wednesday that it will recall almost 150,000 F-150 trucks, from the 2005 and 2006 model years, in the U.S. and Canada due to a potential airbag problem, ABC News reported.

The 150,000 trucks is but a small fraction compared to the 1.3 million trucks the government auto safety regulators asked Ford to recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the power to force Ford into recalling the remaining vehicles it asked for, but the safety agency is currently reviewing Ford's plan and will decide if it's adequate.

Ford said the mistake occurred at its Norfolk, Virginia plant, where poor assembly could cause an airbag wire in the steering wheel to short circuit, MSNBC reported.

Analysis: Spot and Follow

By: Andrew Krammer

In my waiting till Sunday to look at which Analysis needed completion, I'll be analyzing Rep. Gabrielle Gifford's story and its progression.

In the progression of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford's story, the reporter updates the information, but does not change the individual fact blocks that much. The reporter simply adds new fact blocks and arranges them as needed.

The main difference noted in the information from the original to the update, is that immediatley Giffords was reported as dead when that was not verified properly. As the updates came in, the information that she was dead was given with a citation of where it came from.

Other details became more clear as time went on, specifically where she was shot, who else died and her medical status.

By: Andrew Krammer

A 2011 Kia Optima, silver with tinted windows, was parked under the hoop in the Staples Center on Saturday afternoon. That was the scene moments before Blake Griffin won the NBA's midseason dunk contest, SI reported.

Griffin won with a dunk over the hood of the Optima, as a gospel choir sang at midcourt, ESPN reported. This unorthodox performance was almost unfinished as Griffin struggled on his first few dunks and competitors like JaVale McGee impressed judges by dunking into two baskets at once. Other highlights included a Serge Ibaka dunk, that happened only after he snatched a stuffed animal from the basket with his teeth.

Even with stiff competition, Griffin's jump over a car and dunking an ally-op thrown from the sunroof proved to be too much.

More than 300 pounds of marijuana seized in Sherburne County

By: Andrew Krammer

More than 300 pounds of marijuana was seized Wednesday after Sherburne County sherrif's investigators arrested five men from Texas who were trafficking it, CBS reported.

A five-month investigation led the Sherburne County Sherrif's Office to 313 pounds of marijuana, worth around $500,000, at a Big Lake Township residence, the Star Tribune reported. The residence had been allegedly used as a holding place for the distribution of the marijuana, police said.

Israel Benavidez, 47; Cesar Valdez-Gonzalex, 46; Felix Martinez-Garza, 41; Martin Garza, 40; and John Wisdom, 27, all of Texas, were all charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance.

12-year-old boy dies in Duluth skiing accident

By: Andrew Krammer

A 12-year-old Wisconsin boy died Friday after a skiing accident with his church group at Dultuh's Spirit Moutain, the Star Tribune reported.

The boy was found around 4:15 p.m. by Spirit Mountain Ski Patrol officers, who called police and attempted to resuscitate the boy. According to police the boy was not breathing and had suffered "obvious trauma."

The officers found the boy lying halfway down a ski run near the tree line, the Grand Forks Herald reported.

He was taken to the Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:50 p.m.

Japanese stop Antarctic whale hunt after temporary halt

By: Andrew Krammer

Japan has stopped its annual Antarctic whale hunt prior to the seasons' end, BBC reported.

Japan stopped the hunt after repeated "harassment" by U.S. activists behind the name the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, MSNBC reported. The hunt was temporarily halted last week, but has been permanently stopped for the year.

Last week the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society chased the Japanese fleet's mother ship, which caused the temporary halt.

In 1986, commercial whaling was banned in Japan, but they have since used a regulation that permits the hunting for scientific research.

By: Andrew Krammer

A Florida man told police Wednesday that the body found in his pest control truck is that of his daughter, CNN reported.

Jorge Barahona, 53, also faces charges of aggravated child abuse for injuries to his son, who was found inside of the truck, KXAN reported. The boy was doused in an unknown acid by his father, police said.

Barahona's truck was found Monday along Interstate 95 near West Palm Beach. Barahona was found next to the truck with severe burns, police said.

The 10-year-old girl found dead is the twin sister of the critically injured boy, both of which were adopted through florida's foster care system.

Barahona said the burns were self-induced from a failed suicide attempt.

Analysis: Structure

By: Andrew Krammer

In an article by CNN, an NFL lineman has been charged with assault in the northern Virginia area.

The reporter structured the information in the inverted pyramid format, providing the crucial details first. As the story progresses, the information given is less important to the reader.

The article starts with the news, the assault charges, and follows with the details of the charge. The reporter provides both sides of the story, but leaves the defendant's side for the end of the article.

The ordering of the information is effective, the reporter gives the reader the most important information first. The only debate could come when questioning the positioning of the defendant's side in the article. Haynesworth's agent is quoted, but it doesn't come until the second to last paragraph.

By: Andrew Krammer

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is investigating Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion after 100 people reported becoming sick after leaving a fundraiser there earlier this month, KTLA reported.

The guests were attending an event at the Playboy Mansion as a part of the annual DOMAINfest Global conference on Feb. 3, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Within 48 hours of leaving the mainsion, many attendees had reported coming down with many symptoms including fever, respiratory problems and violent headaches.

The trend was noticed when many started tweeting and posting their symptoms on Facebook.

St. Louis Park teenager to claim insanity in Iowa killings

By: Andrew Krammer

A St. Louis Park teenager who is charged with killing two convenience store clerks in Iowa will use the insanity defense, the Star Tribune reported.

Michael Richard Swanson, 17, faces two counts of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in a shooting on Nov. 15 that left two clerks dead, the Des Moines Register reported.

Swanson will face trial for the death of Sheila Myers, 61, in Humboldt County and for the death of Vicky Bowman-Hall, 47, in Kossuth County.

Swanson's attorney, Charles Kenville, withdrew a motion to move the case in Kossuth County to juvenile court because last month a judge denied the same request for the case in Humboldt County.

By: Andrew Krammer

A new, $18 million roof for the Metrodome has been approved Thursday by the building's landlords, NBC Sports reported.

The landlords voted to replace the stadium's destroyed roof with a new 10-acre cover of Teflon-coated fiberglass, the Star Tribune reported.

The 30-year-old facility may be getting an $18 million roof, but the expected time frame for completion is six months. This puts into question the Vikings' chances of playing all of their exhibition games there.

Pressure from heavy snowfall collapsed the roof back in December, and engineering firms have been judging whether or not repairing it is possible since then.

Hawaii pilot spots injured whale from above

By: Andrew Krammer

A humpback whale, with an apparent broken back, was spotted by a Hawaiian pilot Monday, CNN reported.

Gerry Charlebois spotted the injured whale from the air during a whale watching flight, Time reported.

"This is one of the most disturbing sights I've ever experienced while photographing whales," Charlebois said.

The whale hasn't been seen since Monday, but a large boat must have struck the whale, Charlebois said. The whale was spotted in shallow water near Kauai, off of the Hawaiian coast.

Charlebois takes student pilots/tourists for excursions around the Hawaiian coast and said he would continue to search for the whale in the near future.


65 zoo animals froze to death in a northern Mexico zoo

By: Andrew Krammer

A 5 degree Fahrenheit temperature early Saturday morning left 65 zoo animals dead in northern Mexico, CNN reported.

Parrots, crocodiles and peacocks were among the victims of the icy cold front at the Chihuahua Zoo in the city of Aldama, the Huffington Post reported. The weather knocked out the power to the zoo, causing all the heaters to stop working. The night crew turned on the gas heaters, but did not know the gas lines had frozen.

The dead animals included: one Capuchin monkey, 14 parrots, 12 snakes, three crocodiles, five iguanas, 10 peacocks, and 20 hens. Those deaths represented about 10% of all of the zoo's animals.

Analysis: Attribution

By: Andrew Krammer

In an article by the Star Tribune, a fraternity house shooting in Ohio killed 1 and injured 11.

The reporter used many forms of attribution, sourcing police officers, the university's president, medical staff and neighbors. In the story, the reporter spread out the sources by role of importance in the situation. The local police came first, followed by medical staff, YSU's President, then the neighbor.

All of the sources the reporter used were people and were attributed in a "said name, title" format. The reporter's use of attribution is effective in this article and is well spread out by how critical the person's view is on the crime.

In no way is the attribution confusing since the reporter stuck to a minimal four sources on the story and kept them spread out through the article.

Maplewood apartment fire sends 1 firefighter to the hospital

By: Andrew Krammer

A kitchen fire in an eight-unit apartment building in Mapelwood had firefighters from four east metro cities helping to put it out, the Star Tribune reported.

Police were called to the Maplewood Gardens Apartments around 9 p.m. Saturday night, Kare 11 reported. The two people in the building escaped without injury, but a firefighter was hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

Along with the Maplewood firefighters, fire departments from Oakdale, Woodbury and St. Paul were present.

The Red Cross arrived to aid those impacted by the fire as well.

83-year-old Hopkins man arrested with 4 pounds of khat

By: Andrew Krammer

An 83-year-old Hopkins man was arrested Thursday for having more than 4 pounds of the illegal drug khat, the Star Tribune reported.

The man was allegedly selling the khat, pronounced 'cot', out of the trunk of his car in parts of south Minneapolis, Valley News reported. Khat is a dried plant popular in East Africa that gives its users a euphoric high when chewed.

"Khat has become an increasing problem for Minneapolis police, and the 4 pounds the man had was an unusually huge amount," Minneapolis Police Sgt. Steve McCarthy said Friday.

A 20-year-old acquaintance of the man saw him selling out of the back of his car and called 911, McCarthy said.

Principal fatally shot by janitor in Northern California

By: Andrew Krammer

The principal of an elementary school in Northern California was fatally shot Wednesday, CNN reported.

Principal Sam LaCara, 50, was killed at his elementary school in Placerville, California, which is about 50 miles east of Sacramento.

John Luebbers, 44, was arrested at his home just an hour after police launched a manhunt, Yahoo reported. Luebbers was a janitor at the school and is believed to have had some dispute with the principal regarding employment, but the situation is still unclear.

No students were harmed during the incident, although one is believed to have witnessed the shooting, police said.

Four people arrested after Bangladesh girl was lashed to death

By: Andrew Krammer

Four people have been arrested in connection with the death of a 14-year-old Bangladesh girl who was publicly lashed, BBC reported.

The punishment was given under Islamic Sharia law after the young teenager was accused of having an affair with a married man, the Digital Journal reported.

A village court of elders and clerics passed the punishment of 80 lashes, the girl's family members said. She was taken to a hospital after the incident, but died six days later.

Among the four arrested, one is a Muslim cleric.

Steelers' Polamalu wins Defensive Player of the Year honors

By: Andrew Krammer

The voting is done and the people have chosen Troy Polamalu over the other favorite, Clay Matthews, for The Associated Press 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, the Huffington Post reported.

Pittsburgh safety Polamalu received 17 votes, as Green Bay linebacker Matthews received 15 votes, out of the 50 media members who regularly cover the league, ESPN reported.

Polamalu went on to become the sixth Steeler to win the award, despite missing two games this season with an Achilles injury in his right ankle. Polamalu had seven interceptions and 63 tackles this season, leading his team with many big plays.

Now the two can settle the final score on the ultimate stage of the Super Bowl, as Green Bay faces Pittsburgh on Feb. 6.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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