Recently in Analysis Category

Analysis: Computer-assisted reporting

By: Andrew Krammer

For my analysis, I chose an article by an Ann Arbor news organization that reports on increased Radon levels in their city hall's basement.

The article discusses how Radon levels that are 'far above amounts posing cancer risks' have been plaguing the basement of Ann Arbor's city hall for many years. The reporter had to use computer-assisted reporting to look up city records and find out how long ago this problem dates back to.

The reporter was forced to not only look up city hall records, but investigative records on multiple other organizations that had alerted city officials of the problem years ago. Records dating back to the early 90s showed absurdly high readings of Radon, but were ignored.

The reporter also utilized records to find his interviewees, who were people that filed multiple complaints and even moved their offices from the city hall's basement.

Analysis: Numbers

By: Andrew Krammer

In an article by CNN, a reporter writes of a recent poll done on the average American's IQ when it comes to our federal budget.

The reporter waited until the sixth paragraph to place a number in the story, this allowed for more context to be given to the reader before they are flashed with numbers.
The reporter also does an effective job of using numbers in different ways, for instance: "One in five think it represents about 30 percent of the money..." By using 'one in five' the reporter avoids the repetitive use of percents.

There are many numbers thrown at the reader in this article, but since it is so long, the reporter does a very good job at stretching the numbers out throughout the story to keep the reader from being overwhelmed.

The poll was conducted by CNN and the details of the survey are listed at the very end of the article.

Analysis: Obit

By: Andrew Krammer

In an obituary done by the New York Times, a reporter covers the death of Geraldine A. Ferraro.

In a death that likely has no controversy surrounding it, the reporter chose to source Ferraro's family on the cause of death: complications from blood cancer. Since Ferraro's fame came from her political career, the reporter also chooses to source fellow female governors as well.

The lead captures Ferraro's most iconic moment in her career, her Democratic nomination for vice president in 1984; being the first woman to do so in American history.

This obituary captures what Ferraro did for women in politics across America, claiming she took the "men only" sign off the White House. This differs from a resume in that it gives context and an encompassed view of her political life, not just a list of awards.

Analysis: Meeting

By: Andrew Krammer

For the analysis, I chose a press release about a meeting by the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee and its coverage.

The reporter covering the story chose to write of the most important issues of the meeting, interest rates with and between banks. The reporter cut down the rough language of the press release and instead sacrificed compacted writing for explanations of governmental jargon.

The reporter also adds context to the meeting, noting which member voted against which policy action and how many times he has in the past. As the coverage continues, the reporter adds more context and gets farther and farther from the actual meeting.

By leaving the meeting coverage at the top of the article, the reporter places the news worthy information first. Then by adding context, the reader doesn't have to know anything about the situation and they can still get a basic understanding.

The reporter also avoided the 'positive' things the press release mentioned immediatley, instead focusing on the problem that the meeting meant to address.

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.

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.

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.

Analysis: Leads

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By: Andrew Krammer

In an article by CNN, a reporter has written a story about a mother who killed her teenaged children for being "mouthy".

For the lead, the reporter had to lead off with the notable part of the story, the suspect's motive. A mother killing her children because they were mouthing off gives a novelty aspect to this story, one that the lead should define.

This lead is also a hard-news lead, it leads with the action: two children being killed, and displays proper news writing.

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