Recently in Analysis Category

Reporters found that the White House visitor logs have a lot of missing data in an iWatch News story.


The reporters would have had to do some extensive research on the online White House visitor log and found the missing information.


Looking over hundreds of thousands of log entries must have been extremely time consuming and aggravating.


The reporters did not use many other documents for the purpose of this article, but the amount of information found in the White House visitor log, and the lack of information found in the visitor log, provided most of the information needed to write the story.


The computer-assisted reporting was necessary for this story because the records were found online and the reporters would have had to be extremely careful in the examining and interpreting of the records they found.


The reporters would have had to find the gaps in the visitor logs themselves and found the oddly high numbers of junior aid visits and what the underlying cause of this is and why it is important.

Analysis: Numbers

In the CNN article, "'Widespread cracking' found where hole opened on Southwest jet" features a lot of number throughout the article.

The article is about an aircraft that was found with a large hole in the cabin. Numbers were used to describe altitudes that the plane descended to, the amount of aircrafts being grounded, measurements, time, ages, and passengers.

A lot of numbers were used throughout the article, but they were spread out enough that it did not overload the reader with too much information.

When a reporter is faced with so many facts and figures, it can be easy to just put number after number on the page, but the wire staff of CNN knew that too many numbers would challenge the reader.

The wire staff was also sure to repeat some of the important numbers in the article, such as the altitude descent and the number of flights that were cancelled as a reminder to the readers.

A lot of information came from a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, who was a primary source for this article. Passengers also provided the wire staff with numbers, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration.

Every time numbers were used throughout the story, the wire staff cites where they got the information from.

Overall, numbers were used very effectively for the story and were necessary for the context of the story.

Analysis: Obama news release

A Wall Street Journal story was written about President Barack Obama's Weekly Adress .


The story focuses on Obama's request for compromise between Democrats and Republicans in Congress so that an agreement can be made on the 2011 budget and to keep the government funded for the whole year.


The story contained more factual information than Obama's weekly address, because Obama's address had more generalized information, such as when he said the unemployment rate was going down.


The Wall Street Journal story gave specific numbers, saying that the unemployment rate decreased from 9.8% to 8.9%.


The reason why the WSJ story had more specific factual information was because Obama's address was too generalized because it was written in the form of a speech than just the facts.


The reader needs more information than Obama gave, as well as an opposing opinion, which the Wall Street Journal had. This is to give the story a greater sense of neutrality on Obama's issues.


The Wall Street Journal also found the most important information of Obama's address, such as his willingness to make more spending cuts, so that the reader gets a clearer view of what Obama was trying to get across.


The Wall Street Journal story didn't use too many quotes from the address either, because it made for a better story to paraphrase and use quotes from Obama sparingly for emphasis.


Overall, the Wall Street Journal story was able to get Obama's point across, give more important factual information and show the point of view of his opponents. This makes for a better story than if they simply reiterated what Obama said in his weekly address.

Analysis: Multimedia of "ABC News" and "Star Tribune"

The multimedia options of ABC News and the Star Tribune websites vary greatly, primarily because they are two very different types of news outlets.


ABC News has a wide range of multimedia options, such as slideshows and video coverage. The news outlet also provides accompanying written news stories that are full news stories.


The reason for the many options for ABC News could be because not only is ABC News a broadcast news outlet, but it is also a national news outlet, which gives ABC News a lot of options that a smaller, print-based news outlet has the capacity for.


The Star Tribune also provides many multimedia options, such as audio, video, photo galleries, and news graphics with accompanying text.


The Star Tribune does have an impressive multimedia selection for being print-based, but the outlet probably decided that taking advantage of internet technology is one of the best ways to keep their audience from moving on to more broadcast-oriented outlets such as ABC News.


One thing that Star Tribune might want to increase is their multimedia options with their written stories online. They could accompany their stories with more video, audio, graphics, and photo galleries instead of strictly a news story.


This is one area where ABC News has the upper hand, because just about every written article on their website has an accompanying video and other multimedia options. This is, of course, because ABC News has much more video coverage because it is a broadcast organization, but the Star Tribune might have to do more to keep up.

Analysis: Spot and Follow for Libya

The Associated Press story on the current turmoil in Libya is an update of an earlier breaking news update.


The original update was very simple, with only a few short graphs summarizing the speech that Gadhafi's son gave in a nationally televised adress that warned of a civil war that might arise in wake of the sid-day protests.


One primary difference between the original update and the follow up is the lead. The original lead stated that protestors have taken over some military bases and tanks. The possibility of a civil war wasn't mentioned until the second graph.


The follow up, however, made Gadhafi's son's mention of civil war the lead for the story, because the writer must have changed her mind on what aspect of the story was most newsworthy. The first and second graphs seemed to have switched in the update.


The follow up also goes into greater detail on Gadhafi's son's speech, which mentions that the death toll has been exaggerated, placing the death toll at 84 instead of 209.


Although the Human Rights Watch placed it at 174 through saturday and hospitals have counted over 200 deaths since the protests began.


Gadhafi's son also mentions that they are willing to negotiate some current restrictions and the possible creation of a constitution.


The follow up clearly has a lot more important information that advances the news in many ways. It shows that Libyan leaders are possibly willing to negotiate.


The follow up is clearly important, because the original update did not give us enough facts. It was written in a brief style to get the news out as quickly as possible while the follow up was written to give the readers the details.

Analysis: Structure of "Ham Lake couple died as they lived"

The structure of the Star Tribune story of an elderly Ham Lake couple who died in a fire is not written in a classic hard news story because the fact that the couple died in a fire in their home was not mentioned until the third graph. Instead, the lead and the second graph were used to establish the relationship between the Ehrnreiters.


The third graph is being used as the nut graph because the reader needs the crucial information by at least the third graph if the reader is going to continue reading.


The story continues with factual information on the death of the couple for the next few graphs before focusing once more on the couple and how their neighbors and friends felt about them.


The emphasis of the story is clearly more focused on the lives of the Ehrnreiters rather than just the fact that they died in a fire. This is effective because a couple dying in a fire might not quite register as newsworthy in itself, which is why the article is written in a feature style more than strictly hard news.


The story could have simply focused on the hard news aspect of the story, but it seems to be more effective as it stands.


The story is mainly structured around stories about the 93-year-old couple and how they cared for each other to elicit an emotional response from the reader.


The writer sets the tone of the article through the feature structure. This shows that the important information in this story not only the hard news elements, but also the emotional elements.

The attribution for the Wall Street Journal article utilizes a wide range of sources.


Quotes were used sparingly when attributing sources, primarily to show point-of-view, such as when a business man calls Wael Ghonim a hero and a leader of a revolution.


Oftentimes though, the article simply paraphrases sources when it is simply information, like what Ghonim has done as an activist. It's important information that must be attributed, but not necessarily quoted.


A wide range of sources were used for this article, such as family members of Ghonim, business associates, organizations, US officials, researchers, and even Ghonim's personal Facebook profile.


Most important information within this article was attributed carefully. It does a good job of telling the reader where the reporters received their information.


The reporters also acknowledge when people declined to comment on the issue, such as when US officials declined to comment in this article or that Egyptian authorities haven't released information on Ghonim.


The article utilizes sources from beginning to end, attributing well over a dozen sources. This is important for this article because there is important information and the reporters needed to do much research and interviewing for the purpose of the article.

The lead for the story by the Star Tribune is a classic example of a hard-news lead.


The lead covers the most important elements of the story, with the first being who the story is about, a missing University of Minnesota student. The name wasn't made clear because the person involved does not have prominence, so instead they used an identifier (missing U of M student).


The "What" of the story was included as well, which was how the police have discovered the missing student's body.


The "Where" of the story was also included, because where the body was found, in a boxcar in an industrial area near the TCF Bank Stadium, is an important and very newsworthy part of the story.


We are given the day the body was found, Thursday, but we aren't given a specific time because the time the body was found is not important to the story yet.


The fact that the student was missing was important to the story, but they left out the details that he was suspected in a child pornography case. This is because it would weigh the lead down with too many details.


The lead of this story had just the right amount of detail to interest the reader, as well as leaving out the specifics that aren't necessary until later in the story.

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