This news blog is an educational exercise involving students at the University of Minnesota. It is not intended to be a source of news.

Recently in Analysis Category

Analysis: records/CAR

| No Comments

The New York Times article "Netflix Looks Back on Its Near-Death Spiral" uses large data sets in order to depict the company's 2011 misstep, in which Netflix both raised prices and spun off its DVD-by-mail business.

The reporter had to find a way to organize the profit data, the amount of users who left, the amount of new users who have signed up since the debacle, and the stock data.

The New York Times included a slick high-definition video above the article, complete with a columnist summarizing the story supported by pictures/videos of Netflix's services.

The New York Times also included a chart of Netflix stock changes from 2009 through the present, isolating the high of $298.73 in 2011, the recent low of $53.80 in 2012, and the most recent price of $215.55 in 2013.

The combination of video, chart, and classic news story helped to flesh the story out for both the casual reader and someone who would want to look more in-depth on the issue. The New York Times understands how to incorporate multimedia to support a new story.

Analysis 8: Diversity

| No Comments

CNN's article "Arab women directors find acclaim worldwide" discusses the wave of Arab women filmmakers that have recently been gaining worldwide notoriety.

The article talks about the success of female Arab film directors as any article would discuss successful filmmakers of any race.

The filmmakers' ethnicity is mentioned because London's Bird's Eye View Film Festival, which features films made by women, focused on Arab cinema this year.

Their ethnicity is also integrated into the story because Arab culture allows for more female filmmakers to become successful when compared to other cultures around the world.

The reporter's focus on the advantages Arab culture gave these female filmmakers gave the story a focus, which bypassed stereotypes and made it more substantive.

The sources came from the Arab filmmaking community and included Annemarie Jacir and Sabine El Chamaa.

Analysis 8: Numbers

| No Comments

CNN's article, "'Holy Grail' of baseball cards sold for $2.1 million", uses numbers in order to articulate for how much a valuable baseball card was sold in auction.

The story starts with the top bid of $2.1 million and then goes on to reveal the date of the card, the number of its kind in existence, and the starting bid of $500,000.

The numbers are not overwhelming, since they are dropped into the story steadily with punctuation like dashes to offset them: "The 1909 card of Pittsburgh Pirate shortstop Honus Wagner -- one of only about 50 in existence -- was auctioned off by Goldin Auctions in West Berlin, New Jersey."

The writer also dropped a more specific representation of the top bid, $2,105,770.50, at the very bottom of the story to add clarity without confusing the reader at the beginning.

There wasn't any mathematical number-crunching used to tell the story; The number of bids, starting bid and final bid provided enough information to tell the story effectively.

The numbers came from Goldin Auctions in West Berlin, New Jersey.

Analysis 7: Obituaries

| No Comments

The New York Times' coverage of the death of Virgil Trucks is formatted exactly as we learned in class.

The lead is structured with his name, a statement describing who he is, when and where he died, and finally his age.

The writer didn't have a cause of death, so the second graph just has the source who confirmed the death.

Then it has the claim to fame section in which the writer mainly lists records Trucks set in baseball.

The bio section begins with Trucks' full name and goes through his life chronologically.

There is a survived by section, followed by a short anecdote as a kicker.

The only quote included is one by Trucks in the final kicker.

Analysis 6: Obama Barnard Commencement

| No Comments

The Huffington Post's coverage of Present Obama's 2012 Barnard College commencement speech focused a lot on elements surrounding the speech rather than the speech itself.

The lead paragraph focuses almost entirely on the audience response to Obama's speech, quoting the students chanting "Yes, we can!" and "Obama, Obama!" It does so in order to provide for first paragraph's turn-around of the audience not responding as expressively to Obama's advice statements, such as "persevere, nothing worthwhile is easy."

The article quotes a student who was disappointed with Obama's lack of "life-lesson things" in his speech.

The article mentions the mania surrounding the speech, noting that parents lined up outside of Barnard's gate more than five hours before the scheduled speech.

Huffington covers the peripheral issue of student loans, noting that Obama did not mention the issue in his speech. Several students commented about their personal student debt issues.

The article even notes what Obama was wearing -- light blue robes in order to match the student body of Barnard College.

Analysis 5: Multimedia in Queen Elizabeth story

| No Comments

Both the CNN and ABC News news stories about Queen Elizabeth being released from King Edward VII's Hospital included video of the queen exiting the building.

The CNN page had a sidebar of related videos next to the article, which included captions reading "Should British princes do more?", "Mark Saunders discusses Queen's illness", and "Why Queen Elizabeth will never abdicate".

The ABC News page featured a similar sidebar layout with related videos captioned "Queen Elizabeth Sent to Hospital", "Queen Elizabeth Goes 3-D This Christmas", and "Queen of England Releases Holiday Greeting in 3D".

Some of these related videos provide helpful background information for the article and some of them go on more general tangents. Both types of information have appeal to the casual reader.

The writing of these captions is poised to catch readers' eyes and makes them want to click the links. The captions are written in a very to-the-point manner.

Analysis 4: Follow/spot diamond heist

| No Comments

CNN's report on the Brussels airport diamond heist was updated after Monday. It was last updated on Wednesday morning.

The lead of the updated article is less breaking and more scene-setting. It starts, "Night had fallen. Some 20 airplane passengers had taken their seats for the short hop from Brussels, Belgium, to Zurich, Switzerland," It sets the scene instead of just summarizing the events.

The updated article gets more into the main news, adding details such as the robbery only taking three minutes.

The second story advances the news by adding a more detailed account of the event.

Analysis 3: Lady Gaga story structure

| No Comments

The CNN story, "Lady Gaga cancels tour, will have hip surgery", has a basic news report structure.

It starts with a lead that summarizes the basic story, including the fact that she has cancelled the rest of her tour and the reason why--her hip injury.

The second paragraph ads detail about the injury and a statement from a tour operator about why she has to cancel the rest of her tour.

Statements from Gaga's twitter follow the basic facts to give her point of view on the situation.

The story concludes telling fans how they can get refunded.

The structure displays the effective use of a basic inverted pyramid structure. The most important information is given first, followed by more specific and less crucial information. This is the best way to report this announcement in my opinion.

CNN's article, "5 dead after powerful quake strikes in South Pacific", includes four named sources: Augustine Bilve (director at a hospital in Lata), Andrew Catford (program director for World Vision), humanitarian group World Vision, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

It also includes warnings from The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, The New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management, Japanese authorities, and The New Caledonia High Commission that can be credited to public record.

The sources are fairly clustered together. The article moves from one source to the next without returning to a previous source once its section has finished.

A lot of the earlier statements about the tsunami come from people or named organizations, but the later information about various warnings comes from public record.

The reporter provides attribution using "said" clauses. The choice is invisible and effective.

Analysis 1: Leads

| No Comments

The Pioneer Press wrote the following lead:

"Last year's emotional campaign over a proposed Minnesota gay marriage ban cost the two main competing groups a combined $18 million, according to campaign finance reports released Friday."

The lead includes a detailed What and a general Who. The When and Where are clearly stated.

The focus of the lead is the amount spent by the competing campaigns in the gay marriage ban, not the campaigns themselves. Thus, it details the "emotional campaign over a proposed Minnesota gay marriage ban" and the specific cost of $18 million in the lead.

The article does go on to mention the specific campaigns and even quote them, but this isn't until further down in the inverted pyramid model.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Analysis category.

Choice is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.