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Spot and Follows

CNN’s story on the Academy Awards is an example of a “spot and follow? or a developing story. The story was updated repeatedly throughout the night the award show aired. The newest story version was similar to the first but with added details.

In the first story, the lead was about the French actress Marion Cotillard winning her first Oscar for her role in “La Vie en Rose.? The rest of the story summarized her other accomplishments, talked about Javier Bardem’s best supporting actor win, the host Jon Stewart, the costume design winner and the other category winners that had been announced so far.

The updated story had the same lead, but since the show was complete some of the fact blocks about the less popular categories were deleted. There was also more about the Coen brothers and “No Country for Old Men? since it won many awards, including best picture. In the previous story they had only speculated about its possible wins. They also used the example of “Brokeback Mountain? which won many awards, but not best picture. Obviously, that part was cut in the updated story.

I was surprised that CNN did not change the leads of the updated story. The headline highlighted the most recent award winner, but the lead remained the same for most of the night in the updates. Marion Cotillard’s best actress award is important, but I think the best picture winner is the most important news piece. It did not make much sense to me to mainly only change the ends of stories.