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

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Analysis: Records/CAR

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Analysis: US economy grows 2.5% on buoyant consumer spending, BBC News reported.

In this article, the reporter used a lot of data sets to illustrate United States' economy growth. The records and analysis used to produce the story are Commerce Department data, bond-buying schedule, GDP figures, Dow Jones index, S&P 500 datas, government spending data and ING economist Rob Carnell's analysis on the subject.

In order for the reporter to do this reporting, one has to know how to sort out different figures by using excel for example to figure out the percentage changes and the knowledge to all the referenced records such as S&P 500 and GDP figures.

The news organization use online tools such as graphics, and indented an article written by an analyst to call in expert opinion and validate their article's credibility. Also, the news organization inserted a case study excerpt of a New York local clothing manufacturer to engage the readers on an more personal level.

Analysis: Diversity

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Analysis: Black NASCAR driver knows he could change face of sport, USA Today reported.

This is a story about Darrell Wallace Jr., 19, an African-American driver, who was qualified to enter in Kyle Busch Motorsports' Camping World Truck Series as a full-time driver in February.

Wallace was the fourth African-American driver in NASCAR history to secure a full-time ride in the national touring series.

The article moved beyond stereotype of the absences of minority drivers excel in NASCAR to something more substantive.

The article quoted "(Young African-Americans) want to see who they can be like," Wallace said. "They look at NASCAR, (and) is there anybody there? No.

"... Now it's my job to perform well on track and off track for kids of color ... and for people to say, 'There's someone we can look up to now.' "

Wallace was one of the few diversity program participants who could really make a impact in the NASCAR racing world for minority drivers, USA Today reported.

The reporter listed some of Wallace's previous performances, which showed his capability as a professional driver, and how he strived for a better finishes.

Also, the reporter provided some African-American drivers in Motorsports history. Wendell Scott was the only black driver who won the series, in 1964.

The article used J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, as one of the source to reemphasis Wallace was on the right track to make a difference that went beyond the truck race to honoring his heritage in NASCAR.

To sum up, the article referenced the few African-American drivers in Kyle Busch Motorsports' Camping World Truck Series and Wallace's performances to prove the true capability of African-American drivers did not mean there were no good minority drivers in the series.

Analysis: Numbers use

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Analysis: "$3 a gallon for gas? In some areas, it's already here," USA Today reported.

The reporter used different variation to describe statistics in the illustrate of gas price. The writer first used the national average gas price was "$3.61 a gallon, vs. $3.94 a year ago." Then the writer said it is a 12-cent drop since March rather than telling the readers the gas price in March was $3.94 compare to the current price of $3.61 per gallon. Moreover, the writer used phrase such as "low as," "down nearly5 percent" and "in the $2.90s" to tell the story.

I did not find the numbers overwhelming because he utilized the different ways of using numbers. The writer kept readers interested in the article by switching phrases to describe gas price changes.

Like I mentioned in the first paragraph, the reporter used math to simplify those numbers and told the story more effectively. Instead of always writing the dollar amounts, he provided readers a simple picture of what the current gas price situation is by using the increase or decrease differences as well as percentage changes. It is much more effective to use words like "less than," "vs" than listing the dollar amounts straight from the statistic report.

The reporter quoted Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with the Oil Price Information Service and GasBuddy; however, the sources for those numbers used in the article was not specified.

Analysis: Obituary

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Obituary: Paul O'Connor made his mark in sciences, arts

In this obituary written by Star Tribune, the writer highlighted O'Connor's accomplishments to his country as a Manhattan Project participants.

His son, daughter and a veteran weaver were writer's source for this obituary.

It does not have a standard obituary lead but a antidote lead introduced him as one of the brilliant scientists who helped create atomic bomb.

The rest of the obituary followed mostly a chronological order and intertwined with quotes from the sources.

O'Connor's obituary was newsworthy because he served his country in the top-secret mission, the Manhattan Project, as a junior chemist and later taught and help improve India's technical skills.

Also, he was a longtime professor at the University of Minnesota.

All of above characteristics and accomplishments make him a notable person, and the obituary relevant to the local area.

How does the obit differ from a resume?

Resume is a summary of a person's past, such as previous positions and accomplishments.

On the other hand, obituary is a story of a person's life and highlights, most importantly, how the person's heritage could be carried into the future.

Analysis: speeches/meeting

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Analysis: President Obama's speech at NN Shipbuilding
By Anna Lin

President Barack Obama delivered his speech about sequester on Feb. 26, 2013 at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

ABC News reported on president's sequestration speech and the article was well crafted.

The reporter followed the classic structure, where everything was backed up by quotes, for speech reporting. First, the reporter introduced some key elements, which were the harm of sequester and the "meat-cleaver" approach, in President Obama's speech. The reporter included many quotes followed by crowd reactions and explanations of its references. He then inserted some background information of Republican leaders opposing Obama's stand on the automatic cuts issue backed up by quotes to get the other side of the story. Moreover, the reporter included a quote from interviewing shipbuilders.

The reporter helped readers to understand the importance of this speech by tightly connecting the facts and explanations with strong quotes to back up his illustration. Aside from reporter's understanding of President Obama's speech, he wrote about the conflict between Republican and Democrats and audiences' reactions to further relate the readers to the importance of the speech. Also, the reporter provided information tied to sequestration for readers to interpret the speech themselves and develop their own point of view.

Analysis: Multimedia

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Analysis: Multimedia
By Anna Lin

The story presentation by the Washington Post and USA Today are distinctly different from each other with their feature multimedia elements.

Both news organizations incorporated the basic multimedia elements which includes text, photo, audio, video and graphics.

The Washington Post features hyperlinks in the articles allows interested readers to get additional information, including a link under the writer's name to the other articles written by him/her. It features sidebar that combines most popular or similar post & headlines, photo galleries and videos on the right side of the page. Also, the Washington Post showed commentary below each article.

On the other hand, USA Today involved a large amount of visual elements in their web articles. First of all, narrated slideshow is one of their major multimedia features as well as a story highlight on the left side of each article. USA Today news stories hid the commentary space and export options in the sidebar instead of on the bottom of the article like the Washington Post.

Both news organizations' multimedia element complement news stories by helping readers to visualize the news event, mostly common in breakings news, and keep the readers interested with multiple features presented.

Breaking news highly involved multimedia options because it is the most effective format for online communication compare to traditional presentation. Accompanied by multimedia features, news could be easier understood.

Analysis: Spot/Follow up

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Analysis: A Nation Reels as a Star Runner Is Charged in Girlfriend's Death
By Anna Lin
My first impression comparing article "A Nation Reels as a Star Runner Is Charged in Girlfriend's Death" to the follow story "Tearful in Court, Pistorius Later Disputes Murder Charge" was that the the follow-up was much shorter.

The first-day story introduced both Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp followed by a descriptive lead of how Pistorius was charged murder compare to the one sentence lead in the follow story.

Then the first story took a large portion describing in a chronological order who Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp were, and their relationship. Also, it included evidences and interviews that linked toward his rationale of mistaken his girlfriend as intruder. The first-day story ended with Reeva Steenkamp's Valentine's Day tweet, "What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow???"

As for the follow story, it focused more on the investigative process, and topic around violent crime rate in South Africa. It did repeat the lead from the first-day story toward the end of the article and a ex-girlfriend's tweet defending Oscar Pistorius.

The second story advanced the news by providing a strong concise lead since the readers no longer requires introduction of both people.

The accusations made against Oscar Pistorius, and his possible charges were added in after his court appearance in the follow-up with great details.

The reporter attributed to more credible sources toward Pistorius' motive, potential connections and readers' opinion in the follow story.

Reporter Lydia Polgreen spent most of the article writing about Pistorius' life story, and how his arrest relate to the high violence frequency in South Africa in the first-day story.

She focused mostly on the court rule in the follow story which advance the story with more certainly and relevancy.

Analysis: Rep. Cohen: Twitter Exchange Was With His Daughter
By Anna Lin
In the ABC News' article, "Rep. Cohen: Twitter Exchange Was With His Daughter," the reporter first introduced U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen acknowledging Friday that he was tweeting his daughter during the State of Union address on Tuesday.

The author summarized the important elements by breaking it down to different paragraphs.

Such as elaboration of the actual tweeter conversation between Rep. Cohen and his daughter, Victoria Brink in the second paragraph after the lead.

The reporter transitioned the article from the lead to using a quote of Steve Cohen to raise awareness for "not to jump to conclusions."

Then the writer went a little more in-depth with the incident in a short chronological summary.

The writer touched on the Tennessee Republican Party's executive director's opinion, comparing Cohen to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, once the key elements were presented.

Ended with how Rep. Cohen discovered his daughter's existence, and a brief profile of both Victoria Brink and her mother, Cynthia White Sinatra.

This order and structure is most effective because this breaking news fulfilled the inverted pyramid style of writing.

It presented a clear, concise news to the readers, followed by a short chronological story.

Attribution anaysis

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Analysis: Charges: Minneapolis cop told underage girls to 'deny everything'
by Anna Lin

In the Fox9 article, "Charges: Minneapolis cop told underage girls to 'deny everything'," the reporter had many sources assure the reliability of the news spread out between sentences.

First of all, writer Tom Lyden have left his own bio and email link at the beginning and referenced at least six sources throughout the article.

The four young victims who provided testimonies were not named in order to protect those minors' privacy.

Also, Brooklyn Center police identified Brad Schnickel as "Brady Schmidt" and Anoka County prosecutors were unnamed could be because the information was a team effort and there were no direct quotes from them, therefore, not critical to mention those names in this article.

The author properly quoted the Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo and Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau in the end of the article and used the record on charges made against Minneapolis Police Officer Bradley Schnickel.

The reporter set up the attribution with interchangeable words like "according to," "police learned," and the invisible "said" which not only properly attribute to sources but also made it flow in the article.

The attributions throughout the article are all very critical, effective and provided readers deep understanding to this case with solid sources which could be confirmed.

by Anna Lin
In Star Tribune's article, "2 die after car goes through ice on Lake Minnetonka channel", the author has taken "What" as the most important focus in the lead.

First of all, the inverted-pyramid style is generally used in breaking news stories.This article is a breaking news, therefore, the basic news summary lead is most suitable. The author summarized the key facts, combined the most significant of the five W's into one sentence. Also, a good lead is written in a clear, concise way following the subject-verb-object sentence structure.

Since this is a news story about accident, the lead began by stating the death of a middle-aged man and an elderly woman. Starting with the numbers of deaths helps readers to measure the seriousness of the story. The lead continued with the reason for their death is that their car sank into the channel. Author here used "plunged through" to relate readers to visualize the motion. Followed by the the location of east side of Lake Minnetonka for the readers to pin point where it happened. The date of the accident and attribution to the source are placed to the end because these two elements are the least important information must be included in this particular lead.

The author descried two people as "a man in his 30s and an elderly woman" which provides more details than "2" in the article headline. Also, strategically lead capture readers' attention

This lead works because it is written in one clear, active, and concise sentence that summarize the accident and keep the readers interested for more details.

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