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

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Large Data Sets

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On nicar.org's website there was a link to the story titled, "The Hell of American Day Cares."

In the story the author references a number of statistics. For example, there are 8.2 million children that in the day care system in the United States. A majority of these statistics come from surveys released by various institutions, such as the National Institute of Child Health Development. Because of the number of statistics in the story the author had to crunch a variety of numbers in many different ways to make them easy to read for the reader. The author also had to search for the numerous surveys they used in their reporting on the internet.

The author kept the story engaging first by paralleling these statistics to a single mother that has had had her children in day care and a particular incident that changed her life. The author included pictures of the single mother and her children, as well as a video of the news coverage of the incident that happened at the daycare her children were at. Finally, the author included other shots of the incident and block quotes that allows the lengthy article to be broken into smaller and more manageable segments.

Analysis Culture

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In the news story written by NBC News, "Suspected U.S. drone strike kills 5 in Pakistan," moves beyond stereotypes to report the story to it's audience.

In the story the reporter uses a diverse number of sources such as Pakistan security officials, officials, local villagers, local tribesman, and they reference that U.S. military officials were contacted and did not want to make a comment.

By using a variety of sources this makes the story more credible especially since it is suspected that it was a U.S. drone missile that hit the camp. If the reporter was to interview only U.S. military personnel and individuals of the same ethnicity the story would have been biased. Since the reporter interviewed individuals that were relevant to the situation because of their ethnicity the story is properly told. By disregarding prejudices that certain individuals have against individuals from Pakistan the reporter gave the story a proper perspective and unbiased.

Obituary Analysis

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BBC News wrote an obituary for the famous British actor Robert Griffiths.

Many of the sources in the story are people that personally knew Griffiths and worked with him. For example, the reporter was able to receive statements from Daniel Radcliffe a co-star of Robert Griffiths in the Harry Potter series as well as his agent Simon Beresford.

The lead of obituary in the BBC News article says, "Actor Richard Griffiths, who starred in the Harry Potter films and Withnail and I, has died at the age of 65 after complications following heart surgery." This lead perfectly fits the formula of writing an obituary because it says the name of the person, how they are memorable, how old he was, and how he died.

The obituary written by BBC News seems to closely resemble a resume, but it seems more personal when they are highlighting Griffiths' accomplishments and achievements during his lifetime. By using quotes from people that knew him it immediately makes the story more personable and conversational, rather than listening his achievements.

Public Meeting Analysis

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In the MN Daily's article, "Legislature appoints four regents," the journalist writes about the newly elected regents.

In crafting the news story the journalist carefully selected previous facts about the newly elected regents to include into the story. For example, the journalist has been closely following the race to know who has been in the lead. MN Daily wrote that, "Last week, [Lucas] faced a tight recommendation battle against Dennis Nguyen, chairman and co-founder of New Asia Partners and a Minneapolis resident," which clearly illustrates the knowledge of the journalist on this topic.

In addition, the journalist wrote about the regents achievements before being elected. Knowing the background of the regents before the race also illustrate the extra amount of work the journalist put into the story.

Multimedia Options

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In the New York Times' article "In Medical First, a Baby with HIV Is Deemed Cured" and Huffington Post's article "Baby Born With HIV Apparently Cured, Say Scientists" both lack incorporate uses of multimedia to engage the reader.

Neither of these articles have a clip about the news breaking story. This would be an easy way to engage the reader instead of them having to read a long article about this medical breakthrough, which may seem boring yet important to the reader. To ensure that they receive the information they want sometimes listening to a minute clip is easier than reading a 10 paragraph story.

Though both organizations show handles for the consumer to share this story on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and email it does not aggregate tweets or Facebook posts that the organization has sent out about this topic.

On the bottom of the page both stories give the consumers a chance to sound off on the story and voice their opinions.

The stories also lack visual interest because there are no photos or breaks within the texts. The text overwhelms the reader because it goes on for a great length.

If these organizations incorporated more multimedia options to their stories I think they would appear more appealing to a great variety of people.

Spot leading news

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In the ABC News article "Oscar Pistorius' Brother Carl Faces Culpable Homicide Charge" the author expands on a previous issue that has been in the news.

In previous reports such as the NY Daily News article "Bloody cricket bat at center of Reeva Steenkamp murder case: reports," the author summarizes the previous facts of the case such as who is being accused and how Steenkamp passed. In addition to the previous facts the author elaborates on the bloody cricket bat, which is now seen as being a weapon used in the death of Steenkamp.

In contrast the article written in ABC News they are expanding on a sidebar of the trials against Oscar Pistorius and talking about charges against his brother, which is not relevant to the case at hand. Though it is relating the article to a recent statement made by the attorney of the Pistorius family, the article does not seem news worthy because he is being for a trial from 2008. If the author wanted to inform the audience about the Oscar Pistorius trials they could have briefly mentioned that his brother was also being tried for a murder instead of dedicating a whole article to them.

Structures

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In the Pioneer Press' article "St. Paul K-9 killer fatally shot by police had been charged in girl's sex abuse" is simple to read because of how well the story is structured.

The author first starts with explaining who was the killer and why his death is significant. Then the author moves onto where and how the shooting took place. Then the author ends with describing the victim of this case, the K-9 officer that was killed.

The story was effective in the sense the the reader could have read the first three paragraphs and known everything about the case, but I do believe that there is a more effective way to describe what happened to the K-9 officer.

What I do not like about this news story is how they spend a major portion talking about the K-9 who was killed. I think the story should have focused on the history of Anderson and ended the story with the thankfulness of K-9 officers and with the heartfelt quote from the police department.

Attribution

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In the Pioneer Press' article, "Minnesota ranch in refuge from sex trafficking," there are signs of poor attribution.

In the article the author cites an article from Minnesota Public Radio, but does not offer any other attribution within the story. The story is short and brief and does not offer many details about the story. In comparison to the article written by Minnesota Public Radio, there is a noticeable difference in the amount of work that was put into the story.

The Pioneer Press story seems as if they transcribed a summary of the article written by Minnesota Public Radio and did not include any additional information. If the information was found elsewhere it is not noted in the article.

The article in the Pioneer Press would have been better if more sources were used in addition to the Minnesota Public Radio article.

Analysis of Lawsuit against Minneapolis Police

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In the Pioneer Press's article, "6 sue over roles in suspended law enforcement drug training program," the author did not demonstrate how to accurately report information.

In the article the author stated that the plaintiff was asking for $2 million in damages from the Minneapolis Police Department. According to both Minnesota Public Radio and Star Tribune and the articles they wrote about this incident, the amount of damages that the plaintiff is demanding is incorrect. The actual amount that the plaintiff is requesting $1 million in damages.

When this occurs it is hard to rely on the publication for accurate information in the rest of the story. Though no other information seemed to be incorrect when cross referenced with the articles written by Minnesota Public Radio and Star Tribune, it is a must that reporter should double check the facts that they received.

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