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News story: Police: Australian fires create 'a holocaust' (CNN, Monday Feb. 9)

This news story was entirely structured with one to two, tight, informative statments. The reporter summarizes the information in small blocks of material, with a combination of importance, recency, and quality. The lead is jam packed with the core details of the story, the deaths and other consequences of the Australian fires. The next four blocks of information take on the story in a broad-reaction manner, looking at the big picture of the event with strong quotes to back them up, from police officials and Australia's Prime Minister. The next couple blocks pull back to put the story in perspective, bring in some history and using a reflective approach, including past fires and how this one relates. After this, the story turns to a much more narrative and point of view story, telling details about the story from different people's perspectives, as well as what the next steps will be.

Overall, the reporter seemed to order the information in a importance to interesting format, the most important, crucial information first, and from their prioritizing by the quality and level of interest the information had. I think this is effective. The story gets the reader the important facts first: what happened, the deaths, other consequences. From there it gives reaction, which ultimately performs the function of "what does the story mean", which the quotes and reactions give. Then history and reflection, to further inform the reader of the context and magnitude of the situation. It had a mix of facts and story. It could have been written facts first, with the lead, and following all the numbers and hard facts, such as whats happening now, whats going to happen, and so on, with the quotes and narrative later. However, this format gave plenty of crucial information, and then told a much more interesting story overall.

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/02/08/australia.wildfires/index.html