May 4, 2007

Republican hopefuls-Choice

Republican hopefuls debated one another, each one trying to prove that they were the most conservative, and that they represented Reagan the most.


The Guardian Unlimited
wrote a beautiful article about this. From the lead to the end they tie the story together with the presidential hopefuls wish to be more like Reagan than Bush. After the lead they list a quote from the top 3 presidential canidates about Reagan. They even mention that Reagans nave was "invoked" 19 times, where Bush was barely mentioned.
The Herald Tribune basically just gives an overview of the competitor's stances. The issues are layed out very orderly, with each person's quotes being clearly distinct, while still giving many views on the same issue.

China Greenhouse Emissions-World

China failed in convincing the UN delegation to "water down" language in a report on global warming.

The Times Colonist has a much broader outlook than the Voice Of America. Most of this comes at the end, when the Colonist says that America is backing off and letting China take the lead in softening the language. Prior to this America often played this role. The Voice Of America, which is run by the US governmnet, also has very good insights about China, saying that China says it's developed when it's helpful to them and undeveloped when it's helpful to them. But it fails to mention many of America's past short-comings in this area.

Obama Secured-National

Obama is given security by the secret service much earlier than most "presidential hopefuls."

I like the lead in the Chicago Sun Times, it is very catchy and highlights the unusualness of the story:
"Major presidential candidates and their families usually get Secret Service protection within 120 days of the general election.
That's 551 days away, so how did Obama get protection?"
But that report on the whole, is mostly just a look at quick explanation of the issue, without much background reporting. The New York Times, gives a much broader look at the situation. It gives some reasons why Obama is recieving protection, including race and the big crowds he draws to speeches.
They interviewed his wife who gave good background into the risks of running for president, or being the wife of the person who runs for president.
It also tells us other people who have recieved protection early, and the reasons why. This also gives us a broader look at the subject.

Hepatitis A-Local

Hundreds of people who ate at the PIzza Ranch in Slayton, MN lined up to get hepatitis A shots. The restaurant is being investigated for cleanliness.

I think the Star Tribune article's lead is clever, but confusing. It begins by mentioning:
"The Pizza Ranch on Broadway was empty Friday morning, as hundreds of its customers lined up for hepatitis shots just a few blocks away at the county fairgrounds."
and even though it explains the rest in the second paragraph they use "restaurant" to describe the pizza ranch and it still comes off as very vague.
The quote used is even worse. The superintendent, they interviewed, is worried about losing the support for his school, because the pizza place is being shut down. But I have no idea how they support them. At the end they requote him and then it is made clear how, but we have to wait like 10 paragraphs.
A lot of the other stuff is okay. They interviewed a lot of informal sources that really showed that the pizza place is in a small city, and that everyone will pitch in to make sure the pizza place prospers.
The AP article is pretty much a smaller version of the Tribune. Actually some of the quotes used in the Star Tribune are the same. To be honest, I'm kind of curious about plagarism here.

Metro Transit-Local

Metro Transit will be putting more cash towards security, by increasing the amount of hours cops spend on buses and getting new surveillance cameras.

The Star Tribune argue is very thorough. The lead tells us that police will be riding the bus more to "reassure passengers" and then is followed by a sentence that explains the two recent homicides that caused the unassuradness in passengers. The story says that hiring policeman for buses has helped in cities like Houston and Boston, and that there has only been 8 homicides across the nation from 2002-2006. These facts are very important for the reader to understand how the Minneapolis situation compares with other cities throughout America.
For some reason the Pioneer Press has not written a worthwhile story about this yet. Their story literally just gives a list of what the $2.4 million, which will be spent on improving security on buses, is going.

April 28, 2007

MIT admissions resigns-Choice

MIT dean of admissions Marilee Jones resigned after it was discovered that she had lied on her resume. She was outspoken for her actions to make parents and students less stressed with school.

I think the lead in the Houston chronicle begins well, but the second sentence makes it boring, I think the second sentence can be taken out entirely, and it will still read well, and sound better.
"To stressed-out parents and students, MIT admissions dean Marilee Jones was a rare voice of reason in the high-pressure world of college admissions. With colleges demanding kids who play sports, run student government and take the heaviest course load they can, Jones shouted back the opposite: daydream, stay healthy, and don't worry so much about building a resume just to impress an elite college. Yet it turns out that Jones was susceptible to pressure herself."
I like that the New York Times gets a lot of feedback from the students. The Chronicle didn't really do this. The Chronicle focused more on how MIT fired her to keep integrity, but the Times focused more on how they fired her to keep integrity, but that she was still a good employee and nice person to know. I think the NY Times might have given a broader picture of her in this case.

April 27, 2007

Russian helicopter shot down-World

A Russian helicopter was shot down, killing 18 people. Reasons for crash vary from fighting with separtist rebles, to technical failiures.

The Guardian is a much longer article than the BBC one. So, of course it gives more detail. For instance, it gives other explanations for the crash. The information it chose to put in the article seems appropriate. It begins by mentioning the crash and then saying that the reason why it crashed is not confirmed, and it ends with some background of fighting with the rebels. The Guardian basically has the same information over a longer paper, but we still come back with a better understanding for the reasons of fighting.
Both papers also use a quote from an official who was not authorized to speak with the media. I thought this quote turned out pretty good and useful even though the name couldn't be given primarily because of the timeliness of the issue.

New Grids-National

The power line grid is being updated for the 21st century. A bill passed in 2005 gives the federal government say over state and local regions to build new power lines. This is now being used to build lines in the southwest and northeast areas of America.

The LA Time's article fails to explain what the big picture is. I think this relates to the movie we watched in class about hyper localism. The whole story takes place in California, despite the fact that other areas are affected.
After I read the Houston Chronicle, I really felt a lot better about my understanding of what is going on. They gave the history of why this grid is being updated by citing passed events like the 2003 black-out in Ohio, New York and Canada. They also ended by saying that these new grids may not be the last additions.
I think it is alright for the LA Times to focus on the local issues, but they should at least give us a better idea of the big picture, by giving us background and such.

new tax bill passed-Local

A tax bill that would only affect 1% of Minnesotans was passed Friday. The bill will provide relief for low-income people, but Republicans mention that the tax is superfluous, citing that the state has a surplus too.

I like the Pioneer Press's lede. It is quick and to the point. The main issues surrounding the bill are all packed into that sentence. "Despite Gov. Tim Pawlenty's threat of a veto, the Democratic-controlled Minnesota House today passed a tax bill that would increase income taxes on the wealthiest 1 percent of Minnesotans to reduce property taxes for 90 percent of the state's homeowners."
The Star Tribune has an interesting lede, but I feel like I'm not the audience for it.
"Now comes the real heavy-lifting on the state budget. With the Legislature's 2007 session about three weeks from its required end, the House on Friday muscled through a bill that would raise income taxes on the affluent to ease property taxes for most Minnesota homeowners."
It sounds like they are making a pun, which I just don't get and which actually confuses me a bit.
The Pioneer Press also does a better job of stating an argument from one side and then stating the other side. It is very well organized and keeps the two defferent opinions separated and clearly distinct throughout.

Mayor's car hit by drunk driver-Local

The St. Paul mayor's car was hit by a drunk driver with a BAC of .26. No one was hurt in the crash, and only minor damage was caused to the car.

This is a simple story, but both the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune take a slightly different angle on it. Both are facsinating in their own unique way. The Star Tribune tells us what happened. At the end they give a brief description of the accident, adding that the driver crashed into the car going about 12mph. This gives us a good picture of what happened.
But, the Pioneer Press goes beyond what happened and shows us a snippet of the scene. They described how the drunk driver could not understand who she hit even though police kept telling her. This is a nice anecdote that really brings the story alive.

April 22, 2007

Social Security #'sChoice

While bored a lady was searching the internet for information on her interest group when she found her name on a government website with her Social Security number on it.

I think the AP article in the Houston Chronicle could have told the readers who found the number and how it happened sooner. This is what the Washington Post did. It kept the story a little more interesting by peppering the incident where she found the numbers throughout the story. The Chorinicle had more detailed information though. Especially, when they said that the credit monitoring the government was offering the people who were affected by this would cost tax payers $4 million. They also explained that this incident will probably help pass a federal law that would notify potential victims of disclosed or personal information. But the Post also had a lot of detail they just mostly focused on the debate around the incident, like a watchdog group calling the government on trying to suppress news about this (there's nothing to back this up though). And also with the government saying they would take full responsibility for this. These things were not mentioned in the chronicle.

Canadian gets life in China-World

A Canadian citizen gets life in China for being involved in what the Chinese have called terrorist organizations. He is a member of the Uigher muslim group that has been opppressed by the Chinese government.

This may be another case of proximity. The Toronto Star spent much of the article with his wife talking about how his family was taking the injustice towards her husband, while The Boston Globe just reports the situation very matter of factly.
The Toronto Star talked to all the necassary people, for example Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson and foreign minister of Canada, but they never really explained why he got life. In The Boston Globe AP mentioned in one quick sentence what happened:
"Huseyin Celil was sentenced for the two crimes of "separating China" and "organizing, leading and participating in terrorist groups, organizations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said without elaborating." They didn't elaborate, so nobody really knows. This was a very good sentence and I think the Toronto Star should have added something like this so everyone would know that still nobody knows what happened exactly.

Clinton speaks-National

Hilary Clinton spoke in Marshalltown Iowa, Saturday, and told everyone what she would do if she was elected.

Central Iowa's Times-Republican gave a general overview of what Clinton said she would do if she were in office. The headline focused on withdrawing troops from the Iraq war, but the rest of the article talked about healthcare and immigration. Although immigration and the Bush administration were mentioned in the Washington Post much of the article was about Clinton using her husband to better the image of America. Actually they spent nearly half the article talking about this subject. I think the difference was who the news was created by and going to. The central Iowa paper was near where her speech was. It included general information about the event, actually the article was put under their local news section. But the Washington Post is not treating this speech as an event, but is looking more for new information. Actually the Times Republican did not mention Bill Clinton at all. I think this came out of how the two papers viewed this event based on their readership.

April 19, 2007

Teen admits he did it-Local

Donte L. Jacobs pleads guilty to his role in robbing and murdering a South Carolina student in Uptown while the student, Micheal Zebuhr was out visiting his mom and sister.

The Star Tribune didn't really give me exactly what I wanted to know. I wanted to know why he was shot, did Zebuhr try to get the purse back, or was it just out of nowhere or what. Not much is said about the robbery or crime. Maybe it is because its been a year and the story now is that Jacobs plead guilty, but I still would like some chronological narrative of what happened in the middle. The North Carolina paper, the Charlotte Observer gives a little more detail, but they also don't say that much, so maybe that is just the way this type of news story should be told, but I still want to know a little more about the event itself.

U of M bomb hoax-Local

eight buildings at the University of Minnesota were evacuated on Wednesday, because of a bomb threat sent that was found by a student in a bathroom.

The way the Star Tribune presents, Joe Plocher, the student who found the bomb threat's quote is probably more accurate than the Pioneer Press's. They give some background to what Plocher said and choose a quote that represents what he was really saying. In the Pioneer Press it is unclear if he just why he didn't think the note was dangerous, so I think he kind of looks stupid there. I also like how the Star Tribune goes into more detail about other bomb threats from around the country. It even mentions actions taken at high schools from surrounding areas to prevent copycats after the Virginia massacre. Star Tribune also talks to more students that were effected and gives more detail about the slow e-mail system and who was on seen i.e. the FBI and so on.