December 10, 2007

Migrants Die Near Turkey

Many migrants died on their way to Turkey this weekend after their boat sunk. The number of total deaths in unclear, but seems to be between 43 and 51. Illegal immigration is apparently a large problem in Turkey, and officials so they are trying to crack down. A rescue search for the bodies is taking place, but officials say it seems unlikely that there will be any more survivers.

I found it interesting that, although they used the same sources, the Turckishpress said 51 died and Strib said 43. Perhaps the TP is more recently updated. Besides that, both of the articles were similar. They both relayed inverted pyramid style information about the event. At the end, they both included a little bit about the state of illegal immigration in Turkey.

U Professor Claims Nobel Prize

University of Minnesota professor Leonid Hurwicz will claim his Nobel Prize Monday at Northrop. He was selected as a winner earlier this year due to his work in economics. At 90-years-old, Hurwicz is the oldest person to ever receive the honor of a Nobel Prize. Hruwicz laughed at what he thought was a joke when he heard the news, according to the Daily article. He said he didn't think the younger generations appreciated where economic theories originated from. Due to his old age, Hurwicz will receive the prize in Northrop Auditorium instead of Sweden.

The article that ran in the Daily was full of a lot of good information. Instead of just describing the event, it also gave some background and funny anecdotes that made what could have been a dull story go down a little easier. One thing I appreciated about the Daily article was the explanation of exactly what this professor did to win the Nobel prize. Explaining a Nobel prize winning economics theory with a few sentences in the newspaper is no easy task, and I thouhgt it was done well. One thing I didn't like about the Daily stroy was how much of it was attributed to websites press releases.

Pyramid Scheme Bust

A son-and-father pyramid scheme bust landed the two in jail on Friday. According to the article, the duo was making false claims of free excercise equipment to schools, including some in Minnesota. They father was sent to more than 5 years in prison, and the son 17. They also have to pay 39 million dollars in restitution.

These stories were pretty straight forward. Probably just a standard beat story for the Strib reporter. I appreciated how the Strib attempted to address a critical voice in the article by mentioning the dispute over jail time. It made it a little more interesting.

Colorado shooting mights be related

Two shootings occured in Colorado today, and investigators have reason to believe they are related. The first was at a Christian ministry near Denver. A twenty something man wearing a beanie demanded the church let him stay the night, and when he was rejected he starting shooting the place up. Two people were killed, more were injured.

Then, twelve hours and 65 miles later, another shooting occured at a church near Colorado Springs. A man killed one person before being shot and killed by a guard. It has not been confirmed, but they are believed to be related.

This story clearly dealt with delicate subject matter -- not always an easy thing when dealing with breaking news. I thought both articles were sufficent. They both got the information out there. However, I was really impressed with the AP story the Strib ran. It used interesting transitions such as: "Then the incomprehensible happened" that really made it that much more enjoyable to read. The Strib also indulged in some background information on the churches and victims, one of which was from Minnesota.

November 26, 2007

Bolivia Riots Kill Two

Riots in Bolivia this weekend resulted in the death of two, including one police officer. The riot ignited after a radical ammendment to the consitituion in Sucre was apporved. The ammendment would allow the current president to stay in office, and change other major politics. A prison was also set on fire during the riot, freeing more than 100 prisoners.

This story, though short, was a very exciting to read. I picture the reporter in the midst of the riot, dodging bullets and tear gas, jumping over fire -- getting the story. Further more, it was a good article. Well-written, inverted pyramid. It got the facts across and brought attention to the issue.

Gene therapy resumes

Despite the recent death of a gene therapy patient, the study will still resume. Gene therapy, yet to prove itself for many, has been a bit rocky in the past years, especially since the death of Penn. teen-ager years ago. Many seem upset with the decision to move forward with the study. Experts in the article contested that the death was unrelated to the therapy.

There were a few things I found interesting about these articles. One was that the attribution to the lead was "the company is expected to announce today". It seems kind of unspecific to me. Also, in the Strib article that ran today, gene therapy was described with a bleak sort of tone, with word choice like "another black eye" and "a field that has not had much success in treating disease". In the article written soon after the death of the Penn. teenager, however, gene therapy is " a growing field of research that holds promise in curing ailments from heart disease to cancer". It seemed interesting to me how different these descriptions from the reporter were.

Elementary School Upping Security Measures

The new Watertown Elementary School was recently built with a few modifications that stray from the ordinary, or perhaps not. Maybe it is merely the next step in our seat belt legal smoke-free world to build an elementary school based around extreme security measures. Among the innovations, this school has 23 cameras, low camoflauge-free bushes and windows that can not be easily accessed from the outside, according to the article. This system also happens to be on the cutting edge of environmental efficiency. The future!

I liked this article. It examined this unusual school building -- a good idea for a featury type of story -- but then went into further detail. It talked about the eco-friendliness of it, then about the aged concept being utilized in a new way.

Hennepin County Crime Drops

After years of annual increases, the crime rate in Hennepin County is finally dropping, and there are a few ideas of why. First, experts believe the 35W bridge falling contributed. This connection was not explained in the article, but I suppose it's easy to draw our own conclusions.
The other suggested reason is that there were new task forces implemented by Sheriff Richard Stanek designed to crack down on violent crimes and drugs. According to the article, one task forces arrested 60 people and siezed 54 guns. Another arrested 71 and siezed $43 million worth of drugs.

This article began addressing recent crime statistics, but didn't stay there for long. Instead, it used the new information as an avenue to find its way into explaining these new task forces. The Strib went into much greater detail than the AP. It was a good, informational, fluid article that suck closely to inverted pyramid style writing. I also liked word choice such as "eye popping".

November 19, 2007

Drug Dealer shot/several charged

Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, a drug dealer who was shot recently by border police, was charged with smuggling Marijuana. The two border patrols who shoe Davilia lied about it, and were soon after charged with more than 10 years in prison each.

This is an interesting story. The Strib's article focused more on the recent news: Davila was charged. It followed the inverted pyramid and kept the reader updated.
FoxNews talked about the overall case, and gave a full history. Both informative.,2933,243921,00.html

Hurricane Katrian Cars Make Way Across World

Several cars damaged in Hurrican Katrina have been turning up around the world recently. No, they were not blown Bolivia -- my first instinct -- they were sold on internet auctions.
Apprently, more than 10,000 cars from New Orleans are now distributed in various locations around the world. New buyers are now dealing with the difficult task of repairing them.

I liked this article because the topic was so unique. Any new angle one can spin on Katrina is impressive. The Strib article took a personal story of one person who lost her car to Katrina, and followed it all the way to Bolivia to the new owner, using it as a springboard to address the topic.
KomoTV talked more about car damage and consumer complaints.
One thing I found particularly impressive about the Strib was tthat hey got the new car owners mechanic to comment.

Man goes to trial for murder

Richard Scheibe, a 33-year-old Elk River man, is going to be sentenced for the murder of Amy Woollard Monday. Woollard was found in her car recently dead sitting next to a suicide note. But the case did't add up.

Before too long, it came to light that Scheibe had had an affair with Woollard and was the father of her baby. Woollard had tried to get Scheibe to pay child support, but she refused: the motive!

Eventually, Scheibe admitted to fighting Woollard for the gun, which went off and killed her. Scheibe was charged with first degree murder.

The Strib article was more recent, and gave the article only the basic facts they needed to understand that Scheibe is being sentenced today. Kare 11 gave a more in-depth look at the motive and such.
I found the Strib's word choice interesting. For example, "an affair that led to Wollard giving birth" obviously translates to "he impregnated her" -- much more simple. I also found it interesting that the deck and the lead were one and the same.

Hate vandalism in St. Cloud

The carvings of two swatiskas were found on the St. Cloud State campus Saturday, and SCS is not looking the other way. Police are currently investigating the incident, calling it "bias motivated property damage", according to the Strib. College officials and students were featured in the stories.

I thought this was a very interesting story, and I wanted to examine the way that touchy subjects such as racism are dealt with in newswriting. The St. Cloud Times, clearly having a proximity advantage -- as well as obligation -- took a much more in-depth look at the issue than the Strib. It covered the incident, consequences and related occurances. The Strib just did a quick who,what,why,when,where,how. The Times was of course more interesting, although it's probably just fine that the Strib didn't give it too much print. Not being an extremely serious issue, the newsworthiness of the event minimizes with every mile further one gets from St. Cloud, in my opinion. But I did think it was good that the Strib had a brief about it. It seems like it has had a sizeable impact on the St. Cloud community and therefore worth bringing to the attention of Twin Cities residents.

One thing I found interesting about both of these articles is that niether addressed that it might just be dumb college kids that think they're funny. To me, this seems a whole lot more likely than it actually being an act of hate. I suppose a publication has to be very careful with a thing like this though.

Two Die in North Mankato

A mobile home exploded early Saturday morning in North Mankato, leaving two dead. The causes are unknown, and the bodies have yet to be identified.

The Strib and Pi-Press both took very different approached to covering this. The Strib was much more in-depth. It began with an anectdotal lead, which, although it is apparent it was written quickly, worked well. It was engaging and drew me in. The story then took the reader on a ride down the inverted pyramid, covering everything newsworthy and seemingly moving back in forth across a hazy line of news story and news obituary. One thing I especially liked about it was, although the identities were not yet confirmed, the writer wasn't afraid to say who they most likely were. It did not make the mistake of saying it was anyone for certain, and it also didn't make the mistake of not acknowledging that it was very likely the people who lived there. It then talked about their lives, with some personal info that made the story more real.
The Pi-Press went with the brief. A few lines of the facts, and only the facts. A safe bet, but I liked the Strib's better.
One thing I did not like about the Strib article was the quote "She was such a good employee, I didn't want to see her leave the Free Press."
I'm sure the reporter meant well, and did not have much to work with, but it sounds like this lady is mad because her employee died so she can't work for her anymore. I know this is most likely not what was intended by the reporter or the source, but that's how it read to me.

November 12, 2007

US Soldiers Ambushed

A group of US soldiers were killed in a "complicated ambush" Friday. This puts the death toll for American soldiers in Afghanistan over 100 now, the article stated.
There has been a lot of media coverage dealing with American troop deaths in the media lately. Last week, 2007 became the year of the highest amount of American war casualities since all this business got started, reaching over 850.
With Veterans Day right around the corner, I think this hits a lot of Americans hard, especially those who have experienced war before.
These article dealt a lot with numbers. The CNN article was basically raw data, and it gets the job done. But the Strib article used these recent deaths to address the issue that soldiers are still dying. It used numbers clearly and concisely to help the story.


Gun Control goes to Supreme Court

The gun control policy in Washington D.C. is in question. Currently, guns are all but banned in D.C., and the issue hasn't been carefully examined in about 31 years. The decision the Supreme Court will come to will undoubtedly have dire implications for the rest of the country. There is a lot of argument over the interpretation of the Second Ammendment, and this will set a new precedent.
This article dealt quite a bit with numbers. It talked a lot about different years, and lengths of time. The numbers helped the story a lot by keeping it in context, and were not too confusing.