December 10, 2007

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

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.

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

November 12, 2007

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.

October 22, 2007

Atlanta drought gets serious

A massive drought in Atlanta, Georgia has the major city looking at only 90 days left of water. The unprecedented water shortage has left many in panic.
These two articles took two very different approaches to describing the epic scene.
ABC news played it safe with a straight, invert-pyramid style piece. It was interesting, well written and portrayed the serious nature of the drought.
The Strib took a little more creative approach. It looked almost like an alternative news story, though without the usual bells and whistles. The article was broken up into different sections including: THE SITUATION, THE FIRST STEP, THE NEXT STEP, and so on.
I personally was more drawn to the Strib. I am always interested in reading articles that take a unique approach of any sort.


October 15, 2007

AIM leader died

Vernon Bellecourt, a prominent figure in the American Indian Movement, died Saturday due to pneumonia at age 75. Bellecourt was mostly known for his battle against racist sports team names.
He had fallen ill a few weeks after a trip to Venezuala, and progressively got worse.
Both of these articles talked a lot about Bellecourt's life and accomplishments furthering human rights for American Indians. The MSNBC article seemed a little more personal to me, so I would say that I liked that article better than the Strib, except the MSNBC article literally has a mortgage advertisement in the middle of it. This is a great example of news outlet advertising taking away from the news. Tsk tsk!


October 8, 2007

6 young people killed in Wisconsin

Six young people were killed in Crandon, Wisconsin Sunday afternoon by a local off duty deputy named Tyler Peterson. Peterson, 20, shot several people at a pizza party. The motive for the crime is still unknow, but it is believed that it was a crime of passion. The victims were all teenagers and young adults.
The town of Crandon is living a nightmare. Testimonies from locals were very emotional.
There was a wide variety of sources for this article. A lot of the sources were police officers and investigators. This gave the story a legitimate voice. But the article also had quite a bit of informal sources, just people around the town. This made the story more personal.


October 1, 2007

Murderer fugitives arrested

2 murderers on the run after escaping from a Utah prison were recently caught. The killers had tied up a 72-year-old former police officer and stolen his SUV. The ex-cop freed himself and called authorities. After a long chase and a few shots fired (from police), the criminals were taken into custody.
This was a straight forward inverted pyramid story. It flowed well.


September 24, 2007

MIT student arrested at airport

MIT student Star Simpson was arrested at Logan International Airport in Boston, MA on Friday. Simpson had some sort of computer device strapped to her chest that authorities believed to be a bomb. After being spotted, she was swarmed by troopers with automatic weapons prepared to use "deadly force".
The suspected explosive device turned out to be some of Simpson's art. She was arrested and is still in jail on charges of "disturbing the peace and possessing a hoax device''.
Logan International Airport was one of the aiports that 9/11 hijacked planes took off from.
Simpson said that she was wearing it because she was proud of her art.
The article made no further mention of why she thought that this would be an acceptable thing to do.

The lead in this article was somewhat confusing to me. First of all, it was verbatim the deck. This should not be.

Also, it said: "..with what police feared was a fake bomb attached to her chest .." This doesn't make much sense to me. The police seem to have feared that it was a REAL bomb. If they feared that it was a fake bomb, they wouldn't have had to arrest her at gun point.
The rest of the article was good. It was clear, concise, and informative.

September 17, 2007

OJ Faces Time

OJ Simpson, once known for being a famous football player, will perhaps forever remain branded by the media as responsible for killing his ex-wife. Simpson was recently arrested on suspicion of armed robbery.
Police believe that Simpson and a friend broke into a Las Vegas hotel room and stole memorabilia at gun point. He was arrested Sunday and is being held without option of bail.
Simpson said that he went into the hotel room to retrieve items that were stolen from him, and that he was not armed. He said that he did not contact police because they have not been cooperative towards him since his murder trial.
According to the David Roger, Clark County District Attorney, Simpson could face 30+ years jail time.
This lead seemed a little wordy to me. I think there is room for improvement. For example, though it was relevant to talk about Simpson's murder trial, it was not necessary to put it in the lead. It could have come later in the story. However, it was informative, and did draw me in.


September 10, 2007

Miner's Memorial

There was a memorial held in Huntington, Utah on Sunday in honor of the 6 minors that were recently killed by a devastating mine collapse. The memorial took place in a junior high footbal field, and was attended by about 1,000 of close friends and family.
The mining collapse has been one of the nation's biggest stories this summer.