December 2012 Archives

In CNN's story "Questions surround $55 million program to cut violence in Chicago," the three special investigator reporters, Scott Zamost, Drew Griffin and Elizabeth Nunez had to utilize multiple forms of data to form a full story.

Research was conducted on Pat Quinn's campaign for governor so the story could have a fuller view of the plan's origin. Statements were taken from the minutes of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority to increase the stories creditability.

Some of the data that was necessary for the story was information about the effectiveness of the program to reduce the Chicago murder rate. The reporters also referred to a series of pay rates that would need to be both discovered and verified. The reporters attended open meetings in Chicago to understand what recommendations were made before the plan was implemented.

Like we discussed in class, reporters can request information from letters sent that pertain to the story. These CNN reporters obtained information from letter from the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority.

The story incorporated quite a few numbers that helped the reader understand the story. "Two years after the program was implemented, there have been 476 murders in the city, a nearly 20 percent," CNN reported. These figures would need to be checked over multiple times to ensure accuracy.

Researchers at the University of Illinois are rechecking some of the numbers about the costs and success of the program since the numbers were self-reported. This was an important point in the story because it is necessary to look at where the source of the information is coming from to determine how trustworthy it is. The people reporting it may have a larger stake in making the numbers look favorable for them.

The accompanying multimedia was a video featuring some components of the news story from Anderson Cooper 360. Although it is not an interactive graphic, it is a suitable compliment for the story. It tells the story in a different format to reach a broader audience. The story was so fully reported and researched and the video clips reflected the depth of the story well. I do think an interactive graphic that compared murder rates across the country and/or across the years in Chicago would have been engaging.

To create this a number of tools would have had to have been utilized. The video required skills with video cameras and video editing software. This also would include being able to overlay text and write explanatory captions that were short and succinct but still informative. To gather all the data described above the reporters needed to be able to successfully navigate websites containing meeting minuets and interpret and compare data with numbers.

Police pull body from Mississippi River

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A homeless man died on Saturday after slipping into the Mississippi River, the Pioneer Press reported.

The man's friend alerted the police and firefighters after he saw him slip into the river, the Pioneer Press reported.

The incident occurred south of Gluek Riverside Park at Northeast 18th Avenue and Marshall Street Northeast, CBS reported.

The homeless man was intoxicated when he went into the river, the Star Tribune reported, but there is no clear indication of why he went in.

One of the firefighters recovered the body from about 15 feet away from shore, but the man had already drowned, according to CBS News.

Sheriff's spokesman Lisa Kiava said there is no indication of foul play, but "we investigate these things," CBS News reported.

Florida to host python-hunting contest

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has announced a Burmese python hunting contest to keep the python population under control, CNN reported.

Wildlife officials have organized the contest in hopes that the public would see the threat this nonnative species has on the Ecosystem, Fox News reported. Data will also be collected to further investigate the python population.

"We are hoping to gauge from the python challenge the effectiveness of using an incentive-based model as a tool to address this problem," Florida Wildlife Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson told CNN.

A prize of $1,500 will be awarded to the person who kills the most pythons, CNN reported. Another $1,000 will go to the person who kills the longest.

The Burmese pythons have destroyed almost 99 percent of the fox, bobcat, and possum populations near the Everglades, according to Slate. They are native to Southeast Asia, but have been brought over to the United States and sold as pets.

According to Fox News, it is currently against federal law to import or sell Burmese pythons.

The challenge begins Jan. 12 for all Floridian permit holders, Fox News reported. Participants will have to pay a $25 entry fee and take an online training course before participating, Slate reported.

Oldest person in the world dies

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The oldest living person in the world, Besse Cooper, died on Tuesday in a nursing home in George, Rueters reported.

Cooped, 116, died peacefully in her sleep shortly after getting her hair done, CNN reported.

"She looked real good when she passed away," her son Sidney Cooper told Rueters.

She was in excellent health, apart from deteriorating eyesight, according to CNN. Cooper lived through three centuries.

Cooper was strong and determined woman and had been a teacher until her first children were born in 1929, according to Rueters.

Cooper had been stripped of her title when Brazilian-born Maria Gomes Valentim was discovered to be 48 days older, reported Rueters. She was later given back the title after Gomes Valentim died in June 2011.

Suspect in Cold Spring police officer death released

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Ryan Larson, the man accused of killing Cold Spring-Richmond Police Officer Tom Decker last week, was released without charges on Tuesday, Fox News reported.

Authorities released Larson, 34, after stating sufficient evidence had not been gathered to convict him, the Star Tribune reported.

"Our agencies have reviewed the investigative data collected thus far and must act within the time allotted by law, within the constraints of the law, and based upon the facts known at this time," said Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall.

Larson told the St. Cloud Times that the police have the wrong man. He said he was asleep at the time of the shooting.

"Basically, they have no evidence whatsoever that points in my direction," Larson told the St. Cloud Times in a phone interview.

Police have not yet found the shot gun that killed Decker, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

Larson told the police he had met Decker a few times while working as a bartender, the Star Tribune reported.

Kate Middleton and Prince William expecting first child

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Kate Middleton's pregnancy was confirmed by St. James's Palace Monday morning, E! News reported.

"Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby," E! News reported the palace said.

Middleton was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London after suffering from morning sickness, New York Daily News reported.

Middleton will remain hospitalized for a few more days "and will require a period of rest thereafter," New York Daily News reported the palace said.

Although an expected due date has not yet been announced, E! News reported that Middleton is still in the very early stages of pregnancy.

"The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news," the palace said.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2012 is the previous archive.

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