Analysis: Data and Records - CNN Program for violence in Chicago

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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.

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This page contains a single entry by marr0110 published on December 9, 2012 10:19 PM.

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