WCCO reports on links between arsenic and rice

| No Comments

Higher levels of arsenic was found in people who eat more rice reported WCCO, Monday.
The WCCO anchor reported on a Dartmouth study that analyzed the arsenic levels in urine of 230 pregnant women and found that arsenic levels rose with higher rice intake.
A Dartmouth spokesperson, who was not identified, said in a clip that rather than eliminate rice from diets altogether, arsenic levels within the rice should be monitored.
The beginning of the report tied this study to an earlier broadcast that reported on links between lead and arsenic and apple juice.
Unlike many other radio and televised broadcasts that are later uploaded online, this broadcast was accompanied not by a news story on the same topic, but rather by the actual text of the broadcast.
The broadcast concluded with information about arsenic in food, noting that it "occurs naturally in the environment" and is only harmful in higher rates than were found in the study.

Putin still in the lead, barely

| No Comments

Russia's parliamentary election did not go as expected Sunday when the ruling party, the United Russia party "barely won the majority", according to and NPR radio report.
Masha Lipman, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center, told Steve Inskeep in an interview that not only did the Communist party do relatively well in the election with 20 percent of the vote, but that "all parties claimed this election was fraudulent".
NPR's Inskeep conducted the report as an interview of Lipman, rather than as a traditional radio report with sound clips.
Inskeep kept the interview professional but casual as he expressed his surprise at the support of Russian opposition parties. Lipman suggested that Russians were more defiant after becoming increasingly disgruntled by the blatant political corruption.
Vladmier Putin who is now running for president, served two terms previously and had arranged for Dmitry Medvedev to take his place when he could not serve another consecutive term, according to the report.
Inskeep did manage to keep to the traditional news format discussing the election as the most current event, then finishing the interview with a brief summary of events leading up to the election.

Fox 9 news reports on St. Paul lights display

| No Comments

"Holiday Lights in the Park", an annual lights display in St. Paul, Minn. began Tuesday, reported Fox 9 news in a televised broadcast.
The report was akin to a newspaper brief and was therefore reported on by the news anchor alone.
Local charities, not specified in the report, will benefit from the 50 light displays featured throughout the park, as visitors are charged $10 per car.
Footage of carolers and the holiday themed light displays flashed across the screen as the anchor briefly described the event.
Specific details about the opening event, such as who was caroling and why or any other events that celebrated the beginning of this holiday tradition were not mentioned in the short segment.

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/entertainment/holiday-lights-in-phalen-park-switch-on-nov-22-2011

NPR reports on the science of temper tantrums

| No Comments

Scientists have begun turning a parent's greatest frustration into a science after collecting audio tracks for more than 100 temper tantrums, according to an NPR radio report Monday.
Researchers observed the cycle of these tantrums from the escalation, to the whimpering cry signaling a tantrum's end. According to the report, researchers claim that all tantrums follow the same general pattern, no matter the duration.
The radio report uses the basic formula of introduction, then passing the story to the reporter and is accompanied by a written report that does not follow the broadcast report verbatim.
The story is reported using clips from interviews with experts and researchers and incorporating some of the audio from temper tantrums as vital to the report. The reports asks listeners to listen for changes in children's screams as evidence towards the new theory.
The new study contradicts previous beliefs that tantrums have two stages: angry then sad, indicating instead that sadness is mixed in with the anger throughout the tantrum.
This new theory, according to the report, will help parents to deal with their child's temper tantrum more effectively.
However, the reporter ends the report with a different suggestion for dealing with temper tantrums, change the viewpoint from annoyed parent to scientific observation and the tantrum becomes far less "traumatic".

http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=143062378&m=143131905

BBC reports on proposed train from London to Birmingham

| 1 Comment

The British government is hoping to appease objections to a high-speed train linking London to Birmingham, England, reported the BBC Saturday in a televised broadcast.
Objectors to the initial plan believe that it will damage a "particularly beautiful piece of land" along the proposed route.
The train, according to political correspondent Ben Geoghegan, will travel up to 250 mph, making the travel time across the 100-mile long route less than one hour.
The report used digital graphics to show what the train will look like if completed as well as maps, showing proposed routes, and visuals of the countryside that is at risk of being damaged.
Proposed solutions include an additional underground tunnel, which would cost an additional £500 million on top of the £33 billion project.
Dan Large with the campaign for the High Speed Rail indicated that the train will help to stimulate the economy North of the Midlands.
Opponents, such as Cllr. Martin Tett, a leader on the Buckinghamshire County Council, contend there are better alternative to the expensive plan. He neglected to offer any such alternatives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MZWv4CUnNY

City Pages provides narratives, talks banishment

| No Comments

City Pages: http://www.citypages.com/2011-11-09/news/mille-lacs-ojibwe-fighting-violent-offenders-with-banishment/
The City Pages article begins on the Mille Lacs Indian reservation with a description of a member of the Ojibwe tribe finding the corpse of his badly beaten friend.
In response to increasing gang violence among reservation gangs, particularly in the Mille Lacs region, tribes have begun to resort to an age old tradition of banishment - effectively stripping deserving members of their Native American affiliation, according to the article.
This relatively long article wove descriptive imagery into the story between several different narratives.
Particularly haunting was the assertion that one gang victim's injuries were so horrific that five years after he was beaten, dragged behind a car and left for dead in below zero temperature, he still, "picks gravel out of the scars".
Boxes alongside of the article provided links to related stories, links to further information about particular people or topics, and pictures of the people whose stories are being told in the article.
What made this article interesting, especially given its length was the narrative element. Each new story began with a scene, giving the reader an idea of what these people had been through and why banishment was beginning to resurface as an appropriate punishment.
Unfortunately, the article is lacking in first-hand observations, relying instead upon the recollections of those being interviewed.




New York Times article full of missed opportunities

| No Comments

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/nyregion/rethinking-his-life-for-the-sake-of-his-daughter-neediest-cases.html?ref=nyregion
In the neediest cases section of the New York Times, Saturday, is the story of Jordan McKay and his 3-year-old daughter Skylah.
The article has the potential for a descriptive news story from the 20-year-old's life, it instead provides a brief synopsis of his life as a pseudo gang member, high school drop-out now benefiting from the New York Times neediest cases fund.
A missed opportunity indeed as the story covers a wide variety of places, including the studio apartment he has procured through unemployment benefits and public assistance funds.
There is no reference to the reporter throughout the story, but the beginning descriptions indicate that the reporter certainly was there observing this man as he told his story.
The reporter does well to begin the article describing an interaction between McKay and Skylah, then describing McKay as he relays his tale to the reporter, "Settled on his couch, sunlight blinking through the window, he addressed in his quiet dutiful voice the thick clot of event that had brought him to this room."
However, the article ends, not with a finale of descriptions but rather with a series of figures that imply that McKay is, at least for now, nothing more than a man living off the system who is hoping to one day have a "normal life".

Opinions and briefs for freedom of speech case

| No Comments

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/18/opinion/navarrette-t-shirt-controversy/index.html?hpt=ju_c2
Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/13/court-backs-high-school-in-flap-over-american-flag-t-shirts/

Freedom of speech for students can be limited if there is "reasonable fear" of violence reported CNN Friday.
This idea was upheld by U.S. District Court Judge James Ware when, according to CNN, he dismissed a lawsuit by students of a Northern California high school and their parents.
The students claimed that their rights to freedom of speech had been violated when they were told that they were not allowed to wear their American flag t-shirts at school on Cinco de Mayo.
Fox News reported that the school, in light of "past clashes between Mexican American and Anglo students" made the dress code decision. The judge reportedly agreed that the dress code was a preventative measure and thus a reasonable restriction.
While the Fox News article was a brief that actually linked to a longer article from a different news source, the CNN article was an opinion piece.
The CNN writer inserted himself into the article and using casual language such as "Score one for common sense. Can you imagine where we'd be if the court had gone the other way..." He even went so far as to suggest his political opinion to the reader, something generally frowned upon in journalism.

Minnesota program assists single working mothers

| No Comments

Pioneer Press: http://www.twincities.com/business/ci_19368866

Following the trend of covering the difficult job market, the Pioneer Press reported Saturday on Women Achieving New Directions, a Minnesota program designed to assist single mothers in advancing their careers and increasing their incomes.
This feature story told both the stories of the program and the women benefiting from it, while weaving in some descriptive imagery.
The opening scene gave the reader an idea of the setting of a Roseville meeting: "A dozen women sit in a circle of couches and armchairs sipping coffee, knitting, taking notes and listening intently."
Several women were able to benefit from this program that provides, among other things, night workshops and childcare, career counseling, and networking opportunities, according to the Pioneer Press. Some successful participants even come back to offer their assistance to other women.
While the women interviewed had stories that should be told, the setting of their stories was perhaps less vital to the program. Thus descriptive imagery, was lacking - used only to describe meetings. Instead of setting, the story focused on depicting the stories of the program and the participants.

U.S. soldier retraces dead brother's footsteps

| No Comments

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/10/andrew-ferrara-soldier_n_1086982.html

The Huffington Post reported on the story of Andrew Ferrara, a U.S. soldier, as he retraces the steps of his dead brother Matthew.
The story itself was difficult to follow as it jumped for one scene to the next, completely disregarding any logical sequence of time. In spite of this, the reporter did provide descriptive imagery, allowing the reader to better understand both Ferrara and his journey.
The article began with a description of a scene in Asmar Afghanistan on a steep mountainside as, "several of [Ferrara's] soldiers slip and nearly fall on the sliding gravel and loose rock." These small details paint the scene for the reader, while also telling the reader that the author was in fact there as well - perhaps slipping alongside of the soldiers.
Further, the reporter included a very telling personal detail about Ferrara, he has a tattoo in honor of his brother, in the place where the fatal bullet went through his brother's body.
Interestingly, the article also managed to provide a second-hand description of Matthew Ferrara's last battle in an Afghani village. He was not killed in this battle but in an ambush as he was leaving the village, according to the article.
The remaining portion of the article described Ferrara and his motives, "[Matthew] may have lost his life in a betrayal of trust," for retracing his brother's last steps almost exclusively through quotes from his family.
If the description in the text of the story is not enough of a visual for the reader the story is accompanied by a slideshow of images of Ferrara's journey.