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Obituary

Alberto Arroyo's Obituary from the New York Times.

The reporter used many different sources for this obituary. He cited past interviews with Sen. William Proxmire and Alberto Arroyo himself. He talked to both Henry Stern, the parks commissioner and Louis Torres, a friend of Arroyo's helping to execute his will.

My guess is that the reporter also looked at the three scrapbooks Arroyo kept. In it Arroyo saved clippings about himself. I assume the reporter looked at the clippings directly in his scrapbooks or searched online for information others reported about Arroyo.

There was also a documentary made about Arroyo that I am sure the reporter saw.

The lead has all of the parts of a typical obituary lead has, but the reporter arranges the parts in a different way. I think the way the lead is written hints at Arroyo's personality and therefore works. I get the impression he was a bit of a storyteller, but that people were more than happy to listen to stories of the interesting life he led.

While Arroyo's obituary lists his achievements, the story moves beyond that of a resume by showing the impact he had on the people around him. You can almost feel Arroyo's personality oozing through the writing.

Whether this was by conscious choice or due to a lack of information, the story is not bogged down in information about Arroyo's academic or professional life. Instead we see him through the eyes of those who were lucky enough to have encountered him.

Speeches

On Wednesday Obama gave a speech in the East Room of the White House. The following transcript and news story covers his speech about health care reform.

The first paragraph of the New York Times' article focused on his call for an "up or down vote" on health care reform and the timetable in which he hopes to pass the bill.

The second paragraph introduced a quote from Obama which added voice to the story. You also learn where and when the speech occurred.

In the third paragraph you learn the context and larger situation in which the speech occurred.

Throughout the rest of the article small points were made in reference to Obama's speech, but they were typically followed by reactions from other political officials.

This article seemed to focus more on reactions about the potential success or failure of the bill.

Multimedia

I decided to analyze the multimedia content for the New York Times and the BBC.

The multimedia section for the New York Times mainly focuses on photo slideshows.
There are also a few interactive features and an occasional video feature. A link is included on their multimedia page to connect to their podcasts.

The BBC's multimedia section mainly contains video and audio clips. The BBC also has a small photo section, but it seems that they mainly ask readers to contribute to this part.

The multimedia sections seem to illustrate the news stories that reporters write. They add more color and personality to the story and help introduce a "human" angle or experience.

The writing in the New York Times' photo slide shows is short and to the point. Often the reporter used the first sentence to describe the scene and the second to broaden the context of the story.

However, many times the reporter used only one sentence to both describe and broaden the context. Other times the reporter simply described the scene in the photo.

Quotes were rarely, if ever, used and verbs were in the present tense.

The phrases that accompanied the BBC's video and audio content were short snippets that summarized the content that would be covered. They seemed to mimic news headlines.

Spot and Follows

The story from the Huffington Post, about a lawsuit brought against a Philadelphia school district for allegedly spying on their students, was updated twice the following day.

The lead for the original story focused on the fact that a lawsuit was filed against a Philadelphia school district for spying on students with webcams.

The lead for the first update focused on the reply the school district gave to in response to the allegations.

The lead for the second update emphasizes the FBI investigation into the incident.

The updates do not summarize content from the main article. The reporter only referenced the original article in the lead by referring to the circumstances surrounding the allegations the school faced.

The updates only serve to advance the material of the story by answering questions posed by the reporter of the original article.

Story Structure

The story from Kare 11 news, about a locally made Doritos commercial, follows the typical structure for a hard news story.

The first paragraph, the lead, includes all of the key facts of the story such as who did what, when they did it, and where.

However the style of the lead seems to be more similar to a lead for a feature story. It presents the straight facts in a more interesting and narrative way.

The second paragraph essentially restates and elaborates on the facts presented in the lead.

The following four paragraphs alternate between quotes from one of the film makers and facts about what led up to the showing of the commercial.

The quotes introduce a personality and voice into the story, while the two fact blocks help the reader understand the circumstances under which the commercial was shown.

The article then concludes with two fact blocks that give more information about how the commercial was made and what the two film makers plan to do in the future.

I agree with the way the reporter organized the story. Readers would still understand the article, even if the last two paragraphs were cut off. This shows you that the reporter placed all of the crucial facts towards the top of the article.

If Kare 11 was especially short on space, the first two paragraphs would even give the reader enough information about the topic.

Attribution

NBC New York used four sources in their report about a level three sex offender working as a building superintendent in New York City.

They named all of their sources by at least their first name. When NBC New York attributed individuals in their report they used an additional identifier, such as resident, neighbor, or New York State assemblyman.

NBC New York also named the New York Post, the news organization they received some information from.

The sources are scattered throughout the story. The information from the New York Post was used as background information, quotations from the resident and neighbor were used to give a personal angle to the story, and the information from the assemblyman was used to expand the story beyond this specific situation.

The reporter typically uses one paragraph to introduce the topic of the quotation.

I believe this style is effective because it prepares the reader to understand the quotation that opens the following paragraph.

Leads

On Jan. 31, the BBC posted a story about the sabotage of a Nigerian pipeline. The lead in this article contained information on whose pipeline was attacked, what happened, and where the incident occurred.

The lead identifies that a Royal Dutch Shell pipeline was attacked. The "who" becomes more detailed in the second paragraph when the pipeline is identified as Trans Ramos pipeline.

The description of what happened was detailed, the pipeline was sabotaged and three oil flow stations were shut down.

The reporter also identified the specific region of Nigeria that the attack took place, the Niger Delta region.

The lead did not contain information on when the incident took place. The reporter clarified this detail in the second paragraph when she said the attack took place on Saturday.

The reporter made no mention in the lead as to why the attack occurred. I think this was wise because there was no definitive answer to that question.

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