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May 1, 2007

Hatch resigns post under Attorney General Lori Swanson

The Star Tribune and Pioneer Press carried the same Associated Press story Tuesday that former attorney general Mike Hatch resigned his post working under current Attorney General Lori Swanson. During Hatch's tenure in the office, Swanson worked under him. She surprised the St. Paul political community when she appointed him in January to head a "team looking into complex cases," Brian Bakst of the AP said.

Since then, Swanson has encountered staff problems, including "about three dozen staff departures" since taking over in January, the article said.

The Pioneer Press reported last Friday the 27th on the "shake=up" in the office, and the growing discord between Swanson and AFSCME, the state's largest public employee union. They also reported on the "exodus" of nearly 30 employees.

The Star Tribune reported Friday specifically on the AFSCME issue, noting that the situation is rare, considering Swanson is a Democrat, and AFSCME endorsed her candidacy, a move that union leaders now say they regret. The dispute has prompted state Republicans to take a position in defense of the union.

Minnesota Public radio reported on the problems as well last Friday. Written approximations of the segments can be found online at MPR's Web site

Ruben Rosario of the Pioneer Press went as far Sunday as writing an open letter to Swanson encouraging her to fire Hatch. Many feel Hatch's personality and history in Minnesota politics contributed to the unrest in the attorney general's office.

April 6, 2007

Newspaper corrections

The New York Times' corrections section for Friday, April 6 included a clarification about a quote used out of context in reference to the lawsuits over arrests made at the 2004 Republican National Convention. The Times acknowledged that they misused the quote, which was in response to a general question about the litigation, not a reaction to a more specific question about discrepancies between statements he and Mayor Bloomberg made.

The Times also clarified points in articles about France's laws pertaining to head scarves in schools, the effects of estrogen hormone therapy for menopause, among others.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune published corrections Friday about the switch of two photos of vacuum models for an article Wednesday, and about an appearance by the band Soul Asylum that will not be playing at an aid festival in Waseca, Minn. this summer, as was stated.

March 27, 2007

Smoking ban passes Senate

The Star Tribune reported the passage by the Minnesota Senate of a bill Tuesday that would eliminate tobacco smoke from almost all indoor spaces. Similar measure have been passed in the Twin Cities metro area by city councils. The bill has long been debated in Minnesota state government, and lobbies on both sides have fought for and against it for years.

The Pioneer Press included a short brief on their Web site, encouraging readers to follow the story in Wednesday's paper.

March 4, 2007

U.S. forces move into Sadr City

The New York Times reported the U.S. has moved in Sadr City, a neighborhood in Baghdad long considered a stronghold for those loyal to Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr. The U.S. military has not undergone an operation this large in the neighborhood since 2004.

The Star Tribune printed an Associated Press report on the event.

February 25, 2007

Minnesota filmmaker wins best first feature at Spirit Awards

The Star Tribune printed an article in their entertainment section about Ali Selim, a St. Paul based filmmaker, who won the Spirit Award for best first feature for his film, "Sweet Land." The film, about a Norwegian immigrant farmer who marries a German immigrant woman in the 1920s, was filmed near Montevideo.

The Pioneer Press ran an Associated Press article about the Spirit Awards, which recognize independent films, and headlined it, "Minnesota filmmaker wins best first feature at Spirit Awards." The article is mostly about "Little Miss Sunshine," the best picture winner.

February 13, 2007

New Orleans hit by storm, apparent tornado

The Minneapolis Star Tribune printed an Associated Press report on the severe weather that moved through New Orleans early Tuesday. The article, posted Tuesday morning, reports that an 86-year-old woman died, and at least 15 were injured. It describes the damage to areas of the city that have not fully recovered from Hurricane Katrine.

Another Associated Press article from Tuesday evening, also printed in the Star Tribune, reported the number injured at more than 29. The piece tells more about the woman who died, Stella Chambers, and reports her age as 85 rather than 86.

The second piece also includes statements from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

As of Tuesday night, the St. Paul Pioneer Press ran only a 96 word brief on the weather moving through Louisiana and Alabama.

The New York Times posted another Associated Press article Wednesday about the storm.

January 30, 2007

New development in St. Paul rape case

Nearly a month after the first of two rapes on St. Paul's East Side, police say they are looking for two suspects, not one. DNA test results showed that the victims, a 57-year-old women, and one week later, a 13-year-old girl, were raped by two different men.

A story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press quotes police spokesman Tom Walsh. He said that while there is not a serial rapist, there are "two separate very violent sex offenders," and he is not sure if that is better or worse. He said it won't change how police approach the investigation.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune attributed information about the investigation to Walsh as well. They quoted him directly about changes in police investigation methods.

The Star Tribune also quoted Sgt. Paul Schnell, the lead investigator in the case. His statements echo those of Walsh in the Pioneer Press article. Also quoted briefly in the article is Dan Bostrom, a city council member and retired police officer who investigated sex crimes.

In my opinion the Star Tribune does a better job of attributing information because they went farther and got it from more than one credible source. The Pioneer Press article, while still clear and informative, attributes some of its information to unnamed investigators and only directly quotes Walsh.

January 28, 2007

Protesters rally on both coasts

Tens of thousands protested the war in Iraq Saturday in the nation's Capitol and West Coast.

In a report published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Associated Press covered the protests in Washington. The New York Times ran a Reuters report that also covered the Washington rally. Protesters demonstrated on the Mall and marched on the Capitol building.

The Washington Post covered the protests but chose to emphasize actress Jane Fonda's role, comparing it to her vocal opposition to the Vietnam War. The Post named other celebrity protesters at the event.

Protests occurred on the West Coast in San Francisco as reported by the Chronicle, and San Diego as reported by the Union-Tribune.