October 2012 Archives

Both the New York Times and the Star Tribune offer a range of multimedia options, including video, slideshows, photos and other graphics.

The New York Times has more original content, most notably in its video options -- it produces its own videos, while the Star Tribune may use videos from aggregators like the Associated Press.

The New York Times story 'In Final Days of the Race, Fighting County by County' includes a slideshow entitled 'On the Campaign Trail.' It shows 11 photos of both presidential candidates and their supporters. Each photo is accompanied by a brief caption.

The story itself is a feature on the final days of the campaign -- where each candidate is traveling, the steps they are taking as the election approaches and where concerns remain for each campaign, respectively. The story also includes an interactive map showing how many electoral votes each candidate has, according to polling data, and which states remain undecided. An additional interactive graphic in this story is a swing state tracker, which allows readers to see which candidate may be ahead in a given swing state and see additional information including numbers of visits by the candidates and their spouses. Short blurbs show what the candidates did in each state.

A Star Tribune "story slideshow" entitled 'Workplace shootings in the U.S.' shows seven photos from workplace shootings in recent years. Each photo is accompanied by the date of the shooting, the location, the shooter, the number of people killed and injured and the shooter's motive.

The Star Tribune slideshow is relatively simple, but it allows readers to see similarities and differences between the shootings and get a sense of the scope of the Accent Signage Systems shooting in September.

Gender pay gap starts early, study finds

| No Comments

Women college graduates still do not earn as much as their male counterparts, a trend that begins right after college, according to a recent study, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported.

The study, conducted by the American Association of University Women, examined data from 2009 on the earnings of male and female college graduates who were working full-time one year after graduation. The data showed that women earned 82 percent of what their male colleagues did.

According to the New York Times, a similar study found women's earnings were 80 percent of men's in 2001.

The gap is often attributed to women doing lower-paid work, the New York Times reported, but the study found that this was not a factor in the disparity. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the study controlled for factors including college major, occupation and hours worked.

The study showed a gap for students from a variety of majors. On average, men earned $8,000 more per year than women.

SPCO, musicians still at odds

| No Comments

After locking out its musicians and cancelling performance through Nov. 4 last week, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's management has yet to reach an agreement with the musicians' union, the Star Tribune reported.

While the musicians' union says pay cuts included in the latest offer from management total 33 percent, SPCO president Dobson West said in a statement Thursday that the cuts total less than 14 percent, according to the Star Tribune.

The disparity may result from the fact that the two sides are calculating costs differently, the Star Tribune reported.

Musicians were locked out Oct. 21 following a 6 p.m. deadline to respond to management's latest offer, the Pioneer Press reported. The musicians will not be paid during the lockout.

According to the Pioneer Press, this is the first time that both the SPCO and the Minnesota Orchestra are locked out simultaneously.

In response to the offer from management, the SPCO musicians' union asked for a more detailed financial report and planned a vote for Oct. 31.

Shooting the result of road rage, police say

| No Comments

A Rosemount woman was shot early Sunday on Interstate 35E in Eagan in what police say was a case of road rage, the Star Tribune reported.

Police are now asking the public for help in identifying the shooter. According to the Pioneer Press, most of the 7 other passengers in the car the woman was riding in were too intoxicated to offer detailed information.

The 26-year-old woman, whose identity has not been released, was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul with non-life threatening injuries, the Star Tribune reported.

When the incident occurred, the woman was riding on another passenger's lap in the front seat of a Volkswagen Jetta with her back to the window, the Star Tribune reported.

When the car entered the interstate at about 2:20 a.m., a dark-colored SUV began "tailgating" the Volkswagen, Sgt. Danielle Anselment told the Star Tribune.

Gary Hengy, who was driving the Volkswagen, made an obscene gesture at the SUV driver. The driver then pulled up beside the Volkswagen and fired at least two shots, the Pioneer Press reported.

Hengy, 28, was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Arrest made in BBC sex abuse case

| No Comments

British police arrested a man Sunday in connection with a sexual abuse case related to popular BBC host Jimmy Savile, the New York Times reported.

Although police did not identify the man, saying only he was in his 60s, British media including the BBC and Press Association identified 68-year-old former pop star Gary Glitter, CBS News reported.

According to the New York Times, Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, is a convicted pedophile. He was imprisoned for three years in Vietnam for sexually abusing two young girls.

The case surrounding Savile, who died last year at 84, is a growing police investigation known as Operation Yewtree, according to the New York Times. As of last week, more than 300 people had reported to British police that Savile assaulted them. According to CBS, police said Savile is among the worst sex offenders in recent history.

Both Savile and Gadd are accused of abusing children in the BBC's studios, the New York Times reported.

"If any BBC employee is shown to be involved, then there would be a nosedive in public trust," said Roy Greenslade, a professor at City University in London, according to CBS. "But nothing at the moment has been proven."

Preparations underway as Hurricane Sandy nears

| No Comments

States along the mid-Atlantic coast prepared Sunday for Hurricane Sandy, a potentially life-threatening storm, the New York Times reported.

Public officials ordered schools closed, airlines cancelled flights and Gov. Michael Bloomberg ordered public transportation systems closed and low-lying parts of the city evacuated, the Washington Post reported.

The storm has already hit the Caribbean, killing more than 60 people, the New York Times reported. According to the Washington Post, it will cross eight states and move into Canada and is expected to bring torrential rains and winds of up to 75 mph.

President Obama attended a briefing in Washington with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials, according to the New York Times. He said federal officials are "making sure that we've got the best possible response to what is going to be a big and messy system."

According to computer tracking systems, the Washington Post reported, Hurricane Sandy will likely hit U.S. shores between the Delmarva Peninsula and Rhode Island.

This story, which was written by Maura Lerner for the Star Tribune, is an update on how the nationwide meningitis outbreak is affecting Minnesota.

It begins with a hard news lede, explaining that the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed two new cases of meningitis in Minnesota that are linked to a contaminated drug.

The nut graf explains who the two people are and identifies the clinics where they received the drug, which gives the reader enough information to understand the significance of the update.

In the next several paragraphs, Lerner gives a broader perspective by explaining how other hospitals and clinics in the state are handling the outbreak. She also explains that the Food and Drug Administration has warned clinics about other drugs from the company that produced the contaminated injections, broadening the scope further.

In the second-to-last paragraph, Lerner explains where the contaminated drugs were manufactured, and the concludes in the last paragraph with data on meningitis cases reported in Minnesota.

The structure of this story is essentially the inverted pyramid, providing the most important and recent information in the beginning and then widening the scope of the story to the end. This is effective because the story is fact-based. Some other coverage of the outbreak has focused in on specific patients and so has been more anecdotal, but this story is meant to inform readers about the most recent development in an ongoing issue.

14,000 at risk for meningitis from contaminated drug

| No Comments

About 14,000 people in the United States may have been infected with meningitis after taking a contaminated drug, the New York Times reported.

Of people who used the drug -- a steroid injection used to treat conditions like arthritis and multiple sclerosis -- 282 have been diagnosed with meningitis and 23 have died.

According to the Star Tribune, seven cases have been reported in Minnesota.

The state Health Department has contacted over 120 clinics whose patients might be at risk. Allina Health disclosed that over 600 patients across its clinics and hospitals received the contaminated injections.

The contaminated drugs were manufactured by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass. and were shipped to 23 states.

Zombie pub crawl sparks train brawl

| No Comments

Metro Transit police are investigating a fight on the light rail following last weekend's Zombie Pub Crawl, the Star Tribune reported.

A woman participating in the event reported being struck during a fight on the southbound Hiawatha Line. Police are determining if it was the same fight captured in a cell phone video that was posted to YouTube Oct. 14.

The woman reported the incident to police at 3 a.m. on Oct. 14, saying the fight resulted from an argument with two other people.

The Zombie Pub Crawl, which began with about 100 participants in 2005, drew about 30,000 participants in 2011, the Pioneer Press reported.

Because of the Pub Crawl's size, Metro Transit assigned 15 extra police officers to buses and trains the night of the event, Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland told the Star Tribune.

Three people killed in two multi-car accidents

| No Comments

Three people were killed in multi-car accidents Friday and Saturday, the Star Tribune reported.

A woman was killed in a crash at about 3:15 p.m. Saturday. The crash happened on Hwy. 7 in St. Louis Park.

The woman was riding in the back seat of a sedan that rear-ended an SUV, triggering a five-car pileup. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the Pioneer Press, alcohol was not believed to be a factor.

Two people were killed in another accident Friday night in St. Michael. The three-car accident killed two drivers and injured another. Several other passengers were also injured.

The identities of those involved have not been released. The causes of both crashes remain under investigation.

Police begin investigation of abuse by popular BBC host

| No Comments

Police have begun a formal investigation into alleged child abuse by deceased BBC host Jimmy Savile after finding that living people may have been involved, the Independent reported.

With over 400 leads and 200 potential victims, the British police on Friday said the allegations are "unprecedented," the New York Times reported.

Savile, who died in 2011 at 84, was a popular BBC host for decades and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

The allegations came to light earlier this month in a documentary broadcast on the British ITV. The documentary included accusations that Savile abused underage girls while volunteering in a hospital, in children's homes and even on BBC premises, the New York Times reported.

So far, Scotland Yard has estimated that the number of victims is 60.

Federal appeals court rules in favor of same-sex unions

| No Comments

A federal appeals court for New York's Second Circuit ruled Thursday that same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits, Salon.com reported.

The decision is the second by a federal appeals court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, the New York Times reported. The decision, which was delivered by Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs, holds that DOMA violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

According to the New York Times, the case, Windsor v. United States, is the first in which a court has applied heightened scrutiny -- a high level of constitutional protection -- to same-sex unions.

The case was brought by Edith Windsor, who faced $363,053 in federal taxes after inheriting a house from her deceased wife, Thea Clara Spyer, the New York Times reported. The marriage, which took place in Canada in 2007, was not considered a legal union under DOMA -- a consideration that would have eliminated the tax bill.

The case may go to the U.S. Supreme Court in what could be a consideration of the same-sex marriage issue as a whole.

Analysis: Campaigns mine personal lives to get out vote

| No Comments

A New York Times story on new data-mining tactics being employed for the first time this year by both presidential campaigns quoted 6 sources, 2 of them anonymous. There are also more vague attributions -- for example, one to "political professionals."

One of the anonymous sources was an official for Governor Mitt Romney's campaign, but was unauthorized the speak to reporters. The second, whose anonymity was not explained, was identified as "a consultant who works closely with Democratic organizations."

The other sources included officials from both campaigns who spoke on the record, as well as a union volunteer and a professor at the University of Notre Dame.

It's unusual to see anonymous sources used, but it makes sense given the nature of the story. The data-mining activities that the article focuses on are a major part of both campaigns' election strategies, and despite the fact that the strategies themselves are similar, campaign officials are likely cautious about the information they reveal.

Much of the information in the story is not attributed, including descriptions of data-mining activities that campaign officials likely described to the reporter. As mentioned above, because both campaigns are still in progress it is unlikely that this type of information would be made readily available to the public -- for example, in document form.

Quotes from sources are scattered throughout the story, allowing them to be in conversation with the information about data-mining that takes up the bulk of the story. The reporter, Charles Duhigg, alternates the way he sets up attribution -- sometimes quotes are cut in half by the name and title, other times it is listed at the end of the quote. This prevents the quotes from feeling too similar and becoming difficult to read.

The relatively low amount of attribution in this story works because it is clear that Duhigg did a lot of research and spoke extensively with representatives from both campaigns. It is likely that he spoke to a lot of more than 6 people, but that others also asked not to be quoted.

Significantly, this story about data is very data-driven, giving the reader specific information about what data-mining is and how it is being used, with commentary from sources providing background.

Skydiver breaks the sound barrier

| No Comments

In a fall from over 24 miles above the earth's surface, an Austrian man on Sunday became the first sky diver to break the sound barrier, the Associated Press reported.

Felix Baumgartner, 43, landed safely in New Mexico after falling for just over nine minutes and reaching a maximum speed of 833.9 mph.

The speed was higher than predicted, the New York Times reported. Engineers expected Baumgartner to fall at 720 mph in part of the stratosphere where the speed of sound is about 690 mph.

Baumgartner's 128,100-foot fall and 119,846-foot free fall are both records in length, but his free fall did not break the record for duration. Joe Kittinger, now 84, set the free fall record in 1960 by falling for 4 minutes and 36 seconds -- just 16 seconds longer than Baumgartner.

But as Baumgartner fell, he said, his mind was not on the records.

"Trust me, when you stand up there on top of the world, you become so humble," he said. "It's not about breaking records anymore. It's not about getting scientific data. It's all about coming home."

U Regents approve request for tuition freeze

| No Comments

The University of Minnesota's Board of Regents voted Friday to approve President Eric Kaler's biennial budget, including a request to freeze undergraduate tuition, the Minnesota Daily reported.

The biennial budget -- Kaler's first since taking office last summer -- totals $1.18 billion, the Star Tribune reported. The total amount requested from the state Legislature totals $91.6 million, which would return the University to the level of state funding it received in 2001.

The freeze, which would apply to academic years 2014 and 2015, would save the average student upwards of $2,500 over four years, the Minnesota Daily reported. In total, it would cost the state legislature $14.2 million per year.

In-state undergraduate tuition currently totals $12,060. According to the Minnesota Daily, Kaler's budget for fiscal year 2012, which the Regents approved in June, included a 3.5 percent increase -- the lowest in 12 years.

The biennial budget will go before the Legislature in January.

4 charged in death of Floodwood woman

| No Comments

Two Duluth men were charged Thursday for second-degree murder after killing a woman and stealing her car and cell phone to obtain drugs, the Star Tribune reported.

Michael W. Siewert, 22, and 17-year-old Joseph A. Yellow lured Cristyna L. Watson, 25, to a garage to purchase drugs. They then hit her in the head with a hammer, strangled her and disposed of her body, police told the Pioneer Press.

Watson was last seen by family members Sept. 8, and the murder occurred sometime between four and five days later, the Star Tribune reported. Her body was found Oct. 4, hidden on property owned by Clifford James Thompson, 56.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, Siewert and Yellow's involvement in the murder was first reported through an anonymous phone call placed Oct. 2.

Thompson was charged as an accomplice in Watson's murder, along with Sewart's girlfiend, 24-year-old Alyssa Rae Peterson.

After VP debate, uncertainty on both sides

| No Comments

Thursday's vice-presidential debate spurred criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, but snap polls show that viewers did not agree on a winner, the New York Times reported.

Current vice president Joe Biden and his opponent, Representative Paul Ryan, contested issues including taxes, job creation and President Barack Obama's foreign policy, the Washington Post reported.

According to the New York Times, Democrats were generally pleased with Biden's performance, while Republicans seized it as an opportunity to ask if the Vice President has come "unhinged."

"His actions just reinforced all of the perceived negatives held by swing voters about him," Keith Madden, a spokesman for Governor Mitt Romney's campaign, told the New York Times. "The interrupting and smirking demonstrated a real lack of composure that folks look for in a vice president."

According to the New York Times, both sides agreed that Biden's demeanor during the debate could affect the outcome of the presidential campaign.

Prior to last week's presidential debate, polls showed Obama holding a strong lead over Romney, the Associated Press reported. The polls now show a tightening margin, with the latest Gallup Poll showing Obama at 48 percent and Romney at 46 percent among registered voters.

14-year-old Pakistani activist shot by Taliban gunmen

| No Comments

Taliban gunmen shot 14-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai Tuesday, leaving her in critical condition.

Yousafzai was on board a bus with other schoolchildren when the gunmen boarded and shot her in the head and neck, the New York Times reported. Two other girls were also wounded in the attack.

According to the BBC, Yousafzai's public presence began in 2009, when she wrote a blog for BBC Urdu documenting life under the Taliban. Her native Swat Valley was captured by the Taliban in 2007, but they were ousted in a Pakistani military offensive in 2009.

Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told the New York Times that if Yousafzai survives, she will be targeted again.

"Let this be a lesson," he said.

In Pakistan, public figures immediately condemned the attack, the BBC reported.

"Malala is like my daughter, and yours too," said Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. "If that mindset prevails, then whose daughter would be safe?"

About this Archive

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

November 2012 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.