December 9, 2007

Local Story 2 12/9 Vikings win fourth straight

All the scoring happened in the 1st half and Adrian Peterson was held to three yards rushing on 14 carries, but the Minnesota Vikings got the job done with a 27-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, forcing five turnovers.

Beat reporter Kevin Siefert uses an anecdotal lead and discusses what he believes are two groups of teams that emerge as the season comes to a close. Some interviews with Vikings players and head coach Brad Childress are used, but the article is more of an analysis describing the transformation of the Vikings since they were 3-6 four weeks ago.

There were also two Associated Press feeds of the game. The first was a short piece where the key plays were reported, very much like a highlight reel on newspaper. The second was more of a mix between reaction and reporting, although neither article interviews anyone from either team. A detailed breakdown follows the main news value in the second AP article.

Local Story 1 12/9 Chisholm woman killed in Colorado shooting

A 26-year-old Chisholm woman was killed from a gunshot wound at Youth With a Misson Center in Arvada, Colorado. Another person died and two more were killed in a separate shooting in Colorado Springs. An investigation is underway to see if the two are related.

Julianne Olsen of KARE 11 wasted no time developing an obituary style story for the 10:00 news, where an anecdotal lead featuring the aspirations of Tiffany Johnson, the Minnesota woman who was killed. Olsen gets a lot of information about Johnson despite only talking to one source and breaks her story up with details on the other victims in the Arvada shooting.

The Associated Press stuck with a direct lead on the Arvada shooting before briefly reporting on the Colorado Springs shooting. After using the first main news bloc, two more supplement the story. The first was a description of the gunman and reports from people who talked to students at Youth Wish a Mission Center. The following news bloc goes into the obituary style that Olsen composed for KARE-11.

December 2, 2007

Local Story 2 12/2 Vikings back in playoff race

Three weeks ago, the Vikings looked like they were headed for the exits. Now, after a 42-10 victory Sunday over the Detroit Lions that was fueled by scoring 28 points in the second quarter alone, the Vikings are in a three-way tie for the second NFC wild card playoff spot with a 6-6 record.

An Associated Press story focused the lead on star rookie running back Adrian Peterson, who returned after suffering a leg injury three weeks ago against Green Bay. Typical with recaps of NFL games, the writer mixes in statistics with storytelling, reporting on the reversals of fortune for both teams (Detroit was 6-2 four weeks ago and now have lost four straight). Once the storytelling is done, the key stats are listed for those interested in player performances.

Kevin Siefert, beat writer for the Star Tribune, makes a joke for his lead as the Vikings by saying they were clinging to a 32-point lead midway through the third quarter, an almost insurmountable margin by that point. Continuing on the "fun" aspect of ripping the opponents apart, Siefer brings the human element of the story into play when the article talks about Kenechi Udeze's interception return that was halted by his slow-motion run; he got tackled from behind. He ends the article on a more serious tone with another player reaction as safety Darren Sharper commented on how good the Vikings can perform if running on all cylinders.

Local Story 1 12/2 Pipeline explosion kills two

Two welders were killed Wednesday in an oil pipeline explosion in northern Minnesota. The cause is still yet to be determined, but the explosion isn't expected to affect oil prices, although crude oil did rise $4 on Wednesday before fears were settled.

An Associated Press feed was brief, a quick surface story going over the most vital details of the case. The lead begins with an update on the news and then recapping what occurred on Wednesday before elaborating on further details about the section of pipe that will be investigated.

Scott Goldberg of KARE-11 emphasized his story on the victims who were killed, reporting it as something that can't be repaired. A few paragraphs are spent reflecting on the victims from Enbridge's vice president (Enbridge owns the pipeline) and one of the victim's father before shifting focus to how oil prices would be affected in the explosion, tailoring the story where people not related to the victims would be impacted.

November 25, 2007

Local Story 2 11/25 Eden Prairie defeats Cretin Derham-Hall to win 5A state title

In the most anticipated championship game for the Minnesota State High School League football tournament, Eden Prairie destroyed Cretin Derham-Hall 50-21 to take the class AAAAA title. Eden Prairie has now won back-to-back state titles.

John Millea of the Star Tribune has a little fun with the lead, poking fun at his own observations of Eden Prairie not giving up a point in the first quarter all season. He continues with his comedic storytelling for a couple paragraphs before starting to analyze the game and give the audience the key plays that set up for Eden Prairie's win. Millea includes an observation he made at the game before ending the story with what he says are two letters needed to spell domination, E and P (Eden Prairie's initials).

Tim Leighton of the Pioneer Press also uses a comic lead, but only for one paragraph, quickly addressing the score with a nutshell analysis of the game. A few paragraphs later, he gets interviews with head coaches from both teams and volleying between players of both teams, seeking for insider details on how the game came out the way it did. In fact, the article ends with Eden Prairie's head coach, Mike Grant, praising his son, Ryan Grant, quarterback for Eden Prairie.

Local Story 1 11/25 2 killed in plane crash in Faribault

A small plane crashed Sunday near Faribault Municipal County Airport, killing at least two passengers. No status has been given on the other two passengers in the plane.

WCCO didn't send out any reporters to cover the story on their first tun of the story, instead providing quick hits on the most important details. Aviators curious to know what happened would get a lot of information as WCCO was able to contact an FAA spokesman to discuss the crash.

An Associated Press feed reported the same information in the first three paragraphs. They supplied additional information, including a quote from the Fairbault police chief to descrive his account of the scene, which was very short. The final paragraph in the short inverted pyramid shows that more details will be released Monday when the FAA investigates. A level one story overall that informs its audience to stay tuned to get their questions answered.

November 18, 2007

Local Story 2 11/18 MSU-Mankato student killed

A student at Minnesota State University-Mankato was killed early Sunday and another was seriously injured when they were struck by a vehicle driven by a 17-year-old

KARE-11 didn't send any reporters to cover the story, although a follow-up is likely once the identities of the victims are released. The lead lists the basic information and the location of the accident is given in the second paragraph. KARE-11 does get the president of MSU-Mankato to speak about the incident. Information on what MSU will be doing is also included.

Chao Xiong from the Star Tribune follows the same format as KARE-11, being a hard news story, but also included information on the location of the accident to provide an answer to questions of why the accident occurred in the middle of the night. Also reported is the specific time of the accident and the event that led to it Outside of that, there isn't a lot to work with as details have yet to be released, but there is some anecdotal information on previous deaths of MSU-Mankato students.

Local Story 1 11/18 Rhodes Scholars

Two female students from St. Olaf College in Northfield were named Rhodes Scholars for 2008 Sunday. Ishanaa N. Rambachan, of Apple Valley, Minn., and Nicole L. Novak, of Iowa City, Iowa, along with 30 other women and 32 men were selected from a pool of 764 applicants.

An Associated Press version of the story was a brief summary of the Minnesota college students who won the award along with some background info on other winners and the program itself. It was likely a level one story, as they relayed the announcement and gave readers an idea of how big a deal it is to be Rhodes scholars, but did not interview any of the scholars themselves. It could also be a first update with the human aspect to come later.

The Star Tribune's Randy Furst wasted little time with the human interest aspect. Furst uses a delayed lead to tell the audience what makes the 2008 scholars tick, then tell the story on their own immediately after the main news value is introduced. The focus is then broadened to include the professional perspective from St. Olaf before telling more about the scholars.

November 11, 2007

Local Story 2 11/11 Numbers - Packers shut out Vikings

The Green Bay Packers picked the Vikings apart, cruising to a 34-0 win at Lambeau Field Sunday, improving their season record to 8-1 in the process.

The Associated Press don't use too many numbers until the second half of the story, with the main news value (for Vikings fans) being the injury suffered by Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. The lead is delayed, with the injury not appearing until the second paragraph. When it does come time for numbers, the article is tailored to football fans who are familiar with the terminology (yards, points scored).

Kevin Siefert of the Star Tribune incorporates game statistics in his report of the game, no doubt a hard job to provide objective coverage given the nature of the game. Again, the numbers used in the story reflect that the audience has a general knowledge of football as more analytical statistics are used, including first downs and time of possession. Quotes from Vikings players are used for more than just reaction this time; Siefert uses them to illustrate the overall themes of the game.

November 6, 2007

Local Story 1 11/6 Arrests made in Amber Alert case

Two people were arrested Tuesday in connection with the kidnapping of a St. Paul teenager, whose disappearance triggered an Amber Alert Monday. Jacqeline Mendoza was found with her alleged 18-year-old kidnapper, who was Mendoza's ex-boyfriend, according to her family. Another woman who allegedly assaulted Jacqeline and her mother, Zuleyma Cordoza, was arrested Tuesday afternoon. The names of both suspects were withheld as charges have not yet been filed.

Heather Brown of WCCO uses a direct lead to begin the story, articulating on the events that led to the kidnapping and what occurred when Mendoza was found. She uses only one quote, from Cordoza, supplementing the rest of the information used in the story from authorities. The story ends noting that police are still investigating details, including the nature of Jacqeline's relationship with the kidnapper.

With more than 300 missing children recovered safely since Amber Alert's implementation, KARE-11's Scott Seroka covered more detail on the system's effectiveness. To get the law enforcement perspective, Seroka went to the St. Paul Police spokesperson, Tom Walsh. Walsh gave only anecdotal data on the success of the Amber Alert system in St. Paul, although it's unlikely Seroka or the editors at KARE-11 were looking into an investigative report as the main news value. Seroka also interviews Jacqeline's mother, who is referred by Corado in this story. And for the curious, Seroka reports the Amber Alert lasted six hours.

One possibility for two last names being given to Zuleyma is that she uses both Cordoza and Corado as a last name, or there may have been a factual error in reporting.

November 4, 2007

Local Story 2 11/4 School levies

On Tuesday, 99 Minnesota school districts will ask voters for more money to stave off what they say will be crippling staff and program cuts. School districts have acknowledged difficulties in getting levies to pass as more baby boomers become empty nest parents.

In this enterprising feature, Minnesota Public Radio narrows the focus to two districts: Robbinsdale and Stillwater. These two districts were noted in the article as having organized opposition, making the debate a sharp one. Using institutional sources as a background, the story is narrated by informal and institutional human sources.

The Associated Press looks at Bloomington, White Bear Lake and Anoka-Hennepin, districts with growing numbers of elderly residents. While the topic isn't necessarily just on the 99 school districts asking for levy approval on Tuesday, the lead is delayed. Multiple human sources are also used to gauge perspectives from both the professional and informal sides of the debate.

October 24, 2007

Local Story 2 10/24 Mother spared deportation to care for child

In an update on a heavily covered story in the Twin Cities, a mother of four (or five, details below) has been allowed to stay in Minnesota for a year to care for her terminally ill daughter. Cecilia Sanchez-Zurita was to be deported Tuesday but now has returned to her home in St. Michael. Her four-year-old daugher, Samantha, has been diagnosed with a rare cancer and is not expected to live past two years. Cecilia Sanchez-Zurita was deported in 1997 but returned to the United States illegally in 2000.

KARE-11 publishes a statement from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, stationed in Washington, D.C., explaining their decision to issue a deferred action. They continue the follow-up reporting with an interview from Cecilia, who talked through an interpreter, to get her feelings on the change of events.

Sue Turner of WCCO turns what would be an update to a story and turns the new pieces of information into a story of its own. The beginning of the story contains the same data as KARE-11, reflecting the main values of the story (what has changed, what will happen now). Although Turner only quotes Cecilia, she does add some background to this update, including arguments, what likely will happen when Samantha dies and the law firm representing the family.

October 23, 2007

Local story 1 10/23 Minnesota man dies of rabies infection

The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Tuesday that a Minnesota man in his 40s died from rabies likely caused by a bat bite. This is Minnesota's second case of rabies since 2000.

The Pioneer Press supplements the lead for three paragraphs, including details on the risk of transmission from person to person, before pausing on the man's story to report on the status of bats in Minnesota; most of them are migrating for the winter. The story only uses one quote and features a mini-profile about the progression of the man's rabies before ending with some background information on how many cases of rabies are reported each year, how many total cases in Minnesota and the first successful rabies treatment when the disease was in its latter stages. Rabies primarily attacks the central nervous system and brain.

Tim Harlow of the Star Tribune published an article with little change in format compared to the Pioneer Press. Only once is a quote used for the story. The differences were minor considering the main value of the story; Harlow tells his audience that the state Department of Health believed the man would have survived if he had sought treatment but didn't seek help because no blood was drawn.

October 21, 2007

Local story 2 10/21 - U of M men's hockey swept by Colorado

The University of Minnesota men's hockey team got swept in their WCHA season opener to Colorado College after a 2-1 overtime loss at World Arena Saturday.

The Minnesota Daily uses a direct lead for the story followed by a quote from one of the Gopher players in the second paragraph to dissect the game in a nutshell. The next few paragraphs provide further statistical analysis of the game to answer the questions Gophers fans may have had on why their team managed to score only one goal in the game. The overall direction of the story goes in chronological order based on the scoring.

The Star Tribune also uses a direct lead, but the focus of the story is slightly different as Roman Augustoviz interviews the Colorado College player who scored both goals in Saturday's game. Little time is wasted to tell readers that CC's Chad Rau played high school hockey at Eden Prairie. The story has the same format as the Minnesota Daily, but Augustoviz does more of a balancing act with input from both the Gophers and CC.

October 20, 2007

Local story 1 10/20 Gophers lose to North Dakota State

The Minnesota Gophers' woes continued with a 27-21 loss Saturday at the Metrodome in front of 63,000 fans. 30,000 North Dakota State fans traveled to the Metrodome to watch the Bison take care of unfinished business after last year's 10-9 loss.

KARE 11's Greg Vandegrift runs a short piece summarizing the game. He uses a delayed lead to communicate that fans of North Dakota State have been eager for redemption after last year's matchup, telling his audience that thousands of NDSU's supporters traveled to the Metrodome.

Sue Turner of WCCO also covered that angle, but in a different light by first interviewing Gophers fans to get their reaction as Minnesota football is now on a 6-game losing streak. The story's focus is more on the fans who attended the game than the game itself. In fact, no summary of the game is provided until the end of the story. It's a good example showing how the inverted pyramid scheme works when covering a sporting event where the theme of the story isn't scores and statistics.

October 14, 2007

Local story 2 10/14 Regents give final approval for reciprocity deal

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved a reworked tuition reciprocity deal as a response to U of M students from Wisconsin paying less than students from Minnesota at their Friday meeting in Morris. Under the deal, U of M students from Wisconsin will pay the same rate as Minnesotans, with Wisconsin paying the difference between its tuition rate and the Minnesota rate to the schools. The ruling will go into effect next year.

An Associated Press feed that ran on KARE-11 used that approval as the lead, although very long for an AP article. The story continues with other items of interest the Board of Regents dealt with at the meeting, including a funding request to the state legislature for projects and total donations to the university in the 2007 fiscal year.

Minnesota Public Radio tells the same story with a shorter lead. Their account is mostly a detailed list of the changes that will take place with a quick explanation on why the Board of Regents approved the deal.

Local story 1 10/14 Wii-hab

Nintendo's innovations with their Wii gaming console has seen benefits beyond the realm of entertainment. The Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hopsital in Minneapolis has been using the Wii to help patients with spinal cord injuries regain their motor skills. No data has been released yet, since the Wii has been commercially available for less than a year, but employees at the hospital credit the higher physical challenge from the Wii compared to other gaming systems.

Maya Nishikawa of WCCO begins with a lead that doesn't mention where the Institute is. It could be because of the local audience, although many suburban viewers who don't visit the Twin Cities may be left in the dark. Nishikawa describes what patients do in the "Wii-hab" sessions and uses two employees, an occupational therapist and the Director of Research, and a patient as sources (again, no data has been released). The therapist describes what she has seen from patients who use the Wii, the Director of Research explains how the Wii is benefical, and the patient talks about how much he enjoys using the Wii.

Devin Henry from the Minnesota Daily also uses the Director of Research as a source, and as you might expect from a university-oriented newspaper, interviews two associate professors and a student majoring in biology. The style of this article takes a different approach, reporting on how the Wii fits into the phases of rehabilitation while the university sources talk about the potential benefits, such as the Wii being a good tool to answer the boredom of traditional exercises. Henry doesn't get any patients using the Wii for the article, making it difficult to evaluate just how effective the Wii is.

October 7, 2007

Local Story 10/7 Worthington girl reported missing

Details of this story are short, but the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is on the lookout for a 17-year-old female believed to be with someone she had a protection order against.

An Associated Press feed reports the details relevant to the case, such as a phone call made before noon Saturday and a vehicle that may have been occupied by the two that was found in Des Moines, Iowa. With a number to contact for information, the story likely was meant to be a detail provider that would help readers who come across the article.

WCCO does some reporting on their own, although it didn't make the newscast, according to the last visit on their website. As such, readers will not get much more information compared to the AP story, except that authorities alerted nearby hospital about two people possibly seeking treatment.

September 25, 2007

Local Story 1 9/25 Xcel customers BEWARE

Police have issued a warning to metro area residents for a potential impostor. Late Sunday night, someone got inside a fenced parking lot in Minneapolis and stole several items from Xcel Energy trucks, including an identification card and jackets with the Xcel logo. Although police say it is likely a typical break-in, they are taking precautions as this crime could lead to another.

KSTP looks like they got word about this recently, as their web producer posted what would constitute as a level one story. In this case, it was a statement released from Xcel Energy giving information on how to properly identify employees. It certainly is necessary given the risk of a security breach. They do post a link to Xcel's website for further information, however, there is no detail listing why these precautions are in place.

WCCO, in the battle for Twin Cities viewers, decided not to let the source do all the talking and dig up some information on their own. They provide exactly what items were stolen, whose ID card was taken and report that police in St. Anthony have informed the Department of Homeland Security. They end the article with the statement that KSTP posted.

There could be a debate on whether this is a level one or two story. Lisa Kiava of WCCO does talk with someone from the St. Anthony Police Department. On the other hand, all she uncovers is the items that were stolen, not learning anything that police or Xcel didn't want watchdogs to get a hold of. If someone held a gun to my head and forced me to make a choice, I'd say WCCO's article is a more-informative level one story.

September 23, 2007

Local Blog 9/23 Girl shot in north Minneapolis

A 12-year-old girl is listed in critical condition after being shot in the head around midnight Saturday morning on the corner of 18th and Oliver in north Minneapolis. Police have said the bullet wasn't meant for her. The Southside Community Festival in Richard Greene Park in Minneapolis dedicated to the girl while calling on neighborhoods to take a stand against violence.

KARE 11 goes with a delayed to lead to set up the contrast of a tranquil Saturday afternoon where children were playing in the same neighborhood where the shooting happened. They get first-hand accounts from police who were on the scene and neighbors who witnessed the incident.

Minnesota Public Radio goes with a direct lead and take the community impact angle a little farther by interviewing the organizers of the Southside Community Festival. MPR ends the story with supplemental information on the lead.

September 13, 2007

Local story 2 9/13 Terry Ryan resigns

Word spread quickly as Terry Ryan, general manager of the Minnesota Twins, resigned from his position earlier today after 13 years on the job. In that tenure, Ryan received much praise from fans for reformatting the Twins from cellar dwellers to playoff contenders on a limited payroll. The Twins won their last four division titles under Ryan. Assistant general manager Bill Smith will assume Ryan's duties on October 1st.

And now for something completely different! After several blogs summarizing articles from similar media, the focus will shift to two different outlets of communication.

As details were announced just today, the Star Tribune dives right in with a direct lead reporting what happened and who will be affected. The next paragraph describes when the change will take place and the third explains one of the reasons why Ryan decided to resign. After answering those questions, the middle of the story puts a spotlight on Smith, who didn't received much press coverage during his three years as Ryan's assistant. Other personnel changes are quickly briefed before going back to Ryan as the story finished on the resumé he built as GM for the Twins.

WCCO also believed the questions of who and what were most important as their lead is very similar to the Star Tribune, sans the note of his 13-year tenure.
That's where the similarities end. WCCO looks at the current situation for the Twins, who are two games under .500 and out of the playoff hunt. Rather than answer possible speculations of Ryan leaving because of the Twins woes immediately, WCCO looks at his past and present, ending the mini-drama a few paragraphs later. The story ends with the current issues facing the Twins followed by Ryan's past credentials.

In a medium where images and brevity are heavily emphasized, it was interesting to see WCCO broadcast an in-depth report, giving information not provided by the Star Tribune and vice-versa.

September 11, 2007

Local Story 1 9/11 Memorial

As another anniversary of 9/11 comes and goes, KARE-11 and KSTP channel 5 take the opportunity to show how much this historical event means to some people with a story of a man who handed out American flags to motorists during morning rush hour on the anniversary of 9/11.

Billy Bishop of Brooklyn Park has done this every year, passing flags to drivers who stop at the intersection of Zane Avenue and Brooklyn Boulevard as a way to remember what happened on the fateful day of September 11th, 2001. According to KSTP, Bishop believes the flags are another way for people to communicate their feelings of 9/11 as many may not have the words to express their emotions. Bishop's gesture of courtesy did not go unnoticed. Drivers who missed him at the light came back to pick up a flag.

Dana Thiede of KARE-11 used Bishop's story in a different context. Bishop tells Thiede that he believes people are forgetting about 9/11 after six years and use that as a transition to an interview with a University of Minnesota social science professor who believes that many citizens haven't forgotten because of unresolved issues, such as the ongoing Iraq war. Dr. Pauline Boss states that people must be allowed to grieve, but must also be encouraged to reflect on the positives of a post 9/11 world, saying that moving on doesn't mean forgetting 9/11.



September 9, 2007

News blog 9/10, local story 1

This was covered by both KARE-11 and WCCO television during the weekend.

The story covers an event honoring a woman who was killed on the I-35W bridge collapse, an event that still holds relevant to the Twin Cities audience. The story is complimented by the event's proximity and overall human interest in the victims who were killed.

KARE-11 spent most of the time following up on the victim, Christina Sacorafas, and details her impact to friends and the community. They break up her personal story showing a festival dedicated to her memory at a church where Sacorafas started a dance program for a clear example of her community contributions.

Although WCCO had a similar approach to reporting the story, they balance two angles. In addition to the stories of Sacorafas, they also focus on the parish's response to her death and the adjustments they are making in the aftermath.