Recently in Analysis Category

Analysis: Records

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Within the Extra Extra section of www.nicar.org, I found a story titled "Are U.S. Border Agents Crossing the Line?". The story was mainly fueled by two different records sources. The Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute is an investigative reporting focused site that drives excellence in the field. This article was written with the help of that site and the "Need to Know" feature that PBS focused on the same topic.

Using these two sites as reference, the investigative report highlights flaws in the way we monitor border patrol in the United States. The reporter linked both sites to his own article to outsource some of the information he gathered for the report. The reporter also only included the most important message from the story to make it ideal for social media use and fast reading.

Analysis: Diversity

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The news story done by the New York Times on the condition of a cease fire in Syria was very different from what I usually read from a cultural aspect.

The report is very effective at moving past stereotypes and reaching a higher level of objectivity. A publication like the New York Times is very good at focusing on the news story in general, rather than the particular nature of the people involved in the matter.

By using specific quotes and attributing them to important figures, the report become much more substantive.

Lateef, of Sanford Hall, provided me with his perspective of the issue and I showed him the news story to allow him the chance to react to the data presented in the report. He told me that the professional nature and the reputation the New York Times has is what reassured him that this report was fact based and avoided stereotypes. He was confident that the cultural group portrayed in the report was shown in neutral lighting.

Analysis: Mega Millions jackpot

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The multiple reporters that contributed to the Wall Street Journal story covering the Mega Millions jackpot used numbers to their advantage throughout.

The reporters used the estimated $656 million prize to tell the story, which was the greatest detail of all. When doing a story of a large lottery jackpot, numbers are always the most important element within the text. So each writer was able to contribute their own analysis using multiple figures to tell a story.

The reporters could have made the numbers easier to grasp by explaining the payment process at a bit more detailed rate. Their analysis of the lump-sum and annual payment process was a bit hard to understand due to the figures that were used.

The reporters did not necessarily use complex formulas or crunch numbers to tell the story, but the figures they used were insightful and told the story in an efficient way.

The numbers were compiled by speaking with various lottery officials of each state. The article also listed the five highest winning lottery jackpots in U.S. history, which helped the significance of the figures used in the article.

Analysis: Obituary

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I observed the obituary of "Gorgeous George" Wagner, which was published by the Pioneer Press on March 4.

The only main source that the writer cited was a professional wrestling memorial site that listed notable deaths within the wrestling world most recently.

The lead used for Wagner's obituary is very standard, listing his name first and followed by his most notable accomplishments. The writer also used the opinion of wrestling fans to portray the type of person Wagner was, but did not list his age in the lead.

The lead is very effective and toward the end the writer uses a famous quotation from Wagner for which he was known the most. "Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat!"

This obituary is different from a resume because it involves character that a resume does not provide. Using famous quotations and fan perspectives are two things that you will not get from reading a resume that simply lists accomplishments.

Speeches Analysis

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President Barack Obama spoke at the annual American-Israeli conference in Washington, DC, Sunday, CBS News said.

In terms of the way the reporter crafted the story, she seemed to put a premium on the president's agenda that assured the United States would not sit idly by and let Iran build a nuclear weapon. She also made sure to mention that the president and the Israeli prime minister will be meeting just a day after his speech on the matter.

When the reporter adds information like this, she is helping the reader to understand context and reaction better than a simple manuscript of the speech could. Other links are also provided to give additional understanding of the matters at hand. One of the links is a video and the other leads you to the American-Israeli conference website, which coincidentally crashed due to the actions of hacker activist group Anonymous.

Multimedia Analysis

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For the purpose of this analysis, I chose to compare the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The New York Times does not feature a large amount of multimedia. You can find maybe one video that accompanies the top story of the day. The multimedia is not featured on the page, which does a good job of not taking the focus off of the news story itself. The top items on the site have different graphics and interactive features that focus on the GOP race. These pieces are also written with many links placed in the text that can lead to even more information.

The Washington Post has a larger collection of multimedia images for each separate story. I enjoy the layout of this site because it seems much more friendly to normal news goers. Most stories on the home page have an image to accompany them. Each top story page has a large image at the head of the page, along with some graphics and links to other related stories that may interest readers. This particular GOP story has been reported from Michigan. The writing styles are comparable to one another.

Madagascar cyclone update

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I wrote a blog post on a cyclone that struck Madagascar on Tuesday, and then went back and analyzed what had been updated on Wednesday.

The leads for the two news releases differ because of new details that were gathered by the Associated Press, which showed that more people had died because of the cyclone.

The main news between the two has not changed much, but there is an attribution of a source that was not used in the original release. A government official is interviewed in the update, who provides further details on how many were killed and injured because of the cyclone. The second story certainly advances the news by providing more exact death counts and disproving the earlier toll of three.

The second-day story is a response to a report from the same news organization. The flow of the story is not affected by the changes, which is similar to the fact block strategies that we learned in class. The fact blocks can be rearranged to fit more recent incoming details. This helps the report flow better than it had in the original report.

Rhode Island ticket hits Powerball for $336 million

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The Star Tribune covered the story of the big jackpot winner from the small state of Rhode Island.

The reporter has organized the important elements so that location is the primary detail. He first states where the winning ticket was sold, and then the amount that was won. The winning numbers are then revealed to the reader, but the writer adds that the winner has yet to come forward.

The way the writer chose to organize the information was very effective in telling the story. With a fairly straight forward story like this one, it seems difficult to rearrange the information in a way that would improve the reader's experience with the article. Certain details like the name of the winner would add more to the story, but those details were unknown at the time.

Attribution Analysis: Love Stomp, Just an Accident

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During Saturday's game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Houston Rockets, Kevin Love and Luis Scola were involved in an on-court altercation that ended when Love stepped on Scola's face, Fox Sports said.

Within this story, writer Tyler Mason gathered both sides of the story by talking to both Love and Scola after the game. He names each of the sources, using Love's initial thoughts early in the story, and Scola's toward the end. The two sources are spread out throughout the story evenly.

The information was gathered from the two players directly involved with the incident, which adds credibility to the story. Mason sets up the attribution by explaining what happened during the game, and introducing how Love responded following the end of the game. The way Mason sets up his attribution is very effective and clearly put to where the reader understands exactly what happened, and also how each player felt about the incident.

Leads Analysis: Novak Djokovic outlasts Rafael Nadal

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The epic battle between two tennis superstars Sunday morning is what sparked ESPN to write a feature story on the event.

The lead to the story begins, "Novak Djokovic ripped off his shirt and let out a primal scream, flexing his torso the way a prize fighter would after a desperate, last-round knockout.", which includes the "who" and "what" of a traditional news lead. Also important, the story sets the scene of triumph, as they describe the emotions shown by Djokovic after he had just won the match. By using a detailed analogy, the lead opens with something deeper than just the facts from the match.

It was clear that the writer of this story went away from a hard-news lead because the act of Djokovic ripping his shirt off in celebration was too juicy to pass up. The writer uses detail to capture the attention of the reader, but also lets us know the result of the match at the same time.

The more detailed lead serves as a connector toward a deeper meaning than the simple facts of the event and its' result.

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