Recently in Analysis Blog Category

Computer-Assisted Reporting Analysis

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For this analysis, I used the article titled 'EPA fails to warn families of lead contamination where smelters once stood'

The reporter that wrote this piece was able to link other stories relating to this topic, such as the link to USA Today's investigative report about the issue. The reporter also linked, or tagged, search words related to the article so that if you clicked on to them, you would be led to a list of articles that focus on the same search terms.

The reporter had to possess the computer skills of information gathering, as well as researching past research on current topics.

Source: www.nicar.org

Diversity Analysis

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From The Guardian article: Nigeria bombing kills 38 in city of Kaduna

I asked a co-worker of mine to comment on the language of this particular article as it relates to Nigerian people, as she herself is from Africa.

She spoke of the resistance to celebrating religion, as attacks on churches holding Easter services were not surprising to her. "These type of things happen in my country," she says to me, shaking her head, "it just is how it is. I don't feel like they lie about us at all in this story. It is a real representation."

She later shared with me although it is troubling to see her Nigerian heritage in the news all over the world painted as terrorists, it is a reality in certain parts of her home country.

Numbers Analysis

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The reporter in this story uses numbers to show the big picture, by using words such as 'totaling' instead of numbers for every detail. Because the reporter uses this technique, the story is not overwhelmed by numbers. The numbers used were to represent totals so there wasn't any complicated math involved. Many of these numbers came from statistics given by a General Motors spokesperson.

Source: The New York Times

Analyzing Multimedia Options

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In analyzing the Star Tribune and NBA.com, I found both websites with videos as multimedia options. In the Star Tribune, the videos are briefly described with a title and link to full news article. This complements the news stories by adding a visual to the written article when clicking on the link or on to the video. The characteristic of the writing that accompanies the videos on this site are similar those of standard news articles.

On the NBA.com website, the videos are geared more towards viewers who want to see highlights of games and top plays and not read articles. You can click to links under the videos that constantly change that will take you to the article related to the video. The writings that accompany the videos on this website are blog-like and a little less informal than news story writing. If you click on the link to the story, the news articles there resemble more characteristics of news writing.

Analyzing the Spot/Follow

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In this analysis I will compare two articles written by Boston.com on the NYPD monitoring Muslim students closely.

The leads are the same except detail added to the second article about the University of Pennsylvania and attribution was added.

The layout and fact-block like structure in both articles are the same. Two of the paragraphs are exactly the same. However, in the second story additional fact blocks were added in between paragraphs highlighting more detail about the police investigation of the students and how they were followed. The second is noticeably longer as well.

The second day seems to have more attribution from several sources so that shapes the follow making it full of information from everywhere the reporters could pull, to compete with other news sources covering this story.

First story: Boston.com

Second story: Boston.com

The progression of the story is written as lead/summary in the first paragraph, details about Houston's body and details about the autopsy in the second paragraph, what investigators said about how she was found in the third, information about the family mourning in the fifth, and the story continues with facts about the late singer, her battles with drugs, and lastly, a quote.

This was an effective organization of the facts of the story because the information was grouped in paragraphs of relevance and each paragraph after the main, detail oriented ones, gave another fact and piece to the story as it became important.

It could have been done differently with smaller paragraphs to help the reader digest the information but it may be assumed if you choose to get your news from the New York Times, that you are able to digest large amounts of information like the paragraphs in this story.

Source: New York Times

Attribution Analysis

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Looking at the story by the New York Times, four sources were used: Newt Gingrich speaking at NBC's "Meet the Press," Ryan Williams, a spokesperson for Romney, Eric Fehrnstrom, a top Romney adviser, and Rick Santorum, speaking on "Fox News Sunday."

Each source is spread out in the story, in order. The information in this story is from people's statements in various interviews. The rest of the information is not attributed because it is common knowledge about the election and caucuses. The reporter sets up the attributions by citing exact quotes. It is effective because it is very clear who said what and how it was attributed. I wasn't confused by this article and its attribution at all. I thought this method was clear for the type of story that was reported.

Leads Analysis

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The lead of a news story is one sentence that shares vital information to quickly grab the attention of the reader into the story. News elements included in a lead are the 5 Ws: the who, what where, when, why and/or how. With the Ws, the lead summarizes the most important information, without much detail unless it is critical to the story.

A reporter may choose a non-straightforward lead to deliberately tease your readers by withholding key information until your second paragraph. This is common in blind leads or leads in creative writing, not hard news.

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