Recently in Analysis Category

Analysis: Computer-assisted reporting

I read an article about safety practices at two different coal mines. The reporter used computer-assisted reporting to produce the story. The reporter used an interactive database of public records from the U.S. Department of Labor to show a series of citations written out to the mine for violations. The reporter also included a picture slide show, an audio clip from one of the mine's foreman, an interactive photo gallery where you can view details about the men who died in the mine, and a graph that showed the key aspects of safe mines. The reporter would need to know how to efficiently operate a computer and create interactive links in order to do the reporting. The reporter would also need to know how to make slide shows, use audio clips, and make and use graphs.

Analysis: Diversity

I found a news story about modern shamanism, the stereotypes surrounding them and how it is beginning to regain popularity in South Korea. I interviewed Jaehyun Choi, 26, a Korean student at the University of Minnesota about the article. According to Choi, he feels that he is unlike many Koreans because he does not have stereotypes about Mudangs (shamans). Choi said that for thousands of years, Mudangs lived among Koreans and were regarded as advisors who helped people avoid trouble and gain good fortune. It wasn't until Christianity came into Korea and Koreans were told by protestant ministers that Mudangs were "puppets of Satan" that Koreans conceived stereotypes about them. Choi said he thought the article was more about "the effects of cultural invasion" than stereotypes that Koreans hold against Mudangs.

Analysis: Numbers

I read a story about teachers' contract negotiations in the Carver County School District which was featured in the Star Tribune. The reporter used numbers to show costs to the district and poll results. I didn't think that the numbers were overwhelming. I thought the reporter did a good job using them correctly to further explain the story. The reporter did attribute the results of the poll to a survey that was conducted but failed to clearly mention the source of the costs.

Analysis: Obituary

I looked at the obituary for Scott Papillion on the Star Tribunesite. The author used Papillion's wife and a co-worker as sources for the obituary. The author did not use a standard obituary lead and I thought that the alternative lead worked well. Instead of writing his name and that he died right away, the author wrote an anecdote about Papillion. It was not until the fifth paragraph that the author wrote that Papillion had died. I think that the obituary was different from a resume because it told us about Papillion's life and accomplishments but did so in a way that was interesting and engaging instead of just listing off facts about him.

Analysis: Speeches

I found a news article that covered the press conference that Gov. Tim Pawlenty held on Friday to talk about the health care compromise that was reached with legislators. When I compared the news story to the press release about the conference, I noticed several differences. First of all, the press release was rather short and only gave the facts of the agreement. Also there was only one quote and no background. The news story on the other hand was longer in length and followed the classic speech lead. The reporter gave the facts and used several quotes and background information. I liked the news story better than the press release because the story seemed to explain what was going on whereas the press release just threw out a bunch of facts and numbers.

Analysis: Multimedia options

I looked at the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press's websites. I found that the Star Tribune offered a lot more multimedia options than the Pioneer Press did. The Tribune has videos, slideshows, audio, podcasts, photo galleries, users' photos and videos, and news graphic. The only multimedia that the Pioneer Press offers is videos and photo galleries. They do have a podcast feature that is coming soon. I think that the mulitmedia options help complement the news stories because they offer the reader a way to be more engaged with the story. Reading a story is ok, but when you can listen to it or watch a video or see photos relating to the story, it increases the effectiveness,enjoyableness, and understanding of the story. When looking at the multimedia options, I didn't see a lot of actual writing involved. All the writing was very short (1 or 2 sentences) and to the point. It gave the necessary information about what were were viewing and that's about all. There were links available to read more about related news.

Analysis: Follow Story on Mall Stabbings

After reading the first story and then the follow story in the Pioneer Press about the stabbings that happened at the Rosedale Center, I noticed quite a few differences. The first story which was written late Saturday night (the night of the incident) was very short and very vague. The first story's lead was very short and general and it only gave the when, where and what. The follow up's lead was longer and gave more details then the first lead. In my opinion, the first lead was ok because it gave the facts but it seemed really boring compared to the second story's lead. The main news is summarized by giving the who, what, where, and when in both stories. The first story just gave the simple, basic facts but the second story was a lot more in depth. Also, since the follow up story was written the day after the incident, there was conflicting information with the first story. It seemed like the first story was written very quickly and without any investigation. The follow up differed from the first story because it had sources, quotes, and more information as to why the fight started. The second story was a response to a competing story with the Star Tribune. I think that it shaped the follow by making the Press want to be the paper that has more information, sources, and details.

Analysis: Progression of Information in House Fire Story

In the Star Tribune's story about the house fire that killed four children, I thought that the author did a good job with the information progression. The author used the inverted pyramid to order the information. He started with the most important facts first and then gradually included more "filler" information later on. Simply put, had the story needed to be shorten for whatever reason, the first six paragraphs of the story were sufficient in telling what happened. I think that the choice to use the inverted pyramid was the best choice for this story because the reader was able to get all the information right away. I guess he could have used a chronological order to organize the information but I don't think that it would have been as effective because we would have to wait to hear the outcome.

Shark Attack Victim

In the shark attack story on the Yahoo News site, there were a total of three sources used. The sources that were named were George Burgess, a shark attack expert, Daniel Lund, a lifeguard, and Dr. Linda O'Neil, who is an associate medical examiner in Martin County. The sources were people and were scattered throughout the story. The reporter used attribution in a couple of different ways. He used some direct quotes from the attack expert and the medical examiner. He also paraphrased what the experts and the lifeguard said. At the end of the article, he did use some information from records but the records were told to him by the attack expert. I thought that the reporter did a nice job of attributed the information to the sources and I liked that everything was not clumped together in one spot.

Analysis: Leads in story about Teen Stabbing Victim

The lead that the author of the Star Tribune's story about the teenager who was stabbed at his girlfriend's house was a straightforward hard-news lead. The author used the delayed identification lead. The lead featured the who, what, when, and why. The lead itself was very general and just gave the simple facts. As the story continued, the general facts became more specific.

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