November 16, 2008

Analysis on diversity

In an article in the NY Times, the reporter writes about two men who beat an African-American teenager on election night. While they beat him the suspects yelled "Obama!" The report does not dwell on the stereotype, although the suspects yelling "Obama!" clearly indicates the presence of a stereotype. I didn't know about this story before, there this story did tell me something new. It did not tell me anything new about a particular stereotype, but it informed me of people's reactions to Obama's victory.

November 9, 2008

Analysis on Numbers

In an article published in the Pioneer Press, the reporter writes about the shrinking difference in votes between Sen. Norm Coleman and his opponent Al Franken. The reporter notes that Coleman has just a 221-vote advantage of the 2.9 million ballots cast in the Senate race. It's easy to read and the numbers are laid out in a non-confusing way. Someone reading this article who isn't quick with numbers would be able to still interpret the percentages and figures accurately. I would have probably written this article in a similar fashion as far as explaining the various statistics and polls.

November 2, 2008

Analysis on obits

In this obituary about Karl Kassulke from the Pioneer Press, a former Minnesota Viking, the reported did not use any sources. The article has a pretty standard lead for an obituary, The lead works well, but this particular article is different because it doesn't end the story with who Kassulke is survived by. In fact, it doesn't name who he is survived by at any point in the article. This may be because he just passed away today and the story is in progress.

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October 19, 2008

Event coverage analysis entry

In an article titled "Five reasons the Minnesota Vikings need a victory today", the Pioneer Press reporter does exactly that. He goes on to list five detailed reasons the Vikings need to win their game, which is later in the day. There are no outside sources used because the piece is very editorial, with the feelings of the writer very obvious. The angle is obvious from the title that the author is a Vikings fan and feels passionately that they need to win the gae.

October 5, 2008

Analysis entry on spot and follows

In the Star Tribune story about Tom Petters, a Twin Cities business man who has now been arrested for fraud, the article has a focus that includes additional infomation from the first article. The Star Tribune initially reported that there were rumors of Petters taking part in fraud, but little information was being released from the FBI. In this article, though, the reporter reveals that Petters had secret plans to not be in the country during the presidential election.

This particular follow-up story is one of several involving Tom Petters, so it has the basic information that the original article had, but also has a narrower focus on particular details.

September 28, 2008

Analysis Entry on Structure

This article from the Star Tribune about a woman who was fatally hit while on her bicycle, begins with a hard news lead and goes on with the inverted pyramid. Within two sentences, the reader knows the key facts. The first few lines give the summary of what happened and who was involved. As the story continues, the facts provided are less and less important, or at least less news worthy.

The structure of this article was written effectively and clear. The fact blocks of the article are well placed from the beginning to the end. With a story like this, the reader wants to know the key Ws before other information, so I would not change how the reporter ordered the information.

September 22, 2008

Analysis entry on attribution

The sources in this CNN story are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. These sources were scattered throughout the story as different elements unfolded.

The information from the story came mostly from the sources, as they are the people most closely tied to the story's topic. The reporter gradually goes into the subject matter that the source touches on before putting in the quote. The quote typically starts its own line, followed up the attribution. The reporter's style was effective and clear in distributing accurate credit to sources.

Leads Article Analysis

The Pioneer Press reported an article today about the details and design of the new 35-W bridge. The lead was as follows:
When the design of the new Interstate 35W bridge was unveiled, many debated its aesthetic merits — was it beautiful enough?

The two major news elemens that stand out in this lead is impact and timeliness. When the 35-W bridge collapse happened in August 2007, there were few local Minneapolis-St. Paul residents who weren't impacted in some direct or in-direct way. Whether it was because their usual commute was much more delayed, or because they knew someone who was driving on the bridge at the time of the collapse, most people have some connection with the bridge that makes this lead have impact. Also, these lead catches the interest of readers because of its timing. The new bridge is rumored to open as soon as Tuesday, so a lead that includes anything about the new bridge will keep a reader's attention.

The lead is detailed in that the reader knows that the story will contain some degree of information the the design of the new 35-W bridge. It remains general in that the reader does not yet know the answer to the question that is posed in the lead. The article could go on to give positive feedback on the design, or it could include harsh criticism from expert critics. The structure of this lead is not a hard-news lead, because it is not giving straight-forward information. The reporter may have chosen this structure to enable the story to stand out from all of the other 35-W stories that are out right now.