December 10, 2007

News (nation) for 10/12

An article titled: "Roadside bomb in Iraq kills provincial police chief and 2 guards," was posted on the Star Tribune website.
A convoy carrying the police chief of a predominantly shiite province was struck by a roadside bomb. The police chief was killed in the attack, which occured 60 miles south of Baghdad. After the attack police announced an indefinite curfew for the area. It is believed that the attack was staged by one of the local militias that are wrestling for control after U.S. troops leave. It was one of a series of assasinations on provincial leaders in the shiite area.

I think this article did a good job of not only explaining what happened, but also putting it in context. So many things are happening in Iraq that it is hard to keep track of everything, so it's important for reports to sum up all activity leading up to the actual event they are reporting. This is especially important because in Iraq everything seems to be in a cause/effect relationship. One attack comes in retalitation of another attack, so readers need to get the whole history to fully understand a specific event.

The article was also posted on the hearald sun.com.

News (nation) for 10/12

An article titled: "2 killed at missionary center in Colo.; in separate attack at church, gunman and victim die," was posted on the Star Tribune website.

Police officials said that two church shooting incidents in Colorado could possibly be related. Early on Sunday two people were killed at a training center near Denver and then later on Sunday in Colorado Springs a gunman killed a parishoner before a gaurd shot the gunman. Officials are not giving specific details about the possibilities of the shootings being related. In Colorado Springs the gunman opened fire at a huge crowd in a mega church injuring four people.

I think this article was kind of hard to read, because it skipped around quite a bit. It seemed like the reporter was trying to relate the two incidents even though police hadn't confirmed they were related. This can be dangerous for a reporter to do if they're wrong. On the other hand it wouldn't be good journalism for the reporter to not present facts she had acquired.

The article was also posted in the Austin Statesman.

News (local) for 12/10

An article titled: "Eagle-eyed editor stays the course," was posted on the Star Tribune website.

Apple Valley high school has gone through budget cuts and as a result their school newspaper, the Eagle Talon, is no longer being printed. The paper is still published online however, and it recently one top 10 best papers in the nation in its class.

The paper was cut even though it was only printed once a month and cost about $1,000 to publish. The online version of the paper is driven by it's editor-in-chief and news editor. Also because of budget cuts the newspaper reporters and editors can no longer write for the paper in class, so they have to come after school to work.

I think this story is great. Naturally being an aspiring journalist I like that the high school kids triumphed over adversity and were still able to put out a great paper even after having cuts. I also think that finding and reporting this kind of story is really important for reporters who work for big companies like the Strib. Small stories about people who succeed even when they have the odds stacked against them are often just as good or even better in my opinion than the "stop the presses" type stories. It's the small but no less important stories like this that separate regular papers from great ones. Any worth while news organization can cove a bridge collapse, but for me its the small stories like this that make the paper worth reading.

News (local) for 12/10

An article titled: "Game-show hopefuls bring their long johns, leave dignity at home," was posted on the Star Tribune Website.
The article was about the audition in Minneapolis for the gameshow Deal or No Deal. More than 8,000 people lined up to audition for the show, trying their best to stand out in the crowd. The article described different potential contestants' antics and costumes.

Compared to the coverage we saw in class about Deal or No Deal coming to Minneapolis, I'd have to say that this article was pretty boring. The reporter didn't really describe what the show was like until the very end, and she didn't get enough funny anecdotes from the contestants to make a really entertaining story. This wasn't a hard news story, so covering it that way only makes it boring. I would have liked to see more colorful writing from the reporter.

December 3, 2007

News (Local)

An article titled: "ATVs could get foothold in hallowed headwaters," was posted on the Star Tribune website.

The DNR is proposing a plan to open ATV trails in certain areas of the Mississippi Headwaters State Park. River advocates are outraged by the plan and believe that there should be no motor vehicles allowed in the park. The park is home to many bird species and its sandy terrain makes it vulnerable to off road vehicles. Some DNR officials argue that roads already cross the river in that area, so it wouldn't cause too much damage if ATVs were also driven in the park.

I think it was pretty easy to tell that the reporter was against trails in the park. The reporter spoke with the "grass roots" group that was trying to prevent ATVs in the park but he never spoke with any ATVers. There is more to the discussion than DNR vs environmental groups. The people that would benefit from the tourism drawn to the area and the ATVers themselves were left out of the discussion.

The another article about ATV regulations on the Atlanticcity.com website.

News (local)

An article titled: "Missing man found dead in a burned fuel tank at refinery in St. Paul Park," was posted on the Star Tribune website.

Nicholas Gunter an employee for Marathon Petroleum Co. was found dead Saturday afternoon after an oil tank exploded in St. Paul park. The family did not wish to comment for the article, but a spokesperson for Marathon said "It is an unfortunate situation."

The search for Gunter's body lasted a day and a half and involved 70 people plus search dogs.

I like that the reporter added information about an oil pipeline that recently exploded in northern Minnesota killing two people. It shows that the reporter is paying attention to the media and is capable of linking common events.

The article was also posted in the Dickinson Press.

News (world)

An article titled "Climate Change Conference," was posted on the Star Tribune website.

A group of 10,000 environmentally minded leaders from all different countries will meet in Bali to discuss future plans for carbon emmsions.

Many leaders from other countries are looking at the U.S. during this conference, because it is the only one of the major carbon emitting countries to not sign the Kyoto Protocol. The current U.S. administration is against mandatory carbon emmitting reductions and is in favor of voluntary reductions. Officials scheduled to attend the conference said that because of the opposing views people should not expect to see set guidelines set up following the conference.

I thought one graph in the article was a little biased. The article read: The United States refused to sign the last major international treaty on reducing greenhouse gases -- the Kyoto Protocol -- undermining its effectiveness.

I think the reporter was a little irresponsible here. If someone would have said that the U.S. underminded the contract by not signing it that would be a lot better. A quote would have been much better.

A similar article was also posted on the Bloomberg website.

News (national)

An article titled: "Evel Knievel dies at 69," was posted on the Star Tribune website.

Knievel died Friday at his home in Florida from natural causes. Knievel has been suffering from recent health problems and he had two strokes last year.

Knievel was known as America's first daredevil and famously jumped his motorcyle over many different types of famous obstacles. Knievel enjoyed the limelight and in the article friends of Knievel said they were suprised that he lived as long as he did.

I thought the lede of this article was very interesting: "Evel Knievel is dead." It is not the standard standard obituary lede. I kind of like it though because it goes on to mention some of Knievel's most memorable wrecks. This is fitting because Knievel is remembered for his failures just as much as he is remembered for his successes.

The article was also posted on the CNN website.

November 26, 2007

News (world) for 11/26

An article titled: "Deadly riots break out in Bolivia after approval of draft constitution," was posted on the Star Tribune website.
Two people died, including a police officer after a riot broke out in Surce, Bolivia Sunday. President Evo Morales allies approved the new framework for a constitution that would allow Morales to be reelected indefinately. Morales said the people would be allowed to vote on the constitution, but a day for the vote was not given. The rioters attacked police and broke into a jail letting 100 inmates go.

The article said the new constitution could alter Bolivian politics radically, but he or she never said how. I wish the reporter would have gone into detail or at least have given some examples about how the politics could be altered. I think its poor reporting to give a very general statement like that and then not back it up with supporting evidence or detail.

A similar article was written in the London Free Press.

News (nation) for 11/27

An article titled: "In Texas, they're going hog wild in a boar war," was posted on the Star Tribune website.

Texas is facing an overpopulation of wild boars. The animals can grow up to 300 pounds and last year they did $52 million worth of damage to crops. Texans are beginning to hire part time hog hunters to clear hogs from their property. The hog exterminators, don't make a lot of money, but they find hunting the hogs entertaining. Hogs are tough and smart animals, and they have been known to charge after being shot, which makes the sport more exciting. One hunter said it is the poor man's grizzly bear hunting.

I like the tone the reporter took in this article. He has colorful writing, but he was serious enough in certain parts of his article to make sure readers understood the situation. Sometimes when reporters write colorfully it seems like they are mocking their subject, and that happened a little bit in this article, but anyone that calls himself the dehogenator probably doesn't mind a little jeering. I didn't see it as a problem.

The article was also posted in the Los Angeles Times.

News (local) for 11/26

An article titled: "To deter crime at U, these eyes never blink," was posted on the Star Tribune website. The school is funding a $24,000 pilot project that features 11 security cameras watching over the Washington Avenue bridge. The cameras alert the operator when two people converge, or when it appears that a person is lurking on the bridge. University officials said that while they can't promise the cameras will stop crime, they will give them a chance to alert the police. There have been no alerts yet. . There have been 17 suicide attempts from the bridge in the last decade.

The article was also posted in the Minnesota Daily

I thought it was interesting that the Star Tribune ran this story so late. The Daily ran the article in September a month after the cameras were installed. It seems strange to me that now the Strib would run an article so late after the fact. I wish they would have taken more of an angle about how the cameras haven't done anything yet, since they ran it so late.

News (local) for 11/26

An article titled:" At least 2 killed in plane crash," was posted on the Star Tribune website. Two people were killed in a small engine airplane crash, and the fate of two others is unknown.

The plane crashed at the Fairbault airport at around 3 p.m. on Sunday. Local hospitals had not recieved any patients from the crash, and a parachute layed deployed next to the crash site. Police Chief Dan Collins said strong wind gusts could have contributed to the crash.

I thought it was interesting how the reporter had gathered so many facts about this story even though some people refused to comment and the FAA had not done their investigation yet. I liked that the reporter gave details about the small airplane and also included the crash that killed Yankees pitcher Corey Lidel. It shows that even if you don't have a lot of quotes from sources, you can still put a story together.

The article was also posted on the Pioneer Press Website.

November 5, 2007

News (world) for 11/5

An article titled: "In Italy, a call to close its border to Romanians," was posted on the Star Tribune website.

Following a wave of violent crimes, some Italians are calling for the expulsion of Romanian foriegners. In the last few weeks there have been several violent crimes and rapes. Some Italians like Opposition leader, Silvio Berlusconi blame Romanian immigrants. Romanian immigrants currently make up one percent of Italy's population.

I thought it was interesting that in this article the reporter used political leaders and even the Pope for sources, but he never interviewed any Romanians or regular Italians. I always like to hear testimony from regular people, because often times they can have as much, or even more insight, to a situation than political leaders.

The article was also posted on BBC.
This article interviewed the mayor of Rome who said 75 percent of violent crime could be attributed to Romans.

News (local) for 11/5

An article titled "Blackface costumes cause Hamline uproar," was posted on the Star Tribune website.

Six football players were suspended from Hamline University for wearing black face paint and dressing up as 'spooks' for an off campus Halloween party. The six team members were suspened after some students saw their pictures on Facebook and reported them to university officials. Officials are investigating the incident and are deciding whether or not to suspend the students.

I thought it was interesting how the reporter interviewed random black students from Hamline University. I'm not sure that this was the best way to get sources. I would have much rather seen quotes from the students that reported the football players to University officials.

The article was also posted on KTSP.

News (local) for 11/5

An article titled: "Vikings winning formula: Give the ball to Peterson," was posted on the Star Tribune website.

Adrian Peterson rushed for an NFL record of 296 yards and scored 3 touchdowns in the Vikings win over the Chargers. The Vikings are 2-0 when Peterson rushes for over 200 yards and they are 1-5 when he doesn't. Peterson gained 253 yards in the second half alone. The Vikings gave up their two tailback approach in this game allowing Chester Taylor to watch from the sidelines. Their quarterback problems continue however; Tavarias Jackson suistained a concussion.

I found it interesting that there were multi-media pieces that accompanied this article. There were clips from the post game interviews of Peterson and coach Brad Childress. The quotes in the article weren't that great, but it was possible to get a real feel for what the interviewees were thinking after the game by watching the clips.

The article was also posted on the ESPN website.