April 25, 2009

Analysis (Week of 4/20)

For this week's analysis entry, I looked at an "5.5 SECONDS," an article from The Washington Post.

The author, a journalist for the Washington Post, uses extensive computer skills to organize facts about the case. A timeline with 360 degree views of different points in the incident is used with interactive links showing where the officer fled and where the suspect died. Below the pictorial timeline is a detailed written timeline accompanied by related audio from police radio dispatches and 911 calls.

The author also includes a link to an in-depth ICR from the police department involved in the case. Evidence is also provided on gun details, ShotSpotter sensors, police memos, autopsy findings, a police interview, and other key documents. A 3-dimensional map of the crime scene is included with details on specific locations, physical evidence, and various measurements of movement patterns. A video entitled "A Father's Grief" is also included. The video is an interview with the victim's father, including pictures of the boy.

The journalist obviously has a great set of computer skills. She was able to compile a great deal of evidence through public records, photographs and film footage. She also created numerous views of the crime scene through 360 degree photographs and a 3-dimensional diagram.

April 11, 2009

Analysis (Week of 4/6)

"North Korea, not surprisingly, keeps Kim as its 'Dear Leader'"

The article mentioned above, published by The Los Angeles Times, covers the "choreographed joy" that was captured after Kim Jong Il was reappointed at the ruler of North Korea. Moving beyond the stereotype of North Korea's strict government, the article goes on to give support to this claim with quotes from North Korean people and groups and references to North Korean government and culture. Before reading the article, I had no idea that Kim had been reappointed. The information regarding the practices of the North Korean government, however, I did know about. The content regarding Kim Jong Il's reappointment, and the apparent joy of the North Korean population, was given through quotes and observations.

April 5, 2009

Analysis (Week of 3/30) published an article about CEO's paychecks.

In the article, "Last year's top CEO paycheck: $104 million, numbers are used to describe the following:

Percentages (both increases and decreases)
Average compensation for CEO's (in dollars)
Median compensation of CEOs of financial services
The number of chief executives who were affected
The years in which various events occurred/changes happened

The reporter used numbers to accurately describe the changes in salary of numerous executives of large public American companies - dropping for the first time in five years. The numbers are not overwhelming, and are mostly dollar amounts. The reporter obtained information for the article from a survey published last week by the New York Times and research firm Equilar. Sources also included Charles M. Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, and Equilar research manager Alexander Cwirko-Godycki. The reporter listed each of the sources completely, and did not have to use math at all. The numbers and percentages that were used came directly from the attributed sources.

March 29, 2009

Analysis (Week of 3/23)

Edward Anderson, man behind mini-doughnut machine

Mike Foster, a business consultant for Anderson's Plymouth-based firm
Anderson's son, Charlie
sales manager Brian O'Gara

The obituary has an alternative lead:
"There might not be a more quintessential food at the Minnesota State Fair than mini-doughnuts, and for that we can thank entrepreneur Edward M. Anderson."

The lead works for the obituary because it shows the connection between Anderson and Minnesotans through the tradition of the Minnesota State Fair and the love of his delectable doughnuts.

The obituary differs from a resume because it is a more emotionally involved tribute to a person's life and accomplishments rather than a straight listing of facts. The obituary also usually employs quotes from those who knew the person featured in the obituary well.

March 8, 2009

Analysis (Week of 3/2)

The article that I chose is an advance for another film in the Harry Potter series.

The only source attributed in the story, from, is Warner Bros. Studios.

The angle of the story is to announce that the movie based on the seventh book in the series will be released in two separate films. The article heightens the anticipation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II by announcing its release date.

The reporter made this more than a listing by starting with a hook ("Mark your calendar) and then giving further details about Part I, the five previous films in the series and their box office record of $4.5 billion.

March 1, 2009

Analysis (Week of 2/23)

For my analysis I chose to focus on a press release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and an article about the press release from The New York Times.

When comparing the two items, I found a considerable difference in the tone of each written document. The press release gives a detailed statement about the changes it plans to make with prescription medications, explaining the positive results of doing so. The article, on the other hand, paints the FDA's revisions in a recognizably negative light. The reporter's wording and choice of quotes all view the changes as unfavorable.

The press release and the newspaper article also differed in their use of statistical information. These include the amount of money spent by the nation on medical errors "that could be avoided," studies that show "that fewer than one in 10 physicians routinely read drug labels," and the number of deaths in hospitals every year due to medical errors.

Nothing was mentioned about advertising in press release as well. However, the following was written in the article:

"The new rule does not affect the drug information sheets that patients routinely receive, but is likely to result in major changes to drug advertisements and may offer some liability protections to drug makers."

February 22, 2009

Analysis: "Rihanna Photo Emerges Online" - "Rihanna's Father Angry With LAPD Over Leaked Photo"

The two stories used in this analysis are from MTV News. They focus on the picture that was leaked, allegedly showing pop singer Rihanna's battered face.

The first story, originally published 02.19.09 at 11:27 p.m. ET, has the following lead: posted a photograph late Thursday (February 19) that it claims is of Rihanna shortly after her alleged February 8 altercation with Chris Brown.

The main news of the story covers the details of the photograph and how the LAPD neither authorized the release of the photo or confirmed the identity of the woman in it. The story then goes on to give background details about Chris Brown's alleged assault on Rihanna, and a statement released by Brown a week after the event.

The second story was originally published at 12:11 pm E.T. on 2.20.2009. The lead is: Rihanna's father, Ronald Fenty, is upset with the Los Angeles Police Department over the leak of a photo that apparently shows his daughter shortly after her alleged altercation with Chris Brown, according to

The original story is advanced by the second with the reactions of the victim's close family member and the controversy that has erupted from the photo's release.

The second story was not a response to a report from a competing news organization. The second story is from the same source as the first, MTV News. The second story was a response to the first, with the reaction of a source close to the victim, as previously stated.

These two stories are part of an ever-expanding collection of articles surrounding the alleged assault of Rihanna by her boyfriend, Chris Brown. Other articles about the incident have revealed details as they have emerged; a statement from Rihanna, the LAPD's investigation in to the leak of the photo and more.

February 15, 2009

Analysis (Week of 2/9)

"Philadelphia officer shot, killed"

The reporter has summarized the important elements of the story in the lead. After the lead, the reporter goes into further detail about the events and those involved. These details are presented in chronological order, from the threat toward the cab driver to the death of the officer.

The reporter ordered the information in this way because it gives the reader the most important details of the story first, then goes in to more detail and ends with the least important parts of the story. It is effective because it gets the reader's attention and accurately informs him or her of all of the available and important details.

It could have been done differently, by not giving as much detail in the story of the confrontation between the cab driver and the suspect. However, I think that the way the reporter organized the story worked very well.

February 8, 2009

Analysis (Week of 2/2)

Poison in teething drug kills 84 Nigerian children

Four sources are used in this story. The sources that are named include Health Minister Babtunde Osotimehin, Barewa Pharmaceutical Ltd, the Nigeria National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and the government. The sources are scattered throughout the story, and include information from people and organizations. The way the reporter utilizes the attributions in a clear way, putting them at the beginning and at the end of sentences with direct quotes and paraphrasing.

February 1, 2009

Analysis (Week of 1/26)

Phelps Acknowledges Photo Using Pipe

Olympic great Michael Phelps acknowledged ''regrettable'' behavior and ''bad judgment'' after a photo in a British newspaper Sunday showed him inhaling from a marijuana pipe.

The lead for this story includes:
who (Michael Phelps)
what (acknowledged "regrettable" behavior and "bad judgment")
where, when and why all refer to the photo and its appearance
where: in a British newspaper
when: Sunday
why: the photo "showed him inhaling from a marijuana pipe"

The description of the photo and Phelps' reaction is detailed, while the specifics about the actual contents being smoked from the pipe were not named.

The lead is a straightforward hard-news lead. The information especially catches your eye when Michael Phelps' famous name is recognized in the same sentence as "marijuana pipe."