Recently in Analysis Category

Star Tribune uses survey for story

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The Star Tribune's recent article, Survey says state is on the wrong track, used numbers in a way that was not overwhelming.

The lead simplifies a survey's actual findings to say "more than half."

The story then falls into a more specific second paragraph, noting similarities with last year's survey.

The reporter may have used some math to arrive at the numbers, but it is unclear.

The numbers come from a survey from St. Cloud State University. It probably does not include all the numbers from the survey.

Andy Rooney's obituary is traditional

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The New York Times's obitiary of Andy Rooney followed the traditional format fairly well.

It cites a statement by CBS News and quotations from friends and co-workers.

Rooney's obituary includes a few paragraphs about his suspensions from CBS, following offensive comments.

The lead is standart for an obituary, and it does work. Since Rooney was such a character, a more creative lead could have worked, too.

The obituary is different from a resume because it includes much more voice and focus on his opinions, not his work experience.

City council meeting spawns park announcement

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The article "Pasadena plans to build 2 new parks," by the L.A. Times, was a recap of a meeting.

The announcement was likely the most newsworthy portion of a meeting by the Pasadena City Council.

The article incorporates information from a 2007 city report, which may have been referenced during the meeting.

Multimedia in the newsroom

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The Chicago Tribune goes above and beyond the norm of multimedia coverage.

Their news apps team has a section of the website dubbed "Maps and Apps," where they feature news applications they have built.

Some of the applications are stand-alone, but many accompany articles. This is in addition to the usual photo, slideshow and video coverage.

The Minnesota Daily is working to incorporate more multimedia into their reporting.

The Minnesota Daily features slideshows and videos above the fold of their front page, like many other news organizations.

The recent slideshow "A day through Luka's eyes" could stand alone as a story because of the descriptive cutlines, but it was published with a traditional article.

Occupy Minnesota stories progressed throughout day

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MinnPost's coverage of the Occupy Minnesota protests progressed throughout the day.

The day began with a small paragraph, where MinnPost asked protestors to send in pictures and information.

As multimedia and Tweets came in, MinnPost curated them and turned them into a story that lengthened with the hour.

The day-after story, by the Star Tribune, took a different tone. It was less about crowdsourcing and more about reporting. This is likely because they had time to get people to the scene.

MinnPost turned its story into a social media trail of tweets, a much different take than the Star Tribune.

Story structure

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The reporter for the Star Tribune article Bayport man is latest Minnesota crash victim structured the story in the inverted pyramid style.

The story covered two recent crashes, and it could be split into two separate stories if needed.

The lead was a hard news lead, answering the who, what, where and when.

The story eventually explained more details, and linked the latest incident to another similar crash over the weekend.

This structure makes the facts known quickly what most people would want to know. It could have been done in a more narrative way, but the hard news style works here, too.

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Attribution was key to the Star Tribune's article, "Taxes in Minneapolis are all about location."

Attribution key for Star Tribune article

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Attribution was key to the Star Tribune's article, "New trees to cover bar North Side."

The first three paragraphs explained the hard facts of the story, but from then on, quotes added to the story.

The forth paragraph began with a quote, attributed by the word "said." The person quoted was someone directly affected by the situation.

The article followed this person, Rudo Joplin, creating a narrative effect.

Also attributed was Ralph Sievert, the Park Board's forestry director. His words were paraphrased, so they weren't enclosed in quotation marks.

Each time a quotation was in the article, it led a new paragraph, and usually stood completely on its own.

Good lead

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The lead for the story "Lemont siblings held on $2 million bail in jewelry robberies" was textbook.

Leads for hard news stories traditionally include the who, what, where and when. Reporter Christy Gutowski incorporates all into her lead, without causing the reader too much difficulty in sifting through facts.

The names of the siblings are withheld from the lead -- they are not prominent figures -- although they do appear in the headline.

The what is very detailed; readers know the amount of bail and the original crime the sisters are accused of committing.

Because it is a hard news story, this type of lead works. The busy reader knows the basics within the first few seconds of reading the article.

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