Recently in Analysis Category

Computer assisted reporting- analysis

In this story published on Nicar.org, the journalist investigated the number of waivers made by the state Teaching Board over the last five years, concluding that the number had doubled. The reporter also evaluated the number of teachers who were improperly licensed, interpreting these numbers in comparison to previous years. The reported definitely needed the skills to navigate computer data and how to interpret this data.

Analysis: Numbers

In this article which appeared in HTR News, the author examined how smoking affects breast cancer risk. The numbers were used semi-responsibly- sometimes the author used the numbers in comparison with each other during the same paragraph, other times the numbers seemed to be rapid-fire and a little confusing to the reader. The author didn't seem to need to interpret many numbers, nor were they listed. The author had quotes from researchers and doctors which seemd to back up their findings.

Analysis: Obituaries

I looked at the obituary of Geraldine Ferraro used in the New York Times. The lead is pretty standard, telling the reader who Geraldine Ferraro was, where and when she died. The second sentence tells us she was 75 and that she lived in Manhattan, not completely standard but close enough. It definitely works for the article because the article itself is a more extensive examination of her life. This obituary is different than a resume because it tells her claims to fame, with interpretations about her life and commentary on her impact on people.

Analysis: Press Release

The Minn. Twins issued a press release that the 14 spruce trees at Target Field had been removed on Feb. 28. The release outlined the process of removing the trees and where they were taken. In a Pioneer Press article, the author interpreted the information and outlined the main points; that the trees were removed because they were distracting to the batters, especially when they swayed in the wind. The author also said where the trees were taken and what will happen to them. By making these choices, the author informed the reader about what was newsworthy in this press release.

Analysis: Multimedia

I compared the New York Times multimedia site and the LA Times.

Both of these sites were extensive and well polished. Both had slideshows covering various topics as diverse as the unrest in the middle east to the business attire of men these days. The interactive feature of the workers response to the oil rig blowout here on the NYT site was especially engaging for viewers, with a video/interviews, a complete diagram of the oil rig, etc.

The LA Times also had a piece on gang violence, with separate sections labeled "victims", "advocates", etc. The writing accompanying these photos gave a background of gang violence, its effect on innocent people, the neighborhoods, etc. Many of the captions would give some information regarding the photo and then more extensive coverage on its meaning to the main subject. The writing tends to be concise, almost like a lead, but more spread out (in comparison to the "pyramid" style).

Analysis: Progression

In the Star Tribune article about the woman who beat a tiger with a ladle, the reporter gives the most important information first: the news that she chased off a tiger with a ladle. This is effective because it draws the reader into the story, and makes the reader want more details. The second paragraph gives a little more information as to where it was, what the man was doing, etc. I think that makes the reader more knowledgeable about the scene before the third paragraph, which explains the action- "The woman rushed out ..." etc. The following paragraphs give more detail about the condition of the man and his thoughts. I think this is a very effective set up because it gives enough information that the reader can understand what's going on, but also wants to keep reading. It could possibly be done differently by giving all of the action up front instead of filling you in on where the news took place, but this might be too much for the reader, or they wouldn't want to read the rest of the article.

Analysis: Attributions

In the Associated Press' article published by the Washington Post, the author quotes four different people who lend valuable information to the story. The first was the chief of police, who gave clearer details about what happened in the shooting, a smart decision for the first quote because it helps establish some of the who, what, when, where, why information.

All of the sources are people who are named, and they're scattered throughout the story. I don't think that the attributions are confusing at all. They seem very effective, each contributing to what the reader knows about the story. The sources are the police chief, a representative of the fraternity, the president of the university, and a neighbor who lives right next to the house. One of the quotes was taken from a news conference, but the rest of them seemed like direct quotes told to the reporter.

If they had all been clustered together, the quotes would have been confusing, but since the reporter cushioned each of them with information about the story, they are effective.

Lead Analysis

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In this Kare 11 news report, the lead gives the reader all the main elements of the story (Who, What, Where, When, How, Why) in two concise sentences.
The lead first off gives the location, Seattle, before it even starts. After, the "what" or action of the story is given- that a guard was strangled at a prison in Washington. The lead also gives a little background information, like the fact that he was concerned about being the only officer there. It also tells the "who" (the officer and the inmate who is the suspect), and that it was on Sunday. Since it was a hard-news story, all of these elements contribute to making it easy to read without being too wordy.

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