April 2012 Archives

http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/28/world/bin-laden-death-anniversary/index.html?hpt=wo_c1

This story is a recap of major international news that happened one year ago. I imagine it must have been hard to write a story on the single biggest triumph for America in the last decade, but the writer did not fall short.

The story has a strong dramatic tone that compliments the content very well. It also creates a thorough picture of the United States after learning of Bin Laden's death. These elements take the writing beyond a hard news story.

My one negative critique is the length of the story. A story this long would be appropriate if the news just happened. As an anniversary piece, I think it is a little lengthy. However, the writer did a nice job of adding new information to avoid a mere carbon copy of a previous story.

First, I must ask "is this really newsworthy?" After reading the story, I found that it didn't really have any substance. Nobody was hurt, no arrests, and nothing really that exciting. There was a drunk woman at a poetry slam. That's it. We don't even have a name.

However, I feel like the writer did as much as they could with this story. They got a word from the University police, as well as some quotes from the President of Voices Merging.

If I had written this story, well, I would have found a better story to write about.

http://www.mndaily.com/2012/03/21/woman-banned-coffman-drunk-behavior-during-poetry-slam

http://www.mndaily.com/2012/04/06/students-hold-vigil-tinsley


This story was written with the sentimentality of an obituary, but was presented as a typical news story. The reporter used a multitude of quotes from various sources that knew or worked with Tinsley before he died. Consequently, Tinsley comes off as a very respected and loved member of the University community.

The typical inverted pyramid is disregarded here. Since the story is mostly quotes about the same person, order of importance isn't really that effective. The story needs to maintain heartfelt and honest, rather than structured and technical.

I thought this story was very well done. If I had written it, I would have swapped the last paragraph with the two above it. It seems more appropriate to close with the following:

"As the sun set, the vigil ended in prayer. Many left and went their separate ways, but the University's football team stayed behind and showed their support with a team huddle.

They chanted a single word, "family.""

http://www.mndaily.com/2012/03/30/house-passes-bill-would-allow-alcohol-tcf-bank-stadium


Although the headline of this story is appropriate, it is way too long. The subhead, which is a full sentence, is nearly the same length as the headline. I would save the wordy headlines for the wordier stories.

The story itself seems very dry. It would be nice to get a word from a coach, concessions employee, or even a random student. This is big news for football fans and everyone who plays a role on football Saturdays.

On the positive side, the writer did organize the information very well. The important facts are at the top and the less important rest at the bottom. It all has a nice flow, though it would be more engaging if it had more quotes.

If I were writing this story, I would avoid writing a boring update on legislature action. Instead, I would interview a variety of sources and write in some responses to this bill.


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