Analysis: 7 People Shot at Azana Spa, across from Brookfield Mall; suspect still at large

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A breaking news story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about a shooting in a Wisconsin hair salon begins with a lede that is straight and to the point. It begins by introducing the most pertinent information: the shooting of 7 people Sunday morning at a spa. The lede ends with the fact that police are still looking for the suspect. The leading paragraph also informs the reader that none of the 7 shooting victims have suffered fatal injuries.

After giving the specific location of where the shooting took place, the writers (the story was co-written by four different reporters) transition into the next most important factor of the story: the rogue shooter. The third paragraph gives a very specific description of the suspect, including the model of his car and its license plate number. The next paragraph begins to summarize the condition of the shooting victims and the hospital they are being treated in, which is reportedly on lock-down as a precautionary measure.

The following paragraphs then give a step-by-step description of how events unfolded at the spa, as told by eye witnesses. The witnesses described events beginning with a woman screaming and running out of the spa, to the suspect chasing her and then escaping the scene, perhaps to the nearby woods of a country club. The initial story ends with statements from the spokesman of the FBI's Milwaukee office and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

I think the story was ordered in an effective way. Since it was established early on in the article that none of the shooting victims' gunshot wounds were fatal, I felt the most important storyline now is the whereabouts of the escaped shooter. Before I gave any specific information about the shooting victims, I would have tried to give as much information about the shooter as I had available to me and all of the actions police and the other forces are taking to track him down. It is unclear whether the writers gave all of the information they had on the shooter or not, but I think the order of information in the article shares the same belief that the shooter is now the most important element of the story.

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This page contains a single entry by slee0014 published on October 21, 2012 2:47 PM.

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