May 3, 2007

Artic Ice Melting Faster Than Anticipated

An article published on theage.com.au has reported that the artic ice cap is melting much faster than anticipated by predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Global Climate Change. The ocean at the top of Earth could be free of ice by the year 2020, three decades sooner than anticipated. No ice on the top of the Earth like this could be a major catalyst to global warming, because ice reflects light and heat and with it gone the earth and sea will absorb it. Glaciologists believe the change is a result of greenhousr gases.

The lead establishes the main point of the article flatly, and leads into the details of the changei n prediction, 30 years ahead of schedule. The rest of the article basically hinges on statements attributed to various climate experts and glaciologists. What might be the most important detail is saved for the end of the article, with the glaciologist asserting that the levels are not a result of natural climate change, but rather due to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Coverage of the story at cnn.com is much more in-depth, but covers the same basic points. It feels like it's overwhelmed by details about the study done by the panel, but at the same time it des manage to clearly convey the main points, which are that the study is anticipated to be off by 30 years, and that the change is probably due to greenhouse gases.

The CNN article is less immediately readable than the article written for The Age, and saturates the article with facts that feel superfluous. There's also not as many quotes given from people working in the field, which doesn't help it.

May 2, 2007

Verdict Received in Car/Bus Collision Case

A truck and a bus engaged in a fatal collision on I-94 in late 2005, and a jury on the case has recently decided on a not-guilty verdict for the accused truck driver according to a Star Tribune article. The driver's trailer overturned, and the bus plowed into the trailer, killing students and the driver. People are divided on both sides of the issue, but the jury ruled not-guilty on the over 30 charges placed against the driver. Negligent homicide was the most prominent charge, though there were other misdemeanors and felonies. The jury would not comment on the deliberation process. The bus was carrying Chippewa High School band members. During the trial, prosecutors tried to show that the driver was too tired to perform his job. The community remains divided on the issue, with people supporting the driver and being disappointed in the end verdict.

The main pointo f the article is that a verdict was reached, so that's mentioned in the first graph. The rest of the article after a brief chronology of the incident, which doesn't take place til a little later so there is no clear when element, is primarily giving the opinions of those in the community about the outcome of the case. Lots of direct attribution is used, and it' clear a lot of reporting was done to gauge the overall reaction as split. In particular the article focuses on a band teacher paralysed by the incident, and how he recovers. There is an especially nice human-interest element to the piece, and I mean there was obviously a lot of potential but it's pretty nice how they interview the band instructor after the invident and focus on him and one of his classes.

And another element of the case is brought up in the Pioneer Press' treatment of the story. It presents a similar reconstruction of the events after the first few graphs, giving dates and describing the events, but rather than focusing specifically on the element of the community's reaction, it talks about lawsuits being filed against the courts as a result of the verdict of the jury to acquit the driver. There is then quite a bit of debate as to who is to blame, whether the driver can really be blamed, etc, and there's not as much of a human interest element but it's equally interesting and raises questons about the legal system. The case is difficult because there's really no way to tell what happened or who was responsible, so in this case the jury just had no real way to prove the negligence. There is direct attribution from defense attorneys about the incident.

Both articles are adequate, and complementary because together they give a broader spectrum of information about the story. One has information and viewpoints that the other does not cover, and they appeal to different interests. One article is more concerned with the humanity, while the other focuses on the lgality issues and what could be done in the case. The two papers each picked a different angle for the story, and while the Star Tribune's is obviously the more compelling one ot read, I'd say they're both essential for a total comprehension of the story.

Man Charged in St. Paul Weekend Murder

An article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune has reported the shooting of a local man by the brother of his fiancé. The 23-year-old man was charged on the shooting today, while the act occurred this past Sunday night. The shooting is alleged to have occurred during an argument between the two men on Sunday night in a parking lot behind an apartment building. The victim's fiancé heard two gunshots, and the victim stumbled in to tell her he was shot before he died. The article says the two men had a history of fueding, one that included previously ramming one anothers' vehicles on a freeway. The accused denied being at the victim's apartment, and apparently returned the gun he used to his girlfriend after committing the act.

This is a solid piece of hard news without a real twist or angle. The thing that distinguishes it from a story that would be reporting any other murder is the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. This relationship is thus establishes in the lead early on, right after the mention of the murder. It also gives the location of the shooting, the Highland Park area of St. Paul. The victim and perpetrator are then identified, and a brief chronology is given including the ties between the two men. The only attribution given is lifted from the police complaint. It specifically mentions what the perpatrator did after committing the crime, whic his engaging in rapport with his spouse. The article is pretty straightforward, and would likely be shorter if not for the small angle related to the two mens' knowledge of one another.

Pioneer Press coverage of the article uses the awkward phrase "sister's boyfriend" instead of fiancé, which sort of screws up the lead in my opinion. The article also seems choopier and really lacks any semblance of narrative flow, and makes it less pleasaing to read.

I prefer the Tribune's article because it flows easier, there's attempts at a sort of chronology midway through, and it contains all the same facts as the Pioneer Press article. You get all the necessary information quickly from either and might not need on past the first graph, but the Pioneer Press piece's first graph also feels awkward and screwed up do to some confusing wordchoice.

April 30, 2007

Smaller Fires Near Georgia Blaze Expected to Be Examined

According to an article published in the local Georgia paper the Atlanta Journal Constitution, has stated that firefighters today have asked for arson experts to examine 3 smaller fires near a large Georgia blaze that has burned for the past two weeks. The Georgia Forestry Commission decided the blazes appeared suspicious enough to warrant further investigation, as it seemed they could not have been started naturally as a result of the larger fire. The larger blaze has been a presence over the past two weeks, burning over 125 square feet of forest and swamplands, and destroying over 20 homes. By Monday morning the fire was over 60 percent contained, with firefighters achieving more success throughout the day. Schools were closed last week but reopened today. Families evacuated the areas where more fires have broken out.

Despite being an article by a local paper near the event intended for a local audience, it seems to have a national appeal because it doesn't get too caught up in specifics of location, and describes things in a way that a national audience can understand, while more than likely providing more information than your average wire service article about the incident. Officials from the Georgia Forest COmmission are quoted early on about the action their taking, and this part of the article seems to only last for about 4 graphs before the rest of the article takes a focus on the larger blaze and the damage it has caused over the past weeks. It doesn't assume that people have been following the event too closely, and gives some rudimentary statistics about the situation that help put it into perspective. Two different Georgia Forestry Commission spokespeople are directly quoted.

The Associated Press coverage of the event published in the Washington Post contains all information from the article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, but trims out some of the stuff that might be less necessary, resulting in a more concise article. One of the same forestry spokespeople is also quoted, with the same quote used. It suits the story well and would serve as a nice means of getting the information out to a wider audience without overburdening them with information.

I prefer the Atlanta Journal Constitution article because it seems to be just as readable, but gives more information and context as to what the region is going through right now. The Associated Press article would certainly suffice, but it doesn't mention anything about the idea of potential new, intentional fires that the Atlanta article does. There is also a lot more detailed information about the extent of the fires, which I feel is important to understand the story. They're both fine for what they're meant to do.

British Terrorists Convicted in Bomb Plot

An Associated Press article that ran in the Washington Post today has reported that five members of Al-Qaida were arrested for planning to bomb a nightclub, and Biritsh power plants and a company doing work in Iraq. All five men were British citizens, and were determined to be linked to Al-Qaida and convicted of the crime after a year of deliberation in what has become Britain's largest terror case. The men were linked to a 2005 bombing of a London subway car, and surveilance on one man revealed his intentions were terroristic. The link between the plotters and the actual bombers was kept secret to ensure a fair trial. These revelations go against what was said by the British government in 2005, which was that the attacks were perceived as unknown and unpredicted. All five men were sentenced to life in prison. Recorded conversations revealed the men conspiring to terrorism. Piecing together the plot took effort, but eventually happened.

The lead is very long, and gives some details I feel are kinda superfluous, like the targets for instance. However, it does reveal all the necessary details of the article. From here there is more information given about the suspects how the intelligence arrived at their conclusions. The article flows from point to point, going from the suspects descriptions to connecting them to the 2005 subway attack to discussing the British government's intelligence surrounding that issue, then to the trial and sentences that the men received. Britain's counter-terrorism chief is quoted directly and receives full attribution, commenting on the mens' link to Al-Qaida. The article ends with a quote from the MI5 chief, who says that his men will regret not preventing the 2005 bombings.

Coverage of the story on a UK website called The Argus is tailored much more specifically to residents of the UK. The lead feels week because it just focuses on one man being convicted for some reason, instead of the fact that there were 4 others convicted with him. This detail is mentioned later on. More specific locations familiar to British readers are mentioned, including where the terrorists hail from and what their planned targets were. Details about those being convicted are given again, along with the fact that they denied the charges. No direct attribution is used, with quotes all being paraphrased for the most part. It ends with the detail that the jury were out for a record number of days.

I prefer the coverage given by the Associated Press article in the Washington Post, because there's more specific detail about the link between the incident and the bombings in 2005, not to mention more attribution and direct quotes from those in positions of authority. The other article didn't seem to give the same level of information, and the lead feels like it doesn't tell the whole storyi mmediately anyway, which was odd.

April 26, 2007

Astronomers Discover "Second Earth"

According to an article run in BBC News yesterday, astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet outside our solar system, and that this world could actually have water running on its surface. The planet is over 20 light-years away, and the temperatures there suggest that any water there could exist in liquid form, which means that there could be life as well. Scientists estimate the temperatures on the planet to be between 0 and 40 degrees Celsius. Scientists believe the planet to be a key target for future space missions and the search for extra-terrestrial life. The planet is around a star called Gleise 581, that allows it to reach habitable temperatures. Scientists have insisted on this planet's apparent ability to support life. The fact that it's over 20 light-years away means humans will not be visiting it anytime soon, though with future innovations it could be a possibility.

Well the article is a scientific one, and thus prone to all sorts of jargon that the article effectively cuts through. THe details are explained in such a way as to facilitate easier comprehension by those of us who are not well-versed in scientific vocabulary. The headline pretty much leads into a smaller bolded section giving more details, which leads right into the beginning of the article detailing the planet's perported location. We then get information about the planet itself and what makes it earth-like, featuring some direct quotations from those responsible for making the announcement. Information about the planet is sort of scattered along the article, in between sections that seem to focus on scientists' opinions on whether or not visiting the planet could become a reality, as well as how the planet was even discovered. The article ends with a quote saying that the new planet and those near it will be prime targets for future NASA space missions.

A report on the new planet run in The Guardian takes an even simpler approach, giving just the necessary details and one instance of direct attribution from an astronomer who emphasizes the planet's significance. The lead is basic and just reveals the discovery and the bearing it has on the idea that we might not be alone. The Earth-like traits of the planet are emphasized and discussed, and some basic details are given. such as its size and the events leading up to tis discovery.

Both articles are competent and intended for different audiences, obviously. Neither one is bad, and it just depends on what type of coverage is desired because the Guardian article is a bit simpler but gives all the necessary information, while the BBC News article is more complicated and in-depth and more of a commitment to read. I prefer the BBC News article because of the information it gives and the way it presents it so that it's easier to understand, but they're both fine.

Saint Paul Passes New Dogs Ordinance to Curb Attacks

An article published in the Star Tribune reported that the St. Paul CIty Council today was expected to pass a dog ordinance intended to curb the abuse of the animals. The ordinance was passed, and though not directly linked to the recent string of dog attacks, will prohibit owners with a history of dangerous dogs from having dog liscenses. The ordinance was sponsored by council president Kathy Landry, who doesn't know if it would have prevented Tuesdays attack of a woman by two pit bulls, but says that it would stop people from owning dogs who have had two dangerous dogs in a five year span.

The lead in the article emphasizes how soon the ordinance is being passed after the recent dog attack, but doesn't really say what the ordinance is going to do. It then gives a more general description of what the ordinance would do, but again lacks details that aren't revealed until near the article in a paraphrased quote by the president of the saint paul city council. In the middle of it we get a description of Tuesday's incident, which the article even admits probably has nothing to do with the ordinance as the ordinance was being worked on awhile before the incident occurred, so I'm not sure why it's included. The article closes with the reason why Landry introduced the ordinance. It's a relatively short piece with no direct quotations used.

Coverage of the new law in the Pioneer Press is done in an article that is even shorter than the Star Tribune piece. However, it is much more detail oriented and actually gives specifics about the effects of the law. It gives a general description of the law in the lead and then gives specifics near the end, with only a sentence devoted to Tuesday's incident and how it did not trigger the law.

The Pioneer Press article is short and contains more information than the article in the Star Tribune. The news works best presented as a short piece like both of them did, but the Pioneer Press article just does a better job and actually gives specifics about the changes and outlines the current situation as far as dog ordinances go.

April 25, 2007

Teen Charged With Murder On Bus

Police have arrested a boy and charged him with the murder of another young man on a bus early Sunday morning, according to an article in the Pioneer Press. The shooting happened at times when the suspect's parents insist he was at home, and he does not match the description of the suspect given in police reports. Police insist thatb ased on photos, they have found the right person. Metro Transit continues to insist that its mass transit services are safe, despite 4 serious incidents since the beginning of March. The victim of the shooting was a father, whose death leaves his partner to care for their 1-year-old son. The killing supposedly occured after the bus had stopped, with the suspect reaching inside the bus doors and firing the gun at the victim.

The piece's lead sets it up as a feature, introducing the differing actions of the two families involved at present. Rather than a hard news lead that would describe the action in an objective way, the article chooses to wait until the third sentence to state the news event, and then quotes relatives of the victim. The suspect's parents are then quoted, giving alibis, and then the police however are quoted insisting that they have the right man. A listing of the recent problems Metro Transit has had is then given, followed by a brief biography of the victim and a short chronology of the incident that resulted in his death.

The Star Tribune's coverage of the story also thrusts the reader right into the action, but in a different way. It describes a seemingly manic scene of 40 people yelling for the suspect's freedom from connection with the shooting. It mentions the event higher up. The reason for the conflict is also given earlier on, that of the two boys being members of rival groups. The article is short, focuses only on the suspect, and doesn't mention Metro Transit at all.

Both articles are fine, and take interesting angles with their instead of just treating the story as a simple hard news piece. However, the Pioneer Press covers all aspects of the story and paints a more vivid picture of all those involved, as well as how the bus company reacts to the issue, which I feel is important. It also contains almost all the details that the Star Tribune's article does, so it just feels like better coverage of the situation.

April 23, 2007

Gonzales Scandal Continues to Escalate

An Associated Press article published at Forbes.com has reported on the current status of the Attorney General Gonzales scandal concening the firings of several prosecutors simultaneously. The article gives an update on the scandal after Gonzales testified on Thursday, revealing that his testimony caused several republican senators to call for him to quit. He continues to lose GOP support, but refuses to back down. He has asserted that he will stay and continue to serve. The article gives evidence that pretty much the only continued support for Gonzales is coming from Bush. As expected, there were fresh calls from democratic senators calling for the attorney general to step down. Primary support for Gonzales comes from the White House.

The article could almost be considered a type of speech coverage, it deals with the testimony given by Ginzales last Thursday and does actually describe that particular event at several points throughout its duration. It gives both details about what he said, and most importantly for the purposes of the article, the reactions of his contemporaries, both supproters and detractors. There's a lot of direct quotes and straight attribution from senators giving their opinions on the case. In between this certain statements connect the direct quotes and show their relevance, attempting to allow the article to flow a bit better and breathe a bit more. It doesn't feel like there's really a rigid structure and it's kind of all over the place, and there's certainly no chronology involved. The article does find a way to fit in the necessary details about the incident in between attributions, since it is an article follwing up on an important contemporary issue that has come ot the forefront in recent days.

In the New York Times article update on the issue, the point is gotten to much faster. Republican Senator Arlen Specter is quoted in the lead as saying that Gonzales' failure to step down is bad for the U.S. justice department. Spector is focused on in the Times' article because he is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and his comments were aired on a FOX television show and focused on in the article. Specter is mentioned in the previous article, but not with as much detail though he is shown saying that Gonzales' testimony was variant with the facts of the situation. The New York Times article is much shorter, and only quotes one other senator, a democrat named Charles Schumer who talks about a potential successor.

I think the New York Times coverage is better because it focuses on a key GOP senator and is generally much shorter than the other article, which quotes many people but may actually have a lot of unnecessary text. The New York Times article says just as much in my opinion, except with many less words.

Nigerian Elections Over, Results in Dispute

Umaru Yar'Adua has been declared the winner of Nigeria's presidential poll, a poll that is being rejected by the opposition and labeled a "charade" by outsiders. Yar'Adua was Nigeria's ruling party candidate, but opposition and observers have labeled the election a fraud due to violence influence the decision, and rigging of the polls, according to a Reuters article published in the Washington Post. Yar'Adua received over 24 million votes, 18 million more than his closest rival, Muhammadu Bahari. The vote should result in the first time that power in Nigeria has been handed over from one civilian to another. European Union observers noticedm any flaws and criticised the result. However, attempts to change the result could result in instability for the country as its current leader is required to hand over power by the end of May. Over 60 people have been killed so far in election related violence.

The article's lead gets across that Yar'Adua won the election, and also mentions in the same sentence that the results are being dismissed and rejected. The article then goes into explaining the significance of the election and the opinions of specific groups such as opposition and observers. There are no direct quotes immediately from election winners, only partial quoted of phrases in quotation marks. The first full, direct quotation comes from a European Union observer in the second section of the article ,which focuses on the accusations and evidence of fraud in the election. The current leader of the country is given an optimistic quote near the end when the piece turns to a more speculative tone about the future of the country, and there's statistics about election violence and government action, with the government labelling those who oppose the election results as coup-supporters.

An Associated Press article run in the New York Times about the issue focuses on telling more about Yar'Adua early on, but also mentions the opposition to the election results in the lead. His opposition's qualms about the results are given earlier on, and the article actually describs the scene of the elections on Saturday which is effective and gives a clearer idea of what exactly the corruption that went on might have been. Many of the same figures and positions are established, while generally giving more on Yar-Adua's life and accomplishments.

I prefer the Associated Press article because it gives more information on the issue. The both have similar structures and patterns of expositions, it's just the the Associated Press article has more information on the candidate elect, as well as the political climate in Nigeria and how the election will affect the country. For someone wanting to casually learn about the issue ashorter article might suffice.

April 20, 2007

Abstinence Education Programs Deemed Ineffective

An article published on the website citizenlink.org looks into a recent study released last week by Mathematica Polcy Research, a study that claims that anstinence-only education is not effective in delaying sexual activity among unmarried youth. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services commissioned Mathematica to evaluate the programs after 10 years, and Mathematica has recently declared the programs it examined to be ineffective and potentially medically inaccurate. However, the executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association claims that only four out of over 700 abstinence education programs were examined in the study.

The lead in the article establishes both viewpoints in the same graph, which is pretty much how the article then proceeds to do things. It gives a summary of the Mathematica group's findings, and then goes in to give the opinions of those who support the program, using forms of direct attribution to show their opinions. The director of the National Abstinence Education Association is quoted, as well as an analyst for sexual health at Focus on the Family Action. It's a short peice that reveals the group's findings and then present's another side's reaction.

Coverage of the issue in a column featured at slate.com is much more in-depth, actually giving information about the nature of the study and more figures about exactly how much money is being plugged into these types of programs. In the past decade, the federal government has spent over 1 billion dollars of taxpayers' money on these programs, which, according to the four examples examined by the study at least, have no effect. This is the main focal point of the article, as well as the nature of the funding that states receive for these programs. No coverage is given to the other side of the argument, as the research done by the group commissioned by the government is basically treated as it should be-that is, trusted. There's a much more opinionated slant to the way the facts are reported.

I prefer the cover of the issue on the slat.ecom page because of the level of detail it goes into about the figures being paid for the programs, the testing conducted by the Mathematica Group, and how the funding for the programs works. Having this level of detail helps the reader get a better understanding of the issues in question. I think coverage of this subject is important, because to be spending such a large sum of money on something that is being shown to potentially be largely ineffective is distressing, and such decisions deserve scrutiny and evaluation.

April 19, 2007

University of Minnesota Evacuated Due to Bomb Hoax

Classes in 8 buildings at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus were evacuated Wednesday afternoon after a threat was found in a bathroom on campus, according to an article published in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune. The threat turned out to be a hoax, and classes will resume today. The threat was a sheet of paper found in a bathroom listing specific buildings, and in light of Monday's tragedy authorities were not taking chances. The school sent out emails to around 80,000 students, and evacuated the 8 buildings. A search by a bomb squad with dogs did not turn up any results.

The article focuses on getting reactions and responses from students at the university. Students on the campus are interviewed and their reactions and thoughts on the incident are given. It's a long article, describing the resulting events caused by the threat and giving faculty action and reaction as well. There's almost a type of narrative, and also space for the article to provide peoples' critiques on the action the university took. It's pretty much divided into two sections, that of the main event summary and that of the reactions. Direct attribution is used for authority figures like the police chief and for students, and the lead focuses on today, saying that "classes resume after a threat shut down the school yesterday," giving the article a sense of immediacy from the beginning even if the event is over and done and ultimately may not have done anything significant.

The Pioneer Press' coverage of the event adds the human element even more specifically even earlier on, mentioning the specific student's name who found the bomb note, and describing in detail the actions he took, and quoting him, the same quote used in the Tribune's article. They also mention the specific buildings earlier on, including the detail that one of the threatened buildings contained the university president's office. Similar to the Star Tribune's article, the latter half seems to be focused largely on student reactions to the threats.

I prefer the Star Tribune's coverage because although it doesn't lisat some important details later on, the idea of focusing for so long on the student who seemingly innocuously found the note and casually reported it seems like a waste when there's actually a lot more that could be reported on. The Star Tribune article is also longer and has a larger reaction section, which isn't entirely necessary but shows that more reporting was done for their piece, I think.

April 18, 2007

Dispute Between Cab Drivers and Airport Employers Grows

In the latest development in a conflict that has been a problem in Minnesota for awhile now has taken place Monday, with the Metropolitan Airports Commission voting unanimously on Monday to order Muslim taxi cab drivers to pick up all passengers, regardless of whether or not they are carrying alcohol. Transmitting alcohol in this way goes against the Koran, but starting May 30th any cab drivers who refuse service will be given suspensions, according to the article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. There were 27 alcohol-related refusals out of an estimated 120,000 cab rides from mid-November to January. The issue is not as bad as it was in the summertime, but many muslim cabbies have expressed intent to continue to refuse if the situation comes up again, regardless of threats of suspension. It is expected that neither side of the dispute will step down, and that it could lead to a national test case on the issue.

The article opens by summarizing the issue as though the reader were not familiar with it, despite it being a presence in the news media off and on over the past few months. It then segues into the results of the recent vote and the results, and then into the reactions of the director of the airport and muslim scholars. Statistics are then given that show the extent that the issue may affect the community. The last part of the article is interesting because it focuses on the issue's potential for a court case, citing a precident involving the amish and road laws, and its potential application in this instance.

The Pioneer Press article about the subject chooses to emphasize the airport's decision upfront in its lead. THis is different from the Star Tribune's coverage, which places that decision in the third graph. Again, the issue of transportation with the Amish case from 1990 is brought up, but some different people are quote and overall the article seems to flow much better, and rather than what feels like a choppy series of statements and figures almost becomes a narrative, closing with an effective quote a local Muslim prayer leader and cab driver supporter, giving the story a human element.

For these reasons I prefer the Pioneer Press article. It establishes the overall issue/conflict, but then goes on to explain the recent decision in the lead and overall as an article just flows a lot better. The note it chooses to end on was also successful, in my opinion.

April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech Shooting Largest in History

A gunman opened fired on a college dormatory and classroom two hours apart, killing himself and an estimated 30 other people in what has become the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history, according to an Associated Press article published online at Forbes today. Students criticized the response of the staff on campus as there were two hours in between the two seperate incidents, and the students were not informed. In addition to the potentially over 31 people killed, at least 26 others were being treated for wounds at local hospitals. After the shootings, the campus was closed and classes for the rest of the day and the next day were cancelled.

It's a wire news service article, and it has a lot of the conventions of those types of pieces. The lead is very typical, outlining straight the events in the tragedy in the way a hard news story would. It goes in to give student reactions, and a quote attributed directly to the president of the university. After this, it then jumps back into the events of the story and offers some details that seem to describe the scene. Student reaction then gets a direct attribution, before more specifics are given and a brief history of these types of massacres is given. A bit more information about the extent of the damage, and a quote from a university spokesperson are given, and this latter half of the article generally seems to be filled with esoteric details about the shooting that aren't crucial but add to the piece, though not much is yet known about the nature of the crime (ie potential motives, the perpatrator). A spokesperson for president Bush is also quoted.

A Reuters article published on the website swissinfo.org covers the issue in a similar way. First of all, however, I feel like the lead flows a bit better. There's less to it and it seems like it conveys the same level of information, while still giving a quick feel for the nature of the scene. The story is much, much more graphic and begins with a detailed chronology and retelling of the incident, giving a student's/victim's perspective and describing the nature of the crime and how the investigation was proceeding. A lot more attribution is used, from victims, police officials, physicians, and interest groups. Voices on the matter are given a chance to speak, and the article finishes with some concrete and basic details about the campus itself.

I feel like the Associated Press article is a bit more tasteful and less sensationalist. In a way I feel like the Reuters article is almost exploiting the tradgedy somehow. It feels like their reporting and descriptions are almost treating the situation like a form of entertainment, or a story to be enjoyed or something. I dunno, it just disturbs me. The whole incident does. Neither article is pleasant to read so don't get the idea that I enjoyed reading either one, but the Reuters piece goes beyond what I feel is acceptable in terms of reporting on something like this. The level of detail is just too much.

French reports show French secret service aware of al Qaida 9/11 planning.

A Reuters article published today on defensenews.com has published an article saying that the French daily paper Le Monde has published information saying that French secret services produced 9 reports looking at the al Qaeda threat to the United States, and knew the terrorist organization intended to hijack an aircraft. The reports show that French's foreign intelligence knew about the planned attack as early as January 2001. The reports show that the attack was meant to happen at some point in 200, but was pushed back. Le Monde quoted a former secret official at France's DGSE secret service agency as saying that although France was aware of a potential hijacking, it was unaware of the plans to fly the plane into a building. The documents also showed that BIn Laden was receiving aid from family members and senior officials in Saudi Arabia ahead of September 11th.

The article's rather short, and its lead simply gets across the key information about the potential knowledge of the hijacking. It then goes into detail about the specific documents that the article is talking about, giving their length and content and who saw them. A senior official with France's DGSE secret service is quoted, and talks about the significance of the documents and the actions taken by those in possession of them.

An Associated Press article published online through Forbes also covers the issue and gives more details about the reports themselves, which are important. More attribution is used in the article as well, more quoes from those in the CIA and other intelligence agencies. It is revealed that the note listed potential targets, and also that it was not all that different from intelligence that the U.S. also possessed. The chief of staff with the French DGSE is quoted again.

Between the two articles I prefer the Associated Press' coverage because it contains more information and attribution, and it's clear there was just more reporting done to get to the final article. For this reason I prefer it to the Reuters article.