« February 2007 | Main | April 2007 »

March 31, 2007

Mystery of Great Pyramid Unraveled

A Reuters article publsihed in the New Zealand Herald has reported on a French architect's new theory explaining how the Great Pyramid of Egypt was built. The pyramid, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, has puzzled historians, and previous theories regarding its construction have included the idea of using ramps along its exterior. The new theory, put forward by architect Jean-Pierre Houdin, proposes that the pyramid was built from the inside out. The theory was worked on and proven to be possible over the course of 2 years of working with a 3D design company, and now there are talks of probing the pyramid to see if this is indeed the case. Houdin reportedly spent around 8 years figuring out the theory.

Houdin is obviously quoted heavily in the article because it's his theory, and his quotes are used to flesh out the idea and give a better idea of specifically what his theory is, in the second half of the article. The article's lead is the sort of sensational lead that an article with this subject would suggest, proclaiming the news that the architect has potentially cracked the riddle. The news and research process leading up to the declaration are given, and the end of the first chunk is then written with information suggesting potential future activities, such as researching the interior of the pyramid to test this theory's viability. The second chunk of the article focuses on the specifics of Houdin's theory, and what lead up to its formation. The article ends with a quote from him about his belief in the curse that affects those who enter the tomb. Through the article Houdin is quoted along with an Egyptologist. An illustration is used to expound upon the text.

An Associated Press article on the same subject was published in The Guardian opens by immediately specifically mentioning the ramp on the inside instead of just saying inside out, which clarifies things faster. There is no direct attribution and the article is shorter, and it says that Houdin has planned non-invasive tests which is basically the exact opposite of what the other article said, which was that a team was being assembled to probe the pyramid. There's no real flow to it and it just seems like blocks of information arranged in a way the might be best, or might not.

So, I prefer the Reuters article out of the two because there are direct quotes from several individuals involved, and it just goes into more detail about the subject and ends up being more interesting to read than the general summary given by the Associated Press article. Not only that, but due to the conflicting natures of the articles, with one saying he's planning on doing non-intrusive research and the other saying that a group was looking to go inside, I am inclined to trust the Reuters article's claims because there is actually direct attribution.

March 28, 2007

Minnesotans Military Appreciation Fund Doubles Grants

Thanks to recently successful fundraisers, the Minnesotans Military Appreciation Fund has been able to double its "thank you" grants that it gives to military personnel who have served in combat zones since September 2001. An short piece about this development ran in the Pioneer Press today. The grants have been increased to $500 after a February fundraiser that produced $900,000. The organization launched in August 2005, and previously awarded $250 until they upped the reward.

The article is just a short piece focusing on the development and success of the fundraiser, with the lead delivering the news and the rest of the article explaining the functions of the fund and a brief history. Near the bottom of the piece are listed means of contacting the fund for donations or questions, which is useful.

When the Star Tribune covered the story they didn't include the contact information, but they did give more specifics about what the fundraiser was exactly, which was a $1,000 a plate fundraiser featuring a New York Times columnist. The interesting detail the around half of the $900,000 was donated by one couple.

The fund isn't mentioned in the lead in the Strib article, but I feel like it's better to mention it in the lead and then give the specifics in the next graph, and for this reason I prefer the Star Tribune article, along with the fact that it just contains more information.

Reward For Capture of St. Paul Murderers Increased

An article published today in the Minneapolis Star Tribune has reported that the reward for the identity of a man who shot and killed three St. Paul residents last week presumably unprovoked has been up to $7,000. The reward money is coming from several sources, including the NAACP, Crime Stoppers, and the Saint Paul Police Federation. The article also gives several smaller details related to the case, including that funeral arrangements have been made, the status of the police investigation which is basically a standstill, and that a trust fund has been established for the surviving children.

The article is a the latest in a series about a murder that happened in Saint Paul last week, and as such the two new pieces of information in the case were included at the top of the story in the lead. From here these two bits are eventually elaborated on, with quotes from investigating police officers, and a recap of the how the shootings happened and what the perceived motives are. The police chief and police spokesman are both quoted and elaborate on the case, and a quote from a relative is used to lead into the specific funeral information, which closes the story. Structuring the story this way it has a nice flow to it that leads from one element to the next.

The developments were also covered by the Pioneer Press and the lead in this article was basically the same, although the content of the articles was different. More detail is given about how the murders were committed, an "offical statement" from the family is frequently quoted from, and the article ends on a note that suggests a more involved or active response. It encourages people with information to call in and tell police, and says that there will be a community meeting regarding the murders.

I prefer the Pionner Press' coverage of the article because there is information in it that isn't in the Star Tribune one, and they manage to remain around the same length anyway and the Pioneer Press' article has all the information of the Star Tribune's. Structurally the Star Tribune might flow a bit better, or it seemed to to me, but I still feel like the Pioneer Press coverage is superior.

March 26, 2007

Attorney General Continues to Lose Support, Remains Backed By White House

United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales continues to deny that he played little role in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, in spite of a growing body of evidence that supports the contrary, reports an article in the New York Times. Gonzales denies being told about the dismissal plan and claims to have left it up to his chief of staff to plan, but documents released reveal that he was told about it on at least two seperate occasions. The discrepancies netween the written record and Gonzales' claims have lead to calls for him to step down from his post from those in Congress. The rest of the Bush administration, however, continues to support the attorney general. A major turning pointi n the issue is expected Thursday when Gonzales' former chief of staff is scheduled to testify in front of the Senate Committee, with Gonzales testifying next month.

The nature of this story is that it is detailed and tied up in all sorts of administrative departments, with the credibility of our nation's own government officials being called into question. There is a clear path that the story follows, with the story first detailing what has happened up to this point to bring Gonzales into doubt. The article seems to serve as a means of recapping the events that have already happened, with a special emphasis on the conflicting relationship between newly discovered documents and Gonzales' statements about the situation. Statements from Gonzales are reprinted in the article, and Bush is quoted, showing his apparently unrelenting support for the man. The article ends on the note speculating about the potential ramifications of his upcoming testimony, which a republican senator is quoted as saying will be a "make or break" day for Gonzales.

An Associated Press article about the story running in the Seattle Times is much shorter, giving only the barebones essentials of the story and almost no direct quotes. However, it gives the crucial information in much less space, which is important. The only direct attribution given is from a longtime colleague of Gonzales', calling him innocent.

While the New York Times article is obviously better reported and written not only structurally but simply because it gives more information, the Associated Press article is worth paying attnetiopn to because it delivers the necessary information in a much more concise way, and it really could be argued that a lot of the other stuff is superfluous given the nature of the story and the events involved.

Security Council Sanctions Fail to Perturb Iran

The United Nations Security Council unanimously voted on Saturday to adopt new sanctions against Iran after its refusal to quit production of nuclear materials, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. The decision was meant to show Iraq that continued defiance would leave it without aid, while submitting to demands would bring it rewards. Iran's foreign minister naturally opposed the sanctions, calling them "unlawful". This is the third sanction placed on Iran, and is intended to block the country's acquisition of materials used in nuclear weapons. The decision was made with some trepidation ,and an incident involving the capture of 15 Britons by Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf on Friday added to the atmosphere.

This is a very detailed article about an ongoing international affair that has developed over the past few months. The new restriction being the latest development in the saga, it is mentioned immediately in the first section, giving the defiant reaction of Iran and the aims of the EU. The next chunk of the story is devoted to detailing the history of sanctions placed upon Iran and what they have each meant in terms of their effects they have put into place. The final piece of the article is spent recounting the event of the captured British soldiers. There's a lot of attribution in the article used to flesh out the story, including quotes from ambassadors representing various countries, the Iranian prime minister, and Iranian army generals. The article is approached in a way that competently explains the different nuances of the type of story that it is.

The same story's treatment in the New York Times is comparable to that of the LA Times', but seems to come off as more immediate, with information pushed to the front of the article that the LA Times hesitates to delve into. There is also more focus on the work that went into preparing the sanctions, which te article reveals as being the result of heavy deliberations on Friday. There's also a lot more specifics about what exactly the resolution will do to Iran, including calling on other nations not to give grants or donations to the country except in the case of humanitarian projects. However, the article is not really divided into sections in the same way that the LA Times article is. In general, all the information seems to be more mixed up and strwen all over the place, but it flows well and all relates to the sanctions. There's no mention of the capture of British troops or really detailed information about the past sanctions, so the article flows easily with this narrower focus.

Between the two of them, the New York Times seems to have a lot more information up higher, and gives a lot more detail about the resolutions and their inevitable effects on the country. It is not sectioned up into chunks and it does not touch on the other aspects the way the LA Times story does, but it doesn't have to. It just does a fine job of elaborating on what has happened related to the sanctions on Iran.

March 24, 2007

France Makes UFO Archives Availiable Online

An Associated Press article published in the Star Tribune on Friday has reported that France has published the entirety of its weird sightings archives availiable online. The agency that holds the claims is known as CNES, le Centre National d'Etudes Spaciales, and France is the first country to make such archives availiable online for public perusal. When the first part of the archives went online, the website received much more traffic than initially anticipated and crashed. The oldest recorded entry dates from 1937.

The story is newsworthy because it reflects a value of novelty I suppose, being that this is the first time such reports have been made public. The article's lead is interesting because instead of leading with the news that actually happened, which might have ended up being dry, the article has a sort of narrative that lasts for about a sentence or so and segues into the news. The article then describes the extent of the archives and the organization, and what the website is and why it matters. There is attribution in the article from the man who heads the UFO department, and the article ends by describing whati s believed as one of the most credible incidents, a short narrative that is easy to read and ends the story well.

A story on the same subject run by CBC News features a much mroe straightforward approach. The lead just mentions the opening as the main event, the head of the UFO department's quotes are used again, but the article does go into a bit more detail about the content of the files, which is says consist mostly of witness testimony to the existence of the phenomena. The article also says that the website was unable to be accessed due to heavy traffic .

Between the two articles I think the Associated Press article is more interesting because it actually has a small narrative that is included, describing the situation with the childrens' encounter with supposed extra terrestrials and opening the article with the brief narrative as well as opposed to taking just a hard and drab approach to the lead.

March 21, 2007

Director of Walker Art Center Resigns

Kathy Halbreich, director of the Walker Art Center for 16 years, announced Monday that she will be retiring in November of 2007, according to an article printed in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. During her stay at the museum, its collection increased from 6,100 pieces to 10,000, fundraising more than doubled, and the museum saw itself expanded. Her departure comes at a time of many other losses for the metro arts scene, including the losses of directors of the Ordway Center For Performing Arts and the Childrens' Theatre.

The article is interesting because of the variety of topics it covers. It's not a straight profile piece because it also includes information on the current state of the Twin CIties arts scene, and talks about coping with the losses of those in leadership positions. The article opens with the news that Halbreich is leaving, and that's the focal point and it soon points out what the center experienced under her direction, successes, achievements and the like. Halbreich is quoted about her views on her accomplishments, and the article moves on to talking about the recent losses of leaders in different art centers, with a quote from the director of a center that specializes in finding administrators for arts organizations. The article ends with more information about Halbreich, with quotes from her co-workers and comments from her about what her future may hold.

Coverage of the story in the Star Tribune focuses exclusively on profiling Halbreich and the Walker, without mentioning the other losses in the Twin Cities art scene. The article is shorter, but seems to put more a focus on Halbreich's influence and what her colleagues thought of her. Her accomplishments and contributions to the center are highlighted, with much longer quotes from her about her future and her opinion of her accomplishments given. The article ends with quotes from her colleagues, including directors of architecture programs at the University of Minnesota and the executive director of the Association of Art Directors.

The two articles take very different approachs, and I feel like the one in the Pioneer Press is better and more relevant and has a broader scope, and it does just as good a job with the profile aspect as the Star Tribune article. When it comes down to it there's just more information and angles in the Pioneer Press article, and it doesn't limit itself to a just being a profile piece, which is why I prefer it.

Break-In Reported By Minnesota DFL Headquarters

An article published in the Pioneer Press has reported that Minnesota DFL headquarters in Saint Paul was broken into over the weekend. A window was smashed by the perpetrator, and a laptop was stolen from the building. The hammer used to break the window was left behind, and the laptop in question did not contain any sensitive material. The break-in happened around Saturday night and Sunday morning, and has been denounced as more of a crime of opportunity rather than being politically motivated.

The article is basically a short summary of what happened, a short report of the crime. Watergate is mentioned because it was a highly publicized incident of a similar nature that happened awhle ago, and the interim communications director, whose laptop it was, is quoted as saying that the crime is not comparable in any way. The one case of attribution is with Nick Kimball, the interim communications director, and there's not really any room for a chronology of any sort. The event is discussed with the aftermath and effect touched upon, and Kimball debunks the possibility of a theft with a quote where he describes Minnesota politics as being "pretty civil."

The article from the Star Tribune about the event is around the same length, and doesn't really add anything else and omits attribution, even. The lead also doesn't mention that the crime was not politically motivated, like the lead in the Pioneer Press does. It also uses the word "apparently", for whatever reason, and the structure seems to be that of just a basic, delviering the facts story because the issue doesn't have much consequence. It was probably barely worth reporting just because the Minnesota DFL headquarters was the victim.

I think the Pioneer Press covers the story better because of the quotes it uses and the way it sets up the story in the lead, but they're both so short that it's probably not too important.

March 19, 2007

Pet Food Recalled After Link to Kidney Failure in Animals FEATURING NUMBERS!!

An article published in the New York Times has reported on a demanded recall of over 60 million cans of dog and cat food produced by an Ontario company called Menu Foods. The pet foods were produced between early December and early March, and have been linked to the deaths of 10 animals nationwide due to kidney failure. The company shipped to stores such as Walmart and Safeway, and produced foods for brans such as Iams and Purina.

The article aims to provide a general overview of the information surrounding the recall, with no real information on kidney failure being provided and no straight attribution given from officials involved, but rather paraphrased information. The focus is just on identifying the main issues involved and providing a general summary of the events.

About the same style of story is given on a piece written about the recall in the Washington Post. There is a bit more detail in the story about the exact reach of the company, and the specific type of food recalled, and the same information is given from the company spokeswoman attributing the potential cause of the kidney failure to a switch in gluten suppliers to the company.

The two articles do an adequate job of reportingo n the situation, and there's really no difference between them. The New York Times article might be a bit longer and give a little more information about the isssue, but it's nothing substantial and I think both probably used similar sourcing anyway. Their formats are also pretty similar, so there's really no better or worse between the two of them.

Numbers are used in the articles to give an idea of the extent of the problem, the recall is huge and 60 million is listed as the approximate number of units recalled, which is immense. Numbers are also used when describing the amount of animals afflicted, and are mostly just statistics that show what has happened with the story at this point. They're not like statistics or odds or budgets or anything, just facts.

Over 70 Left Dead in Russian Coal Mine Explosion

The New York Times has run an article today on a methane gas explosion in a Siberian coal mine this morning. At the time the article ran, 61 people had died as a result of the catastrophe, with 64 people alive but trapped and 88 rescued. Rescue workers continued to work into the evening to save those afflicted by the disaster, one of the deadliest in recent times. The death count from this one incident has nearly surpassed the combined deaths from all of Russia's 22 mine accidents last year.

The article is written as a breaking news piece, delviering the information in a succinct and fast way and not giving too much detail about what caused the methane gas explosion. These details will probably be expounded upon at a later time. The one instance of attribution in the article comes from the chairman of the Russian Union of Miners, who says what actions are necessary and places fault for the incident on the level of pay and wage, for whatever reason. There's no quotes from witnesses or those rescued. The lead summarizes the story while the following graphs expound upon it.

An more recent article on the same event published on Mosnews.com, a Russian news site, has put the death count at 78, and says that at least 40 people still remain underground morethan 10 hours after the blast, so the final number of deaths could rise. The article says that there were around 200 miners inside, with a total of 81 rescued, figures that also differ from the original article's. There is more attribution in the article, with quotes from ambulance workers, Russian governors, and officials at the rescue operation. The company who owns the mine is also expounded upon, with no comment given from them.

The differing figures in the two articles are confusing, and there's really no way of telling which article is more correct in this regard. I feel like the article published on Mosnews.com is the better of the two because it has more attribution and talks about the company who owns the mine, both of which I feel are crucial for the article. The section it has devoted to the history of mine accidents in Russia is less extensive than the New York Times article, but I don't feel like that facet of the story is as important as getting attribution from people involved and talking about the mine owners.

March 9, 2007

Democrats Plan to Support Pullout of U.S. Troops From Iraq by 2008

An article published in the New York Times has reported that democrats in the senate have plans to establish a specific date and proposal for the United States to pull troops from Iraq. Republicans plan to go against the proposals, but a new democratic edge in the senate could affect the outcome. Democrats in the senate presented potential legislation Thursday that put restrictions on U.S. military operation in Iraq and prohibit military action in Iran. In addition the plan has proposed an allotted amonut of money to aid U.S. troops in recovering for tours of duty. However, the plan would cost a lot of money and it remains to be seen if it will be approved.

The article is important because it deals with something that affects our nation on such a large scale, and that is the war on Iraq. Proposing definitive legislation is a major step towards ending the conflict and is a newsworthy story. The main focus seems to obvious be on the bill itself, and the lead shows that and through the article important figures in the senate are quoted to give an idea of what the general opinion seem to be. This is probably the strongest aspect of the article, is the frequent use of quotes from senators about the bill, showing how people are reacting. It's kind of a difficult story to structure because there's no chronology and it seems hard to arrange it in order of importance, but they basically outline the bill, give some initial projected reactions, and then launch into detailing the bill and giving more quotes from figures.

The same story covered in a BBC News article covers all the same bases, but gives less quotes from figures in the senate. The article introduces the idea of the bill and the two sides involved in the issue, and then gives some of the thought behind the proposal, with a U.S. general in Iraq quoted as saying that political, not military intervention is needed.

There's no clear structure to the BBC News article and I prefer the New York Times' coverage because of the larger level of depth that it goes into. More people are quoted, more potential outcomes are delivered, and it generally seems like mroe work went into it because it's one of the nation's leading papers and has to cover U.S. centric stories with a certain level of detail.

March 8, 2007

Minneapolis Veterans Home Fined For Poor Treatment

An article in the Star Tribune from this week has reported that the Minneapolis Veterans Home treated its residents poorly and failed to protect them, and will be fined $1,850 every day until the violations are corrected. The Minneapolis Health Department has made this decision after finding new problems along with persisting ones in a followup inspection in February to one that happened in November. The article details some of the bizarre aspects of the report, including careless needle contamination and feeding the residents cold food.

The story was probably printed so that the paper could have a local issue to report on. The fine isn't mentioned until the second graph, and the lead focuses on simply making the issue clear before the article goes into describing the poor treatment specifically with a quote from the head of the board that runs it promising to improve conditions. History of the poor conditions in the home is recounted, with emphasis on the fact that certain problems are persisting despite intervention, and the article ends by giving more examples of poor staff conduct. I feel like the article was structured about as well as it could have been, beginning with the broad problem and eventually narrowing its focus to the specific violations.

The Pioneer Press chooses to emphasize a more sensational aspect of the story, putting the fact that three residents died in January due to medication error or neglect in the lead instead of the middle of the story like in the Star Tribune article. The health commissioner is quoted when detailing the specific problems, and the fact that the fine will persist until corrected and that there are problems that remain is mentioned earlier on. The article also says that the administrator of the veterans home was unavailable for comment.

The Pioneer Press article does a better job of grabbing attnetion, because of the mention of the three deaths in the month of January. There also seems to be generally more information and quotes from important sources, and that the administrator of the home was unavailable for comment seems to send a message as well. The Pioneer Press article has everything that the Star Tribune article has, and more. Structurally, they are similar, but Pioneer Press doesn't revisit the specific problems at the end but instead talks about how the governor intends to fix them, which is effective.

March 7, 2007

Pioneer Press Publisher Moves to Rival Paper

An article run in the Minneapolis Star Tribune has reported that the former publisher of the Saint Paul Pioneer Press has switched to being the publisher for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The move comes at the same time ownership of the paper is changing hands from the McClatchy Co. to New York based Avista Capital Partners. The paper's former publisher, Keith J. Moyer, resigned last month and Ritter made the switch after his family's 80 year history with the Pioneer Press. The newspaper industry is faltering and doesn't have te numers it once did, and Ritter hopes to keep the Star Tribune successful.

The lead to the article seems kind of unnecessary in its second half. Rather than simply saying that what happened, it seems like they've tried to include some commentary from Ritter as well and it just makes the lead longer than it needs to be. The story is structured in an effective way, with distinct sections focusing on the decision and purchase, the newspaper industry's state, and Ritter himself's history. Many quotes from the new publisher are employed to give an idea of his personality, and the state of the industry is given a large focus, with statistics illustrating conclusions being drawn there. A piece of the article focuses on the Poneer Press' reaction and uses quotes, and the final section is looking forward to the future of the Star Tribune, with Ritter addressing the potential impact he'll have on the paper.

The same story run in the Pioneer Press focuses more on that paper's reaction to the decision to leave, obviously. The lead lead emphasizes the "tumultuous" nature of the year in twin cities newspapers, primarily treating Ritter's departure as an unfortunate thing. Quotes are given frm experts in the industry about the outcome, and the CEO of the corporation currently buying the Pioneer Press is quoted expressing his intent to keep the paper viable. The article ends with talking about the challenges faced by the papers.

I feel like the Star Tribune article is the better one of the two because it's longer and seems to devote equal space to a larer number of views than the Pioneer Press story. The Pioneer Press story feels pretty one note, and focuses almost exclusively on Ridder leaving that paper, while the Star Tribune looks at it from both sides and looks more at the state of the industry as well, which is important context to show the impact of the decision.

March 5, 2007

Bush's Planned Trip to Latin America to Be Met With Opposition

A Reuters article pushlished today has written that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez plans to lead a leftist rally the same day President Bush is due to visit the neighboring country of Uruguay. Many Argentine activist groups are going to be attending and participating in the event, which they have described as an "alternative message" to U.S. policies in the region. Activists speculate that Bush's visit may be serving as an attempt to break up the Mercusor trade bloc and establishing a free-trade deal with the United States.

The article is relatively short, but lays out all the key histories and people involved. The lead focuses on the upcoming rally, and the article goes on to establish the cause and the upcoming event, quoting activists against it, and establishing their motivations. It's a succinct piece that summarizes the events and their origins.

An Associated Press article about Bush's upcoming visit to Latin America also focuses on the problems he'll face, and how the U.S. has been accused of ignoring the region. The latter half of the article focuses on the issue of Chavez and the rally, establishing that Chavez sides with Castro and sees Bush's visit as an attempt to cause problems in the region. Political experts are quoted and Bush's objectives are given, and the article generally seems to use more quotes and information than the short Reuters article, which means there's more information for those committed to it.

Between the two articles I think the AP article is the better of the two, because of the level of information it gives a reader about the issue. For something that could very well have a significant impact on U.S. relations with the region, Bush's visit to this area should be covered with the level of depth it gives, and the quotes and extra information help with this.

Leaders in Palestine Attempt to Craft Unity Government

An article in the New York Times today has reported that talks between Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah faction and Ismail Haniya of the Hamas faction have failed to resolve differing opinions over a possible united government in the country. The two leaders met on Sunday, and expressed disagreement on issues such as posts within the government, and representation of factions considered terorristic by the United States. The Mecca Agreement was signed February 8th, which paved the way for a unity government, but the two officials have disagreed on many suggestions. Officials believe establishing such a unity government would bring the nation closer to meeting requirements for direct aid from the four negatiating partner countries, the United States, The European Union, The United Nations, and Russia.

This is a long, detailed article focusing on political matters in a foreign country, and how they tie in to the country's future. The past government of the country has recently been removed and it is now at a key crossroads where its future will be decided. It has a news value of something that affects lot of people and should be reported on, and its lead mostly deals with the need to figure out how to resolve the details of the government within a specific period of time. The primary event is the disagreements between the two, and so the history of the attempts at establishing a govenment needs to be expounded upon, and it is, and quotes from people among the two factions are given to establish why the unity government is needed and should be considered.

An Associated Press article about the issue ran in The Guardian today, and it discusses some of the key disagreements between the two sides again and puts more of a focus on the restoration of aid to Palestine than the previous article. Stances from the four groups who may restore aid regarding the state of Palestine are given, with a lot of the focus being on the European Union who believe it is too early to tell if they will resume aid. The Mecca Agreement is again mentioned, with the U.S. stance that it is not successful enough to meet demands.

Between the two articles, there are some key points that one addresses and the other does not, and I prefer the New York Times article between the two becausei t's longer and just seems to focus more on the issues leading up to a unity government. The Associated Press article's slant is more about the countries approving aid to Palestine, and that's important but I think the New York Times article addressed it enough and concentrated on other areas that exceed it in importance.

March 3, 2007

Danish Police Continue to Battle Protestors

A Reuters article published on swissinfo.org has reported that Danish police continue to resist riots staged by youth protesting the eviction of quatters from the Copenhagen youth center. The conflict has been occurring in spurts off and on since the year 2000, when the government sold the youth center to a religious group. Officials have been countering the resistance with force and teargas, while protestors have been torching cars and vandalizing schools. Around 600 activists have been apprehended in the recent 3 days of increased activity.

This is a hard news story with a broad, worldwide scope reporting on a high level of violence that is affecting a lot of people. The scenes are described in detail, with quotes used to flesh out the history of the conflict. However, only one quote is used where there would be reason to use a lot more. The statement "and many Copenhagen residents say they support the youngsters' wish to stay in the youth house." has no quotes to support it. A history of the country and its reaction to the violence is given, which helps establish the scene for those unfamiliar, which is likely most people.

An Associated Press article published in the Chicago Sun Times also talks about the incident, but emphasizes different details. Instead of saying that police fought street battles, it says that police searched homes for activists, and it talks about the Copenhagen youth center, itself and the types of people it was a haven for, really early on, like in the lead. Police spokesmen and authories like the Justice Minister are quoted, talking about how the violence had The article also says that foreign activists are helping the radicals in their struggle.

In general it seems like the Associated Press article just has more information. There are more quotes, more histroy is given about the youth center that the struggle is taking place over, it generally just gives more information. I would say it's the better article of the two in just about every way.

March 1, 2007

Saint Paul Introduces Ban on Nonlethal Firearms

A Star Tribune story published yesterday reports on an approved ban made the the CIty Council in Saint Paul on nonlethal firearms. People will no longer be able to carry the guns in public, and doing so will be a misdemeanor. The ban was proposed as a result of a recent surge in young people carrying the guns, and the decision was passed unanimously. The board also agreed to study the effects of electronic billboards for safety.

The story is short because the main news can be summarized in a lead, without elaborating much on the meeting because there was apparently no dissent and nobody showed up to speak out against the Council's decisions. The only quote comes from an industry official, and it's just a snippit of two words. The most significant event of the meeting is given 3 graphs, and the other two decisions are mentioned at the end. It's a brief report on a meeting with no real worthwhile quotes in it, that does the job of informing about the decisions reached.

The Pioneer Press' story about the ban uses the same type of straightforward headline. A quote from Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is also used, being led into with a statement saying he supprots the ban. Stipulations and specifics are given on what exactly the band covers, but the rest of the meeting is not reported on as it was in the Star Tribune article.

They both do an adequate job of covering the meeting, and the Pioneer Press article has a quote from a key figure in the city, but lacks the information on additional decisions made at the meeting. Between the two of them I guess the Star Tribune did the better job of covering the meeting overall, then, because it talked about everything that was decided.