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University of Minnesota Student Dies After Falling From a Parking Ramp

The Minneapolis Star Tribune has reported that a firstyear University of Minnesota student died early on Sunday after falling from the third floor of a parking garage. University of Minnesota police are investigating the incident, and it is believed to be accidental. It is unknown at this point if alcohol was a factor. After the situation is described, quotes from family members regarding the student's interests and life are given.

This is a simple, short obituary style piece that deals with the story in a succinct way. The exact cause of the student's fall is unknown, but the incident is described in the best detail possible after the lead has been established and following a paragraph that has the student's father describing him. After the details of the incident are established, family members are quoted and talk about the students skills and interests, giving the piece a very personal touch. It ends with the funeral information. Direct attribution is used and quotes are given from the boy's family and the police chief at the university.

The Pioneer Press takes what I feel is a more effective approach to the lead, opening with "A University of Minnesota student died" instead of "Police are investigating..", which gets the point across quicker. The incident is also described in more detail, as are the actions taken to try and save the student. The incident is mentioned alongside the death of another student last weekend, who drowned, and a statement from the vice provost of student affairs is given. Quotes from the student who fell's father are again used, though the article goes into less depth about his life than the Star Tribune did.

Of the two articles I prefer the Pioneer Press' coverage. It's a seemingly simple story to cover, but I think their lead choice as well as their mentioning it alongside another student death makes the story more effective and memorable, with the quote from the vice provost of the university used to good effect. The two papers handled it with a surprisng amonut of variation considering the incident.