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Analysis: Records/CAR

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By Brett Stolpestad

The New York Times article published December 3 provides an interactive method of engaging in the story about athlete brain injuries. The article outlines the effects of traumatic brain injuries and the types of complications that arise including degenerative and incurable diseases.

The article is supplemented with brain scans from seven athletes that died after being diagnosed with various cognitive diseases such as Dementia, Depression, Parkinson's Disease and other conditions. The article allows the reader to click on different pictures/brain scans next to a brief bio of the athlete that includes their struggle with mental disorders.

The reported uses a large set of data regarding the athletes' professional history and medical diagnoses. The article organizes the information in a way the makes it easy for the reader to understand the correlation between repeated head traumas and long-term mental complications.

The article is an effective way of organizing the history and conditions that the athletes were under. The article organizes the reports of each athlete with interactive pictures of their brains, showing the effects of repeated trauma has on the brain and what disorders can arise as a result.

Analysis: Diversity

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By Brett Stolpestad

In a New York Times article, Sarah Maslin Nir reports about a community leader in Queens, New York. Muhammad Rashid is immigrated from Bahrain to New York in 1997 and has fought for immigrants' rights and cultural diversity in his community. The article focuses on Rashid's push for the practice of yoga in the Muslim community. As a Muslim himself, Rashid said that he used to believe yoga was "denouncing" to the Muslim religion. Rashid has since changed his mind and now actually encourages other people with Muslim backgrounds to practice yoga as he does. Many Muslims in Queens still believe that yoga is a sin against Islam and is therefor forbidden. But Rashid still teaches yoga and encourages others to participate.

This story is written to illustrate the barriers that still exist between people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds in diverse neighborhoods. The article highlights the stigma that is associated with practices outside of Muslim traditions. The article also outlines the opposition to yoga among other religious sects, including Christians.

This article moves beyond stereotype by researching and discovering the origins for the separation between certain religious traditions. However, the focus of the article is meant to show how some people are moving beyond the restrictions of their religious traditions and are encouraging others to be open to new experiences. The article gives voice to people from different backgrounds, allowing the reader to understand the reasons as to why some religious traditions are apprehensive about practices stemming from Hinduism.

The article uses a variety of sources but most of them come from people in the community. the reported talked to several people in the community to see what they think of the practice of yoga.

The article moves beyond stereotypes by investigating individuals in the community and reporting on their thoughts/opinions. The article does not generalize when it comes to the beliefs associated with the Muslim religion. Instead, the article gives a voice to those who practice the religion. The article reports on the beliefs and opinions of individuals from both sides of the argument.

By Brett Stolpestad

The New York Times article published Nov. 8 relies heavily on numbers to report on falling stocks and the connection to worries about the looming "fiscal cliff." This news story reports on the falling tock values of several different companies. It also reports the numbers in several market index firms such as the Dow Jones, the Standard and Poor's 500-stock index and the Nasdaq.

The article reported that the McDonalds shares fell 2 percent to about $85.13. The article also reported on Apple's falling stocks which fell to $537.35 a share, about 3.6%. In this paragraph of the story, the reported illustrated these values in two different ways, indicating both the current price of the stock and the percentage at which they have declined. Using both prices and percentages helps the reader understand the condition of the companies.

The article also reports on the Nasdaq, Dow Jones and S & P .500 averages. The Dow jones 121.41 points, about .94 percent. The S & P .500 stock index fell 17.02 points, or about 1.22 percent. The Nasdaq composite index fell 41.70 points; about 1.42 percent.

The values of these indexes are one of the main focus of the story and the reporter illustrates the values in two different ways to properly inform the reader. The objective of the article was to report on the suffering economy and the worries of investors as the fiscal cliff approaches, which would involve spending cuts and tax increases The numbers are not overwhelming and the focus of the story is properly supported by the numbers.

The sources of the story are the Nasdaq, the Dow Jones and the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index.

Analysis: Richard N. Current Obituary

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By Brett Stolpestad

The obituary for Richard N. Current in the New York Times follows the standard structure of an obituary. The lead follows the New York Times style, leading with the full name of the person who has died followed by an identifier that summarizes notable characteristics and achievements. In this case, the New York Times describes Richard N. Current as a Civil War historian whose work helped "demythologize" Abraham Lincoln and helped further legitimize Lincoln studies. The first paragraph also includes the time and place element as well as the age at which Current died.

The New York Times uses primarily family and colleagues of Current as sources. For the circumstances of his death, they cite his wife, Marcia Ewing Current. For other information about his characteristics and accomplishments, they site other professional historians and former colleagues.

The news value of this story are found in the impact of Current's accomplishments as well his age at the time of his death. He was 100 years old before he died of complication's from Parkinson's disease, his wife said. But what is also newsworthy is Current's influence on the study of Lincoln and the Civil War. Current wrote, co-wrote and published a number of titles on Lincoln and the civil war. Current was one of the leaders in the field during the 1960s. The story of the Civil War and Lincoln is still being told in many different ways today. Current was one of the ones who brought Lincoln studies to the forefront of a new generation of scholars.

Analysis: Speech Coverage

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By Brett Stolpestad

The Washington Post article takes a focused approach to the issues discussed in the second presidential debate. For this story, the reported decided to focus on the issue of China and international trade.

Instead of covering and summarizing the debate topics and discussions as a whole, the reported decided to write about one key issue that the candidates discussed. The reporter tells the reader what the two candidates had to say about the trade policies of China and then provided background information about the past actions of the candidates related to the issue. The reported analyzes the candidates' arguments point by point, adding outside information about the candidates' history and stances on the issue.

The reporter summarizes the responses from each candidate about the Chinese trade issue but then goes beyond the debate by citing the analysis o Zachary A. Goldfarb, including direct quotes and background information.

The reporter does not provide many specifics or explanations on the activities of China in international trade. The candidates were reportedly debating on the unfair trade practices of China but there isn't much background information that would help the reader understand why this is such an important issue in the debate or what the implications of new policies might mean.

Analysis: New York Times and L.A. Multimedia

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By Brett Stolpestad

Bothe the New York Times and the L.A. Times websites have several other ways to connect to the news organizations and stories though multimedia platforms. Both of the organizations have links to Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The two organizations also have easy ways of accessing pictures, slideshows and videos. The New York Times website also features easy ways to see graphics, charts, polls and surveys that accompany certain stories or represent a story it its own.

The Facebook and Twitter accounts for the news organizations provides a fast and easy way to see the top stories that the two organizations feature. The stories posts on the New York Times Facebook page mainly consist of short summaries with links to the NY Times website. There are also polls, surveys and questions posted on the Facebook page, allowing the reader to interact with the stories and information. Both the L.A. Times and the New York Times use Facebook to post videos and pictures as well.

The writing in the Twitter and Facebook posts is more informal and more concise to convey the main focus of the story. The posts on Facebook and Twitter are short but will also have links to the organizations' websites where a more in-depth story can be found. Also, many of the posts on the Facebook pages will ask for a response by the viewer and are meant to engage the reader in an interactive way.

Analysis: Attacks On U.S. Embassy in Libya

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By Brett Stolpestad

The New York Times reported on the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya on Sept. 12th and continued to follow the story the next day, giving more details as the story unfolded. The lead in the first story focuses on what happened and who was involved. The main focus of the first story was to report on the deaths of the U.S. ambassador and several other U.S. officials.

The second story added to the first by revising and adding detail, noting that the attacks were actually carried out in two separate waves, the first being spontaneous and the second being strategically planned. The lead in the second story focuses more on how the attacks happened and how they were carried out.

The second story advances the news by giving the reader a more detailed account of how the attacks were carried out and illustrating the nature of the attacks. The second story tells the reader that the initial spontaneous attack was followed by a second strategic wave of attacks, using heavy weaponry.

The main difference between the two leads in the stories is that the first lead focuses on the what (What happened?) and the who (Who was involved?). The second lead focuses more on the how (How was the attack carried out? How did the events unfold?)

Analysis: Star Tribune Article Of St. Paul Shooting

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By Brett Stolpestad

The lead in this story introduces the main point of the article which focuses on the charging of an 18-year-old suspect in the shooting of at least three victims in St. Paul. The lead introduces the broadest information, telling the reader that a suspect was charged for the shooting.

The Next paragraph progresses into more detail about the suspect and the charges, telling the name and age of the man as well as the charges against him. The second paragraph identifies the 18-year-old as Jonathan J. Corbett and names the charges as attempted second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree assault. The focus of this paragraph is to add more detail onto the lead.

The next 3-4 paragraphs contain information from the criminal complaint, giving the reader background information on how the events unfolded in chronological order. These paragraphs also introduce the name of a second suspect.

The next two paragraphs report the condition of the victims involved in the shooting, giving the reader an idea of the aftermath of the crime.

The last paragraph tells the reader what the second suspect was charged with.

The reporter chose to order the story in a "martini glass" structure, giving the reader the most important information first and then proceeding to give details from the criminal complaint in chronological order. This structure makes the story easy to follow, giving the reader more details as the story progresses and as the incident unfolded.

The story could have introduced information about the second suspect in the same area as the information of the first, keeping like material together. It would have been helpful to know that a second suspect was also charged with second-degree assault earlier in the story rather than at the end.


By Brett Stolpestad

The New York Times story about the 14 killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan had a wide variety of sources. The sources that are most referenced are U.S. government officials and the Afghan police force. The New York Times also referenced direct quotes from a spokesman from the Afghan insurgent group, Hezb-i-Islami.

The source references are scattered throughout the article with one source reference in each paragraph. The article references reports from both Afghan and U.S. officials to provide detailed information from two different sources of information. The quotes from the insurgent group spokesman adds a little more life and interest to the story as it gives the reader a direct explanation of the reasoning behing the attacks.

The article made sure to have reports from multiple Afghan authorities in order to show how those reports from several sources conflicted with one another.

The reporter also makes sure to alternate how the attribution is set up in order to keep the story flowing and easy to read. For example the reporter may attribute and the end of one paragraph and then start the next paragraph with the attribution (Police said...). This is effective because it makes the story seem less repetitive while keeping the clarity of who is saying what.

By Brett Stolpestad

The lead in this story identifies some very specific information regarding the nature of the attack and those involved, including the victims of the attack.

The New York Times leads with identifying the perpetrators as a heavily armed Islamist militant group, including information about the types of weapons and amount of force used in the attack.

The details about the heavily armed militant group and the lightly defended U.S. embassy are meant to introduce further issues about the radicalization of groups and countries in the Arab Spring.

This lead is effective because it introduces the main point of the article which focuses strategically planned attack by the Islamist militant group and the death of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

The lead also introduces questions and concerns being raised about the rising violence in Libya.

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