Recently in Notable and Analysis Category

In an investigative story by reporter Ryan Gabrielson of California Watch, he examines the mishandled sex assaults among the developmentally disabled at California development centers. In the article, Gabrielson sources many records and documents. Some of the records he accessed were internal incident records, state court records, police records, and patient files. The news source even has sued the state of California for access to additional abuse records, to which a superior court judged ruled that the records should be open, but the state is appealing the ruling.

To write this story, Gabrielson needed to know how to organize and pull information from numerous records and documents. Computer skills, such as knowing how to use Microsoft Excel, would be needed to sort through large databases. Furthermore, after organizing and sorting through the documents, the reporter needed to convert this data in a way that the readers could understand.

This particular article does not include any interactive graphics to portray the data in the story. They do, however, include many photos that pertain to the story. Another multimedia aspect that they include is a video that tells the story of one of the patients who had injuries looking like sexual abuse and filed a report, but the detectives never took any action. While the videos and photos work well with the article, an interactive graphic would have been nice to the readers. The story included many numbers from data and if the article represented the main points into a graphic, the data would have been easier to read and understand.

Analysis: Covering culture at the MPR News

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In the article by the Minnesota Public Radio, the reporter Lolla Mohammed Nur features the Somali group Ka Joog and the recent award from the FBI they achieved.

In the story, the reporter mentions the negative stereotypes that surround Somali youth and how that influences the young Somalis. It specifically focuses on the stereotypes that exist in the local Twin Cities community. Rather than focusing on these negative stereotypes, the reporter moves on from this and focuses on one of the members of Ka Joog and how the group moves beyond these stereotypes.

The article uses a good balance of acknowledging the stereotypes yet still moving past them to talk further. It features how the group helps out in the community and how they received the prestigious FBI Director's Community Leadership Award, showing that they have moved forward past the stereotypes. The article therefore takes goes into detail over the group's goals, initiatives, accomplishments, and moves past the stereotypes that may surround the cultural group.

The article's focus is on the Somali group and the members of the group and therefore mostly uses the members as sources. It does, however, also use a member of the FBI to provide a different perspective to the article. It also references many other events that have recently occurred, such as the Somali American man who was convicted of helping recruit men to join the terrorist group al Shabaab.

Analysis: The use of numbers in a BBC News feature

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In a feature about the dangers of cycling in Britain, the BBC News utilizes numbers in many ways to strengthen the story.

Using a document from the Department of Transport, the article uses concrete numbers to tell the readers about cyclist crashes in Britain. In addition to using data from the document in the story, the article also includes a graphic on the side that highlights the cyclist road deaths between 2004 and 2011. While this data comes from the same document, the writer highlights the key points and makes it a side graphic to make the information more accessible and readable to the readers. The excel spreadsheet from the Department of Transport is also linked in the story that allows the reader to open it up to get more details.

The article also uses data from other sources to strengthen the story. In addition to the Department of Transport data, the article cites a study done by the Times UK, a poll done by the Institute of Advanced Motorists and a study by the CTC, the national cycling charity. These numbers from other sources supports the article and emphasizes the importance of the numbers.

While the article includes numbers from several sources, the numbers are not overwhelming in the story. The article does not use more than two numbers in one paragraph and does not list too much data. To make the data readable, it uses a side graphic that presents the numbers of deaths in recent years in an easy to read format. While the reporter does use math for the numbers, the numbers could have been presented to show the relationship more. For example, the reporter says that 107 cyclists were killed in 2011 while in 2010, 111 were killed. Instead of listing those numbers, the reporter could of calculated the percent difference to show the difference.

Analysis: Obituary structure in the Star Tribune

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In the obituary written by Pamela Miller in the Star Tribune, she describes the life of Robert Anderson, a veterinarian who invented gentle head collars that reduced the strain of collars on dogs.

The Star Tribune format does not follow the structure of a standard New York Times obituary. Rather than stating the death of the person in the first paragraph, this obituary waits until the fourth paragraph. In the first few paragraphs, it establishes the person's character and importance.

For quotes about Anderson and for information on his character, the reporter mostly uses information from his colleagues. In addition to the two colleagues, the reporter also uses his companion for the past few years as a source. The reporter also used quotes from Anderson himself from past interviews.

This obituary is of news value to the community because of his contributions to the veterinary science field and his work as a professor at the University of Minnesota. Therefore, his life both represents the proximity and impact of the news values.

While the obituary goes through his life in chronological order and lists his accomplishments, it is different from a resume. Not only does the obituary list these accomplishments, it goes further and explains how these accomplishments have affected others. By featuring quotes from others that explain his impact and his personality, the reporter creates an obituary that features that man's life rather than a list of his accomplishments.

Analysis: ABC News' coverage of Lance Armstrong's speech

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Right after Lance Armstrong gave his speech at the Livestrong 15th anniversary gala, the ABC News reported on the speech and gave the readers a background on the story surrounding Armstrong.

The lead of the article gives background on the Armstrong's loss of positions and focuses on the fact that Armstrong did not apologize or explain the doping allegations that he has been facing recently. A quote by Armstrong follows the lead and features Armstrong's recent difficulties without going into specifics.

The next several paragraphs of the article focus on the doping allegation of Armstrong and the consequences Armstrong will face. The article continues to feature quotes from others addressing the doping and then proceeds to talk about the consequences of Armstrong's scandal to the Livestrong foundation.

While this article is about Armstrong's speech, it covers much more information and background than just what Armstrong actually says. The article has a link to the video of Armstrong's speech but only features one direct quote from him. This structure is different from the standard speech structure with the point and quote but seems to be effective in this situation. Since the focus of the article is that Armstrong avoided the doping allegation situation, the article provides information on the issue and how that is of importance. Without this information, the readers would not understand the importance of Armstrong speaking at this gala. Thus, the article covers the speech but focuses on the background information and the consequences. In case the reader wants to hear his whole speech, the article includes a direct link to the video.

Both BBC News and NY Times incorporate various sources of multimedia elements into their website and news articles.

On BBC News' home page, every top story has a photograph to go along with it. Most of these top stories also are accompanied by a video. The front page also features special news articles in video formats. On their story about the skydiving record, they use various forms of multimedia to complement the story. On the top, the article features a video of the skydiver's take off. In the middle of the article, the article features an audio clip from the skydiver addressing the media after his dive. The article continues to feature several photos, all accompanied by a cutline that explains the photo. At the end of the article, it features a graphic that shows the different aspects of the skydiver's suit and capsule. These multimedia features provide additional insight into the story and let the readers visualize the scene. It appeals to both the visual and auditory senses.

The NY Times website also features many multimedia aspects. While it displays similar photographs and videos to the BBC News, one difference is that the NY Times puts more emphasis on interactive graphics. In their interactive features, the NY Times provides a scrollable timeline of the story. Split apart into sections, each section contains a story, video, and photographs. Each video or photo is accompanied by text that explains the significance and background of the segment. The NY Times also uses interactive graphics that often add a visual element to data statistics.

Both websites effectively use multimedia to lure the readers in and to add additional insight to the stories. The visuals are easy to comprehend and allow the readers to explore more into the topic. The visuals are usually accompanied with text that explains and adds background info and also usually has a link to the full news story.

After the first report on the death of U.S. border patrol agent, BBC News released two more follow up stories with updates on the investigation.

While the first story's lead focuses on the death of the agent, the lead of the second story focuses more on the two suspects in the killing. This makes sense for the follow-up story because the main question that was left unanswered in the first story was the suspects for the killing.

The main parts of the stories are arranged similarly. Both stories use the same sentences to provide background information on the death and injuries that happened. The ending paragraphs of both stories are also the same and provide additional background information to the story. The main difference to the story is the middle section. The first story focuses on the uncertainty over the shooter and the second story elaborates on the investigation and the two suspects they found.

Therefore, the second story takes the same background information that the first article contained and advances the story by adding additional information about the investigation and suspects.

In BBC News's third article on the topic, it works with the new information that the agent may have been shot by his colleague. Again, the article uses the same background information but uses the middle section to advance the story with the new information.

Each follow-up story contained a new piece of information that changed the situation and each story effectively advanced the story. All of the stories shared the same background information but added additional information.

In the article about President Obama's speech at the United Nations General Assembly speech by the BBC Times, the story takes on a martini glass structure.

The reporter leads off the story with Obama's plan for global leaders to act against extremism and violence. To follow this lead, the reporter expands upon the specifics of his speech. If the reader just wanted to know Obama's main views at the General Assembly, they could stop at this point.

The article goes on to talk in detail about Iran and Syria, two big topics at the assembly. These topics are sorted together and this makes the article readable and organized. After the detailed reports on Syria and Iran, the story highlights other points that other big leaders mentioned at the General Assembly. While this part increases the range of topics covered in the article and adds more depth to the story, it can be easily cut from the article to make it shorter. The article ends with Obama's differences with Mitt Romney concerning foreign affairs.

This story structure works well for the story. It starts with the facts, covers the background information on topics and then uses a chronological structure to further elaborate on the event. The story ends with a slightly different topic that works as a kicker. This structure is effective because the readers get the facts at the beginning and can stop reading if they want to. If they want more information, however, they can continue and the story adds depth.

The story on the Minnesota wolf hunt by the Star Tribune uses a variety of sources to effectively show both sides of the story.

The article discusses the effort by two wildlife groups to stop the Minnesota wolf hunt from reopening. To represent both sides of the issue, the reporter attributes many sources. While the reporter has quotes coming from a Department of Natural Resources representative Tom Landwehr, she also uses quotes from Collette Giese, an attorney of one of the wildlife groups.

She also uses people who are not directly involved but have interest in the issue. She attributes quotes to co-founder of the International Wolf Center Nancy Gibson and the director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association Mark Johnson. While these people are not directly involved in the decision, the reporter includes them to provide additional insight to the story.

The reporter also includes information from records, such as the DNR plan and survey and the wildlife groups' petition.

These sources are placed throughout the article. By continually attributing her information, the reporter shows credibility to her article. The reporter names and states the titles of her sources. By including a variety of sources and attributing them correctly, the reporter effectively uses attribution well to create a credible story that highlights both sides of the issue.

Analysis: News lead in story about New York City's soda ban

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An effective lead explains the who, what, where, and when in the first sentence of the story and in the story about New York City's soda ban in the Chicago Tribune, these key elements are present.

By starting the lead with New York City, the reporter emphasizes the where of the story. This is effective in this case, as where the ban is taking place is a vital point to understanding the news.

The lead then specifically mentions the New York City Board of Health, which informs readers that the story concerns changing the healthy habits of the people of the city.

The ending of the lead then explains what the ban concerns and how it would affect businesses. By including specific details on where the ban would take place, the lead effectively lets the readers know how they would be affected once this ban takes place.

The reporter wrote the lead in a traditional hard-news format. This format makes sense because the story was new and the ban had taken place that morning.

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