September 2010 Archives

Analysis: Progression of information in UT shooting story

In the Los Angeles Times story of the University of Texas (UT) shootings Tuesday, the progression of information was similar to the inverted pyramid model.

It starts out with a hard hitting news lead stating the who, what, when, and where that summarzied all the details that took place on UT's campus, even attributing authorities to avoid speculation. The article then goes into four fact blocks progressing from the most important information to the least important information. After the fourth fact block the reader could have stopped reading the article and known all the pertinent information without finishing the story.

After the fourth fact block, the Los Angeles Times goes into eyewitness accounts of the shooting and ends the article stating the campus was locked down and classes were canceled.

I feel like this story is effective because the reporter chose an inverted pyramid style and put the most important facts right away in the article. After all the important information was discovered in the story, the reader could have stopped reading the article and walked away with complete knowledge of what had happened. However, if you chose to read on you were provided with a human impact story and eyewitness accounts of the scene Tuesday at the University of Texas.

I do not think this story should have been reported to the public differently. It was clear, went straight to the facts, and, if the reader chose to, was able to read the entire article with a full account of what authorities have said to what eyewitnesses saw.

Stoudermire returns to play for Gopher football

Troy Stoudermire, a University of Minnesota wide reciever and kickoff returner, was reinstated Tuesday after being suspended last week for conduct detrimental to the team, said Gophers coach Tim Brewster.

Brewster said Stoudermire would play for the Gophers Saturday when they kickoff Big Ten Conference play against Northwestern, according to the Pioneer Press.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that after Stoudermire was suspended he took to his Facebook page stating he was leaving the program for a school that would appreciate him. The Pioneer Press added Stoudermire said he was "no longer a gopher." Later, Stoudermire went to Brewster's office and apologized for his comments.

Brewster said Stoudermire's suspension last week was "self-inflicted" and he had been "remorseful about the situation," according to the Pioneer Press. After he apologized to the Gopher football team, they allowed him back to play for this weekend's homecoming game.

The Pioneer Press reported that quarterback Adam Weber said Stoudermire could earn back the teams respect by working hard and giving a strong effort.

Gunman opens fire in library, then commits suicide

A gunman opened fire Tuesday at the University of Texas, then committed suicide.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a student, disguised in a ski mask, armed himself with an AK-47 assault rifle at the University of Texas-Austin Tuesday morning. He fired five shots before killing himself in the campus library. The New York Daily News reported the gunman killed himself with a gun shot wound and no one on campus has been reported injured.

The police searched for a second gunman, because witnesses had been giving different descriptions of the shooter, reports the Los Angeles Times. After police searched the campus for hours, officials declared the gunman acted alone. The New York Daily News adds police are still looking for a second gunman and SWAT teams and explosive-sniffing dogs were seen all over university's campus. However, the New York Daily News recently updated their story stating that the campus was given the all-clear and students were allowed to leave campus.

The Los Angeles Times reported the shooter was found on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castaneda Library with self inflicted gun wounds. Police have not released the name of the alleged shooter, but he was a University of Texas student.

The New York Daily News said this was not the first time a shooting had been seen on University of Texas's campus. In 1966, Charles Whitman shot and killed 14 people and injured 32 during a shooting rampage on the top of the university's observation deck. The Los Angeles Times adds Whitman's shooting was one of the most notorious American school shootings in history.


Police evacuate Eiffel Tower after bomb threat

Paris police have evacuated the Eiffel Tower Tuesday after the second bomb threat made to the monument.

The Associated Press (AP) reported Paris police headquarter's had an anonymous caller phone in a bomb threat Tuesday from a telephone booth.

The Irish Times said the monument was evacuated earlier this month after a similar threat was phoned in. After police searched the scene, they found no suspicious activity. The AP reported that the monument was evacuated on Sept.14, and on Monday the Saint Lazare train station in Paris had been evacuated and searched as well.

The Irish Times said National Police Chief Frederic Pechenard made a statement last week that authorities suspect al-Quada's North African branch of the bomb threat. According to the AP, several top French officials have recently said France is on high alert for possible terror attacks.

Driver killed in bus crash in Apple Valley

A driver was found dead Monday after a collision with a school bus in Apple Valley.

Kare 11 reported the accident happened around 3:19 p.m. at the intersection of McAndrews Road and Dover Drive. The Star Tribune said the bus had stopped to make a left hand turn on Dover Drive.

According to Kare 11, a 1999 Ford Contour struck the right rear of the bus and ended up in the ditch. The woman in the car was killed instantly. Nobody on the bus was injured. The Star Tribune reported police are not releasing the name of the woman until all relative's have been notified of the accident.

The bus was carrying 19 students and is a part of the Rosemount/Apple Valley School District, Kare 11 reported. The Star Tribune added police do not believe the bus driver had done anything wrong. Kare 11 continued that the bus driver was taken in for drug and alcohol testing which is mandatory practice within the school district involving any personal injury accidents.

Second sexual assault in one week at U of M frat house

Police are investigating the second sexual assault in a week at a University of Minnesota fraternity house.

According to the Star Tribune, a woman had been sexually assaulted between midnight and 3 a.m. Sunday at the Chi Psi Fraternity on University Avenue. WCCO reported the incident happened Saturday night just two blocks from a similar incident last weekend at Delta Kappa Epsilon.

Police told WCCO the victim at Chi Psi Fraternity woke the next morning with serious injuries and went to Fairview University Hospital. She called 911 and reported she did not remember specifics about what happened to her.

According to WCCO, students in fraternities and sororities were told not to talk to reporters. The Star Tribune said a spokesmen from Chi Psi Fraternity prepared a written statement that expressed they were made aware of the alleged assault and plan to cooperate with Minneapolis and University police.

The Star Tribune said that police have not made an arrest or have no suspect information. The University of Minnesota police department were expected to release a crime alert Tuesday. WCCO reported that police were concerned about safety over the upcoming homecoming weekend and sent out a crime alert warning students of excessive drinking and to "use the buddy system."

Analysis: Sources in Titanic story

After looking at both of the sources I used for the news article concering a family secret about the sinking of the Titanic it was very clearly that there was only one main source of information.

Since the story revolved around a family secret, the only source that could be used is the secret teller, Louise Patten. Although Patten was spilling the beans in lieu of her upcoming novel it seems both of the sources I used had to get their attributions right from the horse's mouth. However, the New York Daily News article got their source from the London's Daily Telegraph who sourced Patten.

Also, ABC News had a bigger article than the New York Daily News so after sourcing Patten they went further with the story and asked James Delgado, the president of the Institute of Nautical Archeaology, if the steering mistake was possible to make and if it would have really been the main cause.

The sources are scattered throughout the story weaving their way into the article in a way that makes the article clear and fluid. In the New York Daily Times article, most of the attributions started at the beginning of each paragraph with seperated attributions randomly placed in some paragrahs to add emphasis to the story. In the ABC News article, all the attributions started at the beginning of the paragraphs. It was less random and scattered than the New York Daily News article. Also, both articles paraphrased their attributions randomly throughout the story as well.

The way each reporter set up the story made the attributions effective for making a clear and clean-cut article.

Titanic sank due to steering error

A new secret has been revealed that the Titanic may have sank due to a steering error, not an iceberg.

According to ABC News, Louise Patten, the granddaughter of the Titanic's only surviving second officer to survive, Charles Lightoller, has revealed that the ship hit the iceberg because the man steering the ship made a mistake when he misunderstood an order and turned right instead of left.

Patten told New York Daily News, "They only had four minutes to change course and by the time [first officer William] Murdoch spotted [Robert] Hitchins' mistake and then tried to rectify it, it was too late."

ABC News reported that the real story behind the sinking of the Titanic has been a long kept family secret. Patten told ABC News that her grandfather lied about the events in order to avoid a lawsuit and the end of his job.

New York Daily News said that Patten told the secret "in advance" of her upcoming novel, "Good as Gold." The story is not about the Titanic but some of the elements of the tragedy are weaved into the story.

Fatal St. Paul shooting leaves one man killed, another injured

A fatal shooting in St. Paul has killed one man and injured another after an argument during a party, police said.

The Star Tribune said the shooting occured around 3:30 a.m. on Oakley Avenue, between West Lynnhurst Avenue and Prior Avenue. The Pioneer Press reported that the shooting victims are believed to have known the gunman, but he had fled the scene before police had arrived.

The Star Tribune said when police arrived they found one man laying in the street and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The Pioneer Press said police found a second man injured and he was taken to Regions Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The Star Tribune reported that the victims names had not been relased.

Missing Shoreview turns up in Las Vegas

A Shoreview man who had gone missing last week was found safe Friday in Las Vegas, police said.

The Star Tribune said that Matthew Anderson, 29, had not been kidnapped and was found to be in good medical health according to the Ramsey County Police Department. The Pioneer Press reported that Las Vegas police had Anderson hospitalized after he was found at 6 a.m. in a construction area of a new builiding. The police declined to comment why Anderson had been hospitalized.

A sheriff's office spokeswoman told the Star Tribune that Anderson had left Minnesota "on his own volition," and he had traveled to Nevada via Chicago. His van was found in downtown Chicago.

The Pioneer Press reported that no criminal charges have been made against Anderson.

Pentagon destroys Army officer's memoirs

The Pentagon destroyed Saturday 9,500 copies of an Army officer's memoirs in order to guard state secrets.

According to Fox News, Army Reserve officer, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, wrote a memoir titled, "Operation Dark Heart" describing details of going undercover in Afghanistan. CNN reported that copies were destroyed because they contained information that could cause damage to national security.

After Shaffer found out about this, he told CNN that "the whole premise smacks of retaliation" and he also went on to say that supressing a story in a digital age was ridiculous.

Fox News reported that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency has attempted to block portions of the book while CNN has stated that whole sentences, paragraphs, and names have been taken out.

CNN said that in the memoir, Shaffer tells about his time leading a black-ops team in Afghanistan. Shaffer also told CNN that he thinks the Bush administration's biggest failure was not understanding the Afghani culture.

Fox News has reported that the memoir made statements about a mission, "Able Danger," that Shaffer was a part of that identified a hijacker, Mohammed Atta, that was a threat to the US before the September 11 terrorist attacks. Atta was a "ringleader" of the attacks and piloted American Airlines Flight 11 in the World Trade Center.

CNN said that the original manuscript of the book is selling online for up to $2,000.

Jewish activist sail to Gaza to breach blockade

Jewish activists from the US, Germany, Israel and Britain set sail Sunday for Gaza in hopes of breaching the Israeli naval blockade.

According to the Associated Press (AP), one goal of the trip is to demonstrate that all Jews do not support Israeli policies towards Palenstine. The 33-foot boat is named Irene and is carrying medical supplies, textbooks, nets, and children's toys, said BBC.

The naval blockade of the Gaza strip was set in place to stop weapons from being smuggled to Hama militants, said BBC. However, the three year blockade has severely impoverished "already needy Gaza residents," said the AP.

One member of the group told BBC this was a non-violent act so they do not present Israel with any reason to stop them, but they would not resist if Israel tries to.

The AP reported that one Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said that this protest was a "provocative joke that isn't funny." Further telling BBC, "If they were serious about wanting to transfer aid to Gaza, they could easily do so after undergoing a screening for smuggled weaponry."

The AP reported that the entire trip was supported by donations.

Lindsay Lohan admits to failing mandatory drug test

Lindsay Lohan has confirmed Friday that she failed a mandatory drug test via her Twitter account.

E! Online reports that Lohan took to her Twitter account stating, "Regrettably, I did in fact fail my most recent drug test and if I am asked, I am prepared to appear before judge Fox next week as a result."

This comes after a 23 day stint in a rehab program at UCLA Medical Center and after serving 13 days of a 90 day sentence in jail, according to ABC News.

Although no court date has been set, Lohan's judge Elden S. Fox, stated that he would send her back to jail for 30 days if she fails a drug test, said E! Online.

Analysis: News lead in story about high school quarterback

The CNN news lead that addressed the story about the Texas high school quarterback who died, was not a straightforward or hard news lead, but rather a lead that enabled the emotional element felt that night.

The reporter did not choose a one liner stating the who, what, when, and where concerning the death of the young man, but told a narrative of the impact felt by the football team, fans, friends, and relatives of Reggie Garrett.

The lead worked because it provided news elements such as where it happened and what happened, but at the same time could still convey an emotion that made you want to read on to see how the young man tragically died.

It was one of those news leads that blind sided you and made you want to read on to see if the Texas football team could be comforted by the news article, or by the facts presented in the news article, or if the team could only be comforted by time, kind words, and Garrett's memory.

This soft news lead was important to the story to create the type of emotion that has been felt by those impacted from Garrett's death and important to the tone of the rest of the article. It personalizes the story and makes you feel like you lost a friend, a teammate, son, brother, cousin, etc. A report on a death of someone as young as Garrett deserves no less than an emotional beginning since the ending of his life is nothing more than tragic.

Pedestrian killed on Hwy 10

A pedestrian was killed Sunday at 12:15 a.m.after being struck by a vehicle on U.S. Highway 10.

The Star Tribune reported that the victim had been struck from behind while walking in the right lane of Highway 10 near 168th Avenue.

The St. Cloud Times said that the vehicle that struck the victim was a Chevrolet Prizm and that the driver of the vehicle, Willam F. Blackhurst, of Big Lake received no injuries.

The victim's name has not been identified but will be released at 5 p.m on Sunday, according to the St. Cloud Times.

Shoreview man believed to have been kidnapped

A Shoreview man is believed to have beeen kidnapped after a hushed phone call he made to his wife Friday evening, according to the Ramsey Country sheriff's office.

The Star Tribune reported that Ramsey County authorities are trying to locate, Matthew William Anderson, 29, who called his wife around 7 p.m. in hushed tones saying that two men had kidnapped him and he believed he was in Iowa.

An hour after the phone call he texted his wife, Amber, saying that he loved her and his one year old daughter, Amelia according to the Pioneer Press. Although the text message had been recieved around 8 p.m., the cell phone company said it was sent around 6:09 p.m.

The Pioneer Press said that authorities are still trying to figure out when the text message was sent. However, the Star Tribune reported that Anderson's cell phone call to his wife was said to have been made from Wisconsin Dells.

Anderson has no criminal record and there has been no suspicious transactions made from the family's account said the Star Tribune.

High school quarterback dies after throwing touchdown pass

A Texas high school senior quarterback died Friday after throwing a touchdown pass.

According to ABC News, Reggie Garrett, ran to the sidelines after throwing a touchdown pass with nine minutes left in the second quarter. He then passed out on the sidelines.

A defensive coordinator for Garrett's football team, Cornel Thompson, told ABC News that he knew Garrett had a histroy of seizures but did not know to what extent, or how serious they were.

Coaches told CNN that Garrett may have had a seizure Friday night, although he never showed any signs.

ABC News reported that one of Garrett's teammates said he came to the sidelines after kicking the extra point and saw him fall to the ground and start "twitching."

Garrett was announced dead after 9:30 p.m. and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death, according to ABC News.

Head coach, Dan Hooks, told CNN that officials will decide Sunday whether to play next week's game. He said the team will likely not play.

Terror suspect held at Amsterdam airpot

A man was arrested Sunday at the Schipol International Airport in Amsterdam on suspicion of being a terrorist.

The suspect was arrested as the flight was readying for departure with the arrest being made on the plane, reported CNN.

Currently, police are investigating whether the man arrested on Sunday had links to a foreign militant organization, BBC reported.

However, this arrest is not the first of its kind in the past month.

The BBC reported last month that two Yemeni men were arrested at the Schipol International Airport after flying in from Chicago.

This arrest has triggered a worldwide aviation security review, according to BBC.

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