Recently in Analysis Category

Analysis: 27,000 without power in metro area

The story about Xcel Energy customers losing power in the Twin Cities metro area uses numbers in varying ways.

In the Star Tribune article, the numbers show the readers how many customers of Xcel were out of power, how many crews they have out to fix this damage, and how many different repair jobs that needed to be done. In the Fox 9 News article, it shows basically the same thing as the Star Tribune article, but adds another element to the story by showing how dangerous the storm was when it reported on the number of car accidents and injuries sustained during the storm.

The amount of statistics and numbers used in the story wasn't an overwhelming amount, but the number of people without power was an overwhelming number because obviously that is a significant amount of people, making this story appearing in the national news section on Google.

The reporter got their numbers from officials with Xcel Energy as well as officials with the State Patrol. I do not think the reporters could have used math to crunch out the numbers in the case of this story, because it would have been too many customers to count by themselves. It was easier for them, and made the story more effective to get the numbers right from the proper sources.

Both stories effectively told how badly this snow storm has impacted the metro area by using numbers in an efficient and relevant way.

Analysis: Multimedia use in Simpsons story

In the news story about the controversial opening scene of a recent Simpsons episode, Entertainment Weekly and BBC News both went down the same multimedia venue.

In both news articles, they used a video of the controversial opening sequence on the Simpsons to show the readers what the controversy was over. However, Entertainment Weekly also used a still from the episode along with the video.

I feel the video complements both news stories because it gives the reader an actual visual instead of trying to imagine what the news article is describing. It also gives the reader a chance to decide on their own if they find the opening sequence to be as controversial as the media is making it.

The writing style in both stories is basically the same. They are short, sweet, and get right to the point. However, the Entertainment Weekly news article is a soft story, providing questions to the reader and is more conversational. The BBC News story sticks right to the facts and provides a hard news line.

Analysis: Spot/follow U of M cheerleader story

I work in the Athletic Communications Department at the University of Minnesota as a Student Intern. On Thursday, while working, I recieved a phone call from University Relations informing our office that Star Tribune was looking for someone to confirm and talk about the deaths of the U of M cheerleaders on the Spirit Squad that occured early Thursday morning.

I went and told the director of our office, and he told me it was the first he had heard of it and to send all media calls his way concerning the story. So, I got to experience first hand the "spot/follow" element of writing a news article.

We got roughly around 20 phone calls that day with reporters coming into the office and calling back to get updates on the story. As the different news stations and reporters were calling in to get these facts, I went on their websites to see how often and what they were updating about the story.

I closely followed the Star Tribune, since that was the first phone call we had got. It was interesting to see overtime how the story changed and developed from something generic to a full blown human interest story. At first, the story was, like I said, very generic and only reported that three U of M students had died in a car crash where alcohol was involved and later as more details were confirmed they started to add that two were a part of the Gophers Spirit Squad and provided more details about the situation. They added who the drunk driver was, the ages of those who had died in the crash, why the car was disabled on the side of the road, etc.

They continued to add a statement the University made and, from going on Facebook, they found out the two names of those who died who were part of the Spirit Squad, even before the names had been officially released by the University.

I found it very interesting to experience first hand how the news stream works and how many updates reporters call in for and stop in to make sure they get all the details to write their article.

I'm glad this was our topic for the week because it coincidentally made an impact in my life and allowed me to experience in a working environment how important it is to "spot/follow" a news story and to watch it develop.

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.

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.

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.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Analysis category.

International News is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.