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State OK's Beer at TCF Stadium

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The Star Tribune reports that lawmakers have approved the sale of alcohol at TCF Bank Stadium, making the University of Minnesota the first school in the Big Ten to sell beer at football games.

A bill signed into law this week by governer Mark Dayton will allow beer to be sold at Gopher Football games from tents through at least half time. Alcohol had been banned at the stadium since it opened in 2009. The beer sales are expected to help attendance and make TCF Bank Stadium better suited to host the Minnesota Vikings, should they need to use TCF for a season while a new stadium is built.

"This is absolutely fabulous," Bob Hughes, president of the Goal Line Club, a Gophers football booster organization, told the CBS Sports. "It makes it that much more of a festive experience. It will set us apart. We'll be the only Big Ten stadium that will actually have a beer garden of that nature."

The Bloomberg article about Obama's speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is an example of a good speech article because it remains grounded in the speech itself while peppering in background details and subtle analysis.

The article's lead doesn't simply state that Obama gave a speech but gets to the main point: that Obama reinforced his commitment to prevent Iran, an enemy of Israel, from becoming a nuclear power.

The first section takes direct quotations from Obama's speech while giving added context surrounding it, such as the support Obama enjoyed from Jewish voters in 2008, and his visit from Benjamin Netanyahu.

Subsequent sections discuss GOP criticism of Obama's approach to Israel and Iran as well as how Obama responded to that criticism in his speech. In all, the article almost perfectly follows the "point-quote-support" model we learned in class.

Analysis: Multimedia

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Slate, which is owned by the Washington Post, displays a number of slide shows daily. Most of them, like this one on cockfighting in Manila follow the model that we used in class, with one sentance of description followed by another sentence expanding on the story. These pictures also have titles which sometimes serve to describe the picture a bit more literally than the cutline.

Slate also features daily videos. They are usually fairly short, taking no longer to watch then it takes to read a small article, and deal with "fluffier" news, with clips that can supplement subject matter discussed elsewhere on the site that day.

The Minnesota Daily boasts a separate multimedia section on their website with daily photo galleries and an increasing number of videos. Slideshows, such as this one exploring the Lakewood Cemetery, have very brief cutlines and do not set out to tell a full story. This is because these slideshows often accompany a longer article. Other galleries, especially those relating to sports, have no cutlines.

The MN Daily multimedia department also has their own blog, entitled Though The Lens, that displays the best photos of the week and features other slideshows not included on the main page.

Analysis: Attributions in Powell Tragedy Story

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The New York Times article by Matt Flegenhiemer and Isold Raftery on the tragedy of the Powell family in Graham attributes its information to three different sources: Graham Deputy Fire Chief Gary Franz, Powell's lawyer Jeffrey Bassett, and the Associated Press, who spoke to Bassett and reported on the explosion first.

In the lead the article simply cites the "authorities" as a source, but goes on to specifically name Franz and quote him directly. The article also names Bassett, and clairifies that the information used is from Associated Press, who originally interviewed Bassett.

Franz is paraphrased more than he is directly quoted, and the article is better for it. The only complete sentence attributed fully to Franz is "these are the kinds of things that suggest very clearly this was an intentional act." This is an instance where Franz's credibility is valuble, and allows the Times to point to the conclusions being drawn about the explosion without making any statement about intention themselves.

The attributions are fairly easy to follow. It's especially helpful that when Bassett is attributed to additional information at the end of the article Flegenhiemer and Raftery clairify him as "the lawyer". This makes the information easy to follow with out having to look back up through the article for a name.

The article also always uses the word "said" in attributions. This is helpful because the word is able to "disappear" into the article and the information isn't weighed down by constant qualifiers and flowery language.

[I apologize for this late posting -- internet connection troubles.]

Analysis: Lead in Google+ Story

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The lead in Bloomberg's report on Google+ new age requirements is a good example of a typical lead, and a well-structured one.

The lead does not include a specific time element, but gets straight to the action of the story: That Google has widened its age restrictions to allow children 13 or older to join it's social networking site, Google+.

After taking care of the who and what, the Bloomberg lead gets into the specifics of the "why"; that Google is changing these policies in order to compete more easily with Facebook, which is also open to anyone 13 and over.

The Bloomberg article also takes care to mention Google's trading symbol, GOOG, in the lead (and also makes note of Google's stock later in the article). This would be too specific to note for most publications, but is appropriate here since Bloomberg mostly reports financial news.

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