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Analysis - NPR Nursing Home Database

National Public Radio compiled an interactive database about the independence level of residents at about 16,000 nursing homes around the United States.

Users can pick a state, county, then an individual facility to see what percent of residents are able to do certain daily tasks on their own. NPR used the information after it was made public under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

NPR organized information from an annual census survey by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

By organizing this information electronically, NPR was able to analyze this information and find trends that have been used in a series called, "Home or Nursing Home."

Analysis of AP article - Catholics Debate Pope's Comments

In an article by the Associated Press, the debate over Pope Benedict's recent comments about condom use is discussed.

The article gives quotes from representatives from the Catholic community, as well as those concerned with AIDS as a public health issue. The pope's remarks may have re-opened the door in this debate.

Kelsey, a junior at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, was raised Catholic. She said her upbringing has given her some "structure and knowledge base in her current beliefs."

Kelsey said that she understands why this issue would inspire debate. While discussing the article, she said that the quotes do a good job of representing each side of the issue, although she thinks it lacks a younger perspective.

The issue in itself goes beyond the typical stance of the Roman Catholic Church. The article attempts to bring to light what is sometimes misunderstood by those not part of the Catholic community.

Analysis- Numbers in AP article

An article by the Associated Press discusses a study of how women with stressful jobs face heart risks. The AP utilizes numbers to discuss the sample group and the results from the study that began in 1999.

The article references statistics in the beginning of the article when it discusses the relationship between men and women, and the relationship between women with stressful jobs and women with less stress.

For example: "Women with demanding jobs and little control over how to do them were nearly twice as likely to have suffered a heart attack as women with less demanding jobs and more control."

The article effectively tells the story of the research without using too many actual numbers, that can lose meaning if used in excess. Instead, the AP states the pattern the numbers revealed or summarizes the findings in an easily understood way.

For instance, instead of listing exact numbers, the results are converted into a percentage: "The high-stress group had a 40 percent greater overall risk of heart problems..."

The article delivers the results of the study without overwhelming the reader. The AP tells the crucial findings by transforming the statistics into concepts, instead of giving the numbers that have an implicit meaning that is harder to detect.

The AP attributes the numbers to a U.S. government-funded study that was presented at the American Heart Association conference in Chicago and uses a doctor to respond to how the numbers relate to overall trends.

The numbers used are easy to understand and their significance is delivered well.

The first source used to characterize the Edina dentist is his daughter. She is the only source attributed and quoted throughout the obituary.

The lead is not in the standard format. The obituary begins with anecdotes that characterize Edwin Brown, following a subheading that lays out some of the information that is usually in a lead, such as his name, nickname and something notable about him. His age is mentioned later with the cause of death after a few paragraphs of characterizing information and quotes.

Starting with charming anecdotes seems to work in this case, considering the obituary is in the Star Tribune and is about a beloved local with modest claims to fame.

This obituary focuses on the overall portrayal of Edwin Brown and less on his career and professional exploits. The article frequently quotes his daughter and gives the chronology of his life that is more about his personality than his skills and accomplishments.

The obituary does not try to tell every detail of his accomplishments like a resume would. It picks bits and pieces of his life to portray him as he was known by friends and family.

In an article by the New York Times, a press release from the office of the White House press secretary, regarding the appointment of Denis McDonough as Deputy National Security Adviser, is referenced.

The article establishes context and gives background information on McDonough and his relationship with President Obama, whereas the statement released gives brief quotes from Obama and McDonough and a concise profile of McDonough.

The article sets up the information from the release and adds deeper background information in a way that is easier and more interesting to read. The article uses the quote by Obama from the release and also provides quotes that were not in the statement.

The reporter, Peter Baker, could have used the statement as a starting off point, but had to have researched related topics that were referenced farther down in the article, such as the departure of the adviser that preceded McDonough. Baker initially states the new information from the release then outlines past events related to the new appointment by Obama.

Overall the article is fluid and comprehensive, while the release is short and gives only basic information.

Analysis - Multimedia of the New York Times and the Star Tribune

The online versions of the Star Tribune and the New York Times provide multiple venues to view, read and interact with news.

Under the multimedia heading, visitors can view videos, slideshows, news graphics, photo galleries, other peoples videos and photos and are able to find audio and podcasts, all of which are frequently integrated into standard articles. Much of the multimedia has headlines or short sentences of news and then visuals to bring the story to life.

Many of the stories on the Star Tribune web version are complimented with a video, allow visitors to post comments on the story, read other comments, e-mail the story or share on Facebook, Digg or

A story by Phil Miller of the Star Tribune on the recent dismissal of Tim Brewster has a poll on the right side trying to get readers' opinions on who should be the next Gophers head coach.

The story has links to blogs on the subject, over 500 comments and has a video below the headline. On either side of the article, there are links to other stories and the readers can sort stories by most viewed, most e-mailed or most popular to further customize their news experience.

The New York Times offers similar forms of multimedia such as photos, slideshows, video, podcasts, interactive features and graphics, and audio.

Often the multimedia has links to news articles or is posted next to stories to create an interactive news experience for the reader while offering multiple ways to consume and interact with news stories. The writing that goes along with the multimedia often tells what the multimedia is showing, such as a picture caption.

The news provided is often concise and condensed to provide a primarily visual experience, especially with the photos and slideshows. The interactive features frequently combine video and audio, such as one about the Broadway musical "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" where a visitor can click on photos and get audio clips with more information. A lot of times the multimedia has a link to a related article to provide more background information.

Overall The New York Times has a larger variety of multimedia and provides many opportunities to interact with the media being consumed.

An article by CNN and a later article by the Associated Press have similar background information, but the AP injects more recent and relevant information that gives a more well-rounded and up to date account of the events surrounding the anti-gay hate crimes in New York.

The first article by CNN outlines the initial arrest of the suspects associated with the anti-gay hate crimes that occurred Oct. 3 in New York and the story by the AP discusses the suspects arraignment held on Sunday that revealed more background information not mentioned previously.

The main news of the stories is summarized similarly. The articles include background information on the suspects who are connected to the string of anti-gay attacks against two 17-year-old boys and a 30-year-old man.

The timeliest information is the biggest difference in the two leads. CNN discusses the suspects being arrested and the AP outlines their arraignment.

The follow up AP story contains a lot of the information that appears in the CNN story and in earlier AP stories on the anti-gay attacks. The first three paragraphs contain new information weaved with older information and the last several paragraphs are background information that is in both articles.

The AP story injected new information periodically in the last paragraphs that widened the scope of the story by including information from the court proceedings that wasn't available before the arraignment. The article also mentions relevant news stories from around the country involving anti-gay harassment and assaults.

The AP article is an extensive account of the most recent information on the story. It expands the background information and gives the article context.

Analysis of an article by the AP: "Rutgers pays tribute..."

An article by the Associated Press outlines how Rutgers University remembers a student who committed suicide after two other students streamed a video online of him having a sexual encounter with another man.

The lead summarizes who was involved, what the article is about, when it happened, where it happened and why the incident occurred.

The lead gives the name of the university, when and where they paid tribute to the student and a brief description of why the student committed suicide.

Initially, the article refers to him as "a student" instead of giving out small details right away.

The article then describes how Rutgers paid tribute and gives the name of the student and his age.

The rest of the article is a summary of what happened before and after the student committed suicide, including what happened to the two students who filmed him and what else the university is doing in remembrance of Tyler Clementi.

This article successfully shapes an inverted pyramid style story. A solid lead begins the article and each paragraph becomes more detailed as it descends by order of importance and relevance, as opposed to chronological order.

As a reader approaches this article, they can get the crucial elements of the topic right away and may feel compelled to keep reading until the end.

The article is clear and tells the story of a mourning university effectively.

Reporter Paul Walsh uses several sources throughout his article, usually citing authorities, recent charges and state records of Kevin Doerr's previous criminal acts.

Walsh uses seven sources: the actual charges, Doerr's girlfriend, a witness, police Sgt. Bill Palmer, authorities, state records of Doerr's unlawful history and a complaint that cites a crime alert.

The sources are scattered throughout the article in order to compliment official charges that were made, the accident itself and the aftermath.

The sources are cited in an effective way that does not get in the way of the actual facts of the accident and those involved. They are primarily mentioned within a sentence or quote, while others are at the end or put at the beginning of the cited material.

Walsh's article is concise while also proficiently citing authorities and other credible sources to check the facts in his story.

By Kaitlyn E. Walsh

In an article in the Star Tribune, Matt McKinney writes about a 21-year-old who was shot in Minneapolis. He begins with a lead that introduces an article that is part dramatic narrative and hard news.

He includes the facts of the incident: who was shot, when and where the young man died and then sets the stage of the aftermath by mentioning people that observed the scene after the police arrived. The initial facts are concise and general, whereas the description of the crowd is more detailed and takes up nearly half of the lead.

This approach shows the reporter as an eyewitness to the aftermath and as part of the crowd, observing and listening to the people who watched the police gather evidence and bag up the body. By writing the lead this way, McKinney sets the mood for the entire story which ends up being, for the most part, a collection of quotes and details about the crowd, how they felt and what they saw.

As a local story in the St. Paul paper, the eyes of many Twin Cities readers may fall on this article. McKinney introduces the facts in a way that is professional while also seemingly empathetic to the young man that was killed and the community that was affected.

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