« February 2007 | Main | April 2007 »

March 25, 2007

Overweight Complexities Linked to School Lunch Programs

story idea #2

Recent statistics and studies point to the idea that large portion of food intake occurs in school and that vending machines and a la carte lines are only initiating unhealthy habits. The growing number of overweight adolescents in American society is a concern for many parents and dietitions. By implementing healthier meals into school lunch programs it is suggested that the level of obesity will decease; however, could this really be the source of a unhealthy eating. Why aren't fitness routines implemented into school curriculums and what difference could these make on the overall ideal of staying in shape and eating healthy.

1. Martha Kubik, certified nurse practitioner, PhD, MS, RNC, assistant professor with the School of nursing
2. Janey Thornton, President of the School Nutrition Association, 270-769-8877
3. Linda H. Bearinger, fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Director of center for Adolescent Nursing, beari001@umn.edu

Shaking buildings and Shattered Windows in Japan

An earthquake of magnitude 6.9 tore apart central Japan Sunday in the city of Kanazawa. Killing 1 and injuring 170 others, this quake destroyed city buildings, cut power, and left the streets “cluttered with roof tiles and cracked pavement.� Aftershocks followed throughout the day and triggered two small tsunamis. The majority of the damage was concentrated in the city of Wajima.

An article published in the New York Times written by Associated Press writers Hans Greimel, Carl Freire and Mari Yamaguchi is written with precision and clarity. It provides prominent background information on the history of the most powerful quakes to hit Japan and the story focuses on the shock and devastation that the quake has taken in the city of Wajima (193 miles northwest of Tokyo). This article is far more effective than the AP article that the Pioneer Press published which offers no apparent angle or even critical detail. It lacks depth and clarity by failing to offer quotes and a description of the aftermath that occurred. It appears more like a press release focused mainly on the heart of the story considering that it was written not far after the quake tore apart cental Japan and the north coast Sunday.

I think in the case of the New York Times article, contacting officials and commentators to speak about the earthquake that tore apart Japan early this morning had to come with its difficulties. Providing a clear and visually stimulating description of the aftermath and the intensity of this quake is what makes this article stand out. However, when comparing these two articles in the proximity of time, it is key to note that the AP article was published earlier and leaves little time for a thorough analysis with supportive details and attributed quotes

March 24, 2007

Rat Poison Found in Pet Food

The poison, aminopterin, was detected in nearly 90 brands of wet food distributed by Menu Foods this past week which resulted in a recall of nearly 60 million cans of food from December to March. The New York State department of Agriculture and markets said, "The substance, a derivative of folic acid, was used in past decades to treat cancer and to induce abortions." Paul K. Henderson, the chief executive of Menu Foods apologized publicly to the owners of those pets that purchased the contaminated food but did not claim that the company was negligent for this rare occurance. Journalist Katie Zezima reported for the New York Times on this issue.

An Associated Press article, Rat Poison Found in Recalled Pet Food, outlines the issues with Menu Foods but does not offer the extensive list of quotes and attribution that the N.Y. Times article did. This synopsis is far shorter and lacks interest. There does not seem to be a clearly identifiable angle or an emphasis on the controversy of the situation where as the N.Y. Times article hints at the fact that this could be a case of sabotage. Zezima, reporting for the N.Y. Times, identifies the underlying conflict between the pet owners and the company Menu Foods while the other article addresses it but does not offer commentary from officials or the consumers.

March 21, 2007

statewide cigarette ban

The recent push in legislature to pass a statewide cigarette ban in Minnesota is stirring up mixed emotions from businesses, employees, activists, and the general public. This story idea seems as though it would provide a substantial amount of credible sources and a forum of interesting arguments if covered properly.

March 5, 2007

the battle for the first black president

Jeff Zeleny, a writer for the New York Times, submitted an article on the battle that Barack Obama is fighting in order to become the nation's first black president. This upcoming presidential election will pose several new struggles for the nation as both of the primary Democratic opponents are of a race and gender that has never been a part of the U.S. Presidency. This article focuses on the battle between Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama as they compete in the upcoming election.

A similar event involving both of these candidates is reviewed in the Pioneer Press by Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press. The article, Clintons, Obama honor activists in Selma, emphasizes how both candidates are focusing on the issues of race and gender in America. However, I think the first article provides beneficial quotes and commentary from well respected officials, this article seems to have more to say and the author deals with the struggles of running in the same political campaign.