September 2010 Archives

Analysis: Attribution

Attribution is utilized in the Pioneer Press' report of a St. Paul shooting in a professional way, while the Star Tribune fails to clearly name their sources for the same story.

Although the Star Tribune infers that their information comes from a spokesperson from the St. Paul police, the article fails to name a source or directly state "according to police." While the reader can assume that is the source, the article does not have the same professional style that the story for the Pioneer Press contains.

The Pioneer Press first states in the lead that their information comes from the police. In the second paragraph, the story provides the name of the spokesman for the police. In the next paragraphs, the report can refer back to that source, providing clarity and reliability to the story.

Middle East peace deal meets road block, according to Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that in order to reach a peace deal with Israel, the Jewish state must halt settlement construction in Palestine for their future state, according to the Associated Press.

Abbas made his statement in front of the United Nations after three weeks of peace talks between Palestine and Israel taking place in Washington, according to the Associated Press.

Friday marked the end of a moratorium on settlement building for Israel, an event that caused the planning of a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Palestinian president Saturday. The meeting was set up by the U.S. State Department, in an attempt to prevent the stalling of negotiations, according to CNN.

Abbas stated that Palestine is still committed to reaching a peace deal with Israel, but the Jewish state must not continue to build after the lift of the 10-month building moratorium, according to the Associated Press.

"Israel must choose between peace and the continuation of settlements," Abbas said, according to the Associated Press.

Poll shows Dayton leading Emmer

DFL candidate Mark Dayton leads GOP candidate Tom Emmer among likely voters in the Minnesota gubernatorial race according to a new Star Tribune poll, the paper reports.

In the poll, Dayton comes ahead of Emmer with 39 to 30 percent, while Independence Party candidate Tom Horner comes in with 18 percent, according to the Star Tribune.

The telephone poll was conducted among 949 likely voters, and little seems to have changed sincea previous poll conducted in July, according to the Star Tribune. The paper also reports candidate spokespeople for the candidates express the knowledge that there are still five weeks until the vote, and they are prepared to keep working hard.

Tom Horner, who is now at 18 percent compared to the 12 percent he had in the paper's last poll, goes along with the pattern of third-party candidates gaining ground in other gubernatorial races, according to the Pioneer Press.

Evangelist vows to fight sex charges

Georgia Baptist pastor Eddie Long vowed to fight recent allegations that he had sexual relationships with four young men when he addressed his congregation Sunday, according to CNN.

Four lawsuits were filed against Long, 57, by four men claiming that the minister and television celebrity had sexual relationships when they were in their teens. Long spoke publically about the allegations for the first time Sunday, in front of his congregation, according to the New York Times.

Long, who preaches passionately against homosexuality, oversees a 25,000-member church which includes a school and is a popular television personality. The men are former members of the church, according to CNN.

The men claim the married minster paid for the four to go to Kenya, where they were given gifts and were asked to perform sexual favors, according to CNN.

The evangelist was met with general support by his congregation in the two services he held on Sunday, according to the New York Times.

"I want you to know, as I said earlier, that I am not a perfect man. But this thing, I'm going to fight," Long said, according to CNN.

American and Afghan troops target Kandahar

Military officials announced Sunday that American and Afghan troops have begun combat in the Afghan city of Kandahar to drive out the Taliban according to the New York Times.

Eliminating the power of the Taliban in three districts surrounding the city is the goal of the effort, named "Operation Dragon Strike." The task is considered important to President Barack Obama's plan to dismantle the power of the Taliban in the country, according to the New York Times.

Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban, where combat was expected to begin in early June but was held off, due in part to resistance by Afghan leaders, according to the Wall Street Journal.

St. Paul shooting leaves one man dead

One man died and another was injured early Sunday in a St. Paul shooting, according to the Star Tribune.

Officers found one man dead outside an apartment building on Oakley Avenue at 3:30 a.m. Sunday. Another man was found nearby with a gun shot wound to his leg, and was brought to Regions hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the Pioneer Press.

Investigators say the shooting happened after an argument at a party near the apartment building. Police believe the gunman, who fled the scene and still remains unfound, knew the two men, according to the Pioneer Press. The names of the victims have not been released.

Analysis: Lead for Star Tribune's road rage story

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Although the lead for the Star Tribune's story about the sentencing of a Centerville man for a road rage incident definitely summarizes the news and includes important information of the who, what, and when, I feel that the lead also contains more information than is necessary.

The news, of course, is that the man was sentenced to more than seven years in prison, and that is the information that hits the reader's eye first. Yet, the lead goes on to state a play-by-play of the crime he was convicted for, a part of the lead that could be condensed.

This description of the crime could be placed in the second or third paragraph to provide more detail and context to the news, which is the man's conviction. Something as simple as "A Centerville man was sentenced Friday to more than seven years in prison for running a woman down in a parking lot," or "A Centerville man was sentenced Friday to more than seven years in prison for involvement in a road rage attack," would be sufficient.

These leads still give an interest to the story, and would still move a reader to continue to the second or third paragraphs where the full description of the crime can be given.

Authorities will be urged to investigate Senate hopeful Christine O'Donnell's use of campaign funds, says a bipartisan watchdog group Saturday, according to CNN.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington claim that O'Donnell used more than $20,000 of campaign funds illegally in 2009 and 2010, using the money for personal expenses like rent and gas payments, while claiming the funds as campaign expenses, according to CNN.

The group will notify the U.S. Attourney's Office in Delaware and the Federal Elections Commission on Monday, asking them to investigate the claims, according to CNN. Representatives for O'Donnell had no comment, and the GOP candidate cancelled TV appearances on "Face the Nation" and "Fox News Sunday" for this Sunday, according to MSNBC.

Man dies after being tasered by police

A Twin Cities man who was stunned by a taser gun shot by Minneapolis police died Friday night, according to the Pioneer Press.

David Cornelius Smith, 28, died Friday at Hennepin County Medical Center after being on life support since Sept. 9, according to the Star Tribune. Smith was involved in an altercation with the Minneapolis police after he was called in for disturbing patrons at a Minneapolis YMCA, according to the Pioneer Press.

When Smith became physically agressive toward the police officers, he was shot with a taser gun, sending him into cardiac arrest. The two officers, who were placed on paid leave after the incident, are now back working, according to the Star Tribune.

Centerville man sentenced in road rage incident

A Centerville man was sentenced Friday to more than seven years in prison for running down a woman with his vehicle in a parking lot, according to the Star Tribune.

John Babcock, 21, was sentenced by a Ramsey County judge after pleading guilty to first degree assault. According to the criminal report, Babcock ran down a 23-year-old Oakdale woman at full speed in a parking lot outside Hill-Murray School in Maplewood, causing the woman spinal fractures and a head injury, as reported by the Pioneer Press.

According to Maplewood authorities, after Babcock cut off the woman's car, a lip balm container and a plastic shift cover were thrown from the woman's car at Babcock. This prompted Babcock to ram against the back of the woman's car, reported the Pioneer Press.

When the woman got out of her car at the Hill-Murray School parking lot, she began running, yelling and screaming for help, when Babcock ran her down, according to the Star Tribune.

Obama appoints new consumer adviser

President Barack Obama appointed Elizabeth Warren, known to be a critic of Wall Street, to lead the creation of an agency to regulate financial institutions on Friday, according to the Associated Press.

Warren, a 61-year-old Harvard law professor, has been appointed by the president to oversee the creatuib of consumer bureau, an institution that stems from the U.S. financial reform law, passed in July, according to MSNBC. Warren has been a critic of lending practices of financial institutions as well as a consumer advocate.

Warren's appointment is temporary and will bypass a Senate confirmation hearing, according to MSNBC.. The consumer bureau will look to regulate institutions like banks and credit card companies for fair practices, according to the Associated Press.

Terror suspects arrested upon Pope's visit

Six men were arrested Friday in connection with terrorist threats surrounding the London visit of Pope Benedict XVI, according to the New York Times..

The six men, all London street cleaners, have been arrested on suspision of terrorism, in the wake of a British investigation of attack threats on the pope during his visit, according to CNN. Representatives for the Vatican say that the arrests will not change the pope's travel plans.

The police are allowed to hold the men for 28 days without an official charge due to the Terrorism Act of 2000, and searches were conducted in business and residential areas of London, according to CNN.

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