News Story Analysis #11

April 10th: At UMass Boston, courses abruptly canceled

This article, part of an ongoing series by staff writer Laura Krantz, provides more updates about the situation at UMass Boston. The school is struggling immensely as they attempt to restructure and reorganize to solve their financial issues. UMass Boston is an important school for many local commuters and has a large population of minority students. It is in a chaotic state financially and many people are worried about its future and place in the community. Krantz did a great job in continuing her investigation into the matter and keeping the public informed.

The article is structured in a very traditional manner, with an informative lead and proper transitioning and format. Quotes are withheld until the fourth paragraph and specific names aren’t mentioned at first. Krantz did an impressive job in making the article flow well despite the fact that a good amount of the key people involved refused to comment. The article is easy to read and very informative; it is an important subject for the Globe to cover.

Throughout my analysis of the Boston Globe, I have found the paper to be one of my favorites. It does a fantastic job of balancing local and national news and is structured very well. It is an easy website to access and remains largely unbiased with writers sticking to the facts. The Globe is one of the most important papers in the country and as I have monitored it weekly, I have seen its importance first-hand.

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News Story Analysis #10: Laura Krantz

“Growth spree has the UMass Boston campus in a bind”- March 18, 2017

This article is very well-written. It was particularly impressive due to the ability of Krantz to appropriately transition the piece and expand upon the story as it went on. Krantz also utilized quotes very well and the inclusion of statistics at the end only helped to authenticate the piece. The lead is also particularly notable; it remains short and to the point but is impactful and draws in the reader. This piece was very interesting, informative, and impressive to read.

“Moulton calls Russia biggest threat to national security”- March 31, 2017

This article was also some impressive work by Laura Krantz. What stood out to me was the way she set up the quotes, it was sort of suspenseful yet informative. The piece was mainly centered around the words of Seth Moulton so a good amount of quotes were used. I think the quote selection was very powerful, the most important things that were said were properly expressed in the article. I think the lead was solid, and that Krantz ended the article with an appropriate, impactful quote.

“Pressure mounts on public records law”- March 23, 2017

This article was shorter than the other two but did a good job of covering a rather dull topic. Krantz did an impressive job of analyzing and reporting on a necessary news story that isn’t necessarily the most intriguing to readers. It was a straightforward, professional news piece that included the proper journalistic format.

News Story Analysis #9

New York Times: “Burying Their Cattle, Ranchers Call Wildfires ‘Our Hurricane Katrina’”

Nut graph:

“Death comes with raising cattle: coyotes, blizzards and the inevitable trip to the slaughterhouse and dinner plate. But after 30 years of ranching, Mark and Mary Kaltenbach were not ready for what met them after a wildfire charred their land and more than one million acres of rain-starved range this month.”

This sums up, and sets the tone for the story very well. It tries to not give too much away but gives just enough information for the reader to be intrigued. It is an interesting, distinct story and the nut graph is characteristic with that. The only area that it may be criticized is one could say that it does leave a lot of questions and with a longer article, some readers may grow impatient.

New York Times: “We Might Soon Resurrect Extinct Species. Is It Worth the Cost?”

Nut graph:

“With enough determination, money and smarts, scientists just might revive the woolly mammoth, or some version of it, by splicing genes from ancient mammoths into Asian elephant DNA. The ultimate dream is to generate a sustainable population of mammoths that can once again roam the tundra.”

This nut graph is very well written. The writer introduces the topic and states the main point of the article while also leaving a lot of room for expansion further into the story. The way it is written makes the article seem very interesting and worth reading.

Boston Globe; “Finally, Boston architecture gets its act together”

Nut graph:

“Boston may finally be getting a dose of good architecture. It’s coming from an unlikely source: a luxury residential developer. And it’s being designed by an unlikely architecture team: one of Boston’s best boutique firms, known among design aficionados everywhere but here.”

This is a decent nut graph. The title kind of makes the article seem more suspenseful and important than it actually might be. The nut graph is rather dull and appears to be trying to exaggerate the potential impact that this development might have on Boston. The writer doesn’t really sum up the story and also doesn’t draw the reader in with the way this nut graph is written.

ImprovBoston’s College Comedy Festival Continues to Be A Success

A Northeastern University Improv group moved onto the finals Thursday at the annual College Comedy Festival and Beanpot Tournament at ImprovBoston.

The event is designed to be both a fun, educational competition for college Improv groups interested in developing their comedy skills, according to Mike Descoteaux, of ImprovBoston. He said that even though the event is structured as a competition, it’s more of a festival. In addition to competing, teams from colleges in New England take workshops with professionals.“It’s all about bringing college teams together from all over New England, giving them a chance to meet each other, see each other work, and learn from each other,” Descoteaux said.

The “short-form” competition on Thursday featured four college Improv teams: Clark University’s Peapod Squad, WPI’s Guerilla Improv, Northeastern University’s NU and Improv’d, and Clark University’s Shenanigans. It consisted of three rounds that were judged based on the story, skill, and entertainment value of each sketch.

The host, the judges, and occasionally, some members of the crowd, offered ideas for each sketch. Northeastern’s “NU and Improv’d” performed a skit where two translators tried to make sense of unclear statements from Donald Trump.Members of the audience laughed and cheered, especially during impressions of President Trump.

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Northeastern University’s “NU and Improv’d” performs their Donald Trump skit

Deb Falzoi, an employee of ImprovBoston, said, “I think it’s important that the teams have fun but also learn while they are having fun.”

NU and Improv’d will join five other teams in the Finals of the College Comedy Festival this Saturday night. This year’s event will conclude with Saturday’s round crowning the final winner of the competition. Descoteaux later said, “By the end of the weekend they [the teams] will have have a lot to take home and then practice for the next run of events.”

Boston Globe News Story Analysis #8

March 13th: A man’s personal experience with corporate heartlessness

This article discussed how a man with a dying wife faced discrimination in the workplace. Don Davis, a cryptographer, took a new job at the Boston- based subsidiary of BAE systems, and had his job offer rescinded on the first day of the job. Davis explained his wife’s medical condition to his new employers and after assurances at first, he was ultimately left without a job as the company believed he couldn’t offer full effort with his wife needing to be taken care of. Davis recently has decided to take action and to try and expose the company for its wrongdoings. It was a very interesting, local, and well-written article by the Globe.

The headline is intriguing, and draws the reader in by not giving away too much information. The writer uses Davis’ name in the lead, which is interesting because often times the lead only includes the name of famous, well-known individuals. The lead also provides valuable information without giving too much away.

The writer also interestingly uses Davis’ wife’s name in the second paragraph as she is a key element of the story. The writer then delves into the actual story and pieces it together chronologically. Quotes are withheld until the 5th paragraph and the article keeps readers interested by keeping both chronological order and by not revealing too much about the full story until the end.

The quotes that are used are placed properly and enable readers to sympathize with Davis and to be ashamed or appalled at the actions of BAE. The way the writer writes the story is very biased and sympathetic towards Davis and his wife. However, it should be, as the Globe did give BAE the chance to comment and give their side of the story but instead, they chose to offer a sort of blanket statement.

Though there may not be any notable future developments in this story, the writer does leave room for further articles. Since it is a local story, the Globe was likely either the only, or one of the few, newspapers reporting on Davis and his experiences. This allowed for a more personal, in-depth piece, rather than a short blurb.

The writer ended the article very well, with a great quote from Davis that would likely evoke even more sympathy from the Globe’s readers.

“I’m a Christian,” Don Davis said. “I have to forgive people. I don’t have to forgive corporations.”

It is a very strong, powerful quote that provided a suitable ending to a very well-written and intriguing article.

 

Boston Globe News Story Analysis #7

February 27th: Here’s what may have happened during the Oscar best picture mix-up

The Globe, and other news sources throughout the country, reported extensively on the most shocking event of the Oscars ceremony; the mix-up over who won the best picture award. The presenters were handed the wrong envelope and accidentally announced “La La Land” as the winner of the award when it was actually supposed to be given to “Moonlight”. Understandably, this was all over social media and the major news sites throughout today. This article specifically discusses how it happened and what went wrong in regards to the mix-up.

The title is simple and straightforward while the writer’s lead is a bit interesting and somewhat atypical. The lead states, “What’s behind the bizarre mix-up that stole the show at this year’s Oscars?” It is phrased as a question and doesn’t give much information. It makes sense that the lead could be written this way as it is such a popular news story and the article isn’t reporting on necessarily the basics.

The writer then transitions into briefly explaining what happened on the surface before expanding beyond the basics. An interesting aspect of this article is the fact that quotes are delayed until much later and there are actually few quotes at all. The writer’s main goal is to inform readers of the balloting process and to sort of leave it up to them to decide who to blame for the mix-up though the balloting leaders are indirectly scrutinized. “Ahead of the awards ceremony, hand-written votes for each of the 24 major categories are counted, by hand, in an undisclosed location and the results are kept under wraps. The only two people who should know the results are the two balloting leaders, who memorize the winners so there’s no list that could leak out early.”

The article, after analyzing what happened and offering some probable reasoning, discusses previous occurrences in which “mix-ups” have occurred at the Oscars ceremony.  “The mix-up Sunday night was certainly unusual, but not entirely unprecedented. In 1964, Sammy Davis Jr. was given the wrong envelope and ended up announcing the winner of a different category before a PwC representative quickly came on stage with the correct envelope, according to the Los Angeles Times.”

The writer concludes the article properly with a quote after playing around with the traditional format throughout most of the piece. It is a well-written, somewhat original piece about a very popular news story.

Boston Globe News Story Analysis #6:

February 20th: Brad Bates resigns as Boston College athletic director

This is a localized article that discusses the resignation of Brad Bates, Boston College’s athletic director. It is not necessarily headline-grabbing news but it is a newsworthy event that impacts a large community in the Boston area. The writers simply focus on reporting the facts and it is a relatively short article that is just attempting to get the news out. Since it is a local story, not much variation is needed to distinguish the article from those of other news sources as the Globe is likely one of only a few newspapers reporting on the subject.

The headline is simple but does provide a name as Bates is an important, possibly well-known, individual. The headline is elaborated on in a well written lead that sticks to the facts. The lead states, “Boston College athletic director Brad Bates resigned Monday and will leave at the end of the school year to join Collegiate Sports Associates.” Since there is no controversy to Bates’ resignation, the lead stays simple and simply elaborates on the headline.

The second paragraph then further elaborates to expand upon Bates’ future endeavors and to provide further reasoning to why he is leaving Boston College. Sticking to traditional format, the third paragraph then consists of a quote from Bates that emphasizes his position and the key news point: his resignation as athletic director.

The article is a very fact-based piece that offers no opinion and simply sticks to reporting the key things that have happened. There could be more quotes but it seems that the objective of this piece was simply just to get the news out there before anyone else had reported on it. It isn’t necessarily a popular subject but it does concern people in the Boston area and it is the Globe’s duty and mission to keep the local people informed.

The article concludes very appropriately as the writers leave room for future reporting. It states, “BC said it would conduct a national search for a replacement, with the assistance of an executive search firm.” This both sums up the article but also leaves the possibility for more articles as BC conducts their search for a replacement.

This was a simple but very properly structured article by the Globe.