Sunday, November 11, 2007

Zephyrus Analysis

The article on the first page is very informational and interesting, however it is not up to par for good journalism. First of all the title is very long, “MNDOT introduces the initial designs for the new I-35W bridge”, it should me more concise and to the point. A title needs to be catchy, but it does not need to be that long. Also the second sentence contains two questions, according Mr. Hatten’s lectures, this is not an acceptable way lede for a story. This picture from this article was not taken from a Zephyrus photographer; rather it was just taken from MNDOT online. It is good, however, that there is a caption underneath the picture, explaining what it is a picture of. It is good that there are at least three different quotes in this article. It deviates a bit, but for the most part it follows the inverted pyramid structure. There are a few journalistic errors in this article, but for the most part it is good journalism.
The article on page 4, “Pets in classrooms offer new approach to learning”, is a very well written article. Also, the picture is taken by the newspaper, and offers an explanatory caption. The lede is interesting and there are also four different people quoted. These different people all offer insight and add to the story. It is good that it uses human interest by talking about how Jeff Saude got hurt from the snake and then goes into talking about the Edina Health Services policy on animals in the classroom. This whole article is very informational, but it is written with the most important information at the beginning. This article is an example of excellent journalism.
The article on page 9, has a very catchy title, but is not a very good example of journalism. The title, “Rising high above the rest: the Westin”, is a clever title and this time the picture is even taken by a newspaper photographer. However, the first sentence is a question, which is a major journalism no-no. There are absolutely no quotes in this story. It may have been interesting to get a quote from a builder, the city council or a person affected by the construction. These quotes would have strengthened the story. There are some interesting statistics, but the lede is not good. This story has a strong idea but could use some minor improvements.
After looking at Zephyrus article by article, I have noticed some trends and drawn some conclusions about the newspaper in general. The newspaper puts the articles they have deemed more important in the front of the newspaper. For the most part, the articles are written with the inverted pyramid style. Some articles lack quotes, which could add a lot of support to the points being made. There are definitely some writers in Zephyrus that follow the rules of journalism a lot better then others. Zephyrus could definitely benefit from a few lectures from Mr. Hatten. They have great ideas, sometimes they just aren’t articulated all that well.

1 comment:

Mr. Hatten said...

Good analysis, but I want you to look at a few more articles -- even if just as a comparison (you don't need to be so in-depth with them, just mention them). Also, if an article has no quotes it has virtually no journalistic value whatsoever. You point out that quotes would make a story stronger, but in reality quotes MAKE the story. Keep that in mind when you read a non-quote story.