What Works : Husband of MH370 passenger wants answers


I clicked on this headline because I have been following the missing flight. The story has obviously a huge emotional appeal with the amount of missing people. I clicked on the headline because I wanted to hear what the husband of a missing passenger has to say about the whole situation.

There are several things that makes this story news worthy. First there is impact, emotionally. This is a story packed with emotion. Hundreds of people are missing with no leads as to where they are. Secondly, this story is timely. The search for the jet is still happening, and it is still being covered in the news. Thirdly, there is a part of the story that illustrates an oddity. Usually planes that go down are found pretty soon after. This plane just disappeared and has still not been found.

A hard news lead is used in this video. There is not much lead-in to the video, and it goes right into the actual interview with the victim’s husband. I think a hard lead was necessary in this case. The story is not a light and fluffy one, and a narrative would be inappropriate. The interview was the most important part and the news anchor needed to get right into it.

The story provides some great emotional detail. The difficult thing about the missing jet story is that there are not too many facts. There is not enough hard information to put into the story. The interview was mainly full of emotions, and questions from a victim’s family. The biggest takeaway was when the husband pleaded with the media to keep the story alive. He asked to keep the story in people’s minds, so that the search can still go on.

There was only one source interviewed for this story, the victim’s husband. I think this was an effective choice. By choosing only one interview subject, it was easier to emotionally connect to the audience, as well as giving the jet story depth.

The whole video was the actual interview with the news anchor. But photos of the victim were shown. For emotional appeal, perhaps the story could have used family photos, as well as commentary from other people that knew her.


What Works : You Belong With Me; Taylor Swift Profile

I clicked on this headline because of who the profile was about. I’m a Taylor Swift fan and of course I would like to read about her life. I also though it was clever that they used a title of one of her hit songs, also as the title of the profile.

The profile was a huge hit I’m sure. First, it is timely. Although she came into the spotlight in 2006, Taylor Swift is still wildly popular among many demographics. It is natural that many people would want to read this story. Secondly there is the aspect of prominence. Taylor Swift is a huge star in both the pop and country world. Every one knows who she is and many people like to follow what’s going on in her life. Thirdly, there is somewhat of an oddity to the story. She broke through new ground and found a new demographic that enjoyed country music. She created a new market.

The author uses a narrative lead to capture the story. The profile starts off with Swift in the car, on the way to a Gala. This was a great option for a profile. Since the piece is so personal, and all about Swift, the author had to pull the reader in by speaking about a day in the life of Taylor. Also, the quotes the author uses are very personal and come from the heart, pulling the reader in.

The nut graph is the fourth paragraph in. The author speaks about how Swift is the typical girl next door. While the star was headlining her own tours, her proudest accomplishment was getting her CD to be sold in a Starbucks coffee. These facts show how the star really is full of opposites, almost always being in the middle of two characteristics. She’s sexy, but not too sexy, girlish, but not too girlish. The whole point of the profile is how Swift really created something new.

I think the biggest takeaway from the story was when the author described Swift as providing background music for slumber parties and Forever 21. Typically, many young girls, at least across the country, did not typically listen to country music. This detail shows how Taylor Swift changed the country music scene.

The profile does not use too many different sources. Swift is a huge source, giving various quotes and providing a lot of intimate detail to the piece. Another source used was a quote from the Washington Post calling swift “poet laureate of puberty.” This shows how relatable the star actually is. The last source is Forbes magazine, telling how much Swift has made.

I think a video interview would be great for this. Swift is known to be awkward and quirky and seeing it live would really bring the profile to life.

What Works : Detection of Waves in Space Buttresses Landmark Theory of Big Bang

Once again, Twitter has been a great platform for finding articles like this, by the New York Times.  The tweet read, “Detection of Waves in Space Buttresses Landmark Theory of Big Bang.”  Science always seems to be an interesting topic for readers, as they like to think about the unknown.  I clicked on the article immediately, instantly drawn in by the mention of the big bang theory, one that most children learn in middle school.  The article did take a bit of concentration to understand, since there is a great deal of scientific information, but with the addition of some cheat sheets, it was quite an interesting read.

This article is of course very timely.  The radio astronomers said that they saw the beginning of the big bang on Monday, March 17th.  It also certainly has impact, maybe not on everybody, but for the scientific community, this is a huge discovery.  This story also had an oddity factor to it.  It is not every day that a discovery like this is made.

This story uses a narrative lead.  It opens in 1979, talking about how Dr. Guth started his theory.  It progresses on to speak about the new information that has been found out about the big bang.  This is definitely a great way to ease into the hard news in this story.  Dr. Guth has been working on this for decades, and his work has hypothesis has finally been able to seem correct.

The fifth paragraph down is the nut graph of this story.  While it is a rather short paragraph it tells exactly what the news in this article is; that Dr. Guth’s hypothesis is indeed plausible.  The rest of the article then goes on to expand on how this hypothesis is right.

This story absolutely provides enough detail.  There are so many comments from scientists from all over, as well as a huge amount of scientific facts.  The article goes into great detail to explain to the reader what this finding means in general, as well as what it means to the scientific community.  I think the most astounding part of the story was, “Dr. Kovac said the chance that the results were a fluke was only one in 3.5 million — a gold standard of discovery called five-sigma.”  It really proves to the reader that indeed this hypothesis is right and this is a huge find.

This article had a vast number of sources.  They talked to Dr. Guth of course, as well as countless scientists of all kinds from various universities, such as John Hopkins, University of Chicago, Stanford and many more.  These scientists were also both team and non-team members on the project.

The story used a great graphic showing the different theories of inflation.  This was amazingly helpful to the reader.  This article is very heavy in scientific facts so having this information really breaks it down and makes the article more understandable.  I think if you needed to add another source of media to this article a soundbite would be good.  Having Dr. Guth talk about such a huge part of his life would be beneficial for the reader.

What Works : Andover autistic boy gets global birthday wishes

Recently, I have been finding many what works articles via, Twitter, which is where I again found this one.  The headline really grabbed me.  Being from Massachusetts, I liked to still keep up with local events.  Andover is a city down the road from me, so seeing it in a global perspective definitely interested me.  The headline made it seem like it would be a feel good story, and I really wanted to read it and see what it was all about.

There are a couple factors that make this story newsworthy.  For myself, proximity was one, as I live so close to the town and it is near where I grew up.  For being in a Boston newspaper, this story absolutely had proximity.  It also has impact for a great number of people.  There are many families that have children with disabilities.  For these people, this story definitely has impact, and will make them feel good about their situation.  Finally, this story is a bit of an oddity.  It is not every day you read a story like this.  It’s not an everyday thing for people all over the world to send a little kid birthday presents.

I’d say that this story has a narrative lead.  Although it starts with a sentence, the author goes on to expand on this sentence.  The first paragraph also does not really convey the message of the story, and we get to this further down.  By using a narrative lead, the author is able to slowly get into detail about just how much of a birthday fanfare this boy received.

I would say that the nut graph of this story is the fourth paragraph down.  Although a short paragraph, this really shows what the story is going to be about.  It describes how soon, the family started to receive gifts from not just the local community, but all over the world.  By saying this, the author is able to expand on this and go into detail about what the boy was receiving and where from.

I think the story is great because of the detail, which there is certainly enough of.  The whole second half of the story is based on the gifts and acts of kindness that the little boy got.  I think the last paragraph, and the quote,‘‘The fact that this many people that we’ve never met before would take the time, and the energy, and the money for postage, and send a kid they don’t know — in some cases across the world — a card for his birthday, to me, that’s inspiring,’’ James Pearson said. ‘‘It just amazes me that people will do that,” is the best takeaway of the story.  It really hits the reader hard.  This quote shows how much these acts of kindness meant to the family, as well as how much of an impact this created for them.  It gives the reader a sense of happiness.

This story provided a few different sources.  The first were the parents of the boy.  This provided an inside source, and they were able to express the feelings of the entire family.  Their mailman was also interviewed.  I think this was a really smart choice of a source to use.  He provided the impact of the story.  ‘‘After the first day, I was getting handfuls of cards,’’ O’Connell said. ‘‘I didn’t know who Logan was at the time and was curious who he was. I started getting envious. I don’t get half these greetings.’’  This was a great quote, and showed how people involved in creating a great birthday for the boy felt.

There was unfortunately no multi media used.  A video would have been a great addition to this story.  If there was a video that panned around and showed all the gifts received, it would have been a really great way to show the impact.  Also, seeing the happiness on the families’ face would have been great.

What Works : Amid the Triumphs, an Argument for Tolerance

This article caught my attention via twitter.  While scrolling through my feed, I saw “The Olympics were a success for Vladimir Putin, but they also exposed a less endearing side of Russia”.  I had seen some photos from the Sochi olympics that were not too pleasant so I decided to click on the article and see how this had changed.  The article ended up being a somewhat personal piece and spoke about how the olympics had turned out great, even though there had been some issues with politics.

The first thing that made this article newsworthy was timeliness.  The closing ceremonies occurred yesterday, so the timing is obviously relevant.  Another thing was impact.  Many people around the country were shocked at Russia’s behavior toward gay rights during the Sochi olympics.  As a free country, this certainly had an impact on many Americans.  Finally the article shows oddity.  There has not been this controversy during the Olympic games in quite some time.  The fact that such a happy event for many athletes was clouded with so much political conflict is shocking.

The story uses a narrative lead.  Instead of jumping into the hard facts regarding politics, the author started with talking about the games closing ceremonies.  They then went on to speak about how well the games had actually gone, and what great facilities had come out if it.  She tells the reader how a old vacation town from Stalin’s era had been turned into a beautiful facility.  The author uses a narrative to make this not such a hard news story.  If she had used a hard lead, she would have needed to jump into the issues with politics and the triumphs would have been over looked.

The small seventh paragraph seems to be the nut graph of this story.  It is only two sentences but this paragraph explains why people may be so reluctant to acknowledge the success of the games.  This is the paragraph that leads from the fluffier information about the games to the cold hard facts about policy.

This story provides a great amount of detail, and it was a very interesting read.  I had only heard bad things about the Sochi olympics before hand.  Yet a quote from an American women’s hockey player showed otherwise.  I think the most memorable quote was, “By living together under one roof in the Olympic Village, you send a powerful message from Sochi to the world, a message of a society of peace, tolerance and respect,” from the president of the games.  This quote is great because it not only illustrates how great the games were, but how they can effect policy.

There was a great variety in sources in this story.  A great deal of information is provided from the president of the games and people in charge.  But, we see that the story is not biased by receiving quotes from actual athletes

I’m not sure you actually need any multi media for this story.  It’s a very descriptive piece and the author got some great quotes from both sides.  The only thing I could think of would possibly be a video with highlights from the olympics, showing how policy affected them.

What Works : Meredith statue incident ‘life-changing’ for witness

This headline really caught my attention while scrolling though news on the Daily Mississippian.  The story about the vandalism is obviously a hot topic at the university right now.  Yet, I have only heard about the story from students perspectives and of course from the university itself.  It seemed very interesting to see how the man who made the discovery felt.

This story illustrates many news values.  Firstly, it has impact.  Race has been a huge issue at Ole Miss for quite some time and people always jump all over the school when a story like this surfaces.  Secondly, it also has proximity, since we’re in Oxford, Mississippi.  It also has timeliness since the first incident occurred on Sunday.  Finally, it shows oddity since it was such a strange, shocking event.

This piece uses a narrative lead.  Since it is a more emotional story, the author used a softer approach.  It has to do with Mr. McMillian’s feelings about the vandalism, so the author starts the story by talking about how the witness’ day started.

The seventh paragraph down is the nutgraph of the story.  Although the paragraphs above tell of what actually happen, these are not the main idea of the story.  The point of this story is to tell the reader about the witness’ feelings.  This seventh paragraph is a quote from the witness about his emotions.  It is in this paragraph that he describes how although he had been prejudiced  growing up and for the majority of his life, he was sickened that someone could do something like this.  This paragraph is what really conveys his emotions and thoughts.

This story provides a huge amount of detail about both the incident and emotions that go along with it.  The first half of the story provides a complete eye witness account about what happened that Sunday morning.  The witness gives great detail and describes the sights and sounds he experienced.  The witness also provides detail about the general consensus of emotions that have risen from this.  The story uses emotionally charged quotes from the witness to show disgust.  “Seeing that sent chills down my back,” he said. “I’m a 64-year-old white man that grew up in rural, backwoods Mississippi. I’ve always been a little prejudiced at times, but this changed my life.  This was a quote that was really striking, as it spoke about a life changing event for this older man.

This story only used two sources, the eye witness and a police chief, who provided little information.  The police chief’s quotes were not really relevant, as this was an emotional piece but the witness’ were what certainly charged the story.

There was no multi media in this story.  I think a video would have been really nice.  I think it would have been very emotional and make the story even more effective.

What Works : “The Creation Museum wants your children”

The title of this story immediately made me want to click on it. For the past couple of weeks, there has been a great deal of buzz about Bill Nye and Ken Ham of the creation museum. With the mention of children in the title, I was interested to see how the reporter was going to talk about the story from the direction of children.

This story is absolutely newsworthy. First of all, it is extremely timely. The debate just occurred this week, but there has been buzz going on for a month. The story also has a sense of oddity. It is not every day you hear about a TV scientist and a creationist museum founder debating each other. Also the idea of children being brought into a debate like this is some what strange.

This story definitely uses a delayed, narrative lead. The author does not even get into the part about the impact on children until the sixth paragraph. The writer pulls you in by first talking about the logistics of the debate. The author talks for a bit about the debaters back and forth, as well as some specific points they make.

The nut graph of the story was the seventh paragraph. Although it is short, this paragraph summarizes the story completely. This paragraph states that the most important thing to the two men was swaying parents. Neither of them wanted to influence current believers as much as they wanted to influence future generations in their decisions.

This story provides a good amount of detail. The author describes most of the main points of the debate. There are a great number of quotes from either side used in the story. I think the best take away from this story is the quote

 “I say that to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe that’s fine,” Nye said in the video, “but don’t have your kids do it because we need them, we need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.” I think this quote really sticks with certain people. It really talks about the future, but also with a sense of urgency and emotion, creating impact for the reader.

There were five people used for sources in the story. There were the two men in the debate, along with some government officials. There were also old court cases mentioned, as well as statistics about the creation museum. The quotes and statistics provide evidence and strengthen the story. Without the statics for both sides, there would not be a sense of impact in the story.

In the story, there are many slide shows embedded in the text. These are nice because the reader can see photos of the debate, as well as the creation museum. It gives the reader a better understanding of what they are reading about. There are also hyperlinks in the story, giving the reader access to more information about the topic.