Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Journalism article search, respond, and post assignment

Given that we only received 9 Boston Heralds today, I have created an alternative assignment that will be worth two quiz grades (as we did not have a Current Events Quiz last week due to the way the schedule played itself out). It is due by 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, 2007. As a reminder, Current Events Quizzes and in-class assignments are worth 25% of your grade. Your grade for this assignment will be based on successful completion of the requirements and the quality and depth-of-thought contained in your written responses.

Your task is sixfold:

First, visit any of the media links contained on the journalism blog ( and read a news, sports, business, feature, or editorial article of your choice.

Second, make note of which type of lead the reporter chose for the story. Consult previous handouts from class or the “Thinking Through Leads” handout on the journalism blog. Was this lead effective? Why or why not? Your response should be two to three sentences.

Third, provide a concise, two-to three-sentence summary of the article.

Fourth, in one to two sentences, tell us why you picked the article.

Fifth, use html code to create and include a hyperlink to the article in your response. As we will be posting our responses to the journalism blog, this will allow others to easily view your article after reading your comments. Follow the instructions contained in the picture above to create an active link to your article. You want to mimic or copy the format, exchanging http://www.coolcatteacher/ for the URL of your story, and the words Cool Cat Teacher for the name of your article. If you have questions, please let me know.

Sixth, post your response with your html article link to the journalism blog. You’ll want to respond to my assignment posting by making a “comment.” Here’s how to comment:

1) Click the comment link under the post.
2) Copy the text from your Word document and post it into the comment window.
3) When asked to choose an identity, click on “other.”
4) Enter your first name and last initial in the “name” field.
5) Click on “Publish Your Comment.”


Mr. B-G said...

The lead for my article, “Companies mine growth of MP3 homework,” is a mix between immediate identification and anecdotal. I think it’s effective because it shows headphones are ubiquitous with teens and sets the reader up for a false – yet intriguing – conclusion, as rather than listening to music, the students are learning Spanish.

Even though Lindleigh Whetstone and Stepheno Zollos aren’t public figures, the immediate identification was OK, because there was a snippet of narrative that provided a sufficient context to make the reader want to continue reading. That, after all, is the goal of any lead – fight for and capture a reader’s attention.

The article is about the rise in usage of MP3 players for academic purposes. The article explains how more and more teens are using their MP3 players to listen to audio books and textbook study guides. The article cited a study that said half of all teens owned a portable MP3 player in 2006. Educational companies are trying to capitalize on that statistic, and innovative teachers are finding new ways to engage their students.

I picked the article because I’m a teacher who is interested in the latest advances in technology, and how they can influence my instruction. I picked my article from the Boston Globe because I am familiar with it, and I enjoy its articles.

MP3 Homework

Caitlin K. said...

I did not think that the lead used was as effective as it could have potentially been. The method used in the lead was summary. The first line gave a very detailed synopsis of what the astronaut was arrested for and why.
The article analyzes whether or not Lisa Nowak was tested thoroughly enough for insanity before she was allowed to be on a shuttle mission. Many people associated with the nation’s space program have emerged in news reports suggesting that psychological testing should be updated to ensure the safety of the lives of others on the mission. There have been many instances were astronauts on the same shuttle did not get along well with each other and this has caused problems in the past. Many people are also suggesting that astronauts are continually analyzed after their mission.
I picked the article because I have been hearing a lot about the case and about Nowak and I wanted to learn more about the situation and what caused her to do what she did.

Mr. B-G said...

Thanks for the post Caitlin. I read that story too. It was pretty amazing.

Apparently you did not have luck posting the hyperlink? That's OK. It took me a few tries to get it right.

I can show you how to do that if you'd like. For others who have trouble with the hyperlink, I suppose you could just include the URL. That way, people could copy and paste the URL into the browser window and still be able to read the article - although the hyperlink is more efficient, and, well, cooler.

Now, if only Incarnadine was as diligent as you are when it comes to homework!

Jackie C. said...

The type of lead that the reporter used to introduce the article was a summary lead, and the lead was effective because the story grabbed the attention of the reader by discussing the main events that occurred, which was a woman giving her son a weapon to take revenge against his opponent.

The following article discusses how Vanessa Johnson gave her seventeen year old son Clarence Johnson a gun to kill his enemy in an act of revenge after the two fought a couple days before. The incident occurred in New Orleans, a location that is still suffering after Hurricane Katrina from 2005. The article also discusses how crime has taken a toll in New Orleans.
I picked this article because the lead and the title of the story was intriguing, and therefore made me interested as to why a mother would help her son commit murder against another young adult.

Mother helps son kill friend

Blaney H. said...

The lead for my article, “After much media coverage, even on the national level, her flags can now stay. But there's a catch,” is a lead with flair and it breaks the mold. Its not the typical who, what, when, where, why, how, lead, and its not a summary.

I think it’s effective because it catches the reader’s attention and makes them want to know more. The fact that the lead ends with “But there’s a catch,” is very intriguing because it leaves the reader wondering.

The article is about a mother who was being told that she had to remove flags that fly in honor of her son. Her condo association said that her flags had to go because they violated the “common area” laws. She was told that she’d either have to take them down or pay $25 a day. This mother got so much recognition and media involved that she was able to keep her flags up without being charged.

I picked this article because I thought that it was unbelievable that this would even happen. Its sad to think that people would make someone take their flags down all because it violated some stupid rule. We live in America where it’s a free country, and if someone wants to have flags out honoring and supporting someone or something then they should be able to do so.

Honoring the Flag

Abbie M. said...

I would say the type of lead the reporter of this article used was a summary. Right away it stated what the main focus of the article was. I think this was a good lead because some leads can be rather confusing and you start off reading the article confused.

This article was about how the FDA has made the decision to sell a non RX version of diet pills over the counter. These pills are said to increase your weight by 50% and go for about 50 dollars per bottle (each bottle contains 90 pills)

The reason I chose this article was because i found it interesting that diet pills were being sold over the counter. I always thought that selling diet pills was a huge issue because they weren't good for your body and so forth and so on. Also, as I read on it stated that the pills being sold were a non RX version which I found to be strange but interesting.

FDA approves diet pills

Erin M said...

The lead for this article “Sympathy Plea Made for Bomb Scare Pair” was Friends and supporters of the two Boston men charged last week in the marketing scheme gone wrong are trying to marshal public sympathy as Attorney General Martha Coakley considers a way to resolve their cases. I think that this lead is effective in sense that it give good background of what is going to then discuss the main points that the article is trying to target. This lead also answers the questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how which again makes the lead very effective.

The two men who were charged last week for a bomb scare while filming a commercial. The two men who placed a phony a device to cause a scare, pleaded not guilty to the cruel crime. If these men are convicted they can face up to five years in prison and 6 months for disorderly conduct. A website was made for these two men, and supports are asking for these men to be given a sympathy plea so these men don’t go to prison because they do not believe that they should go to prison for making their commercial.

I picked this article because as many know, our school has had some problems with bomb scares, and I found it very interesting that were not the only people with this problem, whether it was an accident or not the real world has problems just like we do in high School. This article came from the Boston Globe and we read that news paper on a regular basis.

Bomb Scare

KatieB said...

Katie Boudreau
G Block

Journalism Article Search

The lead for my article, “Real-World Studies Proposed at Harvard,” is a little bit of a delayed identification and summary type of lead. I believe that the article is effective and interesting by captivating the largest audience right now, college students. It discusses different options possible in college education and how it can be beneficial to step out of the box now and then.

The lead doesn’t identify who the article is about, by name, but more of a generalization such as undergraduates. The lead also describes the views of Harvard and what they plan to do with their future plans for courses.

The article basically describes that Harvard, a very prestigious and strict school that has a set view in curriculum is considering to step out of the “core system” that they presently have, and to make students take classes that they might not have considered taking before, making students more active. It appears that the goal of Harvard is to make education and learning in general more hands on and friendly, allowing students to ask questions more, study different genres of topics, or experiment with different aspects of society.

I picked this article, because one, I’ve always loved Harvard, and two the idea of taking classes that can benefit you in different areas was intriguing. In fact, this past week we’ve been choosing courses for the next school year, so I felt connected to the article, especially when I’ll be applying to colleges soon. Hearing about future course plans interests me, for I may find myself going to a college with similar views to Harvard, wanting students to try new things, and step out of the box.

Real World Studies at Harvard

mandy t. said...

Journalism article search, respond, and post assignment

Step 2:

I think the lead of the article, “Family’s troubled past emerges: Parents plead not guilty in overdose death of 4-year-old girl” by: Jessica Van Sack from Wednesday, February 7, 2007, was very effective. It brought you almost straight to what the story was all about, but it did it in and interesting why by having its only little spin on the wording.

Step 3:

The article talks about how Carolyn and Michael J. Riley pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges for killing their 4-year-old daughter Rebecca. The article also goes into detail about how Rebecca died and how many believe that the death of this innocent little girl should fall back on to the shoulders of her parents.

Step 4:

I choose this article because I couldn’t believe the story behind the article. How parents could just stand aside and watch their 4-year-old little girl die and not do a single thing to help her, but to just push her to the side and walk away from her.

Rebecca Riley was only 4

HeatherG said...

Journalism Article search
Heather Gorton

The lead for my article, “From Pho to fast food: an Immigrants tale,” is a mix between an anecdotal lead and a delayed identification lead. I believe it’s effective because it plays off of a typical movie title (i.e.: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead man’s chest or, His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass) as well as including the word “Pho” which caught my attention because it is not a word I am familiar with.
This article was a piece on a memoir written by Bich Minh Nguyen called, Stealing Buddah’s Dinner. It briefly gave Nguyen’s background as an immigrant from Saigon in the late 70’s and then explained why her book has such an unusual title. When Nguyen’s family settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she was in for some culture shock, particularly when it came to food. Her memoir tells of her attempts to fit into American culture and the awe she had of junk food.
When I saw this article’s lead, what struck me was the word “pho” and its relation to “fast food.” The fact that these words are being equated with each other, one of these words being very familiar, and the other being foreign to me, caught my attention. Another reason I chose to read this article was the phrase, “an immigration tale.” For some reason this phrase brought to mind the movie title “A Knight’s tale,” and caught my attention.

From Photofastfood

Alex T. said...

The lead for the article, "Logging Accident Injures One" was written in the Delayed Identification form for writing leads. It did not immediately give the name of the person effected, but it did grab the interest of the reader by saying that they were injured. I think that it was fairly effective because it made the reader want to know if the person ended up being ok.

The article informed about a man by the name of Kevin Blaine, a lumberkack from the Blechertown area. Blaine was about a mile into the woods off of Michael Sears road cutting down trees on Wednesday. He ended up being pinned underneath a tree and used his cell phone to call his wife for help. Blaine was resuced by a Life-Flight helicopter and was flown to Baystate Medical Center. He had surgery for the leg injuries that he suffered.

I picked this article because I thought it was interesting. When I read the word lumberjack and realized that the accident took place in our area, I realized that I never really associated lumberjacks with anything other than the mountains. Also, it made the reader interested to see if the man was alright.

Lumberjack Gets Pinned

cortneyf said...


The lead of the article I chose was, “An overachiever who graduated Swampscott High School bound for the Naval Academy, Jennifer Harris signed up for the most grueling program available: She wanted to be a Marine, according to the town’s veteran agent.” The lead is an immediate identification because it focuses on Jennifer Harris and her importance as to why she is currently in the news. I felt that this lead although, the beginning sentence to be rather dull, was actually quite catchy. The use of the term “most grueling program available” was in its own way attention grabbing to the reader.
The article summarizes the death of Ms. Harris and the reasoning or causes of her killing that happened yesterday. She was twenty-seven years old and was currently serving time in the marines where she killed in a helicopter crash. It is still unsure as to whom or what caused her air craft to crash, but there are sources that say it could have been a mechanical problem, while Iraqi officials claimed that an insurgent anti-aircraft missile struck the helicopter.
I chose this article because of my own personal connection with Iraq and the war that is occurring. Whenever there is news about the war in Iraq, I ensure that I read about it. When I saw the title about a young girl who died in a helicopter crash in Iraq, it caught my eye as something that I should read. I like to keep myself up-to-date with what is taking place over there, as I feel that I am more connected and aware with those that are serving our country. Although it is sad to hear about such tragic events as this, it’s also reassuring to know that there are those over there serving and defending our country, and we should do our part in supporting them.

Jon W said...

Jon Wilhelm
G Block

Journalism article search, respond, and post assignment

Scientists find new hope for diabetes

The type of lead used for this article was immediate identification. The lead was “Scientists announced yesterday the discovery of important genetic clues to diabetes, opening a new chapter in the study of the fast-growing disease.” This lead was effectively used in the article because it right off-the-bat stated that scientists have made a huge new discovery which is very interesting and grabs the readers attention.

Article summary: Scientific research teams in France, Britain, and Canada undertook the first large-scale study of type 2 diabetes in which they scanned large amounts of DNA from large amounts of people with diabetes to find links between their genes that could point to the cause of diabetes. This study had very solid statistical results which show many commonalities between a few genes which may be able to be treated to cure diabetes.

I picked this article because I find science and scientific discoveries in particular very interesting. I think it is amazing that although diabetes is a relatively recently discovered disease, doctors already seem to be close to a cure, which is very important and should be written about.