Journalism Performance Final

20 Article Challenge

Article Numero Uno


Abortion rates have dropped to as low as they were in 1973, but pro-life groups can not be credited with this success. In fact, no one is certain of what has caused this decline. It could be because of new Affordable Care Act, or it could be the fact that not as many people are getting pregnant. While contraceptives and right to life activist could be to thanked for this decrease in abortion, stricter state laws and the decline in the number of unplanned pregnancies are likely that cause.

The objective of this article was to discuss declining abortion rates and the probable causes of the drop. The intended audience includes pro-life activists, normal everyday people, as well as supporters/non supporters of the health care bill.

I agree with the author's objective in this article. The author remained unbiased in the case and stated pure facts. If the author had stated their opinion on why abortion rates have dropped, it would have clouded the topic, leaving the reader unsure of what is really going on.

I actually would not have changed anything about this article. The article presented the facts in a serious yet witty manner, making it interesting to read.

This piece would fit into our News section. This is national news concerning a topic many feel passionately about.

Article Numero Dos

Summary: In many states, it is becoming legal for patients to be aided by their doctors to have a quicker and painless death on their own time. These states include New Mexico, Montana, Vermont, Washington, and Oregon, but for patients in other states this practice is illegal. For Robert Mitton of Denver, a man whose heart is failing, this seems on fair. Like many, he believes patients should be allowed to die without pain when they want, but others view 'assisted suicide' as morally wrong as well against Christianity.

The author's objective is to explain to people what 'dying with dignity' is. His intended audience includes people who may want to know more about the topic as well as those who still have a wavering opinion regarding the case.

I agree with the authors argument. People who are facing imminent death should be allowed to die on their own terms. They should have the right to die with grace and dignity and not have their life taken slowly for the ones they love to see.

Stylistically, I would have liked more facts about 'dying with dignity' and what it entails. For example, if anyone can do it or if they must be terminally ill. Hopefully there are terms and conditions, or else this would be considered assisted suicide.

This piece would be placed in the features section. It is a piece about a man who would like to die when he feels he is ready and contains background about the bill they are fighting for.

Numero Tres


The University of Missouri's (Mizzou) Michael Sam announced that he was gay. Sam could be the first openly gay man, if he is drafted in May. Growing up in Texas, Sam was unsure of his sexual orientation and wanted to wait to come out until he was sure. His coach and his team mates have known since August.

The objective of this piece was to discuss Micheal Sam and challenges he may face when it comes to the NFL draft. The intended audience would be football fans, specifically Missouri fans.

The author did a good job at keeping his point of view out of the piece. I agree that he may have a hard time in the NFL, but I also think it is good that he came out before that.

I would have liked the beginning of the piece to have more information about Sam growing up and what his life was like. It would have added to the piece and explained why he choose to come out now.

This would probably go in the sports section of our newspaper, because it is a spotlight on football player Michael Sam.

Article Numero Cuatro

Summary: At Harwinton Consolidated School, there will be no treats attached to Valentines Day Cards. The school has banned Valentines Day candy and treats in an attempt to encourage children to eat healthier. Many teachers even canceled the parties much to the dismay of parents and the heart break of students. In lieu of candy, the school suggested pencils and stickers. No cute conversational hearts for these boys and girls this year.

First of all, I adored this piece. It was witty yet straight forward. The objective of this article was to tell people what is going on at one school in Connecticut specifically, but also says that they are not the only ones. The piece is mocking the principal and the staff members for going along with such a horrible way to encourage healthy choices.

I agree whole-heatedly with the authors argument. Kids are kids! They should have holiday parties and eat sweets on valentines day. If you like a girl, a pencil is not going to win her over, candy is! (Trust me! That's how I am won over)

I love who this article is written. It is both opinion based and fact based. The author states his opinion then uses quotes from the parents to back up his claim.

This piece belongs in the OPED section of our newspaper. It is an opinion based article.

Article Numero Cinco

Summary: In San Francisco, Girl Scouts will be selling cookies for $5 a box, a dollar more than Girl Scouts in other parts of the US. Because the cost of everything, including baker's fees, are rising, the Girl Scouts had to find a way to make profit. These price increases however have paid off for the Girl Scouts. The extra money they are making goes towards planting trees around local areas and providing financial assistance for those who can not pay their dues.

The article is encouraging people to continue buying the cookies even though the price increased. The audience includes people who live in San Francisco.

I agree with the author. Girl Scouts do good for the community, so people should continue to support them.

I would have added more info about what the extra money will do for the community as a whole.

This article would belong in the features section of our newspaper. It is factual and could concern many people in the future.

Article Six

A women, who suffered from frequent nosebleeds and heavy periods, was diagnosed with an immune deficiency CVID, but so was her brother. Her brother who is a physician was the person who called the doctors and mentioned this to them. The disease is not genetic, so researchers are fascinated that the brother and sister both have the disease.

The author wrote this piece to talk about the disease and to also share an odd diagnosis of it. His intended audience is anyone who is interested in health topics as well as everyday readers.

The author really did not present a point of view. She just stated the facts.

The author broke the story up into sections, which broke the flow of the piece. I kept feeling like I was being interrupted.

This would fit into the features section of our paper. It is not a news story, but it is not OPED.

Article Seven

An outbreak of a polio like virus in California has been reported in 20 children. These children had all been vaccinated with the polio vaccine which causes researchers to believe this is not polio. This outbreak is located in California and because the cases are spread out, they do not think it will become a national epidemic.

The intended audience includes parents of children and people in California. The purpose was to inform of the disease and the symptoms.

The author did not have a point of view.

The story was set up nicely. The author both warned and in a way comforted her audience by letting them know the symptoms and telling them this will not spread past California. I would not change anything.

This story belongs in the News section because it is national news.

Article Eight

Black History Month is celebrated every February. Many believe we no longer need it. People think that it should be incorporated into American History instead of just being taught one month.

This article is center toward African Americans and those who enjoy Black History Month.

The author thinks it should be incorporated into American History, as do I.

I would have added a poll to the end of the piece. No other changes.

This story belongs in features because it is discussing a possible new change.

Article Nine

Delta has changed they way people earn miles. Frequent fliers will now earn miles based on how much they pay for a ticket rather than how often they fly. They are the first major airline to make this change. Frequent fliers who enjoy a deal on their ticket are not too happy, but those who splurge on business class love the change.

The intended audience would include Delta Frequent Fliers and those who were considering the loyalty program.

The author presented more facts against the new program so I'm guess he's not a fan. I am not either considering I am a frequent flier and never pay for business class.

More facts about the new program. The lack of them left me with questions regarding the program.

I think this would belong in news because it is national and people need to know about it.

Article 10

This piece is about a young women who confesses she is an eavesdropper. She has done it since she was young and learned it from her mother. Her mother used to sit at restaurants and listen to other people's conversation. She does this all the time and claims it is her guilty pleasure, but she does not see too much harm in it.

The intended audience is everyone. The piece is witty and great for people to read.

The author feels bad about eavesdropping sometimes, but she feels she is not harming anyone so most of the time its okay. I agree. It's okay as long as you don't interrupt.

I loved how she made interjections of times she eavesdropped and what she heard. It made me feel like I was talking to her.

This would most definitely belong in OPED. It is a purely opinion based piece.

Article 11 (Longform)

The author tells a story about his first trip to Disney in 1971. He walked in to the park telling himself he would keep a good attitude. His wife however did not. She found everything annoying from the over-priced goods to the overly-happy teenagers who work there. Her attitude really started to wear off on him, and he found himself becoming annoyed with Disney too. One day he went into the park early, by himself, and realized he could have fun without her poor attitude. So he kept enjoying himself, and even smiling at everyone who smiled his way.

This piece a good piece for anyone who loves Disney.

The author's point is you should not let anyone's negativity affect you.

I loved this piece. I loved the story because I am a huge fan of Disney. I would change nothing.

This belongs in the OPED section of our paper.

Article 12

Fred Phelps, the founder of Westboro passed away at the age of 84 on March 19th. Because of his death, people are now wondering what will happen to the church. The Westboro church has protested at countless funerals of soldiers and funerals of same sex couples. Many hope that the followers of the church will find 'true religion' meaning they will stop the protest and learn what it means to be a Christian. But his daughter has taken over as spokeswoman for the "cult" and is keeping her father's views and ways. Many still think that his death will be the end of the church, made up of only a few dozen followers.

This article is intended for everyone! Many Americans were outraged over their protests, so this article is for them.

The author of this piece is expressing views of people who believe the church will fall because of Fred Phelps' death so I think he's thinking it will come to an end as well.

I liked the use of quotes and statistics. It stated the author's view without him directly saying it.

This would belong in News. It is national news and people need to hear about it. This group hurt a lot of people.

Article 13

In this piece, the author tells about the time her friend was visited by the former residents of her home in Palestine. She believes that the reason that the fig tree in the backyard stopped growing was because it misses the old owners. One day while in the shower, she was greeted by a 'figure' who claimed they once lived her. She welcome the ghostly figures and even had tea with them. When the author asks her friend why she invites them back she said that it was because it was the one way she could compensate them for what happened to them. They were forced out of their home into refugee camps. This is the one way she could apologize.

This piece is intended for anyone who enjoys a read about supernatural experiences. Or people who like an easy read on Sunday morning.

The author is expressing her views on how painful it is to be a refugee since she grew up as one her whole life.

I loved the anecdote about the ghosts, it made her view come to life and seem tangible.

This belongs in the OPED section of our newspaper. It clearly states the author's point. That is the whole reason she wrote the piece.

Article 14

Why is the search for flight MH370 taking so long? This past weekend debris was discovered in the Indian Ocean, but that is the closet they have gotten to finding this plane. They Malaysian government, however, caused many of the delays. It took them days to send out data and weeks to get calculations. They claim that is just how long it takes because they had to get things cleared. If the government would have reacted faster, could the plane have been found?

This piece is intended for those who have been following the search for flight MH370.

The author wonders if the government would have worked faster if the plane would have been found already.

I actually got a little bored in this piece. There could have been more quotes from sources, it was straight facts.

This is a News piece. It is national news, not local.

Article 15

Oh nostalgia. This piece discusses what nostalgia is good for. Nostalgia can make a person feel sad, or lonely, or happy. It can make them remember why they love to do something. It counteracts loneliness. But it can also make people hurt. It can make them cry; nostalgia can open up old wounds. Nostalgia is good for remember the good and trying to move on from the bad.

This piece is intended for people who like psychology or anyone who has in interest in nostalgia or how our minds work.

The author talks about why nostalgia is good. They do not really state a view. Just facts.

The author present facts and counter arguments. I would have looked a few more anecdotes however.

This would belong in features. It tells about nostalgia without presenting an opinion.

Article 16 (Longform)

Airlines treat first class passengers like royalty. The author shares his experience of flying first class and the reasons why airlines have upped their game. They are trying to be the number one airline that business men and frequent flyers choose. In the piece, he tells of the architecture and the inspiration behind the flatbeds and the suites in planes: train cars. He discusses the luxuaries from private suites with showers to your own personal 'cocoon'.

This piece is intended for people who fly often and might want to consider first class.

The author loved his first class flatbed seat; he said he has never slept for hours on a plane before.

This piece was too lengthy.... Some of the facts were unnecessary.

This piece would belong in Features or OPED since he does state an opinion.

Article 17 (Longform)

Wow... this article actually stunned me. In this article, the author discusses a recent scientific theory: the use of a hypothermia induced coma to keep someone alive. The theory is that by putting a person into a "big-sleep" caused by freezing them, surgeons could save their lives because there would be no blood loss and a lesser chance of the patient becoming unresponsive and unable to be saved. After all the work is done, the surgeons would pump warm blood back into the body to revive the person. Human hibernation they call it. But this comes with risks. The human body is designed to fight hypothermia and many times will use all of the energy it has left to save itself, which often leads to the person's death. Medical clinics across the country are testing this theory, trying to perfect it so that maybe one day hypothermia could save us.

This piece is intended for anyone who is interested in medical science and the advancements they are making. This could be a break through.

The author does express concerns about this new discovery such as the slow recitation of the heart from recovering from hypothermia, but for the most part the author just informs.

In this piece, the author including evidence of this new treatment working and also offers counters about what could go wrong.

Honestly, I have no clue where this would belong. It is a medical journal, so maybe features, but this could be huge and is very new so maybe News. Most likely this would belong in the Features section of our paper.

Article 18 (Longform)

This was sweet. This piece illustrated the struggles of a young couple who are struggling with Autism. The couple, Jack and Kristen, talk about their relationship and how hard it can be to cope with Autism and still try to be all lovey dovey. They discuss the times that almost broke them and the times that brought them closer together. They talk about how confusing love is to anyone, but how difficult it is with Autism.

This piece is good for anyone who likes a sweet love story and for those who may have Autism and are wondering how this affects relationships.

The author is unbiased in the piece. They present no opinion, they just tell the story.

I would have tried to make it a little less staccato; it didn't flow and jumped around a lot. There were times when I had no clue how they transitioned.

This would belong in the Features section of the Roar. It tells a story about two young people struggling with love and Autism.

Article 19 (Longform)

This article made me feel sick. I understand that drastic times call for drastic measures, but they should not be able to play God. Doctors at Memorial Medical Center decided which patients would be evacuated from the hospital the day Katrina hit, and which ones would be left to die. In some cases, they hastened up the death process. The staff decided who deserved to be airlifted and did so by relying on DNR or do not resuscitate orders. They injected people to kill them.

This piece is intended for everyone. This could effect so many people.

The author just reports the story and does not show an opinion.

I would not change anything about the story. The transitions were smooth and the piece was overall very chilling.

This would belong in the News section of our paper even though it is rather old.

Article 20 (Last One!),0,523310.story

Freshman year is the key to graduation. A high school in Chicago began pinpointing students who were at risk of dropping out before they fell too far behind. They offer them tutoring and extra help freshman year to help keep them on track to graduate; it's working. They have determined that if students are successful freshman year, then they are 90% more likely to graduate. Staying on track freshman year makes students more likely to graduate.

High School freshman or rising 9th graders should read this piece as well as their parents.

There is not point of view presented, but because of how positive the article is about the graduation rates I would say they are happy about this.

I really liked the use of colons to introduce a topic. Very clever.

This would belong in the Feature section of the Roar.