Monday, September 8, 2008

Blog #3: Front Page News from the Baltimore Sun

One newsworthy story in The Sun is "4 alarm blaze damages historic shopping center". At around 9 am today, a fire was reported at one end of the Edmondson Village Shopping Center in West Baltimore. This shopping center was considered a historic one to Baltimore, "the Harborplace of its day" as one historian noted. In addition, BG&E had to cut power to the area so that crews could fight the fire safely, leaving 3,600 BG&E customers without power resulting in one school closure and traffic lights around the area being out. Thus making this story newsworthy due to its traditional news values of prominence, human interest, proximity, unusualness, and conflict. Prominence, meaning "well known-ness" because this shopping center was a very well known and historic part of Baltimore. Human interest, meaning emotional ties because many Baltimore residents had fond memories of the shopping center and business owners had set up shop there for many years. One hair stylist was about to mark the 24th anniversary of her shop today. Next, it has proximity, how close, because this shopping center is right in Baltimore, where many sun readers are located. Unusualness, out of the ordinary, because its definitely not everyday that a fire burns down a shopping center. Finally, the conflict of people vs. nature comes into play since the fire caused many residents and people driving near the fire area to be without power and traffic lights.

Another newsworthy story on the front page of The Sun is about the most recent slot coverage "Columbia Democrats to hold forum on slots". This story is newsworthy because in November Maryland residents will vote on whether or not slots to allow slot machine in their state, displaying the traditional news value of timeliness. As well this story is part of The Sun's ongoing coverage on slots which is currency, a direct tie to stories already in the news. Also, the news value of impact, specifically potential meaning things that happen as a consequence of an event, if Maryland vote in favor of slots, slot machines will become legal.

The third story is "Bay Bridge repairs complete". First and foremost, this story is newsworthy due to its impact on the Sun's audience. Since August 26th, round the clock lane inspects occurred to repair corrosion found in the bolts that anchor concrete barriers to the deck of the bridge, closing down the eastbound lane. This impacted not only the many commuters who use the bridge but especially Eastern Shore residents who were sometimes stuck on the bridge for an hour and a half! Timeliness also makes this story newsworthy since it was just announced today that lane closing will only be from 10 pm to 5am instead of round the clock, a relief for many Bay Bridge commuters. Also, the traditional news value of currency makes this story newsworthy since this story ties into the previous story of ordered emergency repairs on the bridge.

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