Blog Post #5: Cycling Injuires on the Rise / Sears Closes 50 Stores

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Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A NPR story titled “As More Adults Pedal, Their Biking Injuries And Deaths Spike, Too” studies the rise in cycling injuries and deaths. Accompanied by an audio clip that features ambient noise, such as cars driving by, the story indicates that older cyclists are more likely to get injured. The audio features samples of Dr. Benjamin Breyer, who states that older people have taken up cycling due to the success of cyclists like Lance Armstrong, and older people are more likely they are to get injured. The use of car noise in the audio itself does give the piece some more life. It makes the listener feel that they themselves are a cyclist on a busy road. I feel there is not much more could have been done to make the audio clips more appealing.

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CNN reports that Sears is accelerate the closing of at least 50 of their locations. Sears cites several reasons for this, including slumping revenues, increased competition, and shopper’s lack of need for winter apparel this season, due to warmer weather. I gave a brief summary of this news over on Soundcloud.

Buffalo Bills Running Back LeSean McCoy Involved in Nightclub Altercation, Arrest Warrants Imminent.

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LeSean McCoy at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY, Sep 13,  2015. (Photo credit: Kevin Hoffman – USA TODAY Sports)

On Sunday February 7, 2015, an altercation at a Philadelphia nightclub involving Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy left two off-duty police officers injured. Arrest warrants are imminent, according to ESPN’s Mark Schwarz.

The situation at the Recess nightclub escalated when one of McCoy’s associates, which included former NFL player Curtis Brinkley, took a bottle of champagne from one of the officers. Darnell Jessie, Roland Butler and Daniel Ayres have been named as the officers involved, according to CSNPhilly.com. CSNPhilly also reports that Butler and Jessie were sent to local hospitals, and were treated for several injuries.

According to CSNPhilly.com, three off-duty officers purchased four bottles of champagne, and Tamarcus Porter, a former teammate of McCoy’s at the University of Pittsburgh, tried to take one of the bottles from Butler. Porter, McCoy, Brinkley, and a fourth man, Christopher Henderson, were involved in attacking the under-cover officers.

ESPN is reporting that one of the off-duty officers was knocked to the ground, resulting in him being “punched, kicked and stomped about his body and head multiple times by all four suspects.” All involved were removed from the club.

Police officials have not officially named anyone as suspects, however ESPN is reporting that “a man familiar with the investigation confirmed to ESPN’s Mark Schwarz and The Associated Press that McCoy” is one of the men under investigation. Police said that the suspects have been “subsequently identified through photographs by complainants and by the security guards.”

TMZ Sports has obtained a video of the incident, in which McCoy can be seen wearing a black shirt and red shorts, and is shown throwing at least one punch into the crowd.

The Buffalo Bills released a brief statement on the incident: “We are aware of the reports regarding LeSean McCoy and in the process of gathering more information. We will not provide any further comment at this time.”

On February 9, Mike Florio of NBC Sports writes for ProFootballTalk that “the delay results from the high-profile nature of the case, and the involvement of police officers.” Florio also writes that this incident could pose a threat to the Bills 2016 season, as McCoy may face discipline from the authorities and/or the league.

McCoy, 27, is a four-time Pro-Bowl selection, and was acquired by the Bills from the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2015 offseason. He signed a five-year contract worth $40 million upon arriving in Buffalo.

 

Blog Post #3: Blog evaluations

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Three of my most visited blogs are all baseball related, as baseball is my main interest. As a baseball fan, and New York Yankees fan, the popular Pinstripe Alley website is perhaps my most visited blog. Written primarily by fans, rather than professional and established journalists, Pinstripe Alley delivers news related to one of baseball’s most historic and famous franchises. A main component of gaining viewers to the blog is their Twitter account, which churns out comical and satiric tweets dozens of times a day, all mostly Yankees related. Pinstripe Alley, run under the model of a large sports site, SB Nation, often incorporates animated gifs and humorous links, a style used by many SB Nation writers. They may not feature hard-hitting, in-depth stories, but the way they cover Yankees-related news, and harken back to historical moments and figures, provides Yankees fans with a comfortable platform. The site relies heavily on user feedback, with many posts receiving dozens, if not hundreds of comments.

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Another blog which I have followed for years is Uni-Watch, which is devoted to sports uniforms, updating viewers daily on news and research on historical oddities relating to athlete’s attire. The site features a constant stream of links, to articles on other sites, and pictures sent in by fans. It is a true fan–friendly blog, featuring raffles and prizes, and constant feedback from the staff. I personally am a fan of the in-depth analysis of baseball uniforms and logos, which attracted me to the site in the first place. Uni-Watch is a perfect mixture of current news and historical findings.

Lastly, I occasionally follow a baseball history blog set up by researcher and freelance journalist Graham Womack. His blog, Baseballpastandpresent.com does not have the name recognition and traffic levels as the other two blog, not does it publish new stories as often, with only about 20 stories over the past year. However, Womack does excellent work when he does publish stories, as they are often well-researched. He tweets far more often than he posts stories, and we have corresponded several times. Womack also works for the SportingNews website, and often posts links to articles from there as well. Almost entirely historically based, I feel that this blog could be a time capsule of baseball history, being able to be read at any point in time, without losing its relevancy.

All three of these blogs appeal to baseball and sports fans, like myself, thanks to their style and sense of community.

Blog Post #1

All local, national or global news outlets cover stories differently. Three major Western-New York news outlets, the Buffalo News, Niagara Falls Reporter and Buffalo Rising, all have different approaches to gathering and reporting the news. The Buffalo News has the biggest reach and largest amount of readers for any newspaper in the area. This allows them to employ a larger writing staff than other regional outlets. I am pleased to see that their website looks and works well, and is free of clutter. I believe they are the best at covering both local and national news, both in print and online. The Reporter, which I’ve read occasionally for years, is printed weekly, while their website is updated daily. Often their stories seem satirical, controversial, or biased. The site itself looks very basic, with limited graphic and flair. I’ve always been unsure of what to make of the Reporter, as it can be very interesting, yet I always feel like it is unreliable. They also seem to focus more on local news than an outlet like the Buffalo News or Niagara Gazette.

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Buffalo Rising is far different than most news outlets, focusing on more obscure, yet interesting and positive stories and profiles concerning Western New York. They highlight what makes Buffalo unique. They focus even more on local news than the Reporter does, and their lack of hard-hitting stories probably prevents them from competing with other media juggernauts. However, I feel that they are capitalizing on using the digital platform, as their stories appeal to a more youthful demographic, who are more likely to obtain their news primarily online.

Turning away from local to national news sources, differences exist here as well. Three examples of this are CNN, The Associated Press, and ABC News. I follow all three on Twitter, along with NBC News and CBS News, and each provide readers with similar, but not entirely unique experiences.

The Associated Press’ main website is very different than the other two outlets in that it does not feature many news stories. Instead, readers must go to bigstory.ap.org to view a list of top stories. I feel that the AP is better suited for a platform like Twitter, as its main site lacks top stories. All three sites feature a feature story, with a large photograph, flanked by other important stories beside or below. CNN displays several videos on their main page, with ABC featuring a column displaying tweets sent out by their Twitter account. The AP’s main page is broken up into categories concerning major news stories.

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All three cover both national and global news, but seem to primarily focus on stories concerning the United States. Both ABC and CNN offer separate sites that focus more on global affairs. A feature that I particularly like about ABC and CNN is that it posts how long ago a particular story was written. Two problems I had with ABC and CNN concerned their use of videos. I felt that ABC’s videos were too large, requiring the reader to scroll more to continue reading a story. CNN utilizes an auto-play feature for their videos, which can be bothersome to a visitor who does not want to watch a video at that time, or at all. ABC News also features a “trending” section, highlighting what people are talking about at a given time.

All three do great jobs of covering news stories, as evidenced by their reputation and scope. ABC and CNN have the benefit of having websites and social media feeds, as well as television channels, to get their news across. The AP relies primarily on supplying other news outlets, where they can be published online or in print. All told, every news outlet has similarities and differences, which allows for people to choose which approach works best for them.

Popular RSS News Story of January 26, 2015

While browsing my RSS news feed, I saw that most news outlets have reported on an event that took place on the morning of January 26, 2015, where three shots were fired at the San Diego Naval Medical Center.

ABC News, MSNBC AND WIVB all covered the main points of the event, with WIVB supplying the least amount of information. ABC News used a different format than the other two, utilizing a timeline based system, that let readers know what information was known at specific times, with more information coming to light from 8:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

MSNBC added an interesting bit of information, confirming that nearby schools were also placed on lockdown. WIVB added in their report that the Center’s website claims it is “the largest and most comprehensive military healthcare system in the Western United States,” though I think the fact that their story was significantly shorter than the others hurts them. All together, I think ABC News did the best job relaying the known information to the public, though MSNBC was also wrote a strong article. I can understand why WIVB’s article was rather lacking, as it involved a recent event taking place far from the Western New York region, that was not a top news story everywhere.