Profile Story – Final Draft

When you walk into the Hindman Hobbs Center at Morningside University any afternoon, chances are high you will meet 18-year-old Paula Geiser from Germany in the gym, preparing for a crucial test coming up in a few days.

The test will evaluate whether her right knee is strong enough to start playing soccer again after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). If she fails, she will have to wait until the end of next semester until she goes back home to Germany the next time and can take the test again.

It was in September 2020 when 18-year-old Paula Geiser from Germany tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during soccer practice.

“It felt like something in my knee was completely broken right away. It was the first time I screamed because of an injury,” Geiser recalls.

After getting surgery about a month later, she had put in a lot of work to learn to walk again and build all the muscles she lost in her right leg back up. And she quickly made progress.

“It went very well, surprisingly well. I was very lucky. After 2-3 months, I could do most of the things I could before, besides playing soccer. Often it doesn’t work that quickly,” Geiser says.

She was just waiting for her knee test appointment in May since at least six months had to pass after the injury before she was allowed to take it.

But things didn’t go as planned. In January, four months after the initial tear, it happened again.

“It hurt the same way it did the first time. In the first moment, you don’t think anything. You just scream. But right after, I thought: No, that can’t be happening. Not after I’ve invested so much these last months,” Geiser remembers.

The doctors tried to do the same surgery they did before, but it turned out that, unlike the first time, there was nothing left from the ACL this time. It was completely destroyed, along with the meniscus, so they had to do a different, more complicated procedure.

“She was working very hard. While she had her final high school exams, she had to do outpatient rehab right after school every day. It took three hours and was on the other side of the town,” Geiser’s mother says.

“Everything takes much longer than the first time because they had to do this other surgery procedure,” Geiser herself notes. “A few weeks ago, for example, I had a very rough phase. I could only run for about five minutes and had to work my back up from that.”

Geiser is glad she can do much more by now. Five to six days a week, she goes down to the stadium to do a 10-kilometer run, coordination exercises, stair runs, jumps, interval runs, and turns. After that, she goes to the gym to build muscle strength, and sometimes she goes for a swim to recover. This routine takes her about three hours.

“She’s one of the most determined and dedicated I’ve seen in the years, and I bet you we’ve had 25+ ACLs here.” says her Coach Tom Maxon. “It’s just so good to see what she is doing. I wish all our players worked as hard as she does. I think that the work that she’s doing will also be a good example for those on the team who maybe allow the drag of practice or the difficulty of the physical work to get to them, and they’ll see somebody else pushing through it, and that might help them,” he continues.

He knows that it takes a lot of hard work, discipline, and patience for players to come back to the field after a severe injury. While he believes the physical part alone is hard enough, he thinks the mental and emotional part is even harder.

“In many cases, the player [comes back] stronger. They are not only physically stronger, but because of the whole deal, they come back especially mentally stronger,” he holds.

December 22 – That’s when Geiser has her new knee test appointment. Therefore, it’s important for her to put all the work in right now. Even though she is feeling confident, it does put her under some pressure since she finally wants to start playing soccer again.

“On the other hand, especially because I have been waiting for so long, I’d rather wait another 2-3 months than tear it up again,” Geiser says.

Geiser’s journey back onto the field has been long and tough. After her first ACL tear, the finish line was already in sight before she suffered yet another setback that put her back to square one. That’s when she had to fight even harder. And now, after over a year of not being able to play soccer, everything she has done is finally about to pay off.

Paula Geiser during a soccer match before tearing her ACL

News Comment #14

8 women and 8 men: Germany gets its first gender-equal cabinet.
By Katrin Bennhold (The New York Times)

One day after the three-party coalition contract was finally signed, Katrin Bennhold addresses Germany’s new government in an article, focussing on the fact that there will be the first gender-equal cabinet in the history of the nation. It also talks about gender equality in the 16 years on Merkel’s watch and briefly introduces some of the female ministers of the cabinet.

Considering the big role of German politics in the world and that the ministers for the cabinet were presented very recently – this Monday -, it’s safe to say that writing about it is definitely news-worthy. Putting the focus on gender parity is a very interesting choice, but it’s a highly important topic to talk about, in my opinion.
I really like the quotes the author incorporated, especially the variety since they come from four different people.
I think the author could have done a better job in making the article appealing to today’s audience. The sentence structure and word choice seem a little too complex at times. In addition, the paragraphs and the article, in general, could have been slightly shorter, even though I personally didn’t mind the length.
All in all, I thought the article was interesting and well-written.

News Comment #13

Ellen White breaks record as merciless England thrash Latvia 20-0
By Suzanne Wrack (The Guardian)

The article addresses the recent Women’s soccer game of the English against the Latvian national team in the World Cup qualifier. It talks about a goal record that Ellen White broke during that game and about the course of the game in general. 

This was probably one of the articles I enjoyed reading the most. I liked that there was a short two-sentence summary before the article to really quickly summarize what the article is about. The scene-setting lead kind of brought me in the right mood for the article, and I think worked very well for that story. In general, there are many nice descriptions, and the article is more showing instead of telling. Another positive aspect is that the author included quotes from Ellen White on her emotions and also quoted England’s manager who implemented the high win in a broader, problematical context, which was very interesting. The only thing I want to criticize is the length of the article. While it’s not particularly long, the last few paragraphs seemed unnecessary to me.

The night that Brandyn Clair’s ambition paid off

It was on a rainy Saturday two years ago when Brandyn Clair, with 30 cans of Busch Light on his head, walked through the city for hours. Why? He was determined to find a party that night.

He had already walked two miles when he got to the party he had heard of, but things did not go as planned. When he knocked on the door, it was not a student that opened – it was the guy’s parents that were thought to be out of town this night.
About to walk back to campus full of disappointment, Brandyn got a call. There was another party, apparently a really good one. The problem? It was on the other side of town, about 5 miles away.
Yet, Brandyn started walking, not knowing this party wouldn’t be less disappointing than the first one.
“It was already one in the morning when I got there, and the party was all over. And I still got the 30 cans of beer on my head,” he recalls.
Still, Brandyn didn’t want this night to be over, and it was a call from his roommate that gave him one last hope: A party on campus that just started. So, he made his way back.
“I got there at 3 and partied until 8. Because I earned that party. I earned that party. And I drank all the beer.”
Clearly, Brandyn’s ambition paid off in the end.

News Comment #12

There’s finally an Alzheimer’s vaccine in the works

By Melissa Pandika (Mic)

In the article, the author addresses a nasal vaccine that could potentially cure and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and is currently in a phase I clinical trial. She talks about the stage of research the vaccine is in, explains the trial that is conducted and how the vaccine would work, and mentions a potential problem with the vaccine.

First off, the article appears to be very credible. The author included quotes from experts, statistics, and attribution to other articles.

In the introduction, the author talks briefly about the impact of Alzheimer’s, the problem that there is no cure yet, and the new vaccine. I think it does a good job of getting the reader’s attention (at least mine) and indicating what the article is about.

Furthermore, the topic is very news-worthy, in my opinion. The disease could have a huge impact as millions of people struggle with Alzheimer’s, and the article was published the same day a statement about it was released.

The article seems to be suitable for a large part of today’s audience, as it is very short. It gets to the point fast and only contains information that I found quite essential. In addition, the author was able to explain how the vaccine would work in an understandable way. 

Lastly, the article is a bit subjective. In the end, the author even clearly states her own opinion (“I’m all for investigating a plethora of approaches”). Given that the topic is not very controversial, it doesn’t seem like a big issue to me. However, in general, articles should be as objective as possible.

News Comment #11

Can ‘Squid Game’ Season 2 Replicate the Addictive Quality of Season 1?
By Brandon Yu (Mic)

The article talks about the second season of ‘Squid Game’, the most popular Netflix show at the moment, which was announced by director Hwang Dong-hyuk a few days ago in an interview.

It’s good that the article is not very long. However, for the information that it contains, it’s still too long, in my opinion. Other than the fact that there will be a second season, the article didn’t seem interesting to me personally. It provides some background on Season 1 that I feel has been addressed in a lot of other articles before and some speculations about Season 2.
In general, though, I think the topic is news-worthy because Squid Game brought a huge hype lately and thousands of people are waiting for a second season, and the announcement was made recently.
The article is not that easy to read as a big part of today’s audience would want it today. The sentences are too complex, and the paragraphs are too long.
Another aspect I liked was that the author included some quotes by the director and that there is a link to a video of the announcement.

Possible Feature Stories: Profiles of the different actors, look behind the scenes of ‘Squid Game’, feature story about a die-hard fan

Paper #3 Script (Final)

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. It’s 8 pm. Welcome back to the Tagesschau. An NFL player involved in a fatal car accident, intense negotiations in the formation of the new German government, and new blood tests that could detect cancer before symptoms are shown.

Former NFL receiver Henry Ruggs killed a young woman and her dog in a car crash last Tuesday. 
He had been speeding down a residential street in Las Vegas with his girlfriend at around 3:30 in the morning. He was driving at a speed of 156 miles per hour just seconds before crashing into Tina Tintor’s car. The 23-year old was declared dead at the scene after her car burst into flames.
According to police officials, Ruggs had a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit in Nevada. He was charged with DUI resulting in death and reckless driving the same day. The Las Vegas Raiders released him shortly after.
Here’s what student Cole Hawk has to say, “It’s crazy. He went from making millions a year to spending his life in prison in only one night.”
Now, prosecutors want to file additional charges for the injuries of his girlfriend and the possession of a firearm while under the influence. Ruggs could face up to 40 years behind bars. 

Three German parties start discussing details for a possible coalition.
The Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens had already worked out a rough framework for a coalition. 
Last Wednesday, about a month after the elections, party members started discussing details in 22 separate groups.
Greens Leader Anna-Lena Baerbock is not sure how long the negotiations will take. She says there are still considerable differences. For example, when it comes to climate action, finances, and the transport sector.
Forming a coalition can be a long process. German student Lisann Evert knows that. “Sometimes it seems like a never-ending back and forth. Last time after the elections, it took them, I don’t know, five months.”
This time, the parties plan to agree on a coalition contract by the end of November so that a new chancellor can be elected early in December. Until then, Angela Merkel remains in office.

When cancer is discovered, it’s often too late. New blood tests could change that and save many lives, according to an article published by National Geographic.
Multiple companies are working on innovative new blood tests that can detect cancer signals circulating in the bloodstream in tiny concentrations. Their goal is to reveal cancer at earlier stadiums before the patient even shows symptoms. 
Thousands of people die of cancer every year. The disease is often incurable by the time it is diagnosed. For example, once somebody with pancreatic cancer has symptoms, the survival rate is only 3 percent.
Here’s what Julie Raffel thinks about reliable screening methods for cancer: “That would be huge. It could save so many lives”.
Yet, tests have to prove to be precise as false positive tests could be a huge problem. Also, it is not sure if they will really make a difference as an earlier diagnosis doesn’t necessarily make the disease curable.

These were our Thursday night news. Thank you for your time, and good night.

News Comment #10

Police say Henry Ruggs III was driving 156 mph. This wasn’t an accident. It was an inevitability. By Dan Wetzel (Yahoo!Sports)

The article addresses a fatal accident that happened in the night from Monday to Tuesday, caused by NFL player Henry Ruggs, in which a young woman and her dog were killed. The author describes the accident and the legal consequences it has for Ruggs. 

In general, I think the article is very informative. I heard about the accident earlier today and was looking for an article on the topic. Everything I wanted to know was mentioned in the article.

In addition, the topic is very news-worthy, mainly because it involves a deadly accident, a prominent athlete, and happened just two days ago.

Another thing I like about the article is that the author included quotes from experts, like a judge and a defendant specializing in DUI cases. This gives the article much more credibility. On the other hand, he also paraphrased some things and didn’t pick too many quotes.

The article could be more objective. You can definitely tell that the author has a clear opinion on the issue. In that case, I feel like having a strong opinion is normal. However, that also means readers can come to that opinion themselves, just by reading the truth. There is no need to convince them with excessive use of adjectives, for example.

I think the author could have mentioned some of the most important information a little bit earlier. It is in the third paragraph when he first mentions the death of the woman, for instance.

Media comparison

Today, the Biden administration proposed a billionaire’s tax to cover for an economic package. NBC News and ABC News both covered the topic, NBC in the form of an article by Dartunorro Clark and Leigh Ann Caldwell, and ABC News in form of a broadcast story.

Whereas the lead in the article only contains key facts – the “why”, “how,” “when”, and “who” (also, the what is mentioned in the title) -, the introduction of the video is more aimed to get the audience’s attention. A speaker in the studio briefly mentions the “when?”, “who?”, “what?”, and “why?” but then also hints at a conflict by introducing legal and political questions.

The structure of the article and the video is kind of similar. The tax is first introduced and then explained. However, in the video the first proposal made a few days ago is explained right after that, whereas in the article, it is only briefly referred to towards the end. Instead, the explanation of the tax is followed by a quote by Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden talking about the reasoning behind the proposal. In both, some questions concerning the passing of the proposal and two moderate senators that need to be convinced are talked about later on. 

The broadcast story is close to two minutes in length. It is hard to compare its length to the article’s length. I’d say it is pretty similar, but the article probably contains a bit more information. For example, it gives more context regarding the economic package, the idea behind the tax, and what it would take for the proposal to pass. On the other hand, the explanation of the billionaire’s tax and the second proposal is more detailed than in the article. Another difference is that the article contains quotes by Ron Wyden and Senator Kyrsten Sinema. Apart from that, the differences in content are very small. 

In contrast to the article, sound and pictures obviously play a role in the broadcast story. There is a reporter in a studio and another reporter in front of the White House talking about the tax. When one of them explains the tax, there are some graphics in the background that help get the grasp of it easier.

News Comment #7

Trump to launch new social media platform TRUTH Social
By James Clayton (BBC)

The article addresses former US President Donald Trumps’ plans to launch his own social media company named TRUTH Social. The author also gives some background about Trump’s social media history and evaluates his statements and plans regarding the network.

The article was released the same day Trump made his plans public. In addition, Trump, as a former and very controversial US President, is obviously very prominent, and a lot of people are interested in what he does and says. Thus, the topic is definitely newsworthy.
I think the author did a great job writing in a style that appeals to today’s audience. Not only is the text in general very short, but the paragraphs also consist of no more than two sentences. The language is also as simple as possible. It doesn’t contain any transitions or descriptive words, and the sentence structure is basic. Overall, the reader doesn’t have to put much effort into reading the article.
Furthermore, the author included some quotes, including some from Trump himself, which I thought made the article more authentic.
Usually, articles should be neutral and objective, but it’s good that this one isn’t, in my opinion. In general, I believe that truth is more important than objectivity if it’s evident. In addition, the author is a specialist in the field of technology and seems to know what he’s talking about. Therefore, I liked that he criticized Trump’s statements and questioned his plans.