“He applied for a green card. Then the FBI came calling.” By Daniel Burke Comments

Daniel Burke writes of Mehdi Ostadhassan, an Iranian native who moved to North Dakota in 2009 to study petroleum engineering and, after getting a job as a professor at the University of North Dakota and marrying a fellow co-worker, applied for a green card in 2014. Though they were expecting it to be a quick process, five years later, Ostadhassan is still awaiting approval. 

This story was exactly that: a story. It was long and filled with a lot detail that would not be necessary in a news story. It reached into the past quite a bit and held off on telling why Ostadhassan wasn’t being approved for a green card. It also introduced a lot of characters (the mysterious man with the badge, etc.). You could even tell it was going to be more of a story for entertainment rather than strictly for information. The reason they were telling the story was most likely for the green-card, immigrant aspect, which has been a big topic of discussion, especially in politics, since President Trump was elected and sparked the idea of a border wall. I thought the story had good pictures and quotes, and the topic was for sure interesting, I just noticed it was more like a novel than a news article. 


  1. fuglsang says

    This is written as a feature, Kassidy, which we’ll get to towards the end of the semester.

    Rather than a traditional lead, it has a delayed lead the ends with what is called a nut graf. You hit it in the fifth graf. It’s where readers are told what the story is about:

    “Five years later, Ostadhassan still has no green card. Instead, he is tangled in a web spun by forces larger than himself, including an obscure national security program, an ACLU lawsuit against the US government and escalating tensions between the United States and Iran.”