Week 3 Story Critique

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A Woman Was Mauled By A Bear In The Middle Of Running A Marathon

I have a personal dislike for most of what BuzzFeed writes, but this headline caught my attention and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to critique this story. I also felt that I can somewhat relate to the story because I was almost killed by a wild turkey in my neighborhood the very first time I went running. I may or may not be exaggerating a little bit, but it was still terrifying! I will be evaluating this story using the following traits from Jason Ohler’s assessment traits.

  • Flow, organization, and pacing – Was the story organized and did it flow well without any bumps?
  • Media application – Was the media use appropriate and supportive of the story?
  • Research – Was the story well researched and documented?

I chose these three traits because I figured if any are present in this BuzzFeed article, it would be them.


Flow, organization, and pacing

I thought the overall flow and organization were nice as the story clearly went in the sequence of events. I was a little torn about the pacing though. I like that the story was to the point (with the main events shown in bold text); however, at the same time some of the crucial details seemed to be missing and left me with additional questions. Questions such as where exactly on the course was the runner? Were the other runners in her immediate vicinity or was she by herself before the other runners saw her and rescued her? I’m sure there were also other runners ahead of her, did they not see the bear ahead of time?

Media application

The media use in this story was the aspect that bothered me the most. While I appreciate the author’s attempt to add images and even list their sources below each one, most of them did not add to the story. Three of the photos were just of random black bears from Getty Images, I know what a black bear looks like. I like that they did include a picture of the runner though, to provide some context of how badly she was hurt.


I think the images used in this story somewhat show how will it was researched, which in my opinion could have been better. Even the photo of the injured runner was just pulled off of her Facebook. With the way this was written, I also get the feeling that the author didn’t even reach out to the runner or anyone else involved for an interview. The quotes used felt like they could have just been grabbed from somewhere else, just like the images.


If I were to make improvements to this story I would have elaborated on the details a little more. I mostly gathered everything that was said in this story just from reading the headline. Performing more research before writing the story would have helped. I do not consider using random photos from Getty Images research. A map pinpointing exactly where the attack took place, for example, would have provided me with more information than the three black bears.


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