Comparison of Yahoo and MSN Article about Missing N.D. Student

English 1010

17 April 2004

In comparing the two web sites I found many differences and many similarities. The Yahoo article “Missing N.D. Student’s Body Found in Minn.” states the author’s name while Msn “Body of missing N.D. student Dru Sjodin found” does not properly specify an author’s name. The two different articles had a similarity in the writing style that gives the reader the impression of plagiarism. For example the relationship in paragraphs two through five are comparable in wording. The author of both articles appears to be Dave Kolpack, a writer for the Associate Press.

Mr. Kolpack recounts the fact that Dru Sjodin’s body was found in a ravine previously covered by a snow bank in Crookston, Minnesota. It wasn’t until the snow had melted that her body was discovered on 17 April 2004. Chris Lang, Sjodin’s boyfriend said he remembers the snow drifts as being five feet high. (para. 9, Lang was the last person to have heard from Sjodin the day she disappeared.

The difference between the two articles varies. Yahoo and MSN’s article states the alleged killers age, name and residence, “Previous sex offender Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., 51 years old of Crookston, Minnesota”. Yahoo and MSN give information of when Alfonso was arrested and where he is jailed as of today, “December and jailed at the Grand Forks, about 25 miles northwest of Crookston”. (yahoo para 13, msn para 8) Yahoo appears to dig beyond surface deep with information involving Mr. Rodriguez. In yahoo it states the Prosecuting attorney name “Peter Welte” and how a judge order the lawyers involved in this case not to speak with the media. (Yahoo para, 14) Yahoo, Paragraph 15 indicates that neither Minnesota nor North Dakota has capital punishment, but federal laws allow the death penalty for murder committed during kidnappings. MSN is missing the same or similar information in their article.

The tone of the Yahoo article is more emotional and heart felt than the MSN article. MSN seems to have cut out or rearranged parts of other news reports to create their Web site article. The MSN article weighs more heavily on the pertinent information than the emotional atmosphere of Yahoo’s article. Mr. Kolpack uses quotes from the Sheriff Mark LeTexier (para. 2), Bob Heales (para. 5), Sjodin’s father Allan (para.6), and Chris Lang (para. 9). This brings more emotional depth to the article, but he never states where he obtained these quotes. Were the quotes personally stated to Mr. Kolpack or did he use another source of information to influence the emotional impact of the article? In para

My overall impression of the two articles was Yahoo’s article had more of an emotional affect from the author’s point of view, while MSN was more clinical and bland with a stale state the facts feel. Yahoo give the impression that the author is determined to captures the reader’s attention while delivering a very diminutive portion of sadness from the families and friends of Dru Sjoin. Yahoo states a larger amount of information involving Alfonso Rodriguez, the convicted sex offender allegedly responsible for the death of Dru Sjodin. I was more impressed with the Yahoo article rather than the MSN article.

More than 1,500 mourners attended her funeral April 24 at Grand View Lodge. She was buried at the Pinewood Cemetery in Crosslake. Dru's parents plan to attend the trial of Alphonzo Rodriguez . His next court appearance is July 19. They are ready to move forward through this trial, no matter how painful it may be.

The outpouring of support by the community and by people throughout the world has been helping the family during those dark moments when they ache for their daughter, they said. They've received thousands of cards and letters, which continue to arrive in the mail.

Works Cited

“Body of missing N.D. student Dru Sjodin found. 2004. The Associated Press. 17 April, 2004 <>

Dave Kolpack. “Missing N.D. Student’s Body Found in Minn.” Yahoo News. 2004. The Associated Press. 18 April 2004 <

“Dru's family receives support from across the globe”. Brainerd Dispatch. 19 June 2004. <