Tuesday, April 4, 2017

What's coming up

APRIL 4 Peer edit Issue pre-first drafts. (Final feature deadline moved to Thursday, April 6)

APRIL 6 
FIRST DRAFT ISSUE (1,000 words with 4 voices, 2 of whom are "experts") due. 

Final FEATURE DUE (1,000 words, 15 percent of total grade) If time, watch "Reporter."
Discuss chapters, Massachusetts Open Meeting Law. NEXT: Read and complete worksheets on Chaps. 26 on Taste in Journalism and 27 on Morality. If time, watch "Reporter."

APRIL 11 TOPIC: ****Schedule change****Attend talk by Jose Antonio Vargas, 4 p.m. in Student Union Ballroom, email lead and nutgraph same night (counts for 20 percent of Final)


APRIL 13 FINAL ISSUE PAPER DUE. (1,000 words 20 percent of total grade) Review for FINAL QUIZ.  Ethical reporting Discuss Chapters 26 & 27; in-class work on issue paper, blogs

APRIL 18 NO CLASS (UMASS follows Monday schedule due to Patriots Day) 
APRIL 20 END OF SEMESTER QUIZ Discuss summary/analysis writing. 

APRIL 25 In-class deadline assignment: Watch film and write SUMMARY/ANALYSIS (10 percent of final grade) on deadline, due at end of class.APRIL 27 - Wrap-up 

MAY 2- LAST DAY OF CLASS/ recap/ Final blogs presentations

Thursday, March 9, 2017

What's coming up

MARCH 9 Discuss potential Issue paper topics & interviews with 2-3 "experts." Review for MID-TERM QUIZ. If time, work on features and blogs 

REVIEW AP TIPS: Common capitalizations and non-capitalizations (job titles, academic subjects, seasons, official names of places etc.), numbers (in general numerals for 10 and above), dates (abbreviate months with long names when used with a specific day), time (1 a.m., 2:15 p.m., noon, midnight),  ages (use numerals, 5-year-old girl),  addresses (Main Street, 10 Main St.), titles (in quotation marks) ...Remember, periods and commas INSIDE quotation marks. 

*****SPRING BREAK - NO CLASS MARCH 14 and 16*****

MARCH 21 Midterm Part 1
MARCH 23 Midterm Part 2 Attend Mongabay panel, email me by the end of the night a lead and nutgraph


MARCH 28 TOPIC: Massachusetts Open Meeting Law FIRST DRAFT FEATURE DUE (1,000) words. Peer edit
Firm up issue story ideas. NEXT: Write issue pitch to present next class. Read and complete worksheets for Chap 20 on police, Chap 24 on Government and 25 on Reporters and the Law. Review Massachusetts Open Meeting Law.
MARCH 30 Issue pitch. Discuss chapters. 
WRITE: 500-word Issue PRE-First Draft to peer edit next class.




Excerpt from LA Times TV critic Robert Lloyd's review of ESPN's "June 17, 1994":

"I can't swear that this is what the director had in mind, but these are the sorts of things I thought about while watching his film and afterward: time — the blank future, the fatal moment, the irretrievable past. How life is made into ceremony, the public intersects with the private, and men turn into myths and back into men again, as Simpson's suicide ride becomes itself a kind of spectator sport, with fans and sensation-seekers lining the streets and freeway bridges, while Palmer's last round, though fraught with bad shots, becomes a loving communion of athlete and crowd.

"It is also, on an even more elemental level — as an object that itself physically exists in time — about shapes moving through space, about chaos and patterns, the random and the formal, seen up close and from high above: bodies on a basketball court, crowds on a golf-course, the unpredictable line of a quarterback cutting through his opposition, the stately procession of a white SUV leading a fleet of police cars down a Southern California freeway."

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Links to Independent Media in a Time of War with Amy Goodman

This is a 2004 video, but the message is just as important today: the media has to remain independent and play a watchdog role with respect to the government. Instead of promoting powerful interests, reporters give voice to people whose stories provide perspective on the actions of those in power.

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcVDGefrbJc

Our understanding of world events is limited by what we observe ourselves or what is reported in the media. But we have to be aware of media bias. Even two divisions of the same media outlet, CNN and CNN International, report the news differently.
Is it appropriate to show "tasteless" photos of casualties of war? "War is tasteless," Amy Goodman says. But instead of the human consequences of war, we see images of war as if were a video game.
Goodman talks about the concept of journalists "embedded" with military forces. Journalism has to stay independent of the government it reports on.

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NZpM7E4v6A

We have to remain skeptical of media that promotes the agenda of those in power without analysis. News organizations shouldn't mindlessly adopt and promote the Pentagon's euphemistic titles  like "Operation Iraqi Freedom."
The "daily drumbeat" of who gets covered on the front pages of the established media helps solidify power in the hands of the few.  Media should provide (truly) diverse perspectives.

Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl5Y1j-9XxU.

"Reporters' role is to go where the silence is to bring us the voices of people who are at ground zero," Goodman says. Reporters have to tell the stories of people who are not in a position to tell their own.
But much of the media is controlled by large corporations in whose interests it is to squash dissent. The media has to remain independent.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Deadline Assignment 1 example

Summer Curtin
Moose Chaudhry
Ryan Coterie
Have We Fallen Out of Love with Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day may be known for candies, roses, and candlelit dinners spent with that special someone, but to a significant amount of UMass students, this past Tuesday was just another cold winter day filled with classes. 
It seems as though the feeling was more passive than passionate this year, especially to the students who spent the day single.
             “I don’t celebrate it because I don’t have anybody to love,” said Becca Demedeiros, a junior animal science major from Fairhaven, rather solemnly.
The general sentiment at UMass does not appear to be one of passion, but of apathy. While there were some who opted for a hopeful night out with friends, the vast majority instead went for the bare minimum, and either got small gifts if they were seeing someone, or simply did nothing at all. In the era of hook-ups and casual affairs, the love may be lost, and it seems as though UMass students have dumped Valentine’s Day.
Those who did not partake in the holiday opted for a far different kind of Valentine’s Day than expected. Some were surrounded by chocolates and flowers, while others, like S., opted for other special treats; the marijuana edibles she made with her friends.
S. spent the day with her closest friends getting high. She does not celebrate Valentine’s Day, and even considers herself to be “anti-Valentine.” 
“I won’t support a day for love when we should be celebrating love every single day, not just one day in February out of the entire year,” she said.
One of those friends getting high with her had a similar sentiment on the romantic holiday. “I spent the whole day high,” said M. M. considers herself “anti-Valentine “There’s just no point to be honest,” she said.
“I don’t see the point in spending a ton of money on commercial products and chocolates when we could be spending money on more important things to help society,” S said.
Other students see Valentine’s Day as a capitalist scheme as well.
The idea that big businesses and corporations flourish off the purchase of cards and flowers seems too shallow to some people, and often times is the source that turns them away from celebrating this day at all. 
Muntaha Elsir, who perhaps rather ironically was campaigning at a heart covered table, filled with free donuts, was blatant about her feelings toward the idea of Valentine’s Day. “I think it’s stupid. I don’t celebrate it because it is purely based off capitalism, not love,” she said.
IMG_4855.JPG
Elsir (left) sits at a campaigning table in the Student Center
Valentine’s Day comes across as forced for some, and becomes a holiday where expectations are at an all time to high to spoil their significant other.
“In my past relationships it’s been kind of chill,” said Dianna Sorto, a UMass student. She also noted that she spent this past Tuesday in an exam. 
Sorto’s boyfriend, Anthony Tejada, a kinesiology major from Somerville sat across from her. “I just go along with it,” he said. “I just gave her some flowers and candy.” 
Tejada explains the passiveness of the Holiday. “I think it’s just expected that you have to get them a small gift. It is what it is,” Tejada said.
IMG_4856.JPG
Donna Sorto (left) and Michael Tejada (right) sit for lunch at Blue Wall
As Valentine’s Day continues to be commercialized, many think the day has lost its luster. However, there are still those out there looking for a romantic rendezvous. Student Erica Luttazi, from Franklin, has not given up on the day just yet. 
“It is a bit overdone, but I still went out though.” Luttazi attended a Frat party on Feb. 14 Although this might not be the most ideal place to look for true romantic love, she still gave it the good old college try.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Deadline assignment 2

Deadline story ideas:
  • What do students think about the guest policy that will be in place for Blarney Blowout? Is the policy effective? Can students think of a different approach?
  • Are students looking forward to Blarney Blowout; do they plan to participate or do they think it's stupid or passé? What do you think the attraction of it is?
  • Are you planning to go to the free concert? If it started later than 10 a.m. would you be more likely to go? If there were different acts would you be more likely to go even though it's at 10 a.m.?
  • How do you like the unseasonably warm weather?
  • Are you a big fan of the four seasons?

Deadline assignment
In your blog groups:

•  Interview at least two people EACH, IN PERSON Ask them an initial question on the topic to be determined. Develop a few follow-up questions and engage them in conversation for a few minutes, so you have a meaningful exchange.

 • Write down exact quotes, but be prepared to paraphrase most of their responses and just pick the best one or two sentences to directly quote. 

• Ask how to spell their names. (Double-check that you wrote it down correctly using UMass.edu Peoplefinder.) Ask them where they are from and what their majors are. Ask if you can take their photos and share them online.  Finished pieces must include photos with captions 

• Try to interview a diverse bunch of people – different majors, different hometowns, different nationalities, gender and race etc

• Ask if you can snap a photo. Use your people skills to encourage them to say yes.

• When the group re-convenes in the computer lab, talk about the responses everyone got. See if you can make some kind of assertion in your lead BASED ON YOUR REPORTING. 

That is, you will probably have some kind of guiding ideas about, for instance, if you were doing a story about what seniors are going to do when graduate whether seniors are likely to know what they are going to do after they graduate.

But DON’T write a lead based on speculation, and DON’T write a generic, non-reported lead like, for instance: As graduation approaches, college seniors face the daunting prospect of figuring out what to do with the rest of their lives. 

Instead, review all the responses you got and SYNTHESIZE some of the information. For instance, if you interview 10 people and 8 say they have a job, while 2 say they are going to decide what to do next and where to go the day after graduation, you could say something like: Some UMass seniors have already lined up jobs after graduation, which is a mere six weeks away, but a few are waiting until the day after the graduation festivities to decide their next move.

•  After the lead, include a nutgraph saying about how many people were interviewed and characterize the range of their responses. In the body of the paper, mention each of the people you interviewed in a paragraph dedicated to him or her.


What's coming up:


MARCH 2 In-class deadline assignment/(5 percent of total grade) Next: Read Chaps. 11 on layered reporting and 14 on sources. 

MARCH 7 TOPIC: “Layered” reporting FINAL DRAFT PROFILE DUE (1,000 words, INCLUDE WORD COUNT, 10 percent of total grade)Discuss Chapters 11 and 14. In-class work on BLOGS

MARCH 9 Discuss potential Issue paper topics & interviews with 2-3 "experts." 
Review for MID-TERM QUIZ. If time, work on features and blogs 

*****SPRING BREAK - NO CLASS MARCH 14 and 16*****

MARCH 21 Midterm Part 1
MARCH 23 Midterm Part 2 Attend Mongabay panel, email me by the end of the night a lead and nutgraph


MARCH 28 TOPIC: Massachusetts Open Meeting Law FIRST DRAFT FEATURE DUE (1,000) words. Peer edit
Firm up issue story ideas. NEXT: Write issue pitch to present next class. Read and complete worksheets for Chap 20 on police, Chap 24 on Government and 25 on Reporters and the Law. Review Massachusetts Open Meeting Law.
MARCH 30 Issue pitch. Discuss chapters. WRITE: 500-word Issue PRE-First Draft to peer edit next class. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Feature assignment

Features

Your feature should be 1,000 words (include a word count) with photos and include a minimum of four voices. 
Pre-first draft due: Feb. 28 --  First draft due March 28 -- Final draft due: April 2

A feature describes a group of people, place, event, subculture, trend or just about anything you can think of. Should be visual, with concrete, specific language, anecdotes and examples and a lively mix of voices. 

• Write your feature with the idea that you will try to get it published. Don’t include material that will appear “dated” or as if it’s “old news” a few weeks from now. If your feature is about an event that is coming up, mention the date and time of the event high in the story.

• Do NOT lead with a sweeping, unreported generalization; plunge right into the reported material

• Describe/SHOW vs. Tell

• The more reporting, the better. You can’t make up for a lack of reporting by trying to write cleverly. You need several voices, so that you’re not going back to the same source for more than a couple or so paragraphs. Every page should have a lively, dynamic mix of voices – not just one person!

• Eliminate wordiness! Do NOT repeat anything!!

• Paraphrase or rewrite rather than using parentheses/brackets. You should only need to use parentheses once or twice a year – NOT once or twice in a single paper. 

• Keep quotes short so that they have a greater impact. Paraphrase!!

• Don’t jam together, spliced by a comma, two complete and unrelated sentences. For instance, don’t say something like, “Wearing her black moccasins, Jane Doe is a graduate of UMass.” Avoid getting into traps like this by using SVO.

Link to fake, false and real news explainer

Simple explainer by Dan Kennedy at Media Nation of fake, false and real news: https://dankennedy.net/2017/02/27/fake-news-what-it-is-what-it-isnt-and-how-to-avoid-it/  Here's his definition of real news:

Real news: Stories produced by news organizations that practice journalism as a “discipline of verification.” The goal is to inform the public as truthfully as possible. Errors are corrected.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Good analysis of "spin" tricks

This is a good analysis of verbal tricks, such as deflecting by picking a keyword in a question, repeating it and then using it to go off on a tangent: http://www.vox.com/videos/2017/2/13/14597968/kellyanne-conway-tricks

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Feb 14 on cliches, euphemisms, etc


Today, we'll talk about cliches, euphemisms and empty language. We'll peer edit the profile pre-first drafts and brainstorm ideas for Thursday's in-class deadline assignment.

http://journ300.blogspot.com/2015/09/cliches-euphemisms-stereotypes-and.html

Quotes from George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language":

"In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. 

"Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. 

"Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them."

Peer edit profile pre-first drafts

Brainstorm topics for Thursday's in-class deadline assignment.

Deadline assignment:

In your blog groups:

•  Interview at least two people EACH, IN PERSON Ask them an initial question on the topic to be determined. Develop a few follow-up questions and engage them in conversation for a few minutes, so you have a meaningful exchange.

 • Write down exact quotes, but be prepared to paraphrase most of their responses and just pick the best one or two sentences to directly quote. 

• Ask how to spell their names. (Double-check that you wrote it down correctly using UMass.edu Peoplefinder.) Ask them where they are from and what their majors are. Ask if you can take their photos and share them online.  Finished pieces must include photos with captions 

• Try to interview a diverse bunch of people – different majors, different hometowns, different nationalities, gender and race etc

• Ask if you can snap a photo. Use your people skills to encourage them to say yes.

• When the group re-convenes in the computer lab, talk about the responses everyone got. See if you can make some kind of assertion in your lead BASED ON YOUR REPORTING. 

That is, you will probably have some kind of guiding ideas about, for instance, if you were doing a story about what seniors are going to do when they graduate.

But DON’T write a lead based on speculation, and DON’T write a generic, non-reported lead like, for instance: As graduation approaches, college seniors face the daunting prospect of figuring out what to do with the rest of their lives. 

Instead, review all the responses you got and SYNTHESIZE some of the information. For instance, if you interview 10 people and 8 say they have a job, while 2 say they are going to decide what to do next and where to go the day after graduation, you could say something like: Some UMass seniors have already lined up jobs after graduation, which is a mere six weeks away, but a few are waiting until the day after the graduation festivities to decide their next move.

•  After the lead, include a nutgraph saying about how many people were interviewed and characterize the range of their responses. In the body of the paper, mention each of the people you interviewed in a paragraph dedicated to him or her.




It would be great to submit one or more to the Collegian or Amherst Wire!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Mini-profile example


Speech article assignment: Meet in Journalism lounge on Tuesday, Feb. 9 for environmental panel. To read more about the panel, Click HERE and  https://news.mongabay.com/2015/01/things-you-want-to-know-about-mongabay/

Due: Tuesday Feb. 14, include a word count  and photo.

SPEECH PAPER ESSENTIALS (650-750 words)

1) The lead should get to the heart of the event -- NOT just say it occurred.

2) Include in the first few sentences of the story A) what the occasion was, B)who sponsored it, C) where it was held and –D) how many attended. Include the title if there is one. It’s not necessary  to cram in every detail, such as what time it was held.

3) Nutgraph: This takes the reader beyond the lead and sums up in a few sentences the major points the speaker made or the basic gist of his/her argument/case/presentation. It’s a roadmap to the rest of the story. Can be combined with the paragraph that includes the title, name of occasion etc.

4) Body of story: Take the reader through the points that the speaker made in support of his or her case/main point/argument/presentation. Each paragraph should have a strong topic sentence. Provide specific examples and direct quotes.

5) Interview 3-4 people who attended for their reaction/thoughts. Don’t forget to include this at the end of your paper!

SOME SPEECH STORY TIPS 

  • Avoid making unreported generalizations and definitely don't start your piece with one. Start by diving into the one thing you would say about the talks if you only had a sentence to say it. Don't  just say a science professor and fiction writer spoke at UMass Tuesday, for example. Tell us what his message was in the lead.
  • Avoid cliches.
  • Tone should be professional -- NOT promotional.
  • Write lean. Don't say "Then she continued to say..." or "Asked about this, she said..." etc. Go through your piece after you write it and see if you can trim words. Don't repeat anything.
  • Keep your paragraphs short and tightly focused.
  • DETAILS will make or break your piece. Write vividly, concretely
  • Use first and last name for people you quote. Don't directly quote anyone who won't give you his/her name. After the first reference by first and last name, refer to people in your story by last name only.
LEADS
  •  Do NOT lead with a sweeping, unreported generalization; plunge right into the reported material.
  •  Lead should do more than just say the event occurred; it should be direct, reader friendly and engaging!


JUST THE FACTS

  • Journalism is the reporting of the visible and verifiable. Reporters describe what they can observe and what identified sources tell them. Reporters don't speculate or presume to know about their subjects' mental states and do not relay information that they have not verified and substantiated with objective facts.
  •  Keep your opinions/judgments out of the story. Don’t editorialize, make predictions or  grand claims

WRITING

  • Don’t pile on the adjectives and adverbs and reporter’s editorializing. For instance, instead of saying she is an extremely likable person , say, Her friends describe her as an “extremely likeable”  person.  (If they do.)
  •  In general, keep the reporter and the mechanics  of the interview out of the story. Get to the story!
  • Put your best, most vivid, reported material up top. Put details anyone could get off your subject’s resume low in the story
  •  Double- and triple-check name spellings! 
  • Use “said” vs other words like it.
  •   AP style is to NOT capitalize academic subjects & do not capitalize  job titles unless the title comes RIGHT before the job holder’s name.
  •  In general, write in past tense
  •  News stories do NOT have essay-style conclusions. 
  •  Don’t write  “When asked a question about this or that.” Just tell us what your source said. If need be you could say “As for this or that…”
  •  Don’t alter direct quotations AT ALL.  But if a person says gonna or shoulda, write going to and should have
  •  Write with the idea that you will try to get it published. Don’t include material that will appear “dated” or as if  it’s “old news” a few weeks from now. If  your feature, for instance, is about an event that is coming up, mention the date and time of the event high in the story.
  •  Describe/SHOW vs. Tell.
  • The more reporting, the better. You can’t make up for a lack of reporting by trying to write cleverly. For most stories, you will need several voices, so that you’re not going back to the same source for more than a couple or so paragraphs. Every page should have a lively, dynamic mix of voices – not just one person! 
  •  Eliminate wordiness! Again, Do NOT repeat anything!! 
  • Paraphrase or rewrite rather than using parentheses/brackets. You should only need to use parentheses once or twice a year – NOT once or twice in a single paper.
  •  Keep quotes short so that they have a greater impact. Paraphrase!!
  •   Don’t jam together, spliced by a comma,  two complete and unrelated sentences. For instance, don’t say something like, “Wearing her black moccasins, Jane Doe is a graduate of UMass.”  Avoid getting into traps like this by using SVO.
  •  Commas and periods INSIDE quotation marks.
  •  Put TV shows, book titles, article titles, movie titles in quotation marks.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Schedule tweaks to accommodate Feb. 9 panel/speech story assignment

As we'll be attending the environmental reporting panel on Feb. 9, we'll adjust the schedule a bit. See below.

JAN 31 TOPIC: The Interview: In groups of 3-4, one student will interview another on a subject of his/her choice while a third student videotapes it using a phone or camera. Keep it around 3 minutes or under. We’ll upload them to YouTube and analyze them. ****Your first assignment (500-word mini-profile about a classmate WITH photo) is due Thursday*****.

FEB 2 TOPIC: We'll continue to talk about different kinds of stories, such as the speech story, profile etc.
  • Analyze interviewing videos 
  • TURN IN HARD COPY OF FIRST ASSIGNMENT: 400-500 written piece with photo based on your interview of a classmate. (5 percent of final grade) NEXT: READ: Chapter 16 on speeches. 
  • NEXT: MOVED UP FROM NEXT WEEK Write a brief profile pitch to present in class Tuesday. Tell us who you plan to write about, what the angle likely will be, who else you can interview about your subject. It should be about a local person and NOT a family member or friend.

FEB 7 Continue to analyze interview videos. Discuss Speech chapter, speech paper requirements.  
  • Present profile pitch 
  • AND, NEXT, TO BRING IN on FEB 14 FOR PEER EDITING a 500 word “pre-first draft” profile with lead, nutgraph and quote(s). 
  • NEXT: Read Chapters 2 & 3 (be able to answer questions about these chapters on the blog, under worksheets tab) 

FEB 9  Attend environmental reporting panel in Journalism lounge


FEB 14 TOPIC: Cliches, stereotypes, euphemisms, conscious and unconscious bias

  • SPEECH PAPER DUE (10 percent of grade)
  • PEER EDIT hard copies of profile  pre-first drafts.
  • NEXT: read Chap. 7 on the Writer's Art and be able to answer questions on worksheets on blog.

FEB 16 In-class, deadline writing assignment: In pairs, interview 4 people on campus on subject TBA; write 500 word story on-deadline with quotes from each of your sources. (5 percent of total grade) NEXT: Read Chap. 8 on Features. 

FEB 21TOPIC: Attribution, quotations, summary 

  • FIRST DRAFT PROFILE DUE (1,000 words, INCLUDE WORD COUNT) PEER EDIT. Discuss feature stories.
  • CLASS VISITOR at 5

NEXT: Read and complete worksheets for Chapter 18 on Accidents and Disasters and Chapter 19 on Obituaries. Write Feature Pitch for next class. 

FEB 23 FEATURE PITCH If time, work on blogs. NEXT: write 500-word feature PRE-first draft to peer edit next class. Read Chapter 21 on Courts 

First major assignment: Speech story about environmental panel

To read more about the panel, Click HERE
Here's an excerpt from the Journalism webpage:

The Changing Landscape: Environmental Journalism in the Age of Trump

Event date/time: 
Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 4:00pm
Place: 
Ziff Gallery, S414 Integrative Learning Center
Both the environment and journalism face new challenges under the Trump Administration. Amidst these challenges, there are still as many opportunities to report on the environment as there are reasons to do so. Staff members of the global conservation news service Mongabay.comwhich has been publishing since 1999 and now reaches 2 million readers per month in nine languages, will share how they developed careers covering this important beat. The staff will also discuss how they see the landscape changing during this pivotal period and the role of nonprofit and entrepreneurial journalism in 2017 and beyond.