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.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Video interviews and mini-profile assignment with photo

Jan. 26 class

  • We’ll pick a speech/event to attend and write about. Click HERE for a description of the assignment. 
  • We’ll review the leads from your first day pieces in groups of 3
  • The same group of 3 will arrange among yourselves which of you will interview each other and who will film it using your camera or phone camera. Figure out the subject you’ll interview each other about and prepare questions in advance. Upload the finished videos to Youtube and email me (at maryelizacarey@gmail.com) a link.  Remember, the purpose of the interview is to have a meaningful conversation that will elicit the most vivid information that you can use when you're writing a mini-profile. It does not need to look like a televised interview.

    • Plan your interview so that you are asking your classmate questions that will provide you concrete, specific information to write a 500-600 word piece that gives your reader an idea of what makes your classmate "tick." (You can ask follow-up questions that are not part of the video interview.)
    • The angle likely will be determined by the topic you and your classmate decide the interview will focus on, for instance, your interviewee's love of a certain sports team, travel or their experiences working for the campus radio station.


    Written assignment: Write a 500-600 word "mini-profile" that is focused on the topic that you discuss in your video interview but also helps your reader get to know classmate -- where he/she is from, his/her interests, aspirations and experiences. See profile tips below. INCLUDE A PHOTO.

  • CLICK ON THIS LINK and PHOTO BELOW FOR INTERVIEW TIPS




PROFILE TIPS


1) CONTENT

Should include
--basic information including family, home town, education, occupation, likes-dislikes, hobbies, successes-failures
--brief physical description
EXAMPLES: "His mannerisms slightly resemble those of Woody Allen, although he is much taller and has much more hair."
--anecdotes, scenes
--telling quotes
--verification of claims. If a person claims to be a popular, well-respected professor, check with students, other professors.

2) STRUCTURE
-- Direct or delayed lead followed by a nutgraph summing up significance of profile then story.
--Should be organized thematically -- not in the order you discussed things with your subject in an interview.
--Avoid using questions in place of a strong transition. For example, instead of saying something like, "So why did he decide to join the Army?" Say something like, "After paying close attention to the news following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, he felt a growing sense that he should DO something. Within weeks, he had approached the Army recruiter who often sits at a table in a far corner of the Campus Center."

3) WRITING
--Keep the reporter OUT of the story. Don’t use first person.
--Avoid empty, generic, cliched, abstract language. Remember, SHOW, don’t TELL. Rather than describe a person as being a good leader, for example, relate an anecdote in which the subject of your profile is SHOWN to be a good leader. If a subject says something like, "I learned a leadership skills in the Army," ask him or her to give you an example of when he or she thought she demonstrated those skills. Ask someone who knows your subject to try to think of an example that demonstrates your subject’s leadership skills.
Instead of saying something like, "She was always interested in nature." Describe how your subject used to hunt butterflies as a child.
--Don’t be hagiographic – that is, don’t write the life of a saint or a public relations puff piece. Your reader wants to get to know your subject as a human being and doesn’t want to be “sold a bill of goods.” 
--Use only QUOTEWORTHY quotes. A quote should be colorful or otherwise give your reader an idea of how your subject talks. Don’t quote run-of-the mill answers to your questions. Don’t use slang like “Wanta,” coulda,” “gonna,” etc.
NOT good quotation material:
"I grew up in Pittsfield and went to the University of Vermont," Carey said.
GOOD quotation material.
"Heath Hatch had a philosophy when he was going through schooling as a kid. "I knew to pass a course, you had to accumulate a grade of 50 percent, and if I got a 51 percent, I felt like I was wasting energy." (This also makes a good lead.)

4) MECHANICS
--Remember -- after you mention your subject by full name, use last name only for the rest of your story.
--Commas and periods INSIDE quotation marks.
AP STYLE TIP
AGES: Always use figures. When the context does not require "years" or "years old," the figure is presumed to be years. Ages expresses as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun use hyphens. A 5-year-old boy. The boy is 5 years old. The boy, 7, has a sister, 10. The woman, 26, has a daughter 2 months old. The law is 8 years old. The race is for 3-year-olds. The woman is in her 30s. (NO apostrophe.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

SPRING 2017 Schedule

SPRING 2017 Schedule
JOURN 300/CAREY
Tuesday/Thursday 4 6 p.m. - Integrative Learning Center S407
This is a tentative schedule of topics, assignments and assignment deadlines subject to revision to accommodate the news, campus goings-on that we’ll attend and classroom visitors. Check the blog (Journ300.blogspot.com) for updates and changes. Note: Each day two or more students will bring in an article to discuss and share an AP Style tip. One person will also bring in a news quiz. We’ll develop a schedule for these. Note at end is a list of assignments and percentage of final grade each is worth.

JAN 24 - Introduction - discuss leads, effective interviewing, AP Style and (briefly) the nutgraph. Email to me
at
maryelizacarey@gmail.com TONIGHT 500 words about the first day of class. Should have a good lead and at least one direct quotation.
FOR NEXT CLASS: To hand in next class, a WRITTEN list of three potential speeches/presentations we can visit on campus, ASAP in the next couple of weeks preferably during class time. (We will be writing the 650-word SPEECH paper about whichever speech we attend.) In the written list that you bring into class on Thursday, include 1) who is giving the speech and 2) the topic, where/when it is being held, a brief couple of sentences of background information about the speaker and, if possible, the topic. We’ll pick one of the speeches you’ve identified to attend. READ: Chapter 5 on Leads and Chapter 15 on Interviewing Principles
JAN 26 - TOPIC: The Lead and the Nutgraph Review leads, Chapters 5 and 15, class blog; determine where and when we can go to a speech; determine which classmate you will interview on what subject and prepare questions.

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.
FEB 2 TOPIC: Kinds of Stories Analyze interviewing videos, FIRST ASSIGNMENT DUE: 400-500 written piece with photo based on your interview of a classmate. (5 percent of final grade) NEXT: READ: Chapter 16 on speeches.

SCHEDULE UPDATES:
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, NEXTTO 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.
BACK TO ORIGINAL SCHEDULE:

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 21- TOPIC: Attribution, quotations, summary FIRST DRAFT PROFILE DUE (1,000 words, INCLUDE WORD COUNT) PEER EDIT. Discuss feature stories.
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

FEB 28 TOPIC: accidents, obituaries and courts Peer edit PRE-first draft Feature stories. Discuss chapters on accidents, obituaries and courts.
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 features.
MARCH 9 Discuss potential Issue paper topics & interviews with 2-3 "experts."

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


MARCH 21 Review for MID-TERM QUIZ. If time, work on features and blogs 
MARCH 23 NO CLASS: Take Home mid-term quiz

MARCH 28 TOPIC: Massachusetts Open Meeting Law FIRST DRAFT FEATURE DUE (1,000) words. 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.

APRIL 4 Peer edit Issue pre-first drafts. Final FEATURE DUE (1,000 words, 15 percent of total grade)
APRIL 6
FIRST DRAFT ISSUE (1,000 words with 4 voices, 2 of whom are "experts") due. Discuss chapters, Massachusetts Open Meeting Law. NEXT: Read and complete worksheets on Chaps. 26 on Taste in Journalism and 27 on Morality.

APRIL 11 TOPIC: Ethical reporting Discuss Chapters 26 & 27; in-class work on issue paper, blogs
APRIL 13 FINAL ISSUE PAPER DUE. (1,000 words 20 percent of total grade) Review for FINAL QUIZ.

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

*************** GRADED ASSIGNMENTS AND FINAL GRADE CALCULATION ***************

Articles/AP tips/worksheets/blogs 5 percent You will be responsible for all information on the chapter worksheets posted on the blog. Several times a semester you will present an article to the class as well as an AP Tip. A written summary of these is due on the day you present them. Classmates will create blogs in Wordpress.

Interviews with your classmate (video and written) 5 percent You will interview a classmate and the class will analyze a videotape of the interview. A short written piece is due using material from the interview and other reporting.

Speech paper 10 percent A well-organized 650-750-word speech story based on a presentation that the class attends, including comments from 2-3 audience members. Must have a strong lead, nutgraph and direct quotes from the speaker.

Deadline assignment 15 percent Pairs of classmates will conduct interviews on campus on a topic to be determined and write a 600 word piece with photos on deadline. Due by the end of class.

Deadline assignment 25 percent Topic TBA. Due by the end of class.

Profile 10 percent A well-researched, multi-voice, 1000-word profile of a local person. Mandatory pre-first draft and first draft in addition to the final draft.

Midterm 5 percent

Feature 15 percent A lively 1,000-word piece, most likely with a scenario lead about a place, group, trend or event with four voices minimum and photos. Mandatory pre-first and first draft in addition to the final draft.

Issue 20 percent - A well-researched 1,000 word piece on an issue of concern to the public. Must have a minimum of four voices, two of whom are “experts” on the subject, for instance a doctor, researcher or professor.

Film Analysis/deadline assignment 10 percent You will watch a short film and write an analysis of in on deadline. Not a simple summary. Due by the end of class.

Final - 10 percent