Saturday, March 28, 2015

Revised schedule

We'll have to postpone seeing "Reporter" again and do the Issue  pitches by email, because we will be meeting Tuesday, March 31, 4:30 p.m. at the Amherst Police Station, 111 Main Street in downtown Amherst, just about 100 yards down Main Street past Town Hall. Plan to stop by Town Hall before or after the police station, locate where upcoming meetings are posted and jot down when the next Select Board or other town board meeting is, which room it is in, when it starts and if an agenda is mentioned, one or more agenda items. 

We'll meet with Detective Jamie Reardon for one hour, 4:30-5:30 p.m.  That's how we will be covering the police chapter and you'll see what it's like to pick up and report on the police log.  

Each blog group will be responsible for writing a 500-word piece on the visit, with quotes from Det. Reardon and two classmates to be posted on the blogs by April 21.

Read the police chapter (Chapter 20 in all or most editions) and send me by  email by the end of this weekend, 2 questions for Det. Reardon. MAKE SURE YOU SEND ME THESE, SO I KNOW YOU GOT THIS MESSAGE TO MEET AT THE POLICE STATION  -- NOT OUR REGULAR CLASSROOM -- TUESDAY.

Also email me your Issue Pitch by Monday, as we won't be able to do the pitches on Tuesday as originally scheduled. Consider writing your Issue piece with another person in the class. On Thursday, April 2 -- the next class after the police station visit -- a hard copy of your 500-word pre-first draft is due for peer editing.


This is what the Amherst Police Station, 111 Main St., looks like
REVISED SCHEDULE 

MARCH 31  Have emailed Issue pitch. Meet at the Police Station. FOR NEXT CLASS WRITE 500-word Issue PRE-First Draft to peer edit.

APRIL 2  Peer edit Issue pre-first draftsFinal FEATURE DUE (1,000 words, include word count, worth 15 percent of total grade)

APRIL 7  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 9  Discuss Chapters 26 & 27; in-class work on issue paper, blogs

APRIL 14  At 4 p.m. Katie Manning, a freelance journalist reporting in South America and Latin America, is giving a talk that will touch upon subjects including entrepreneurship, international reporting and work across digital platforms.You can learn more about her here: http://www.katie-manning.com/about-me.html  (Blog groups will post pieces about the visit)
In-class work on Issue paper; continue chapters discussion.

APRIL 16  FINAL ISSUE PAPER DUE. (1,000 words; include word count, 20  percent of total grade) Review for FINAL QUIZ.

APRIL 21 END OF SEMESTER QUIZ  Discuss summary/analysis writing.
APRIL 23  - In-class deadline assignment: Watch film and write SUMMARY/ANALYSIS (10 percent of final grade) on deadline, due at end of class.

APRIL 28 – RECAP, final work on blogs

Friday, February 6, 2015

Some profile tips

PROFILES
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.)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tips

JOURN 300/SPRING 2015 Tips
LEADS
Ø  Do NOT lead with a sweeping, unreported generalization; plunge right into the reported material
Ø  Lead should do more than just say the event occurred; should be direct and reader friendly; Should be engaging!

JUST THE FACTS
Ø  Closely observed, specific, concrete DETAILS will make or break your story.

Ø  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.

Ø  Keep your opinions/judgments out of the story. Don’t editorialize or make grand claims

Ø  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.)

Ø  In general, keep the reporter and the mechanics  of the interview out of the story. Get to the story!

WRITING
Ø  Put your best, most vivid, reported material up top. Put details anyone could get off your subject’s resume low in the story
Ø  Double- and triple-check name spellings!
Ø  Use “said” vs other words like it
Ø  AP style is to NOT capitalize academic subjects & do not capitalize  job titles unless the title comes RIGHT before the job holder’s name
Ø  In general, write in past tense
Ø  News stories do NOT have essay-style conclusions
Ø  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…”
Ø  Don’t alter direct quotations AT ALL.  But if a person says gonna or shoulda, write going to and should have
Ø  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.
Ø  Describe/SHOW vs. Tell 
Ø  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! 
Ø  Eliminate wordiness! Do NOT repeat anything!! 
Ø  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.
Ø  Keep quotes short so that they have a greater impact. Paraphrase!!
Ø  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.
Ø  Commas and periods INSIDE quotation marks
Ø  Put TV shows, book titles, article titles, movie titles in quotation marks


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What's coming up -- next few classes


THURSDAY FEB 5  MEET AT THE CAMPUS CENTER ROOM 162-75 at  4 pm to hear Antonia Calafat talk about chemical exposure and the effect on human health http://www.umass.edu/family/node/1980 
Take good notes, interview 2-3 people after the speech about what they found interesting, surprising, instructive etc.  

FOR NEXT CLASS: bring in hard copy of 650-750 word speech paper, with word count. Be sure to   include a strong lead and nutgraph, several quotes from the speaker and,  at the end of the paper, 2-3 direct quotes from audience members who you interview about the speech/event.

Also: 
  • Read and complete Chapters 2 & 3 worksheets (on blog, under worksheets tab) 
  • Bring in a written PROFILE pitch (a few sentences on who your profile subject is going to be, why he or she would be a good subject and a potential lead.)

FEB 10 PROFILE PITCH, continue analyzing interview videos.  
FOR NEXT CLASS: 1) BRING IN HARD COPY of 500 word “pre-first draft” profile with lead, nutgraph and quote(s) and 2)  read and complete worksheet on Chap. 7 on the Writer's Art.

FEB 12   In-class, deadline writing assignment : In pairs, interview 4 people on campus on subject TBA; write by the end of class, one 500 word story on-deadline with quotes from each of your sources. (5 percent of total grade) NEXT: Read Chap. 8 on Features.

FEB 17- NO CLASS/Monday scheduled followed/ work on profile first drafts

FEB 19  FIRST DRAFT PROFILE DUE (1,000 words, INCLUDE WORD COUNT) PEER EDIT.  Discuss feature stories.

SPEECH PAPER ESSENTIALS (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 necessarily 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!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sample profile

Happy snow day! If you're looking for something to read, you might find this recent New York Times Magazine profile of  Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly interesting and a good model for your own profile. It has been described as a "puff piece," which means it is pretty flattering, on the whole.  

It's a good one for journalism class, because it has some good information about the direction that mainstream TV news is taking today -- toward less reporting about government and politics, a trend that is contributing to the rise of news reporting with an ideological -- "conservative" or "liberal," for example -- perspective. 

Note the delayed/anecdote lead, which shows us Kelly in action. It gives readers who don't know who Kelly is an understanding of her personality.  In the nutgraph, the author tells us what the angle of this profile is, explaining what a "Megyn moment" is and how her style of news reporting is making her a rising star in TV news. See, too, how the author gives us a good sampling of personal, background information later in the story. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Revised schedule in anticipation of a snow day


TUESDAY JAN 27   -- If there's a snow day, proceed with schedule below:

THURSDAY JAN 29 -- Tori and Richard present article and AP tip ( Download article and Ap tip sheet at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-8cfmG_UqRPa97jFeEuF9l65SPqXk2qFxUQhqdBM5rY/edit
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.
NEXT: 1) Read Chapter 16 on speeches and 2) write 400-500 words with photo on a classmate, based on your interview. The angle should be the topic your classmate talked about in the interview, but also tell your reader the basics about your classmate -- name, class, major, interests, where he or she is from. A hard copy with word count is due next class (5 percent of total grade)

TUESDAY FEB 3  Discuss how to write a speech paper, as we will be attending a speech on Thursday.
Analyze interviewing videos, FIRST ASSIGNMENT DUE: 400-500 written piece with photo based on your interview of a classmate. (5 percent of final grade) 

THURSDAY FEB 5  MEET AT THE CAMPUS CENTER ROOM 162-75 at  4 pm to hear Antonia Calafat talk about chemical exposure and the effect on human health http://www.umass.edu/family/node/1980 Take good notes, interview 2-3 people after the speech about what they found interesting, surprising, instructive etc.  NEXT CLASS: bring in hard copy of 650-750 word speech paper, with word count. Be sure to   include a strong lead and nutgraph, several quotes from the speaker and at the end of the paper 2-3 direct quotes from audience members who you interview about the speech/event.
Also: Read and complete Chapters 2 & 3 worksheets (on blog, under worksheets tab) and bring in a written PROFILE pitch (a few sentences on who your profile subject is going to be, why he or she would be a good subject and a potential lead.)

TUESDAY FEB 10 SPEECH PAPER DUE (10 percent of total grade) 
PROFILE PITCH, continue analyzing interview videos.  NEXT: 1) BRING IN HARD COPY of 500 word “pre-first draft” profile with lead, nutgraph and quote(s) and 2)  read and complete worksheet on Chap. 7 on the Writer's Art.

THURSDAY FEB 12   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.

TUESDAY FEB 17- NO CLASS/Monday scheduled followed/ work on profile first drafts
THURSDAY FEB 19  FIRST DRAFT PROFILE DUE (1,000 words, INCLUDE WORD COUNT) PEER EDIT.  Discuss feature stories.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Spring 2015 Schedule

SPRING 2015 Schedule
JOURN 300/CAREY
Tuesday/Thursday 4 – 6 p.m.
Integrative Learning Center S413

This is a tentative schedule of topics 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. We’ll develop a schedule for this.

JAN 20 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 22 - 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 27  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.
JAN 29  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.

FEB 3  Analyze interview videos. Discuss Speech chapter. Depending on which speech we attend, 650-750 word speech story may be due (10 percent of total grade)  NEXT: Write a brief profile pitch to present to class.
FEB 5  Profile pitch. NEXT: Read and complete Chapters 2 & 3 worksheets (on blog, under worksheets tab) WRITE and BRING IN TO PEER EDIT A HARD COPY of 500 word “pre-first draft” profile with lead, nutgraph and quote(s).

FEB 10 Turn in pre-first drafts. Peer edit. NEXT: read and complete worksheet on Chap. 7 on the Writer's Art.
FEB 12   In-class, deadline writing assignment #6: 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 17- NO CLASS/Monday scheduled followed
FEB 19  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 24     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 26   Peer edit PRE-first draft Feature stories. Discuss chapters on accidents, obituaries and courts.

MARCH 3  In-class deadline assignment/obituary writing exercise (5 percent of total grade) Next: Read Chaps. 11 on  layered reporting and 14 on sources.
MARCH 5 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 10  Review for MID-TERM QUIZ.  Discuss potential  Issue paper topics & interviews with 2-3 "experts."
MARCH 12  ***MID-TERM QUIZ *** If time, work on features and blogs

MARCH 17-19 SPRING BREAK

MARCH 24    In-class work on features and blogs.
MARCH 26    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 31  Issue pitch. Discuss chapters. WRITE: 500-word Issue PRE-First Draft to peer edit next class.
APRIL 2  Peer edit Issue pre-first drafts. Final FEATURE DUE (1,000 words, include word count, worth 15 percent of total grade)

APRIL 7  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 9  Discuss Chapters 26 & 27; in-class work on issue paper, blogs

APRIL 14  In-class work on Issue paper; continue chapters discussion.
APRIL 16  FINAL ISSUE PAPER DUE. (1,000 words; include word count, 20  percent of total grade) Review for FINAL QUIZ.

APRIL 21 END OF SEMESTER QUIZ  Discuss summary/analysis writing.
APRIL 23  - In-class deadline assignment: Watch film and write SUMMARY/ANALYSIS (10 percent of final grade) on deadline, due at end of class.

APRIL 28 – RECAP, final work on blogs
APRIL 30 - LAST DAY OF CLASS/ Final blog presentations


How the final grade is calculated:

Articles/AP tips/worksheets/blogs 5 percent
Interviews with your classmate (video and written) 5 percent
Speech paper – 10 percent
Feb. 12 deadline assignment – 5 percent
Obituary/deadline assignment – 5 percent
Profile – 10 percent
Midterm – 5 percent
Feature – 15 percent
Issue – 20 percent
Film Analysis/deadline assignment – 10 percent
Final – 10 percent


Spring 2015 syllabus


JOURN 300: NEWSWRITING and REPORTING, SPRING 2015   Tuesday/Thursday 4-6 p.m. Integrative Learning Center S413

Open to sophomore, junior and senior journalism majors. Required for major. Fulfills junior year writing requirement.

Description and Learning objectives:  Journalism 300 is a hands-on, nuts-and-bolts news writing and reporting class. Upon completion, you should be able to :
• Determine what is news
• Identify and pitch a good story
• Report and conduct interviews
• Use the news story "formula," especially leads and nutgraphs
• Have an understanding of the kinds of stories there are and how to tell them
• Uphold  journalistic principles of fairness, accuracy, telling the truth and serving the public good

Email me anytime at maryelizacarey@gmail.com, 413-588-4274 (cell)
Syllabus, schedule and assignments are posted on the class blog: Journ300.blogspot.com

REQUIRED TEXT: Melvin Mencher, News Reporting and Writing (latest edition)

ADDITIONAL REQUIRED READING
AP Style Guide online, assigned readings TBA and daily newspapers and news magazines. Try to scan online and in print at least one of the local newspapers including the Collegian, Daily Hampshire Gazette or Springfield Republican every day. Also be aware of what’s on the front page of, for instance, the Boston Globe and New York Times. Each class, one or more students will bring in a newspaper article and comment on some aspect of the news, news coverage, style, choice of stories or contrast between coverage. Being conversant with what is in the news is essential to writing it.

GRADES
Grades are based on timely and thoughtful completion of in-class and out-of-class writing assignments and quizzes, multi-media blog, attendance and in-class participation. Writing criteria include news judgment, clarity of writing, grammar, accuracy, organization, spelling, conciseness, use of AP style, and meeting deadlines. Although the big picture things like news judgment and solid reporting are important, misspelling names and other seemingly minor shortcomings can ruin a story and your reputation, so they will count. Numerical equivalent of grades: A=95, A-=92, A-/B+ =90, B+88 etc.  Explanation of how grades are calculated is in the course schedule/calendar.

ATTENDANCE
Not making appointments or missing the action will also undermine your career and the class. You MUST tell me BEFORE class if you are going to be absent for a legitimate reason. (I read my e-mail regularly and you can call my cell anytime.) Otherwise you will receive zeroes for the day’s assignments. Please do not be late or leave early. More than three absences and/or repeatedly being late or leaving early will result in a significantly lowered final grade, with the grade being lowered by a full half grade for each absence over three.
CELL PHONE RINGERS MUST BE TURNED OFF. NO TAPING WITHOUT ASKING FIRST. NO READING FACEBOOK, UMASS MEMES etc ONLINE DURING CLASS!

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
In-class writing assignments usually won’t be longer than 2-3 typewritten pages. Most major assignments are 1,000 words or 4 pages. First drafts must be in turned in on-time for credit. Not turning in a first draft or turning in an insufficiently complete first draft will result in a zero for the first draft and a significantly lower final draft grade. Among your assignments are a profile (counts for 15 percent of final grade), feature (15 percent), coverage of a speech (10 percent), issue piece (20 percent)  analysis on deadline and deadline writing assignments (20 percent), blog (10 percent), minor assignments, quizzes, participation (10 percent).

HONESTY
Any instance of plagiarism or any other form of cheating is cause for course failure.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Last day of class

Thanks for a great class!

Some Journ 300 Takeaways

JOURN 300/FALL 2014 - Some Takeaways

Sept. 16 talks by Kevin Riley and  Alpinist editor Katie Ives:  
  • You can take reporting and writing skills in vastly different directions – toward literary fiction that is supported through readers’ subscriptions or in the service of providing multimedia content for websites/live presentations and events. 
  • Follow your passion. If you write really well (or take photos, videos etc) about a subject you are passionate about, people will notice. Readers liked Alpinist's content so much that when the magazine went out of business, they successfully agitated to bring it back


Articles/AP tips 
  • News stories engage readers and have an impact for different reasons, including:
  • Timeliness (incidents at UMass), 
  • Widespread impact (the recent record-breaking snowstorm), 
  • Prominence of the subject (Jeter's new website),
  • Emotional or geographical proximity (the father who runs the marathon with his disabled son), 
  • Conflict (Islamic State stories), 
  • The unusual or quirky (surprise births at the zoo, aggressive hedgehog), 
  • Currency and necessity (stories about domestic violence, sexual assault, racism, injustice)

Blog and video interviews 
  • Develop your multimedia skills and get comfortable with the technology. 
  • Be your own publisher. 
  • Get out your message(s). 
  • Establish an impressive online profile.


Speech story
  • Sums up for the reader the speaker's most important points, getting to the "heart"/major theme of the presentation in the lead.
  • Interviewing other people for their reactions adds perspective

Deadline assignment
  • Think about your subject in advance and come up with questions that will elicit responses with concrete, specific information.
  • Sometimes, it's easier to start a conversation when you are speaking with a group of people.
  • Photos add a lot

Obituaries
  • They're closely read! Precision and accuracy is key. What to include is a matter of good judgment. Reporters don't use euphemisms, although a family member writing an obituary might.

Profile
  • The reader should feel he or she has gotten an understanding of what makes your subject "tick." Include a brief physical description, family, occupation, education, hobbies etc
  • Don't write a hagiography!
Feature 
  • Lots of voices, saying varied (not the same) things can make or break a feature

Issue 
  • Data and expert analysis adds value for readers

Film Analysis 
  • Weave analysis and your reaction with a summary
  • Analyze how the video narrative was "constructed." How does the sequence of events in which is the story is told, choice of interviewees, videography, lighting, music etc advance the filmmaker's message/themes?

"Judging Jewell"
  • The press must exert the highest standards for accuracy, objectivity and and attribution. Thoroughly fact-check. The stakes are high!
  • Beware of stereotyping! 

"Reporter"
  • If the press doesn't "bear witness" to and expose injustices in the world, who will?
  • The Rokia Principle: A detailed, believable story of one person has more impact upon readers and viewers than the story of something that affects a million people, because the latter is difficult to fully comprehend

ADA Townsend visit
  • How the press covers a criminal case can be a factor in the resolution of a case. For one example, if  coverage of a case has been "sensational," a judge can move the venue of a trial to another jurisdiction so that prospective jurors are not considered to be potentially "biased" as a result of having been exposed to the media reports.
  • Prosecutors are prohibited from saying anything to the press or public outside the courtroom that could potentially compromise a defendant's right to a fair trial.

Channel 40 reporter/anchor Shakala Alvaranga visit
  • To be successful: work hard and "go the extra mile," be a team player, resist the temptation to complain. Be prepared!


Amherst PD Det. Reardon

  • Police are required to release public information to the press, but some information cannot be released if it would violate a victim's or juvenile's privacy or could compromise an ongoing case.
  • Members of the public have the right to videotape police -- as long as they don't interfere with the officer doing his or her job.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Updated AP Tips/FALL 2104

Quotations: When using direct quotation, periods and commas are always placed INSIDE the closing quotation marks. Question marks can go inside the end quotation marks or outside, depending upon the example: "What?" she asked him.
Colons and semi-colons go outside the end quotation marks.

Capitalization

  • Don't capitalize job titles, unless they come directly before the job holder's name.
  • Capitalize names of campus and other officially named buildings. For example: She walked to the Mullins Center and passed the library.


Numbers
  • In general -- but there are many exceptions -- spell out numbers zero through nine, use numerals for 10 and above. Use figures for sports scores.
  • Percentages are always expressed as numeral followed by the word "percent." Example:The unemployment rate has risen by 12 percent.

Time
  • Use figures, except for noon and midnight ; use colon to separate hours from minutes (4 p.m., 4:15 p.m.) Five o'clock is acceptable but time listings with a.m. or p.m. are preferred.
Dates
  • Do not use -st, -nd, -rd or -th with the numbers. It's Oct. 1 through Oct. 15 -- not Oct. 1st through Oct. 15th.
  • Spell out months if they stand alone. Abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. when used with a specific date. My birthday is in the middle of September. My niece's birthday is Sept. 2. If you are just saying a month and a year, don't put a comma between them: October 2014.
Titles
  • Use quotation marks -- not underlining or italics -- for books, songs, television shows, computer games, oems, lectures, speeches and works of art. Leave magazines, newspapers, the Bible and reference catalogues as-is.
Abbreviations
  •  United States is spelled out when used as a noun but often abbreviated when used as an adjective" The United States is a country. I travel with my U.S. documents.
  • Spell out the official name of something the first time you mention it; use the abbreviation after that. It's University of Massachusetts the first time you mention it and UMass after that.
  • States are no longer abbreviated when they come after a city/town, thanks to an AP style change. Some cities do not need to be followed by a state name, such as Boston, New Orleans and San Francisco.
  • When writing addresses, abbreviate avenue, boulevard and street when used with a numbered address. For example: He lives on North Pleasant Street. She lives at 500 Main St.

Miscellaneous
  • Miles - Use figures for ALL distances. (This was a 2013 AP style change). "My flight covered 1,113 miles."  "The airport runway is 5 miles long."
  • Only use one space after a period, in between sentences. (In the days of typewriters, we used two.)
  • When writing about the digital currency Bitcoin, capitalize Bitcoin when  you're talking about the concept, but use lower case when you're talking about individual bitcoins. For example: He is a firm believer in the Bitcoin system and he has amassed over 500,000 bitcoins in a short time.
  • Smartphone applications. You can abbreviate using app on second reference.
  • Farther and further. Farther refers to physical distance. He lives farther away than I do. Further refers to an extension of time or degree. She has found further cause for alarm.
  • Toward, forward, backward, upward, downward do NOT end with an s.
  • email is written without a hypen, but other e-words, such as e-commerce and e-book do have hyphens