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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Some AP Tips

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.

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.

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.)

A good example of a profile

There's a good profile by reporter Michael Jonas in this month's Commonwealth Magazine of UMass alumnus and longtime state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, who represents Hampshire and Franklin counties in the Massachusetts Senate. He is poised to become the Senate president, soon, a rare position for a western Massachusetts senator.

Here's how it begins:

"IF LIFE HAD taken a different turn, Stan Rosenberg might be an Orthodox Jewish rabbi today. That was his ambition while studying for his bar mitzvah in the early 1960s at Temple Israel in Malden. Had he followed that path, his days would be filled leading prayer services, wrestling with complicated questions posed by religious texts, and helping people with seemingly intractable dilemmas in the manner rabbis have done for generations. 

"When he didn’t get accepted to Yeshiva University in New York, Rosenberg struck out instead for Amherst, where he enrolled at the University of Massachusetts and has lived ever since. He found his way into politics, and has spent nearly his entire adult life in that world. Now, after 28 years in the state Legislature, where he has earned a reputation as one of its sharpest policy minds and a go-to guy for handling politically thorny assignments, Rosenberg is poised to take the reins in January as the new president of the state Senate." 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Piketty information

Thomas Piketty at UMass Oct. 2, 2014 - 5 p.m., Student Union Ballroom
Student Union Ballroom
See the excellent UMass page on Piketty, with links to articles about him at http://www.umass.edu/sbs/news-events/events/social-science-matters-perspectives-inequality—gamble-lecture-thomas-piketty

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Piketty

Thomas Piketty, a French economist is author of "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" ( 2013), which, according to the wikipedia entry on Piketty, "emphasizes the themes of his work on wealth concentrations and distribution over the past 250 years," arguing that "the rate of capital return in developed countries is persistently greater than the rate of economic growth, and that this will cause wealth inequality to increase in the future."
"To address this problem," according to wikipedia,  Piketty "proposes redistribution through a global tax on wealth."

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What not to do in an interview

Don't pretend you know something if you don't as in THIS interview with two actors in a movie the interviewer pretends he has seen but actually confused with another movie.

Monday, September 15, 2014

"We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" on Netflix

The documentary about Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, "We Steal Secrets" on Netflix: HERE.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Resources for writing about transgender people

Some helpful links on reporting and writing about transgender people:

Poynter: Nine ways journalists can do justice to transgender people's stories Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLADD) Media Guide

Article about the misguided questions Katie Couric asked about genitalia and Laverne Cox's answer at Salon. Laverene Cox quote: "I do feel there is a preoccupation with that. The preoccupation with transition and surgery objectifies trans people. And then we don’t get to really deal with the real lived experiences. The reality of trans people’s lives is that so often we are targets of violence. We experience discrimination disproportionately to the rest of the community. Our unemployment rate is twice the national average; if you are a trans person of color, that rate is four times the national average. The homicide rate is highest among trans women. If we focus on transition, we don’t actually get to talk about those things."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fall 2014 Syllabus

JOURN 300: NEWSWRITING and REPORTING, FALL 2014-- T/TH   4-6  p.m. – Integrative Learning Center S413
Journalism 300 is a hands-on, nuts-and-bolts news writing and reporting class in which we learn and discuss:
• What is news
• How to identify and pitch a good story
• How to report and conduct interviews
• The news story "formula," especially leads and nutgraphs
• Kinds of stories and how to tell them
• The journalistic principles of fairness, accuracy, telling the truth and serving the public good

Email me anytime at MARY CAREY maryelizacarey@gmail.com, 413-588-4274 (cell)
Class blog: Journ300.blogspot.com

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

ADDITIONAL REQUIRED READING

AP Style Guide online
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.

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 and it has to be a legitimate excuse. (I read my e-mail regularly and have a phone message machine at home.) 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 PERMISSION – IT'S ILLEGAL. NO READING FACEBOOK, UMASS MEMES etc ONLINE DURING CLASS!

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

In-class writing assignments usually won’t be longer than 2-3 (500-750 words) 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 significantly lower final draft grade. Among your assignments are a profile (counts for 10 percent of final grade), feature (15 percent), coverage of a speech (10 percent), issue piece (15 percent)  analysis on deadline (10  percent), blog (5 percent), deadline assignments and quizzes. See schedule for complete breakdown of how the final grade is calculated.

HONESTY

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


Fall 2014 schedule

SPRING 2014 Schedule
JOURN 300/CAREY/ FALL 2014
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 post an "AP Style tip" to the blog.

SEPT 2 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 topicwhere/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. (One option could be Laverne Cox, transgender rights activist and Emmy-nominated actress from the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, who will kick-off the Common Read Program.)
READ: Chapter 5 on Leads and Chapter 15 on Interviewing Principles
SEPT 4 - Review leads, Chapters 5 and 15 and the class blog; discuss where and when we can go to a speech

SEPT 9 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 the class blog and analyze them.
SEPT 11  Analyze interviewing videos, Bring in  400-500 written piece with photo based on your interview of a classmate. (5 percent of final grade) ATTEND TALK BY LAVERNE COX
NEXT: READ: Chapter 16 on speeches.

SEPT 16  SPEECH PAPER ON LAVERNE COX DUE. We will attend a talk by an outdoor journalist  and alumnus Kevin Riley. Take detailed notes, interview 2-3 audience members about the talk and write a 600 word speech/event story, due Thursday.
SEPT 18 FIRST ASSIGNMENT DUE (600 words event story on Tuesday’s speakers, worth 5 percent of final grade) In-class work on blogs; NEXT: Write a brief profile pitch to present next class.

SEPT 23  Present profile pitch; if time, work on blogs. NEXT, READ: Chaps. 2 and 3.
WRITE: 500 word “pre-first draft” profile with lead, nutgraph and quote(s).
SEPT 25:  Turn in pre-first drafts. Peer edit. NEXT, READ: Chap. 7 on the Writer's Art.

SEPT 30  Depending on which speech we attend, 650-750 word speech story may be due (10 percent of total grade)
OCT 2 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)
READ: Chap. 8 on Features.

OCT 7 FIRST DRAFT PROFILE DUE (INCLUDE WORD COUNT) Discuss feature stories.
PEER EDIT first draft profiles.
READ: Chapter 18 on Accidents and Disasters and Chapter 19 on Obituaries. Write Feature Pitch for next class.
OCT 9   FEATURE PITCH; if time, work on blogs.

OCT 14 NO CLASS/UMASS follows MONDAY SCHEDULE READ: Chapter 21 on Courts.
OCT 16 Discuss chapters on accident, obituaries and courts. In-class deadline assignment/obituary writing exercise (5 percent of total grade)

 OCT 21  FINAL DRAFT PROFILE DUE (1,000 words, INCLUDE WORD COUNT, 10 percent of total grade) In-class work on feature drafts. Discuss Issue paper & interviews with 2-3 "experts." Review for MIDTERM QUIZ. Next: READ: read Chaps. 11 on layered reporting. and 14 on sources.
OCT 23 ***MID-TERM QUIZ *** If time, work on blogs; do advance work on your features as a pre-first draft is due next class (5 percent of total grade)

OCT 28   PRE- FIRST DRAFT FEATURE (500 words, INCLUDE WORD COUNT) DUE. PEER EDIT.
OCT 30   FIRST DRAFT FEATURE DUE (1,000) words. In-class work on features, issue, experts.

NOV 4  Issue pitch.
WRITE: 500-word Issue PRE-First Draft to peer edit next class.
NOV 6  In-class work on Issue papers.  Peer edit Issue pre-first drafts. Final FEATURE DUE (1,000 words, include word count, worth 15 percent of total grade)
READ: Chap 20 on police and Chapters 24 on Government  and 25 on Reporters and the Law. Review Massachusetts Open Meeting Law. Discuss progress on Feature and Issue papers.

NOV 11 NO CLASS/VETERANS DAY 
NOV 13   FIRST DRAFT ISSUE (1,000 words with 4 voices, 2 of whom are "experts") due. READ: Chaps. 26 on Taste in Journalism and 27 on Morality.

NOV 18  Discuss Chapters 26 & 27; in-class work on issue paper, blogs
NOV 20  In-class work on Issue paper.  Review for FINAL QUIZ.

NOV 25 FINAL ISSUE PAPER DUE. (1,000 words; include word count, 15 percent of total grade)/END OF SEMESTER QUIZ  Discuss summary/analysis writing.
NOV 27 NO CLASS/ THANKSGIVING

DEC 2 – In-class deadline assignment 16: Watch film and write SUMMARY/ANALYSIS with quote(s) from someone in class (10 percent of final grade) on deadline, due at end of class.
DEC 4 -  LAST DAY OF CLASS/RECAP Final blog presentations

How the final grade is calculated:

Sept. 16 talk paper – 5 percent
Articles/AP tips – 5 percent
Blog – 5 percent
Interviews with your classmate (video and written) 5 percent
Speech paper – 10 percent
Oct. 2 deadline assignment – 5 percent
Oct. 16 obituary assignment – 5 percent
Profile – 10 percent
Midterm – 5 percent
Feature – 15 percent
Issue – 15 percent
Film Analysis – 10 percent
Final – 5 percent


Thursday, August 14, 2014