Week 4 Covering Local Government — Meetings and Elections

The agenda for today:

— News Quiz
— Video: Framing a Story: What it’s Really About
— Third places blog post

Discussion of how local government works and how to cover government meetings.

Oakland City Council

SF Board of Supervisors

SF Supervisorial Districts by Neighborhood

Board committees

San Francisco Government TV

The lingo

  • Ordinance — legislation which amends municipal codes and makes laws; must be approved by 6 of the 11 supervisors. Ordinances require consideration at two separate meetings with at least five days intervening, a first reading and a final passage.
  • Resolution — a policy statement to express approval or disapproval; must be approved by 6 of the 11 supervisors.
  • Motion — a formal proposal for action
  • Environmental Impact Report — a report that provides the public and the decision-makers with detailed information about a project’s environmental effects, ways to minimize the project’s significant environmental effects, and reasonable alternatives to the project
  • Ralph M. Brown Act: “All meetings of the legislative body of a local agency shall be open and public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of the legislative body of a local agency, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.”

Brown Act Primer: Access to Meetings, First Amendment Coalition

Pocket Guide to the Brown Act
A guide to the Ralph M. Brown Act

California Sunshine Ordinance: San Francisco
California Sunshine Ordinance: Oakland

How legislation is introduced, reviewed and adopted

Next week we will take a field trip to San Francisco City Hall. Meet in the Board of Supervisors Chambers on the second floor of City Hall, 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102.  If you are traveling from SFSU take the M Oceanside line toward downtown and get off at Civic Center.  Walk north on Larkin or Polk Street and make a left on Grove. Directions to City Hall.

Please download and study the agenda, which will be available online on Thursday or Friday.

Sample Board of Supervisors agenda

Sample news stories about a board meeting:

Week 3 Community Journalism Forum

This week we’ll start class with a community journalism forum featuring:

The forum is open to all SFSU journalism students. We’ll explore the role of the community press and learn how you can intern or freelance work for these publications.

Later in the afternoon we’ll discuss:

Need help with your writing? Visit the Learning Assistance Center!

Week 2 Developing a Beat/Interviewing

Week 2 Sept. 6 Developing a Beat/Interviewing
Today we’ll discuss the triumphs and challenges you faced in your first week of neighborhood reporting.

Also on the agenda:

  • What makes a good pitch?
    * Concise but informed
    * Why should people care? Why it’s relevant, important or otherwise newsworthy
    * Why now? Look for news peg whenever possible
    * Whiff of the meat — telling details that will capture people’s interest
  • Real estate/business story pitches
  • Reporting skills: How to get information, developing your reporting style, finding story ideas, taking notes, cultivating sources
  • Interviewing
  • Entry exam — common mistakes

For next week:

Write your BEAT REPORT in question-and-answer format (due Sept. 13). List the source after each question.

Report and write your business/real estate story (due Sept. 20).

Prepare for the Community Reporting Forum during class on Sept. 13 by reading the publications of our guest speakers:

Please prepare at least two questions for the panelists.

For your neighborhood website:

  • Create a website using WordPress.com
  • Use a name with the neighborhood in it (ex. Chinatown Times, Mission Musings, West Oakland Oracle)
  • Write an About page that includes information about you and how you plan to cover your neighborhood. Make it professional and engaging.
  • Work on your blog theme, choosing one that reflects your neighborhood. Add photos to the header to tailor your blog to your neighborhood.
  • Add some links to businesses, resources and publications relevant to your neighborhood. For examples see Castro Continues and PlanetCastro and the Western Addition Edition.
  • Add a brief post to your website. It could be some photos, an interview, a news brief — something that shows you’re keeping on top of what’s happening in the neighborhood.

Welcome to Reporting San Francisco

Welcome to the website for Rachele Kanigel’s JOUR 300 Reporting course, Fall 2016

Week 1 Aug. 30

https://i1.wp.com/www.omicsonline.org/journal-highlight-images/journalism.jpgThe agenda for today: