Week 13 Reporting Review

This week we’re going to review for the Final Exam and discuss what you learned in this course.

Reporting Jeopardy

We’ll also discuss your education stories and your final projects.

Here are some resources to help you prepare for the final exam, which will take place in class on Tuesday, May 5:

Associated Press Style Summary
President Obama’s Cabinet

Chiefs of State, CIA

Week 12 News Feature Writing

Today we’re going to discuss your news features — how to write a narrative, create characters and structure a longer story.

We’ll start with a news quiz.

Then we’ll read and discuss two neighborhood stories about the Mission:

A Changing Mission, San Francisco Chronicle

Backlash by the Bay: Tech Riches Alter a City, The New York Times


Week 11 Matt Richtel/Covering Crime

Week 11

Today Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Matt Richtel will speak about his book A Deadly Wandering.

Then we’ll catch up and get you ready for your crime/trial assignment. Remember you only need to write one of them, not both! Our agenda for the class:

News Quiz

Covering Crime

SFPD CrimeMaps

SFPD News Releases

How to obtain a police report from SFPD

Oakland Crime Map

Oakland PD News Releases

Covering Courts

the basics of how the U.S. criminal justice system works:

Diagram of How a Case Moves Through the Courts, American Bar Association

Then we’ll review these resources:

Access to Courts: Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

And we’ll look at examples of court coverage:

Trayvon Martin trial

Week 8 Features and Profiles

Agenda for today:
News quiz
Discussion of education reporting
News Features and profiles
Finding a profile subject

VIDEO: http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000002543563/the-changing-mission.htm

Final Project Checklist:

  • Main story
  • Sidebar, infographic, infobox or map
  • Video (for Jesse’s class)

What your final story should include:

  • Strong lede that captures the essence of the story and makes readers want to read more — may be news lede but probably a feature lede
  • Nut graph (may be 2-3 paragraphs) that explains what the story is about and why readers should care
  • Statistics (when possible) — how big, how many, how much?
  • Financials — how much does this cost?
  • History, background, context
  • Multiple points of view — at least 6 sources, including officials, experts, regular people with varying perspectives
  • Strong quotes that capture opinion and context
  • Description of the scene, the place, the person
  • Characters — look for a main character who will help you tell the story

Week 7 Cover an Event

Your professor will be in NYC at the College Media Association Spring Convention the week of March 9-15 so we will not have class. Your assignment is to cover an event and write a story about it within 24 hours (6 hours if possible). Post the story to iLearn.

Here are some events you could cover. If you have another idea, please run it by me in an email.

Chinese New Year Events:

March 6, 2015
Miss Chinatown Coronation Ball
San Francisco Hilton & Towers
333 O’Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA
March 7, 2015
Grant Avenue from Clay to Broadway; Pacific Avenue from Kearney to Stockton; Jackson Street from Kearny to Stockton
March 7, 2014
Chinese Culture Center
750 Kearny Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108
March 7, 2015
Year of the Ram Celebration
Chinese Historical Society of America
965 Clay Street
San Francisco, CA
March 7, 2015
Chinese New Year’s Day Parade
March 8, 2015
Grant Avenue from Clay to Broadway; Pacific Avenue from Kearny to Stockton; Jackson Street from Kearny to Stockton
March 8, 2014
Chinese Culture Center
750 Kearny Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108

Week 6 Field Trip to SF Public Press

On Tuesday, March 3 we’re going to take a field trip to the offices of San Francisco Public Press, 44 Page St., Suite 504 between Franklin & Gough.  https://i1.wp.com/sfpublicpress.org/files/winter_2015_a1.jpgPlease try to get there by 1:15 p.m. Take the M Oceanside downtown and get off at the Van Ness Station. Walk southwest on Market toward 12th Street and then make a right on Page Street. Here’s a map. Street parking may be available if you decide to drive.

We’ll meet with Executive Director Michael Stoll, who will tell you about the founding of the nonprofit, public-interest news project. He’ll also tell you about the education story you’ll be writing for this class — and possibly for the Public Press. To prepare, please read  all stories in the Special Report: Choice Is Resegregating Public Schools and review the education assignment in the Reporting Assignment Pack. Each of you will be assigned to report on one or two schools in San Francisco (Students covering Oakland neighborhoods will report on a school in San Francisco).

We will wrap up about 2:30 p.m. to give you time to get back to SFSU for Jesse’s class.

Week 5 Field Trip to City Hall

We will meet this week at 1 p.m. on the steps of the entrance to San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place, on Tuesday, Feb. 24. Meet at the entrance that faces Polk Street and Civic Center  Plaza. Here is a map and directions: http://sfgsa.org/index.aspx?page=1175.
Please try to get there on time so you’ll be able to take part in our tour led by Michael Pawluk, a SFSU journalism alum who now works as media director for the city’s General Services Agency.
From SFSU, the best way to get to City Hall is to take the M-Oceanside inbound/downtown to the Civic Center station and then walk west on Grove and north on Polk Street. You can’t miss City Hall, it’s the grand building with the dome.
If you plan to drive, metered parking is available on Van Ness, McAllister, Grove, and Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place. A CityPark underground parking lot is located on McAllister, between Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place and Larkin. For driving directions, please see the directions here, or visit Google Maps.
Be prepared to cover the 2 p.m. Board of Supervisors meeting. The agenda is available online. Please review it before coming to the meeting. The meeting will be held in the Legislative Chamber, Room 250, on the second floor.

You are expected to write a 350- to 500-word news story about one item on the board’s agenda and post it to iLearn by midnight on Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Week 4 Covering Local Government — Meetings and Elections

The agenda for today:

— News Quiz

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 on the front steps of City Hall, 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102. The front entrance is the one facing Polk Street and Civic Center Plaza. 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.

We will tour City Hall with Michael Pawluk, a SFSU journalism alum who now works at City Hall, and then we will cover the 2 p..m. Board of Supervisors meeting. 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 Public Records


This week we’ll explore the world of public records — what’s available, how to access them, how to use them and how journalists use documents to report stories.

Your guide will be Nicole Allensworth, the librarian assigned to work with the Journalism Department.

Here is the webpage for the Reporting class. It includes links to many of the agencies you’ll need to access for your public records assignment, due next week.

You can find more information about accessing public records in California from the Knight Digital Media Center at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

We’ll also have a news quiz and go over the entrance exam. Finally you’ll have time to meet with the student you interviewed last week and go over your profiles.

For next couple of weeks:

Write your Business or Real Estate story, due 2/17

Find answers to the Public Records assignment that’s included in the Assignment Pack. It’s due 2/24.

Week 2 Developing a Beat/Interviewing

Week 2 Feb. 3 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:

  • News Quiz
  • Entry exam — common mistakes
  • 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
  • Profile examples:
  • Interviewing exercise: Interview a classmate. Write a 300- to 400-word bio we can post on Bay News Now. Bring the profile to class next week. Your partner will help edit it.

For next week:

Report and write your business/real estate story.

Prepare for the Community Journalism Forum during class on Sept. 15 (in HUM 308) by reading the publications/blogs of our guest speakers:

Please prepare at least one or two questions for the panelists.

For your blog:

  • Write an About page for your blog 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.
  • Add a brief post to your blog. It could be some photos, an interview, a news brief — something that shows you’re keeping on top of the neighborhood.

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