You’ve made it! You’ve completed a semester of Reporting!
Today we’ll discuss your final projects and then discuss Mission High by Kristina Rizga.
We’ll watch part of a video of Kristina Rizga talking about the book.
Then we’ll discuss the book.
- How did she make characters come alive? How did she use detail and description to make you care about them?
- How did you think Kristina Rizga built trust with her sources so that they would open up and reveal personal aspects of their lives?
- What do you think of the way she wove the history of education in America with personal stories from Mission High?
- What did you like about the book? What didn’t you like?
Then we’ll have pizza and talk about what comes next in your journalism career.
This week we’ll spend most of the class period on the final exam. We’ll also plan for next week’s class party.
For next week: Come ready to discuss Mission High by Kristina Rizga. Unfortunately, Kristina cannot join us but please be ready to discuss the book. Some questions to consider:
What is your definition of a “good” school? Is Mission High a “good” school? How does it serve its students? How does it fail them?How does Mission High compare with the high school you attended?
How did Rizga make the characters real? Which characters did you think were the most vividly drawn? How did she use detail and description to make you care about them?
This week we’re going to review for the Final Exam and discuss what you learned in this course.
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, Dec. 1.
Members of the public and reporters will be barred from the courtroom when undercover FBI agents testify next week in the Chinatown racketeering trial of Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, a federal judge ruled Friday (Nov. 13), according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer granted a request by prosecutors to shield the agents from public view when they testify against Chow. The public will be able to watch the proceedings by video elsewhere in the courthouse, with the agents hidden from view.
Here are some more examples of coverage of the Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow trial:
- Prosecution witness implicates ‘Shrimp Boy‘ Chow in 2nd slaying
- ‘Shrimp Boy‘ trial witness says Chow was part of murder plot
- ‘Shrimp Boy‘ depicted as ruthless killer, wise leader as trial opens
And here is a story from the Lisa Heng trial in San Francisco Superior Court:
Week 12 Nov. 10
the basics of how the U.S. criminal justice system works:
Then we’ll review these resources:
Background on Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow Trial
- All eyes on ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow trial as it starts in federal court, San Francisco Chronicle
- The wild tale of ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow, notorious Chinatown ex-mobster and now alleged murderer, The Washington Post
- Shrimp Boy’s Day in Court, The New York Times Magazine
- PLEA: ‘Shrimp Boy‘ pleads not guilty to racketeering
- HOMICIDE INDICTMENT: Raymond ‘Shrimp Boy‘ Chow charged in killing of Chinatown rivals
- MURDER CHARGE ADDED: Murder charge added to ‘Shrimp Boy‘ Chow’s SF racketeering trial
- OPENING STATEMENTS: ‘Shrimp Boy’ depicted as ruthless killer, wise leader as trial opens, San Francisco Chronicle
- ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow at center of ‘criminal underground universe,’ prosecutor says at trial, Los Angeles Times
Week 11, Nov. 3
Today we’re going to talk about reporting on breaking news.
Breaking news sources:
Authoritative — city officials; police, fire, emergency workers; people who can speak with authority about this particular breaking news event
Experts — researchers, professors, non-governmental organization leaders who can provide context, history, background data
Victims, victims’ families — people who have been injured or family members of people who have been hurt or killed
Witnesses — people who have witnessed a breaking news event but weren’t hurt or personally involved
Person on the street reaction — regular folks who didn’t directly witness breaking news but can provide reaction to it.
Also on the agenda:
Update on Mission High author Kristina Rizga
Week 9, Oct. 20
Today you’ll pitch your final project ideas and we’ll discuss how to cover events.
We’ll start with a news quiz.
Your professor will be in Austin at the College Media Association Fall Convention the week of Oct. 26-31 so we will not have class on Oct. 27. Your assignment is to cover a community event in the next two weeks and write a story about it within 24 hours (6 hours if possible). Post the story to iLearn.
In choosing events, look for something that has a lot of activity. A festival or political demonstration would be good. A concert or movie is too passive and won’t give you many opportunities to interview people and gather color. You want someplace where you can wander around and talk to organizers and participants. The event does not have to be in your neighborhood. See Fun&CheapSF and Fun&CheapEastBay and suggestions below.
Once you find an event to cover, do some background research. Try to track down one of the organizers and interview them. Some possible questions:
- Is this a monthly or annual event? A one-time thing? The first ever?
- What is its purpose? Is it a fundraiser or community building event?
- How many people are expected to attend?
- Is there a fee?
- Who else can tell you about the event?
Once you’ve gathered the basic information, get ready to attend the event. Make a list of possible sources or people you may want to look for. Bring a camera and an audio recording device (these can be your fully charged smart phone), as well as a notebook and a couple of pens. Go to the event early so you can catch people on their way in. Try to talk to 6-10 participants. Ask:
- What brings you here?
- Have you attended this event before? If so, how does this event compare with previous ones?
- What do you like about it? Why did you come?
Try to gather some interesting, colorful anecdotes and take notes on scenes. Try to estimate how many people attend the event. Gather string on sights, sounds and smells. Look for details that capture the event and also some surprises, things you wouldn’t expect.
With each person you quote, gather some personal details: Name, age, city of residence, occupation, where they work or go to school, other info relevant to this particular event (the person has attended every year, a costume the person is wearing).
Try for an engaging lede — a scene or an anecdote. Try to avoid the formulaic “X number of people gathered at X place to attend X event.”
Here are some events you can cover. If you have another idea, please run it by me in an email.
|SATURDAY, OCT. 24
The Wharf Fest is a street fair in the Fisherman’s Wharf District. This event often includes a Clam Chowder competition, the chance to hop aboard a Segway to test it out, and several other activities. All events are between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Potrero Pet Parade
9th Annual Halloween Hootenanny
Fiesta on the HillThis Bernal Heights festival features live music, street artists, and gourmet food. Bring the kids along for pumpkin carving, petting zoos, and more. All activities take place in a seven-block area on Cortland Avenue.
Days of the Dead Community Celebration
SUNDAY, OCT. 26
FRIDAY, OCT. 30
|SATURDAY, OCT. 31
Halloween Hoopla at Yerba Buena Gardens
Noon to 1:30pmDia de los Muertos Celebration & Street Fest
Feel the Beet Farmer’s Market, 970 Grace Ave., Oaklland
|MONDAY, Nov. 2
San Francisco Day of the Dead
Festival of Altars – Honor the life of a loved one that has passed away at Garfield Park (25th/26th & Harrison Streets).
4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
I’ve tried to find free events but some of these events may have fees.
Final Project Checklist:
- Main story
- Sidebar, infographic, infobox or map
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
Dead and Buried: Forgotten Homicides
Journey to Nowhere: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Al Jazeera America
Wisconsin’s New Craft Breweries
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Mass shootings in the U.S.
10 Truck Crashes in Georgia, 33 Lives Lost
Here’s the agenda for today:
Guest Speaker: Hesper Wilson, SFSU librarian
Research Assistance Desk:
JOUR 300 Research Guide
- San Francisco County Superior Court
- Alameda County Superior Court
- Megan’s Law Sex Offender Registry
- San Francisco Ethics Commission
- California Department of Consumer Affairs
Verify a License
- California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division
- California Alcoholic Beverage Control
- License Query System
Public records assignment is due next week, 10/13.
Science/Health/Environment story pitches
Some examples of community resources that might yield stories:
Oaksterdam University (Uptown Oakland)
South of Market Health Center (SoMa)
OMI Family Resources Center (OMI)
Temescal Acupuncture Center (Temescal)
Radiant Health SF (Marina)
The Bay Institute (North Beach)
La Clinica Fruitvale (Fruitvale)
Sea Lion Center (near North Beach)
Mission Neighborhood Health Center (Mission)
Poder, a grassroots environmental organization in the Mission
Seedling Projects (Fort Mason/Marina)
Lake Merritt Institute (Lake Merritt)
San Francisco General Hospital (Mission)
Save the Bay (Oakland)
Tenderloin Health Services (Tenderloin)
Friends of the Urban Forest
Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (Fort Mason)
Friends of San Francisco Environment
Community Grows (Western Addition)
San Francisco Zoo (Sunset, near Lake Merced)
SF Health Network (list of primary care clinics around the city)
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center Oakland (near Temescal)
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center San Francisco (Richmond)
Here’s the agenda for today:
Review of Meeting Assignment
Coverage of last week’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting:
- S.F. supervisors call for memorial to WWII ‘comfort women’
San Francisco Chronicle
- Supes support ‘comfort women’ San Francisco Examiner
- S.F. supes move to make it harder to evict renters for ‘nuisances’
San Francisco Chronicle
- SF tenant rights receive significant boost from supes
San Francisco Examiner
- Who is the person?
- What makes this person interesting or newsworthy?
- What’s your angle on the story? How will you make this person come alive?
Reporting the profile story
- Show, don’t tell.
- Use sensory detail in describing scene — sight, smell, touch, sound, taste.
- Use anecdotes rather than simply facts to make the person come alive. Get the subject and other sources to tell stories about the subject’s life.
- Find sources that know different aspects of the person — co-workers, family members, friends, mentors, supervisors. Try to find out about the person’s professional and personal life.
- Try to observe the person in action — at work, with their family, interacting with people, moving.
For next week: Look for a scientific, health or environmental resource or institution in your neighborhood. This could be a hospital, clinic or treatment center; an environmental feature such as the ocean, a creek or a lake, a park or recreation area; a college or university (City College, USF, UCSF, SFSU, Samuel Merritt College, Laney, California Institute of Integral Studies). Start looking for a health or science story emerging out of that institution or resource.