Download the Reporting Assignment Pack S2017 which includes most of the assignments for the course this semester.

Here’s a sample story that shows how to format a story.
Week 13 April 18
No class next week! Sign up for conference with Rachele to discuss your final project.

  • Write trial story (due 4/25)
  • Work on final project. Bring first draft or outline plus a source list with at least 6 sources you have interviewed or plan to interview to conference with Rachele next week.

Week 12 April 11
Write trial story (due 4/25 — note revised deadline)

Week 11 April 4
Write crime story (due 4/11)

Week 10 March 28
Write profile (due 4/4)
Report and write crime story (due 4/11)

Week 7 March 7
Cover an event. See details in Assignment Pack and on iLearn.
File on iLearn within 24 hours of event but no later than March 19.
Write proposals for two possible trend or issues stories for your final project, due March 28.

TO READ: Read sample event stories on Readings page.

GET AHEAD: Work on profile, due 4/4. Read sample profiles on Readings page.

Week 6 Feb. 28
Write meeting story from Board of Supervisors meeting.
Public Records assignment is due March 7

Week 5 Feb. 21
Get ready for next week’s Board of Supervisors meeting by reading the agenda at

TO READ: Read sample meeting stories posted on the Readings page.

GET AHEAD: Start working on your Public Records assignment, due March 7, and your profile, due April 4.

Week 4 Feb. 14

TO DO: Find an interesting and accessible person who lives and/or works in your neighborhood.

What makes a good profile subject?

  • A person who has had an interesting life, ideally one filled with a mix of conflict, adversity and achievement.
  • A person connected to a current news story (a refugee who is affected by the recent travel ban; a restaurateur opening a new restaurant; a newly elected or appointed official; an artist with a new exhibit, film, book, play, a longtime merchant or resident getting evicted, etc.)
  • A person other people will want to read about.

Write a 200-word pitch (due Feb. 21) including:

  • Name and position or title
  • Phone number and email address
  • What makes this person interesting?
  • Why write this profile now? If possible, find a news peg, such as a recent award or accomplishment, a new position, a retirement, a store or restaurant closing or opening, a landmark birthday, etc.

See the full assignment in the Assignment Pack.

TO READ: “The Swan Who Feeds and Cares for Pigeons,” by Julio Marcial, who wrote the story for last semester’s Reporting class.

In addition, read some profiles from The New York Times Saturday profiles and the three profiles posted on the Readings page.

GET AHEAD: Start working on Public Records assignment (due March 7).

Week 3 Feb. 7

TO DO: Write Business story, due Feb. 14. Remember to start one-third of the way down the page and double space to leave room for comments. And don’t forget to include your source list at the end of the story. Assignments turned in without a source list lose 10 points!

Rewrite Neighborhood story (optional). When submitting rewrite for regrading, staple the new story on top of the gradesheet and original graded story. Submit one to two weeks after you receive the graded original. I will grade the rewrite and then average the two grades.

Start working on your website. Create a website in WordPress. Name it your name or something close ( or Write an About Page. Post your Neighborhood story (with errors corrected). If you have trouble with your WordPress website come see me during office hours or bring your questions to class next week.

Week 2 Jan. 31
Work on Beat Report in your Assignment Pack above (due Feb. 7). Write answer to each question followed by the source(s) that provided the information.
If I recommended a meeting with a tutor go to the Learning Assistance Center in HSS 348 and ask to make an appointment with Charlotte Mackay.

TO READ: See examples of Business/Real Estate stories on the Readings page.

GET AHEAD: Start working on Business or Real Estate story (due Feb. 14).

Week 1 Jan. 24

TO DO: Tour your neighborhood and do brief interviews with 10 people, a mix of residents, merchants and community activists. Ask what people like and don’t like about the neighborhood, what problems they see, major issues, what’s changed. Write a 600- to 750-word NEIGHBORHOOD PROFILE (due 1/31; see assignment pack for details). Your neighborhood profile should include a list of all the sources you interviewed with their phone numbers and email addresses. For examples of neighborhood profiles see:

Bring a printed copy of your Neighborhood Profile to class on Tuesday.

Work on BEAT REPORT (due 2/7)

TO READ: Read about your neighborhood in community publications, newspapers and news websites (SFGate,, SFExaminer, community publications, etc.). Read the news this week. We’ll have our first news quiz next Tuesday.

GET AHEAD: Start working on your business or real estate story. Bring story ideas to class 2/31; the story is due 2/14.