Author Archives: rkanigel

Week 5 Covering Events and Meetings

Week 5: Feb. 20-22
Tuesday: Covering Events

Why do journalists cover events? What are you trying to convey?

What to include:

  • A lede that captures the mood and spirit of the event
  • Who, what, where, when and why (either in the lede or the nut graph)
  • Quotes from organizers
  • Background/history (is this an annual event? how did it start? who organized it?)
  • Size of crowd (estimate, get crowd estimates from organizers, police)
  • Vignettes
  • Scenes
  • Quotes from participants
  • Capture the sights, smells, sounds, tastes of the event; use evocative description to make the event come alive

Event story ledes

You can start with a news lede like this:

Hundreds of thousands of onlookers, thousands of participants and an incalculable number of firecrackers filled the streets of downtown San Francisco and Chinatown to celebrate the Year of the Horse with the annual Chinese New Year Parade on Saturday evening.

Full story at:

or a feature lede like this:

Streets were so packed for Saturday night’s annual Chinese New Year Parade that Andrew Loukas had to use his grandson as a periscope.

“I can’t see anything,” said Loukas, who stood with his grandson George on his shoulders amid the throng at Powell and Geary streets.

“I can see dragon heads and fish,” George reported. “There’s weird people in weird hats in a car.”

“Thanks,” Grandpa said.

With tens of thousands of people lining the route, other viewers climbed on mailboxes, trashcans and Chronicle news boxes, while many peered out from department store and apartment building windows.

The full moon and clear skies drew the multitudes that stayed away from the soggy spectacles of years past. It was a perfect night to watch a dragon dance, a trumpeter trumpet and a beauty queen smile beatifically.

Full story at:

Where to find events:

Possible events for you to cover:

Saturday, Feb. 24 Chinatown Community Street Fair
Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt
Sunday, Feb 25 Chinatown Community Street Fair
Saturday, March 3 Black Cuisine Festival
Sea Chantey Singalong Aboard Historic Ship
Saturday, March 10 Many Voices, One Art Bay Area Choral Festival
Saturday, March 17 St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival



Thursday: Covering Meetings

Profile pitches
San Francisco Board of Supervisors

For next week: Field Trip to San Francisco Board of Supervisors Meeting

On Tuesday, Feb. 27 we will meet at 2 p.m. at San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place. Please come to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors chambers, Room 250, on the second floor. Here is a map and directions:

Please try to get there on time so you’ll get to see the whole meeting. The meeting will probably go till 5 p.m. or beyond. You don’t have to stay for the whole thing but please plan to spend at least three hours there.
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.

The agenda is available online. Please review it before coming to the meeting.

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 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Remember to include your source list (with names and contact info for all your sources) at the end of the assignment.





Week 4 Profile Writing

Week 4: Feb. 13-15

This week we’ll talk about writing profiles and features.

Tuesday: Finding a profile subject, the profile interview, finding an angle, using your five senses, descriptive writing.
Exercise: Descriptive writing

News quiz
Interviewing: Going Deep

Tips How to Write a Profile,

For Next Week:
Get ready to pitch your profile story on 2/20.

Week 3 Covering a Community

Week 3: Feb. 6-8

Tuesday: Community News Forum
Walter Thompson, Hoodline
Alexis Terrazas, El Tecolote


We’ll also discuss your Neighborhood Profiles.

AP Style Tip of the Week: Street names and addresses

From the AP Stylebook:
Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. only with a numbered address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Spell them out and capitalize when part of a formal street name without a number: Pennsylvania Avenue. Lowercase and spell out when used alone or with more than one street name: Massachusetts and Pennsylvania avenues.

All similar words (alley, drive, road, terrace, etc.) always are spelled out. Capitalize them when part of a formal name without a number; lowercase when used alone or with two or more names.
Always use figures for an address number: 9 Morningside Circle.
Spell out and capitalize First through Ninth when used as street names; use figures for 10th and above: 7 Fifth Ave., 100 21st St.
Abbreviate compass points used to indicate directional ends of a street or quadrants of a city in a numbered address: 222 E. 42nd St., 562 W. 43rd St., 600 K St. NW. Do not abbreviate if the number is omitted: East 42nd Street, West 43rd Street, K Street Northwest. No periods in quadrant abbreviations – NW, SE – unless customary locally.

Common errors:

  • Punctuating quotes:
    • “Learn how to punctuate quotes,” said Rachele Kanigel, a professor of journalism at San Francisco State University. “Periods and commas always go within quotation marks.”
    • In dialogue, each person’s words are placed in a separate paragraph, with quotation marks at the beginning and end of each person’s speech.
    •  Dashes, semicolons, question marks and exclamation points go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted material. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence.
    • Use single marks for quotes within quotes:
      Smith said, “She told me, ‘I wish I had been accepted to San Francisco State University.'”
  • notorious and infamous
  • Keep paragraphs short, generally one to three sentences. Start a new paragraph with each new speaker
  • When quoting a source, include relevant information, such as profession, city (or neighborhood) of residence. Sometimes it’s relevant to include age (for a profile about a person, for example, or for a child).

Feature ledes and news ledes

Nut graphs




Week 2 Developing a Beat/Interviewing

Week 2 Jan. 30-Feb. 1 Developing a Beat/Interviewing
This week 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


  • New quiz
  • Reporting skills: How to get information, developing your reporting style, finding story ideas, taking notes, cultivating sources
  • Interviewing
  • Entry exam — common mistakes

For Thursday, Feb. 1: Turn in your Neighborhood Profile (paper copy submitted in class). Prepare for a news quiz.

For next week:

Write your BEAT REPORT in question-and-answer format (due Feb. 8). List the source(s) you used after each question.

Report and write your business/real estate story  (due Feb. 15)


Welcome to Reporting San Francisco

Welcome to the website for Rachele Kanigel’s JOUR 300GW Reporting course, Spring 2018

Week 1 Jan. 23

The agenda for today:

  • Introduction to the course and the professor
  • Review Reporting Neighborhoods and choose neighborhood beats
  • Review syllabus
  • Student introductions

Thursday: Entry exam (entire class period)