Friday, February 28, 2014

6th Class - Notes by Morgan Lyons

  • Current Events Quiz
    • We will receive 2 fact sheets
    • Choose 1 to write a story on
    • Concentrate on grammar, AP Style
      • What is most important? 
      • Quote if it's unique or uniquely said
      • When to include backstory on someone?
        • Include if it increases reader's understanding of the story
    • Read chapter on PR on pg. 279
    • Hold onto your Chicken Truck Story until next week
  • T. Rees Shapiro
    • Studied English at Virginia Tech
    • Covered Virginia Tech shooting in 2007
    • Asked for contacts by Wolf Blitzer and Katie Couric after shooting
    • Applied to many newspapers
      • Turned down by all of them
    • Started working as a copier at Washington Post
      • Worked his way up
      • "You have to be fierce"
    • Worked writing obituaries 
      • Wrote obituary for inventor if Doritos
      • He asked loved ones about the person's life, not about their death
    • Why T. Rees?
      • Went to the Super Bowl
      • Lied to his professor about where he was going and why he was missing class
      • Wrote in the school paper about it but used "T. Rees" to disguise himself.
    • "You have to be fierce" stuck with me the most. He persisted and worked hard and that's how he succeeded.  I liked how he gradually earned respect and did what he was told until it was his turn to have opinions. "Take any job you get" stuck with me as well.
  • We wrote the whole story to our Pictionary Leads.
    • CURVEBALL: Lieberman stabbed Hoseman in their shared prison cell.
    • CURVEBALL: Hoseman later died of his injuries

Shapiro Takeaway - Elisha Brown

The main point I will remember from Shapiro's talk is that, anywhere in the media, we will most likely start at an entry-level position.  The fact that his first job was as a copy editor is pretty humbling.  Shapiro also mentioned that it doesn't really matter what you major in, as long as you have a specialization that sets you apart from the rest. He also said that it's important to be competitive and a shark. In the future, I will have to apply my need to win a game of Bananagrams to my job. And I'm going to quit Wikipedia!

Morgan Tripi - Shapiro takeaway

Something I appreciated hearing from Taylor was how he started from the way bottom, below the interns, and eventually worked his way up to the position he has now.  Thinking about the future and finding a job is very nerve-wracking.  He reminded us that your first job might not be the one you want (like writing obituaries) but you can still make the most of it and eventually working hard will pay off and you can end up with an amazing career.  Also, I did not realize journalists aren’t given stories to write about and instead, they have to go out and find the stories themselves.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

5th Class, by Alex Mahon, 2/20/

Logged into QuizStar to take current events quiz

Everyone take quizzes on big Macs going forward

Taylor Shapiro (WPost reporter) will be coming to class next week, so have questions ready 

Check blog before syllabus as it is a working syllabus

Midterm will be on March 6 (week before spring break)
-will take half the class
-2 (maybe 3) fact sheets, you will get to choose which story to write
-you’ll be allowed to look up AP style questions
-second part of class we will go into either PR or broadcast writing

Watched youtube video “John McCain on the US Ambassador to Norway”

The shrinking soundbite
1968-42.3 seconds
1988-9.8 seconds
2000-7.8 seconds
Today-4.2 seconds

Worked on leads for a fact sheet handed out in class

For Next Class:
Read two stories in the Post by T. Rees Shapiro (guest speaker for next class)
Come up with two questions that you will ask in class next week.
Re-do lead practice (return papers)
Read Chapters 9,10, Do page 197, exercise 10.3 / Bring hard copy to class

Worked on lead for another fact sheet passed out in class (Pictionary)

Watched YouTube video “Like, you know”
speak with conviction
be meaningful, specific, and declarative

Write a full story for one of the leads we worked on today and submit

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fourth Class - Notes By Elisha Brown

  • Current Events
    • Brief discussion of front page salt story in The Post
    • Provided good example of writing your way on the front page
    • Unusual story impacted many in the DMV area
    • Aside: The Post often referred to as the writer's newspaper; a lot of freedom with style options
  • Neuman Lessons (last week's assignment)
    • Avoid explaining a quote; we don't need two sentences to introduce a quote in most cases
    • Try to avoid adverbs like "immediately"
    • Back to back quotes must include a transition to alert the reader that someone new is speaking
    • Avoid terms like "Saturday evening" when describing dinner; in short, aim for precision and clarity
    • Eliminate excessive commas when describing situations; often causes choppiness
    • When revising a story, look at the process as a "garden" - pulling out the excessive weeds 
  • Review of Chapter 14's Bias Theme
    • The job of a journalist is to stay as neutral as possible
    • When in doubt, refer to the bias checklist on page 271
    • Remember: everytime a stereotype  is confirmed by a writer, it's strengthened in the reader's mind
  • Bias Exercise
    • In short, we broke up into teams to discuss how to approach difficult stories
    • Case 1/ sex offender/ important to publish even if it could jeopardize a family or job
    • Case 2/ offensive official/ sexist comments made by a warden and a sheriff; include everything in a story, especially if comments are controversial 
    • Case 3/ teacher/ a news value is prominence; this was an unusual story
    • Case 4/ firefighter/ do not hesitate to hold back information, it's almost like lying to the public
    • Case 5/ ex-FBI and drunk/ consider the ethics of the situation
    • Case 6/ charity-cancer/ consider relevancy and the potential to open up a floodgate of similar stories
    • Case 7/ suicide/ once again, your job as a journalist is to withhold emotional attachment to the story; report the facts
    • Case 8/ NYE and welfare/ Consider this: If an editor sends you out on a story and you find a better one, should you publish it?
  • HW for 2/13
    • Deadline for Georgetown student hate crime story is Friday at 3:00 p.m.
    • Read two stories by WaPo journalist T.Rees Shapiro
      • Come up with two questions to ask him next week