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Journalism E-100 Proseminar in Journalism: Writing and Reporting. Instructor: Angelia Herrin July 10, 2007. How to Organize a Late Plea. I apologize and offer these excuses:

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journalism e 100 proseminar in journalism writing and reporting

Journalism E-100Proseminar in Journalism:Writing and Reporting

Instructor: Angelia Herrin

July 10, 2007

how to organize a late plea
How to Organize a Late Plea

I apologize and offer these excuses:

1) Another of our reporters quit this week and none of the new ones have arrived, so I actually had to cover news. It's not so bad yet, but I am in real danger of having to go to a school board meeting tomorrow. The school board, for all love!2) My professor wrote to say she saved my profile, expecting it would be one of the good ones. Most people would crack under that kind of pressure. I can’t write the next story3) I have been considering seriously buying a boat to live on, and friends and family have demanded a lot of time to talk me out of it.It might be easier if you could post the excuses people gave for being late, so we can avoid doubling up. Does anybody still do the dog thing, or is that now unavailable with the end of paper assignments they can eat?

don t forget
Don’t Forget!!!!

Rewrite of Fourth of July

Sunday, July 13

Statistics Story

Monday noon, July 14

Project Memo

Tuesday 4 p.m. July 15

a writing memo
A Writing Memo

1)A political or cultural issue and the person involved OR a working journalist

2)A topic isn’t enough. What’s the issue?

2)Be sure you tell me:

Why should I read this story?

What question do you want to answer?

3)Who will you talk to?

4)How will you research the issue?

ap style quiz ii
  • The government estimates that more than 11,000 sea turtles drown in shrimp nets in waters in the US (U.S. The Associated Press revised this item in the 2005 edition, allowing U.S. with periods between U and S for the United States) each year.
  • There were 10 lbs. (pounds) of cheese and four lbs. (4 pounds) of tomatoes in the refrigerator, he said , but no bacon.

Cambridge Police Sergeant (Sgt.)Roy House said the suspect defrauded employers out of $150,000. (that’s right no dollars)

The United States Department of Agriculture (first reference) (U.S. Department of Agriculture) employs 7,000 meat inspectors near Detroit, Michigan (no Mich.) and Beatrice, Nebraska.(Neb.)


The store was at 1,202 (1202)Maple Road.

The USDA (second reference) (correct and no comma) operates at training center at College Station, Texas (add comma and don’t abbreviate) where veterinarians attended classes.

The defendant (correct) was convicted for possessing three (3)ounces of cocaine.


The story was about a woman with Alzheimers (Alzheimer’s disease) Disease.

  • The woman is from the East Coast. (correct)
  • John ate twenty-five (25) hot dogs, but the five-year-old (5-year-old) boy ate more
a cautionary tale about quotes
A Cautionary Tale About Quotes

“You’ve got a duty to die and get out of the way,” said Lamm. (Associated Press)

“Aged Are Told to Drop Dead. Colo. Gov Says It’s Their Duty.” (New York Daily News)

what he actually said
What He Actually Said
  • “We’ve got a duty to die and get out of the way with all our machines and artificial hearts and everything else like that and let the other society, our kids, build a reasonable life.”
what is this attribution doing
What is this attribution DOING?

O.J. Simpson claimed he was happy.

The prosecutor claimed the witness was lying.

Smith pointed out that religion is a crutch.

Smith suggested that freedom of religion is not really protected by the First Amendment

the art of interviewing
The Art Of Interviewing

Being a reporter is great because you can ask people questions not one in their right mind would ask a complete stranger

interview tips
  • Preparation
    • Find out how to pronounce names
    • Read what’s been written before
    • Find an interesting point for small talk
    • Figure out what you need from the person
  • Making the appointment
    • Don’t misrepresent yourself
    • Use a “sponsor”
    • Explain subject and approximate time needed
    • Nail down a specific time
    • Pack extra pens!
goals method
GOALS Method
  • Goal:What was the goal for the program, the motivation for your choice?
  • Obstacles: What got in our way? What were the difficulties? Don’t ask about the happiest, hardest, funniest. Get specific.
  • Achievements: How did you overcome obstacles? How will you get there?
  • Learnings: So how did you make that happen? How did your background help?
getting ready
Getting Ready

Writing your questions

  • Ask open-ended questions. Avoid yes or no answers.

What happened then? What did you do? What do you mean?

Why did he do that? Why do you think…

How could that happen?

Give me an example of how that happened!

  • Put questions in logical order (easy ones first)
  • Don’t use long questions!
  • Use questions as a guide and checklist
  • Be ready to follow the conversation: relax!
now you are there
Now You Are There

Beginning the interview

  • Shake hands and make eye contact
  • Engage in small talk
  • Tell them you appreciate their time
  • Ask about what you see in their office or home
  • Ask your first question

Conducting the interview

  • Listen, listen, listen: look, look, look
  • Always ask for examples: Clarify: “Do you mean…?”
  • Prod them to be specific: Listen, but replay
  • Ask them to repeat what they said
  • Construct a chronology: Start with How and When
  • To record or not to record . . .

Follow etiquette

Be aware of state laws:

Be aware of the Federal Wiretap law


Taking notes

  • Use your own shorthand: you will develop one
  • Try the star system as you write
  • Ask a throwaway question to buy time
  • Keep writing
  • Practice

The tough interview

  • Use a pregnant pause so source will talk
  • Ask for real-life examples
  • Ask summary questions: what about leading?

Asking the hard question

  • Acknowledge that it’s hard
  • Blame your editor
  • Blame your readers
  • Remember: They probably expect it

Winding up the interview

    • Stay on time
    • Ask if you can call later
    • Ask if there’s someone else you should talk to
    • Ask if there’s something else you should asked
    • Close your notebook and listen
  • After the interview
    • Fill in the blanks in your notes immediately
  • Real people caveat
    • Be careful about sources who aren’t media-savvy, especially children
telephone interviews
Telephone Interviews
  • Edna Buchanan trick
  • Tell me what you see trick
  • Be clear with ID and purpose
  • Keep icebreakers short
  • Keep questions short and clarify, clarify
  • Plan two lists of questions: crucial and want to know
  • Verify and spell back
email interviews
Email Interviews?
  • Advantage: The source gets time to think about response. You don’t have to take notes and you get accurate responses.
  • Disadvantage: You lose spontaneity, good follow-up. You can’t see expressions and body language, or describe details. You worry about verification!!!
  • Limit the numbers of questions. Sources like e-mail to save time.
  • Clarify your purpose. Make clear you intend to use the e-mail in a news story.
  • Verify source name and title.
  • Limit your follow-up emails
  • Attribute to e-mail when you use in a story.
how to write a study story tell your buddy what the study said
How to Write a Study Story:TellYour Buddy What the Study Said
  • Use short simple sentences. The more complex the information, the simpler sentences should be.
  • Use verbs that do the work
  • Focus on a person to explain impact:Storytelling
  • Don’t bunch up numbers: spread them out
  • Use lists: this is what bullets were made for
confusing example
Confusing example

Last year there were 457 crimes reported on the Harvard Cambridge campus, according to Harvard University Police. There was a decrease primarily due to a 24 percent drop in property crimes, with 170 burglaries and 197 break ins..

Despite the overall decline in crime, other statistics provided by Harvard police show a significant increase in violent crimes from 2005 to 2006. Reported incidents of robbery, forcible sex offenses and aggravated assault rose from 18 incidents in 2005 to 27 in 2006.

good example
Good Example

More fathers are going solo in raising kids.

It’s a change that single fathers say show greater acceptance that sometimes the best place is with Dad.

The 2000 census found:

  • In 2.2 million households, father raise their children with a mother. That’s one household in 45.
  • The number of single-father households rose 62 percent in five years.
  • The portion of the country’s total 105 million households headed by single fathers rose to 2 percent.
good example1
Good Example
  • A 10-year analysis of enrollment patterns at KU and other state schools reveals two dating tips for college students
  • Men hoping to improve dating prospects should head to Emporia State where 70 percent of students are female.
  • Women interested in more dating opportunities should look at K-State the only school with more men than women.
three versions of study on reading
Three Versions of Study on Reading

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Americans aged 15 to 24 on average spend two hours a day watching TV and only seven minutes on leisure reading, reducing their chances for high-paying jobs and community service, according to a report by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sixty-one percent of those holding managerial or professional jobs were proficient readers, said the report, citing a 2003 U.S. Education Department survey. Some 70 percent of the people rated as poor readers felt their lack of skills had limited their job opportunities.

same study
Same Study

Harry Potter, James Patterson and Oprah Winfrey’s book club aside, Americans — particularly young Americans — appear to be reading less for fun, and as that happens, their reading test scores are declining. At the same time, performance in other academic disciplines like math and science is dipping for students whose access to books is limited, and employers are rating workers deficient in basic writing skills.

That is the message of a new report being released today by the National Endowment for the Arts, based on an analysis of data from about two dozen studies from the federal Education and Labor Departments and the Census Bureau as well as other academic, foundation and business surveys. After its 2004 report, “Reading at Risk,” which found that fewer than half of Americans over 18 read novels, short stories, plays or poetry, the endowment sought to collect more comprehensive data to build a picture of the role of all reading, including nonfiction. (NY Times)

and yawn another take
And – yawn – another take
  • NEW YORK (AP) — The latest National Endowment for the Arts report draws on a variety of sources, public and private, and essentially reaches one conclusion: Americans are reading less.
  • The 99-page study, "To Read or Not to Read," is being released Monday as a follow-up to a 2004 NEA survey, "Reading at Risk," that found an increasing number of adult Americans were not even reading one book a year.
  • "To Read or Not to Read" gathers an array of government, academic and foundation data on everything from how many 9-year-olds read every day for "fun" (54 percent) to the percentage of high school graduates deemed by employers as "deficient" in writing in English (72 percent).
your assignment
Your Assignment

Write a story using the caffeine buzz press release and the caffeine content chart. Interview local folks about their caffeine use and their knowledge of just how much caffeine they may be eating and drinking!