Week 4: Journalism 2001 February 12, 2007
Its, it’s or its’. Which is correct? • Its • It’s • Its’
Review of last week’s news • Hard News: (murders, city council, government, etc.) • Major local stories • Major national/international stories • Major sports stories • Soft News: (retirements, school programs, human interest) • Local stories • National/international stories • Sports stories
Review 2/5 summary lead assignment • Overall continued progress! • Best to use one-sentence summary lead • Style errors: • Datelines • State abbreviations • Addresses • Grammar • Spelling • Run-on sentences • In-complete sentences • Agreement • That/which
SKOKIE, Ill. – A house on Lawler Avenue caught fire around 7 p.m. Friday after homeowners left home with a cigarette still smoldering in the bedroom. SKOKIE (Ill.) – A half lit cigarette sparked a fire in a house at 7:00 p.m. last night causing no injuries but $50,000 worth of damage to the house itself. Friday night a home on Lawler Avenue went up in flames because a cigarette was left burning on a pillow. Investigators believe a smoldering cigarette apparently left on a mattress and pillow caused the fire on Lawler Avenue in Skokie just after 7 p.m. Friday night. A smoldering cigarette left in a home on Lawler Avenue Friday night caused a house fire and $50,000 in damage. No one was home Friday night when a neighbor of a house reported a fire that was caused by the remains of a cigarette burning on a pillow.
A severe winter storm on the coast of Northern California caused hundreds of fender-benders and left the area with icy roads and frigid temperatures. On Thursday morning northern California was hit with another winter storm that brought snow, hail, torrential rains, and standing water on roadways. SAN FRANCISCO – Relentless snowfall continued in Northern California Thursday morning, bringing with it colliding cars and a threat of natural disaster. Although there is a promise of dry and sunny weather Friday, the latest winter storm that hit Northern California Thursday morning has left behind icy roads and frigid temperatures, which have created numerous hazards for residents and drivers. Blankets of snow, driving hail, and heavy torrential rains pounded into Northern California’s mountain ranges again Thursday morning, adding to the mounting concerns of potential catastrophic mudslides and slippery roadways.
Review: Writing a summary lead • Usually a single sentence • No more than 35 words • Bottom line: • Use a single sentence of no more than 35 words to summarize an event
Review: Lucy Kragness interview • Overall tough to condense all the info! • Some “untrue” facts! • Use spellchecker (how to spell Kragness?), AP Stylebook • Use past tense, third person • Common style errors: • Titles • Years • Numerals • State names • Degrees: master’s, bachelor’s • Freelance • Internet
Use last name on second reference • Watch editorializing • Verify facts • Paragraph length: 2-3 sentences max • Grammar • Agreement • Run-on sentences • When to use hyphens • Attribution: she said strongest • Wordiness • Don’t be afraid to use quotes!
Editing marks • Let’s review editing marks in Stylebook: • page 420
Another its, its’ or it’s? • It’s • Its’ • Its
Bottom line on it’s or its • Use it’s: when mean it is, it has • All other uses: its No such word as its’
Useful websites • Grammar, writing • Purdue’s OWL (Online Writing Lab) • Guide to Grammar and Writing, Capital Community College Foundation • Guide to Grammar and Style, Jack Lynch • Journalism • Beginning Reporter Resources • Power Reporting
Let’s look at run-on sentences • Go to this link: • http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/runons.htm
What are typical reporting beats? • Police & fire • Courts • Education • Government • All of the above
Chapter 20:Local Government and Public Meetings • Municipal government systems • Mayor-council • Strong: Mayor forms budget, administers policy • Weak: Managerial functions divided among others • Council-manager • City manager oversees city operations; hired by council • Commission • Committee of city leaders assume executive, legislative functions
Typical city government beat • No typical day! • City council meetings • Check agenda • Advance story • Meeting story • City budget process • Administrative reports • Other committee, task force meetings • Vikings proposal
Duluth has a weak mayor, strong council form of government. • True • False
What’s in Duluth? • Strong mayor-council • City of Duluth organizational chart What’s in St. Louis County? • Strong administrator-commission • St. Louis County Information
How to cover a council meeting • Check Agenda • Check meeting Action • Don’t be afraid to ask questions after the meeting • Stay to the end: Other business can be hot news! • Take lots of notes
Local government budget process • Cover the steps in the process • Develop sources of information • Different types of budgets • Capital budgets • Operating budgets
Writing the budget story • Bottom line – the total budget • Last year’s budget • Percentage increase or decrease • Breakdown of expenses • Reasons for increase or decrease • Breakdown of budget revenues • Details on impact of tax increases or decreases
Public Information Officers • Blessing and a curse • Good source of information • Develop relationship • Establish “call-back” rules • Remember their role • Be skeptical, but remember they’re great resources
Checklist for covering city government • Learn the system • Get to know the personalities • Develop reliable sources • Be persistent • Never let friendship interfere with the job • Always be prepared; ask for copies of handouts • Make note of story possibilities • Read other coverage • Write to inform, not to impress: Inverted pyramid • Use your brain • Ask questions!
Story Pitches for Hard News 1 and 2 Assignments: Due 2/14 • Length of story pitches: no more than three paragraphs, about 200 words • Include the 5 Ws and H: what makes this story newsworthy • Deadlines for complete articles: • Hard News 1: February 26 • Hard News 2: March 19 • Mosquito spraying story example, county commission story
Sample Hard News Pitch The City of Duluth Commission on Disabilities meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 3:00 p.m. in Room 106A at the Duluth City Hall. These meetings should be very important to anyone who has a disability. It is at these meetings that many issues are decided upon and in order to have a voice it is important to attend and speak out. According to the agenda listed, the October 4th meeting will begin with a review of the notes and upbringings from the September 6th meeting. It will then move on to a introduction of the correspondents which include the U of M- Communiversity Personal Grants, People with Disabilities for Change minutes, and the Duluth HOPE VI Newsletter. >From there on the meeting will be discussing signage requests, and the parking meters on 2nd street between 3rd and 4th Ave. W and 3rd Ave. W between 2nd and 3rd street. As well as Accessibility issues and Committee reports. The meeting will end with any other business need mentioning.
Chapter 21: Police and Fire • Organizational structures • Duluth Police Department • St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department • Duluth Fire Department
Covering police, fire beats • Making the rounds: develop sources • Each city, county different • Billings, Sheridan examples • Departmental records • Police log, reports • Fire reports
Using departmental records • Accident forms, coverage of accidents • Injured, severely injured, fatalities • Time, location • Names • Results of chemical tests • Ambulance service • Diagrams • Driver statements • Other details: road conditions, seat belts
Offense reports, crime coverage • Limited access to forms recording crimes • A rape story • Offense report • Talk to officers involved • Check if other rapes reported • Telephone hospital for victim’s condition
A day on the beat • Assignments • On-the-scene coverage • Making the rounds • Writing the stories • Developing the lead: Deaths go first • Constructing the story • Attribution • Describe the scene • Using vivid details
Checklist for police, fire beats • Develop, cultivate sources • Learn how to handle hostile sources • Know the job responsibilities of sources • Don’t deceive sources • If a big story comes along, go after it • Know the territory • Learn the terminology • Double-check spellings • Check with hospital, morgue, to update information • Be careful when reporting arrests • Don’t confuse an arrest with filing of a charge • Know policy on using minors’ names
Journalism Case Studies • Today: • Stop! This is a warning. . . Suppressing news at police request Go to: http://www.journalism.indiana.edu/gallery/ethics/supp_pol.html - Compiled by University of Indiana School of Journalism
Chapter 22: Courts • Federal Judicial System • Supreme Court • U.S. Court of Appeals • U.S. District Courts • U.S. Bankruptcy Court • Minnesota Judicial System • Supreme Court • Court of Appeals • District Courts
Types of court cases • Criminal Cases • Enforcement of criminal statutes • Brought by state or federal government against a person for committing a crime such as murder, armed robbery • Civil cases • Legal disputes between individuals, businesses, state or local governments, government agencies • Commonly include suits for damages from auto accidents, breach of contract, libel
Criminal Cases • Basic criminal process: • Indictment/information filed: Criminal charge • Warrant issued for arrest • Arraignment: Criminal charge is read to accused • Preliminary hearing/Grand jury: Probable cause • Second arraignment: Plea entered • Plea bargaining, jury date set • Trial by judge or jury • Jury reaches verdict
Civil cases • Basic civil process • Plaintiff files a complaint • Defendant served with a summons • Defendant files pleading • Depositions taken • Appearances before judge • Settlement often reached • Trial scheduled: Either jury or judge • Verdict
Checklist for covering courts • Learn the judicial system • Learn the record-keeping system • Provide sufficient background for the reader • Double-check facts • Use complete names, addresses or occupations • Johnson story example
Review of story examples • BN engines run into coal train • Woman, 49, is accused of aiming gun at deputy • Charities fight for funds • Pollution forces Sheridan to replace shale with sand • Sawmill stories
Due 2/14: Sports Story Reporting Assignment Pitch • Length of story pitch: three paragraphs, about 200 words • Include the 5Ws and H: what makes this story newsworthy • UMD sports schedules • Detailed information at: • www.umdbulldogs.com
Sample sports story pitch The sporting event that I am going to cover is a upcoming high school prep football game between the varsity squads of Duluth Denfeld and Hibbing high school. The game is scheduled for Friday, October 13th at 5:15 PM. I am expecting a large home crowd, and some theatrics from fans considering this is the end of Duluth Denfeld's homecoming week.
Assignment: Due 2/19 • From information provided from a Tempe Police Department activity log, write an inverted-pyramid news story based on all the information available. • Write your story in Microsoft Word, doublespaced, and email a copy of the story as an attachment to: lkragnes • Make sure to copy yourself on the email
In-class assignment for 10/2 • More editing practice!
Egradebook • Doublecheck assignments correct in egradebook: • http://www.d.umn.edu/egradebook
Portfolio • Store academic information in your Electronic Portfolio. Each student has 100 mb of storage. • Access Electronic Portfolio at: https://portfolio.umn.edu/portfolio/index.jsp