Got What it Takes to be a Reporter?
1. Mostly True (2)
2. Mostly True (3)
3. Not True (2)
4. Mostly True (1)
5. Mostly True (3)
6. Mostly True (2)
7. Mostly True (2)
8. Mostly True (3)
9. Not True (1)
10. Not True (1)
11. Mostly True (0)
12. Mostly True (3)
13. Mostly True (1)
14. Not True (2)
Total Points : 27 “You’re a solid contender for a successful journalism career. You’ve got the personality and ability a good reporter needs.” (Harrower, 29)
Feature Lead Story (Revised)
Birthday cake is hot enough to set off fire alarm at Mabel McCullough’s 95 birthday party hosted by First United Methodist Church women’s group.
The party included a carrot cake for the birthday girl with 95 candles on top. When McCullough went to blow them out, a cloud of smoke was created and set off a smoke alarm.
Guest Edin Carlin stated “There wasn’t an inch to spare. By the time we had them all lit, it looked like a torch”, followed by “We had just sat down to eat when we saw them in the doorway.”
Carlin spoke in reference to the 24 firefighters that showed up with five engines and two ladder companies.
“In my 23 years on the job, I’ve seen a lot of things set off a fire alarm, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of one going off because of a birthday cake.” Fire Chief Lonnie Lamb said.
The firefighters didn’t stick around to eat birthday cake, although they did have their pictures taken with McCullough.
News Story #4 (Revised)
A gas line broke near Folsom and 11th streets in San Francisco, around 12:30 pm yesterday effectively shutting down a four-block area.
According to a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. worker, a private construction crew was trying to repair sewer lines, when a backhoe severed a two-inch underground gas pipe in the process. At least 100 people had to evacuate the area, including neighborhood residents, dozens of business owners and their customers.
Carlann Lauria, manager of a self-storage company on Folsom near 10th street called Crocker’s Locker’s, said that her customers were irate and that her employees had to go outside of police perimeters to collect payment from their patrons.
Another manager, Samantha Feldman of Wa-Ha-Ka restaurant, said her employees and patrons were forced to leave as the restaurant is at the corner where the construction crew had been working. Feldman said the restaurant lost about $500 worth of business in the shutdown. PG&E stated that the gas was finally turned back on at 5:09 pm.
Ethics and Libel
1) If they are related to the investigation and I had a gut feeling that she was involved in legal activity, I would try to inquire from her what they meant and work from that angel because if I viewed the material, reported it, and was asked for evidence of me seeing it wouldn’t look good on my part if I snuck to view them.
2) I wouldn’t get the job just for that purpose of reporting because journalism is not the FBI where people have to go to extremes to go undercover. I would try my best to obtain information without having to do something that drastic. I especially wouldn’t want to be responsible for taking care of someone in the home if my heart wasn’t in it and I wasn’t qualified to do so.
3) If you are using anyone else’s work besides your own then you must cite the source even if you got it from a website. It’s disrespectful and plagiarism to not say where you got material that you used from.
The libelous passages that I found is the one that state’s “Karen Hart, 123 Hill Hall, says the professor, George O.T. Jungle, has touched her during tutoring sessions in his office and has invited her to his apartment several times. She said she declined his invitations. ‘I am having trouble in the class and I have to go see him to get help with my papers and projects,” Hart said. “But I am scared to go in his office now.’ “ I think that the editor needs to include evidence and a police investigation before reporting it because if it’s published without facts and her accusations turn out to be false the story could hurt a lot of people and their reputations, mainly the university, the student, the professor and his family and friends.
Real Life Reporting
Enough is enough. Is exactly what the students at students at San Jose State University were saying at the African-American summit on March 6th, 2010. The event was a panel discussion hosted by the SJSU Black Student Union and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity incorporated with a panel of an African-American professor, alumni, staff, and current student answering questions that the host asked, thus setting the tone for the audience to respond.
The summit covered a few minute topics that are relevant in the African-American community, but the main one that was discussed was the incident with the noose at University of California San Diego a few weeks prior.
Apparently a student at the university was in the library playing around with a rope that later became knotted and hung it from a desk. When she left to go home she left the rope behind her where it was later discovered by other students which did nothing more but escalate the racial tensions between students at the university from past events.
At the African-American summit at San Jose State University, students were asked did they think the story about the student just playing with a rope and not intending to harm anyone was valid or not. Many students believed that it was not because regardless of what ethnicity you are, if you have studied American history then you would have been informed of slavery and all the negative things that came out of it. There were of course a handful of students who believe that people are just trying to find a reason to justify tensions between races and that it could have honestly been a mistake.
The differences of opinion sparked good debate that often times had to be calmed down by the host on multiple occasions. Vice President of the SJSU Black Student Union said “I was really shocked at the outcome of whose ‘side’ everyone was on. A lot of times when moral issues arise people just want to take the popular vote and not voice their opinions so it was great to see the debates arise”.
The tone of the overall event is that regardless of what intentions the student that left the noose had, we need to all be mindful of our actions in the public’s eye and how they could potentially hurt other people and cause serious problems. Besides that, it is about time that the hostility between different racial groups, Caucasians and African-Americans especially come to end. True in a perfect world you cannot make everyone get along, but in the year of 2010 enough is enough and is about time that people act like civilized adults and at least be cordial to the next human being regardless of their skin pigmentation.
Reporting with Numbers (Math for Journalists)
Please refer to the “Math for Journalists” section in Inside Reporting, Ch. 4, p. 86-87 (or p. 84-85 in the first edition), for the information you will need to complete these exercises. You’ll want to review the sections on calculating percentages and figuring the mean and median (p. 86), as well as the “idea file” bullet points (p. 87) on how to present numbers.
1) A local college releases figures showing that its total budget is $120 million. Of that total, $80 million comes from the state, $6 million from student tuition, and the remaining $34 million from fees, grants and gifts.
* Figure the percentage of the college’s budget that comes from each source.
The state provides 66.6%, tuition is 5% and the remaining 28.4% comes from fees, grants and gifts.
* Identify the significance of each funding source (the most vs. the least, etc.).
The significant amount of the budget is what comes from the state versus the minimal amount that comes from student’s tuition.
* Using plain words, instead of numbers, explain the proportion of funding that comes from different sources. Say it in the way you think would make it most easily understood.
The majority of money granted towards college’s budget comes from the state, with almost a third of it coming fees, grants, and gifts and the portion from student tuition is very small.
2) Your editor assigns you to do a story about prison sentences handed down in cases of aggravated assault. He gives you the following figures from an anti-crime group that is lobbying for tougher sentencing guidelines. The cases represent the people convicted for aggravated assault in San Jose in one month in 2006.
* Calculate the average prison term for people convicted of aggravated assault, taking care to convert some of the terms to figures that will compare properly (months vs. years).
* Calculate the median prison term for people convicted of aggravated assault.
The median prison term for aggravated assault is twelve months.
* Explain why the average or median figure is the most accurate description of prison terms.
The median figure is the most accurate because it’s the best thing to use for a series of numbers containing irregular extremes.
Donald Lee 1 year prison, 2 years probation
Richard Smith 1 year prison, 1 year probation
Wesley Mitchell 14 months prison, 1 year probation
Mary Jones 1 year prison, 1 year probation
Juan Rodriguez 1 year prison, 2 years probation
Harold Rothstein 8 months prison, 1 year probation
Michael Reese 7 years prison, 5 years probation
3) The state legislature is considering exempting restaurant food sales from the sales tax in the same way grocery sales are exempt.
* First, find out the state sales tax.
California’s sales tax is 8.25%
* Then determine and explain how much fast-food patrons who pay $5 per meal would save in a year if they eat out once a week.
They would save $21.45
* Explain how much people would save if they spend $20 per meal once a week for a year.
They would save $85.80
Vibe Magazine has been around the globe almost as long as I have. Founded by famous music producer Quincy Jones just three years after my birth, it has become one of my favorite magazines. The magazine features stories centered around popular hip-hop and R&B artists as well as actors, sports figures, entrepreneurs etc.
The target audience of the publication is people who associate with the hip hop culture, and generally are people of African-American descent. Vibe’s style of writing is simplistic and to the point; focusing on issues that the youth are concerned about – who’s dating who, safe sex, profiles of their favorite celebrities, and other endless possibilities.
Some of Vibe’s most recent and popular feature stories include the election of President Obama, and the domestic violence case between R&B/Pop singers Chris Brown and Rihanna.
Slice Of Life Body
“Body Marked Up Like the Subway in Harlem”
Well not quite exactly. More relation to body being marked up like church graffiti, in few places and very rare but obviously that line wasn’t catchy enough. The quote, which came from hip hop artist Lil Wayne in a Destiny’s Child song that he was featured in refers to the young rappers various tattoos that outline all visible parts of his body. Of course the tattoos on my body barely cover anything; it still gives me a sense of pride when I view the permanent markings that are embedded in my skin.
Tattoos have been something that I was interested in since I was in my adolescence. Almost everyone that I know has at least one placed somewhere on their body. For years I would watch my cousins, aunts, uncles etc. leave home one day with unblemished skin then come back with bold lines that connected and told a story.
At the age of sixteen I asked my mom could I get one of my own and seeing as how she herself possessed nearly seven,or maybe because I was getting her name, she allowed me to have the ink done. Although the etching of the dye inside of my skin burned out of this world, as soon as it was done I found myself slightly addicted and always wanting more. As of today I have five littered on my body.
Tattoos excite me because of the permanent feeling or story that they tell whenever you view them. They sometimes can be a drag because of the permanent feeling or story that they tell whenever you do them. Fact of the matter is, tattooing is an adrenaline rush of excitement and rebellion when people get them done, but I myself will admit that some of the things we put on our bodies represent something that is a phase in our lives and not something that is set in stone.
There is a design or two embedded in my skin as we speak that I wish I either would not have gotten at all or that there could be some type of alteration to it. And I try to remind myself as much as possible that I’m only nineteen years old and that what I think of getting inked may not be a thought that I want to express to the world forever. But yet and still when that urge hits me, and it hits hard, I find myself asking an artistic friend to break out the sketch pad and let’s see what we can come up with.
I would like to do a profile on my favorite artist Trey Songz for my magazine/multimedia project. Although I have been a fan since 2005, I have noticed that the singer did not really come into the public’s eye until 2008 when he cut off his cornrow braids, which then led to him having a “breakthrough” year in 2009. Songz has been on the media scene for 5 years and with his new found success almost overnight, I am excited to see what is in store for him within the next 5 years of his career, and I’m curious to analyze how he got to become the success that he is.
Pete Stenhoff did not get to walk the stage with his class at Chula Vista High School in Redmond, CA due to a football energy the previous year. During the now 18-year old junior year of high school, he was in the middle of a game when he rammed his head into opposing ball carrier’s chest. Stenhoff cracked vertebrae in his spine and now is confined to a wheelchair.
His injury, is a minor representation of what happens on a consecutive basis to many young students who involve themselves with the sport. There are 20,000 injuries in high school football each year — 12 percent of them permanently disabling the victims. Thirteen youths died last year. Thirty-five percent of the injuries are to the neck or head. Most critics blame the helmet.
Although Stenhoff stated “I knew the risks involved when I decided to play football,” and that he isn’t upset with the game for his disability, he also added “I wish I would have known just how bad it could be.”
At the time of the accident, Stenhoff weighed 210 pounds; now he weighs 172 pounds. He didn’t graduate with his class is and trying to get his diploma by taking correspondence courses.
To many, his story produces sad frowns and disappointed shakes of the head to his listeners. But to Stenhoff, it’s a stepping stone that he must overcome, even if it is a year or so after it was cast.
Soft Broadcast Lead
MASS TRANSIT COMMUTE IN MANHATTAN WAS PUT ON HIATUS YESTERDAY MORNING BECAUSE OF A SQUIRREL. TRAINS LOST THEIR POWER AS THE SQUIRREL .
INTERFERRED WITH THE LINES AFFECTING 47,000 RAIL COMMUTERS WHO WAITED FOR HOURS FOR TRAINS THAT COULD NOT RESCUE THEM.
APPARENTLY THE RODENT WAS SQUIRRELING AROUND ON THE ELECTRICAL WIRES WHEN IT GOT TANGLED IN THEM RESULTING IN THE POWER LOSS AND ELECTROCUTION OF THE ANIMAL.
SERVICE WAS RESTORED TUESDAY MORNING WITH EVERYONE ON THE LOOK-OUT FOR PESKY SQUIRRELS.
Topical Blog Post
When the Fun is Taken Out of Social Media
On April 23rd, 2010 thousands of viewers of the popular urban website mediatakeout.com didn’t get as many laughs that day as expected. In the midst of political updates, tabloid-style celebrity gossip, and the latest on high fashion in the U.S, was a story about a woman who had created a Facebook account to mourn the death of her stillborn child.
Although many would agree that mother’s hurt worst than anyone else when they lose a child, maybe even more so when they lose one that they didn’t get to properly meet, but there has got to be a time when the world has to put its foot down. Although many people use sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc. to announce accomplishments as well as hardships, there should not be an entire page dedicated to the death of someone, especially a child because it exploits that person’s memory, as well as makes the fun place of social media as drum as everyday life.
I don’t mean to be callous or to appear as if the woman does not have the right to express her sorrow but there are things called extremes that we all need to be aware of. I also criticize mediatakeout.com for posting her story because it was made to exploit her and the death of her child rather than do any good to the person that they were featuring.
Broadcast Lead #1
TWO PEOPLE ARE DEAD DUE TO AN AMTRAK ACCIDENT IN RICHMOND. NO OTHERS INJURIES ARE REPORTED FOR THE 39 PASSENGERS RIDING THE TRAIN FROM OAKLAND TO BAKERSFIELD.
THE ACCIDENT TOOK PLACE NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF CARLSON BOULEVARD AND OHIO AVENUE AS THE TRACKS ARE NOT FENCE. THE VICTIMS HAVE NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED AND THE EXACT CAUSE OF THEIR DEATH IS UNDER INVESTIGATION.
Broadcast Lead #2
THE HORSE THAT RAN ACROSS HIGHYWAY 17 TWO WEEKS AGO HAS BEEN RETURNED TO ITS OWNER. STAR, IS A 22-YEAR-OLD ARABIAN HORSE WHO BELONGS TO 10-YEAR-OLD ATHENA MUZUMDAR.
STAR ORIGINALLY ESCAPED THROUGH A GATE THAT WAS OPENED BY A NEIGHBORING PONY NAMED OREO. ONCE HE WAS FOUND AND THOROUGHLY EXAMINED, HE WAS RETURNED BY HUMANE SOCIETY OFFICIALS TO MUZUMDAR.
MUZUMDAR IS ESTATIC FOR HIS RETURN AND THAT HER HORSE HAS NOT SUFFERED FROM ANY DANGER.