About

Despite attacks on reporters and news organizations by some political leaders, the right to practice journalism is embedded in the United States Constitution. The law of our land highlights the importance of honest reporting about government and those in power to ensure that they are accountable to the people.

The digital revolution transformed the way we consume and deliver news, but the important principles of reporting remain the same. Every day, we see that journalism comes in many forms and appears on every platform from traditional print newspapers and magazines, to online sites that offer broad content or specialize in niche information, to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Local TV news and network broadcasts continue to use traditional formats but increasingly are experimenting with social platforms. Podcasts and public radio have become go-to sources of information for millions.  And like a surprise in a stack of Russian dolls, you’ll also find carefully reported news stories within the noise of some cable TV “news” programs.

Serious journalists who work for serious news outlets continue to share the age-old principles of journalism. Whether we report about politics, events of the day, culture, sports or entertainment, we share the same goals. Our curiosity drives us. We carefully observe situations and people and record or make note of what we see. We analyze, synthesize and lay out the facts to provide information that allows people to make informed decisions.

At this challenging time in our country’s history, we need accurate reporting and talented journalists willing to dig deep, write, record, shoot, produce and give unbiased context to what happens in our communities, the nation and the world.  Here in New York and elsewhere, we need committed journalists willing to go into our neighborhoods and report at ground level about what’s going on now. That’s what you’ll do for your class assignments.

Basics

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, guarantees freedom of religion and speech, the press and the right of people to gather to protest and complain to the government.

In its own words:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to freely assemble, and petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

After the founders of the United States wrote the U.S. Constitution, some of them realized they had left out critical guarantees to safeguard the type of nation, free of tyranny, they and others wanted.

The newly minted senators and congressmen debated about whether “checks and balances” would protect the rights of the people, or whether they needed to write amendments to the Constitution.

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News

Types of News Stories

  Hard News- Breaking News It is has happened, or is happening now. From the New York Daily News  By Jonah E. BromwichApril 6, 2021 The lobby staff members who closed the door to a Manhattan apartment building last week without taking immediate action after a Filipino-American woman was brutally attacked on the street outside have been fired, the building’s …

Reporters Want Access To Border Facilities

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have called on President Joe Biden’s administration to allow journalists into facilities housing unaccompanied migrant children who have sought asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Biden administration has tried for weeks to keep the public from seeing images of immigrant children in U.S. custody. SPJ urged the Department of Homeland Security to reverse its position on …

Assignments

Assignment for February 18, 2021

Write a pitch for a story that you want to report.  Due February 19 at 5 p.m.

Your story should include interviews and quotes from at least two people  Three people will make the story better.

Write 300 to 500 words.  Don’t feel that you have to pad it out.  Look at the stories on HarlemView   as examples.

Use either the inverted pyramid style, or the pyramid style. https://ccnyintroductiontojournalism.com/category/basics/

Remember to write the slug for your story and your name at the top.

Remember that every story has a beginning, middle and end and one idea should flow logically into another.

 

How to Write a Pitch 

A pitch describes the story you want to tell. You need to write a short paragraph that gets attention and explains what you plan to do. So avoid writing, “I want to do a story about outdoor dining in New York City,” because that’s not a story.  It’s a general idea. You want to look for an angle.

Your outdoor dining pitch might read like this:

Outdoor dining changed the look of many New York streets and saved over 10,000 restaurants, but what happens when it gets colder and winter sets in? I’ll visit a neighborhood with a number of outdoor restaurants and talk to two owners about their plans. I’ll also talk to customers to find out whether they will feel comfortable eating outside in frigid weather.

Or

Outdoor dining changed the look of many New York streets and saved a lot of restaurants, but what happens when the pandemic ends? Danny Meyer of the Union Square Hospitality Group agreed to talk us. He is a spokesman for the industry and can give us insight into what may happen. He said we can talk to his customers, if they want to talk to us.

I’ll also talk to the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs to find out what the city plans to do and I’ll talk to Nevah Assang, New York and Company’s senior V.P. for community relations, about how the tourism industry sees the future.

I’ll take photos of restaurants in a variety of neighborhoods and talk to customers.