Student Investigative Reporting

By Jordan Wolman, Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)

At The Brown and White, Lehigh University’s student newspaper, we noticed we were caught in the trap of turning around one-off, 500-word rundowns, week after week, on the latest sports game, event or university announcement. Sadly, it took the college news equivalent of a bomb going off to make us realize this.

New York Times Looking for Student Coronavirus Stories

via Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJNierenberg/status/1326897276569194498?s=20
Amelia Nierenberg
@AJNierenberg
https://amelianierenberg.com/College journalists: We always feature updates from local news in the @nytimes
 Coronavirus Schools Briefing. I want to regularly link to student journalism.So! If you write a story that I should read — now or whenever — please send it my way: amelia.nierenberg@nytimes.com. Thx!  

Flash Active Writing and Punctuation Quiz

 

Flash Active Writing and Punctuation Quiz

November 12, 2020

 

 

Your name:

 

 

  1. Most trainers at the gym like to use free weights. Alex Herrera said I’m afraid that I am going to get hurt because the weights are too heavy

 

  1. Student journalists can’t find internships due to the coronavirus.

 

  1. Currently my boss won’t give me the extra money he promised and I really need the money and the job due to the wide spread layoffs.

 

  1. However, I told my supervisor that prior to coming to work at this job I felt happier.

 

  1. Bars, restaurants and gyms must close at 10 p.m. due to the coronavirus. Governor Cuomo issued the order and also put a cap on private gatherings due to rising cases of coronavirus.

 

  1. We’re seeing a global COVID surge and New York is a ship on the COVID tide the governor said.

 

  1. Rudy Giuliani tweeted to his million followers and thanked them. Put his tweet in the active voice. “Thank you to 1M that are following me here.”

 

  1. Gregory Scarpa a former Columbo crime family boss currently serving time at a half-way house in Kansas City will get early leave due to the fact that he is seriously ill.

 

  1. Both are facing charges of wide-spread fraud.

 

  1. President Trump is of the opinion that the election was rigged.

 

  1. How do you write a dateline?

 

 

False News Targeting Latinos Trails the Election

Rampant falsehoods evolved online on Wednesday, intended to make Spanish speakers question the unfolding election results and believe that President Trump was being robbed of victory.

A Republican watch party on Tuesday in West Palm Beach, Fla. Ahead of Election Day, false reports in Spanish appeared to be aimed at turning Latinos against Black Lives Matter and tying Joseph R. Biden Jr. to socialism, both tactics that experts said could depress the Hispanic vote.
A Republican watch party on Tuesday in West Palm Beach, Fla. Ahead of Election Day, false reports in Spanish appeared to be aimed at turning Latinos against Black Lives Matter and tying Joseph R. Biden Jr. to socialism, both tactics that experts said could depress the Hispanic vote.Credit…Saul Martinez for The New York Times

By Patricia Mazzei and Nicole Perlroth

  • Nov. 4, 2020

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MIAMI — The posts proliferated on election night before anything remotely definitive was known about the results of the presidential race. “Robado,” they falsely repeated again and again in Spanish: President Trump was being robbed of a victory. He had won Arizona. George Soros was funding violent “antifa riots.”

The baseless social media messages to Latinos trying to delegitimize the election and the results for Joseph R. Biden Jr. circulated online on Tuesday night and into Wednesday, part of a disinformation campaign to undermine Latino confidence in the vote as it unfolded.

Ahead of Election Day, false news in Spanish tried to turn Latinos against Black Lives Matter and tie Mr. Biden to socialism, tactics that experts said could depress the Hispanic vote. Now that voting is complete, the rampant falsehoods have only garnered larger audiences — including among immigrants less familiar with the institutions of American democracy. The gist of the falsehoods is that the election is “rigged” against Mr. Trump.

“These misinformation narratives are helping plunge the country further into chaos and confusion,” said Fadi Quran, a director at Avaaz, a nonprofit that tracks disinformation. He called the disinformation campaigns a “democratic emergency.” “The most vulnerable communities in the country are paying the highest price,” he said.

Continue reading the main story

Journalism Minor Curriculum

JOURNALISM MINOR CURRICULUM
The minor in journalism consists of four required 3-credit courses and two electives for a total of 18 credits. Most students also participate in campus student media and intern at local news organizations.

REQUIRED

MCA 101: Introduction to Media Studies

MCA 233: Introduction to Journalism
MCA 333: Reporting and Writing

(Note, students can take either Radio or Television Journalism as the fourth required course. Or take both and apply one as an elective.

MCA 341: Radio Journalism  

MCA 343: Television Journalism 

ELECTIVES

Select two from the following list. 

MCA 105: Introduction to Media Production

MCA 365: Social Media Strategies

MCA 31013: Supervised Radio Station Study (by permission)

MCA 401: Ethics and Values in Communication

BLST 31136: Race & Media

English 230: Writing Workshop in Prose

English 342: Advanced Grammar

Soc 250: Theory of Mass Culture and Mass Communications

Art 24020 Photojournalism


Media Internship or Independent Study for Academic Credit (by permission of program director)

Spring 2021

Journalism Minor Courses

MCA 233 M    Introduction to Journalism – Linda Villarosa teaches    

                       Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:15 a.m. to 12:15

MCA 233 4PR Introduction to Journalism – Barbara Nevins Taylor teaches

                        Thursdays 2:00 p.m. to 4:45

MCA 333 2PR Reporting & Writing – Garry Pierre-Pierre teaches

                        Tuesdays 2:00 p.m. to 4:45

MCA 333 4PR  Reporting & Writing – Michele Chen teaches

                         Thursdays 2:00 p.m. to 4:45

MCA 343          TV/Video Reporting — Barbara Nevins Taylor teaches

                         Mondays 3:30 p.m. to 6:00                          

MCA 31139      Podcasting – Camille Peterson teaches

                         Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 a.m. to 11:40

MCA 31006      Race & Media – Linda Villarosa teaches

                         Tuesdays 2 p.m. to 4:45

Independent Study 3 credits to work on HarlemView.

What Makes a Good Story

Vida Americana Show, Whitney Museum

What Makes a Good Story?

Curiosity Pays Off

All kinds of stories make a good report. But some will pan out and others won’t. We all bring personal history, individual interests and perspective to the job of reporting. You can bet that if you’re curious about something, others will find it interesting too.
Once you have a story in your sights, just remember that as journalists we temper what we bring to the table with a strong measure of objectivity, and an even stronger dose of fairness.

Define A Good Story 
So how do you define a good story? Think about your day and the challenges that you have. Think about your friends and family and how the commute to school or work affects them, what’s happening in their neighborhoods. How do they juggle kids and work, or kids and school? What does the drama in Washington, and President Trump’s tweets have to with them?
You can turn anything into a story. But the best stories have:
• A little drama
• A little conflict
• Pure joy
• Surprising new facts
• Need-to-know information
• Entertainment value
The stories don’t have to extend beyond your college or community to have meaning and impact. But remember you approach the world as a video storyteller now and that means that the stories require interesting video.
1. DRAMA:
A father races into his family’s burning home to save his children. He dashes through the flames again and again and brings five children out to safety. But neither he nor the firefighters can save the sixth child who is asleep in a room at the back of the house. Although it is grim, it is a true story and breaking news reporters find themselves covering a version of this tragedy again and again.
2. CONFLICT:
A community garden is set for demolition to make way for an athletic field. The gardeners and their plants provide a beautiful visual for video, and the conflict is clear. People want to continue to garden and people want to stop them in order to use the land for another, equally valid, purpose.
3. JOY:
A young ballerina from your community wins a competition and lands a job with a prestigious ballet company.
The debut of rare Siberian tiger cubs at a local zoo also falls into this category.
Some stories bring smiles to the faces of your viewers and offer opportunities for creative shooting, writing and editing.
4. NEW INFORMATION:
A doctor tries a new medical procedure in which he uses stem cells harvested from fat. He says that injecting one’s own stem cells into arthritic joints can ease pain and improve movement.
5. NEED TO KNOW INFORMATION:
The city council considers a sales tax hike. There’s a meeting where politicians, merchants and consumers will testify. A timetable and the items covered by the tax will be revealed.
6. ENTERTAINING INFORMATION:
Beyoncé comes to your community to film music video. You have the opportunity to visit the set and report the story. In this category you’d also include fashion, new restaurant openings, or lifestyle segments that highlight new trends.

Enterprise

Some reporters like to come up with their stories and that’s called enterprise reporting. You might have a lead on an unreported element in breaking news, discover the cutest puppy in the neighborhood, get an exclusive interview with an interesting character, learn from a source about a Ponzi schemer or discover a contractor ripping off homeowners.

Unique Reporting 
News directors value enterprise reporting because it produces unique reporting that they can promote. Original reporting gives an organization bragging rights and allows them to draw in viewers with the promise that they’ll see something special that the competition doesn’t have.
Any reporter can produce enterprise work, but covering a specific beat or area means you can develop the sources and knowledge that tend to trigger new story ideas. Investigative, consumer, political, medical, business, entertainment, environmental, life-style, and technology reporters typically generate enterprise stories.
The list expands or contracts depending upon the size of the newsroom. But people with wide-ranging interests and curiosity have tremendous opportunities. You can report about virtually anything, if you come up with the story.

Competition
Competition plays a big role in newsrooms. While producing a news broadcast requires that you work hand in hand with colleagues, and you have to play nice in order to retain your job and succeed, people vie for the best stories and the stories that lead the newscast. General assignment reporters, those who do the important breaking and daily news stories, often view “specialist” reporters suspiciously by daily news reporters.
“What makes them so special? Why do THEY get extra time,” the rank-and file reporters often grumble.
Enterprise Reporters
But while enterprise reporters have the opportunity to take control of their daily destiny, they frequently work longer hours to dig deeper than the reporters who pick up an assignment and bolt to“run and gun” to cover a breaking news story.
Enterprise reporters depend upon sources to tip them to news stories. The hardest working reporters have the best sources. They also have the curiosity to follow leads, ask questions and uncover stories, and the tenacity to work at those stories a long time.

Quick Turns
You’ll turn some stories around quickly. Others stories will take weeks or even months of research and shooting and editing and writing before they’re ready. But if you realize th importance of face-time on the air, you’ll juggle. You’ll produce other stories that can get you on the air or on the web quickly while you’re working on your blockbuster.