Recording Phone Calls

Young woman with red hair and smart phone.

We want to make sure that you take special precautions to stay safe when doing an interview. The best method now, not always, is using your phone. You can record with Voice Memos. But it may not be the best quality. You can also get an app that does a good job.

Rev Call Recorder is available for free in the App Store. It says it provides free and unlimited call recording.

TapeACall is a favorite in the podcast world. It offers a free trial for seven days. That might work for your next assignment. But they ask for a credit card and that turned me off.

THE LAW AND RECORDING PHONE CALLS

Federal and state wire-tapping laws govern how, or if, you can record a telephone call.

You could be prosecuted or sued if you don’t follow the rules. So it’s imperative to understand and abide by them.

Federal law requires one-party consent. That party could be you. But individual states have their own laws. New York and New Jersey require only one-party consent. Again, that could be you.

But twelve states including California and Florida require all parties to consent to the recording.

You can check the laws of all the states here.

The Ethics of Recording A Call

It is always important to be as transparent as possible. Before you hit the record button ask your interviewee if it is okay with them. You want to make sure they are comfortable with having their voice and words recorded. They generally say, “Yes,” and appreciate being asked. This is the ethical thing to do when you are dealing with a regular interview.

The rules, not the law, change when you are interviewing for a story that requires undercover work. News organizations have different rules for their reporters and you want to make sure that you follow them carefully.

Journalists have a responsibility to honor the trust of the public and the people they interview. Please take this seriously.

Homework Assignment give November 4, 2021 for November 10, 2021

Please write a pitch that lays out your idea and plan for reporting a story about something that you care about. The pitch is due November 10 at 5 p.m. A pitch is important in journalism and entertainment and advertising and public relations. Bosses will frequently ask for you to “pitch.” That means you have to flesh out your idea.

A pitch is not your story. It is a description of what your story is about and who you plan to interview to find out information. You will need to interview at least three or four people, not your family members.

Your can report about something in your community, or something on campus, or something in the culture. Remember that you need access to people who can provide information to you.

Here’s what I posted last February about writing a pitch. If you need more help, let me know.

Posted on by ccnyintroductiontojournalism

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.

Examples of Good Writing

The deadliest flower in the insect world is a lifeline to farmers—and the planet

(From National Geographic)

The yellow center of the ‘killer chrysanthemum’ contains a natural toxin that is a powerful insecticide.PHOTOGRAPHS BYVITO FUSCOBYJACOB KUSHNERPUBLISHED AUGUST 4, 2021• 15 MIN READ

GILGIL, KENYAThe deadliest flower in the insect world is soft to the touch. Each morning in the hills above Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, the white petals of the pyrethrum plant become laden with dew. To the people who pick them, the flower is utterly harmless. But bugs beware: Its yellow center contains a natural toxin that can kill them in seconds.

Discovered in Persia around 400 B.C., the flower produces an active ingredient, pyrethrin, that can be extracted and used to create natural insecticides that farmers spray on crops to protect them from mites, ants, and aphids without harming anyone’s health. Herders rub pyrethrin ointments on their cattle to repel flies and ticks.

In its most common applications, pyrethrin paralyzes pests by attacking their central nervous systems. “If you spray an insect with pyrethrum, for the first 30 seconds it goes mental, incredibly hyperactive, then it falls to the floor,” explains Ian Shaw, managing director of the pyrethrum producer Kapi Limited.

Simply growingChrysanthemum cinerariifolium near your home may be enough to repel parasite-carrying sand flies, whose bite can spread the skin disease leishmaniasis, which affects nearly one million people globally, including many throughout Kenya. The resulting rash can eat away at people’s faces and become fatal if left untreated.

Pyrethrin has also become a powerful tool in the global fight against mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, a parasite that sickens more than a million people and kills more than 400,000 each year, many of them in Kenya. Manufactured in spiral-shaped discs known as mosquito coils, they emit a shroud of smoke like incense that repels mosquitoes but is harmless to humans.

part of the pyrethrum nursery

Continue Reading

From ESPN https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/32489351/rb-mark-ingram-traded-houston-texans-reuniting-new-orleans-saints

METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Saints have reunited their dynamic running back duo of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram by acquiring Ingram in a trade with the Houston Texans, sources confirmed to ESPN.

The deal includes a swap of late-round picks, the source said. NFL Network first reported the trade, the second in two months between the Saints and Texans after New Orleans acquired veteran cornerback Bradley Roby in Week 1.

Continue Reading

Writing Exercise

Exercise

You will not be graded on this exercise. This is for you to practice the craft of writing.

NORTH PORT, FL — With a forensic anthropologist analyzing Brian Laundrie’s remains, Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family’s attorney, told Fox News Wednesday that autopsy results, including the cause and time of his death, aren’t expected for another two to three weeks.

Laundrie, a person of interest in the strangulation death of his fiancée, Gabby Petito, left his North Port home Sept. 13 — two days after she was officially reported missing — and hasn’t been seen since.

(From The Patch)

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has a double-digit lead over Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli in the fight for New Jersey governor that ends with next week’s election, according to the latest poll of the race.

Murphy is ahead of Ciattarelli by 11 percentage points among registered voters, according to the Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday. It showed the governor with 50% support compared to his rival’s 39%.

(From New Jersey.com)


In a major win for climate advocates and supporters of wind and solar energy, New York State environmental regulators refused on Wednesday to allow two companies to upgrade their gas-fueled power plants — signaling a newly aggressive approach to ending fossil-fuel emissions that drive climate change.

With the decision — and a strong, immediate statement of support from Gov. Kathy Hochul — the officials took a clear and potentially influential position on a longstanding question that is at the center of national and global debates on renewable energy.

(New York Times)

A shootout at a popular outdoor restaurant in the trendy resort of Tulum that killed two foreign tourists and wounded three more ripped through the Caribbean town’s laid-back vibe and shocked many who’d considered the region an oasis immune to Mexico’s insecurity. 

But the October 20 killings revealed the dark underbelly of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, one that tourism officials along the vacation corridor have struggled to hide. Over the past decade criminal organizations—including some of the country’s most notorious drug cartels—have established lucrative extortion and local drug peddling rackets that are leading to open conflict.

(Vice)

Mayor’s News Conference Assignment

Due: Friday, October 15 at 5 p.m.

Start at 26:40 to 49:08

What: Write about the portion of the mayor’s news conference we covered. Take one or two points and tell us about them.

Include:

Who

What

When

Where

Why

and How if it is possible to give context.

You do not have to write about everything.

Synthesize one idea or two and tell us clearly and logically what the mayor said about a specific question or questions.

300 to 350 words.

If you have difficultly ask.

But please do the assignment quickly.

Punctuation 4.0

Dateline For example: NEW YORK, Sept 12 (Reuters) – BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Put your byline underneath by Chris Valentin Quotation Marks Periods, commas, question marks and exclamation points go inside the quotation marks. Example: Billy Collins stood in line to vote and looked up when someone asked why he came out to vote early, “I haven’t voted in 30 years and now I’m here,” he said. Use a comma before the quotation. Example: New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell warned residents about the dangerous hurricane heading their way. She said, “This is not a drill.” The first letter of the first word in a quote is capitalized. Example: N.B.A. star LeBron James and other prominent black athletes and entertainers started a group aimed at protecting African American voting rights and encouraging people to vote. “Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” Mr. James said. “We’re going to give you the background of how to vote and what they’re trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting.” Write out percent. Put Links Under Facts or for Attribution. Example:

It is difficult to tease apart the reasons that the virus ebbs and flows in this way, and harder still to predict the future.

But as winter looms, there are real reasons for optimism. Nearly 70 percent of adults are fully vaccinated, and many children under 12 are likely to be eligible for their shots in a matter of weeks. Federal regulators could soon authorize the first antiviral pill for Covid-19.

“We are definitely, without a doubt, hands-down in a better place this year than we were last year,” said Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy and Research at Boston University.

Attribution

A 14-year-old boy was grazed in the head Thursday by a bullet as he stepped off an MTA bus in Harlem, officials said.

The teen was exiting the M1 bus on E. 139th St. near Fifth Ave. when shots rang out just before 10 a.m., cops said.

Dashes Between Words Compound words  use dashes when the two words used together  express a specific concept. Often they are adjectives before the noun they describe. Example: The hard-hit neighborhood in Brooklyn hopes to find an investor. It became cost-effective to shop at the neighborhood grocery store. Quinceañera is a coming-of-age celebration. Use hyphens to separate the numbers and words if the phrase is an adjective. The 17-year-old swimmer won the medal. (Using as an adjective.) The winner of the medal is 17 years old.   (Stating the age.) Exercise: 

Kyrie Irving has finally opened up to the public about his future in the league and why he’s not vaccinated.

In an Instagram Live, Irving disclosed not only did he have no plans to retire from the game, but also that his vaccination status has nothing to do with the Nets or the

Punctuate: Don’t believe I’m retiring, don’t believe I’m gonna give up this game for a vaccine mandate the Nets star said Wednesday night All these people saying all these things about what’s going on with me and it’s just not true.
Punctuate:

I certainly think in a lot of instances we’ve gotta be a phasing out these zoos — definitely the circuses and the rodeos and all that because of the barbaric behavior, the inhumane behavior towards the animals he said. Eventually we’re going to have to start phasing out zoos, or at least some of the animals that are housed in zoos

Sliwa, who’s facing Democratic nominee Eric Adams and is considered a long shot in the race, conceded he’s not an expert on the subject, but added that he’d look at the issue on a “case-by-case” basis if elected mayor.

Mayor de Blasio News Conference

October 14, 2021

From the New York Daily News

By DAVE GOLDINER and MICHAEL GARTLAND

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |OCT 13, 2021 AT 4:50 PM

An obscure city panel may vote to remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson from its place in the City Council chambers amid controversy over the Founding Father’s history as a slaveholder.

The city Public Design Commission will decide Monday whether to loan the statue to the City Historical Society, effectively ending its nearly two-century run in one of Gotham’s most revered spots.

Statue of Thomas Jefferson in City Council Chambers in Manhattan, New York.
Statue of Thomas Jefferson in City Council Chambers in Manhattan, New York. (Bryan Smith for New York Daily News)

The “long-term loan” of the statue is listed as a so-called consent item, meaning the 11-member committee of architecture and museum notables will vote up or down after reviewing any public comments submitted virtually.

“The individuals memorialized within the confines of our People’s House be reflective not only of the best traditions of our city’s history and its diversity but unquestionable character,” the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus said in a statement.

New York City Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) disagreed with removing one of the nation’s Founding Fathers from the chambers.

“This is more progressive war on history,” said the Staten Island rep. “Why wasn’t this put on the consent calendar? I thought we were having this big public discussion about monuments. Apparently not.”

City Council Speaker Cory Johnson and four other council members signed a letter to Mayor de Blasio in 2020 asking for the Jefferson statue to be removed. They acted soon after the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked nationwide protests for racial justice.

The 1833 cast-iron statue was created by Pierre-Jean David and was donated to the city a year later by Jefferson admirer and Navy commandant Uriah Phillips Levy.

The statue first came under fire in 2001 when firebrand then-Councilmember Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) called for it to be replaced with an image of Malcolm X.

Its removal from the place of honor in the City Council chambers would mark another milestone in the campaign to reassess public monuments and memorials dedicated to historical figures with decidedly controversial histories.

Most of the movement’s energy has focused on removing statues of Confederate officials and generals. But many activists say America should also take another look at honors for Founding Fathers, who also owned slaves and held opinions that would be considered virulently racist in modern times.

Traditionalists counter that removing statues of any historic figure with a checkered past amounts to sanitizing history.Dave GoldinerNew York Daily NewsCONTACT 


Dave Goldiner is a political reporter at the New York Daily News. A 30-year newsroom veteran, he believes he is the only reporter to cover both the Sept. 11 terror attacks and the death and funeral of South African freedom icon Nelson Mandela on the ground.Michael GartlandNew York Daily NewsCONTACT 


Michael Gartland covers the New York City Housing Authority, housing and homelessness. During his 20-year career, he’s covered politics, crime and religion for The Record in NJ, The Post and Courier in SC and Newsday, among others. His work has earned local and national journalism awards. He lives in Upper Manhattan with his wife and two children.

Stroll—And Eat—On An Italian Boulevard While In The Big Apple

by Gerald Eskenazi from Forbes

Looking Down Arthur Avenue
Old Italy? No–Little Italy
 
BELMONT BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT PHOTO

If you want to know what one of the most interesting neighborhoods in New York was like before the pandemic—-well, it’s back, and in these times, more important, more fun and more needed than ever.

There really is only one Little Italy these days, and it’s in the Bronx, in the area known as the Belmont Business Improvement District. To most of us, it’s simply Arthur Avenue, and if you’re a New Yorker, or are going to visit, this is a place for you along with the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Times Square.

The somewhat-official launching of the return takes place Friday night, April 30, and continues until autumn unveils itself to New Yorkers.

It’s called, grandly and romantically, and with a nod to its Italian roots, Piazza di Belmont—the place for outdoor dining on Arthur Avenue. You don’t have to close your eyes to imagine you’re in Italy on a real piazza, a wide street you can stroll on without looking over your shoulder for a bicycle, car or truck. Look around and imagine an Italian town. You’ll soon be whistling Italian love songs, too.

The street becomes transformed as a piazza on Friday and Saturday nights from 6 to 10 P.M., and from 1 to 9 P.M. Sundays. This means that from East 188th Street to Crescent Avenue this swath on Arthur Avenue will be closed to vehicles. You can walk down the middle of the street, dine without being bothered by honking, hear the tinkle of wine glasses instead of the ring of a bicycle bell or any other vehicular noise.

Madonia Bakery Sample
 Sampling From Madonia Bakery
 
ARTHUR AVENUE BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

For Peter Madonia, chairman of the District, and purveyor of the tasty goodies from his eponymous bake shop, there is a deja vu aspect to what Arthur Avenue has done on the weekends:

“Many of the small businesses in Bronx Little Italy are owned and operated by the same families who founded them over a century ago – some of which have already been through the 1918 pandemic.”

During the day, the neighborhood will be the same—that is, the stores will be open for browsing, takeout, dining. This area looks and feels and sounds like the New York you first met in old movies, or television shows. It is a legitimate Little Italy in food—pizza the way it’s made in Naples; pasta from Italian semolina; food shops where a ton of slabs of pork hang from the ceiling; bakeries with 35 kinds of cookies.

If you’re a New Yorker, Arthur Avenue is, at most, a 30-minute drive by car. Little Italy in the Bronx has several parking options including metered spaces and a public parking lot at 2356 Hoffman Street. Also, anyone—New Yorker or visitor—can get to the Belmont neighborhood via Metro-North or the city’s subway via the D/B line.

 If you want to know more about the neighborhood, log on to bronxlittleitaly.com. If you’re interested in making specific reservations, well, this evocative names of restaurants are among the places you’ll want to go: Zero Otto Nove, Mario’s Restaurant, Enzo’s of Arthur Avenue, Estrellita Poblana III, Ann & Tony’sPasquale’s Rigoletto Restaurant,

And, as I once heard someone say in Rome, “Mangia!”

Gerald Eskenazi

I have had a rollicking 44-year ride as a reporter (sports) for The New York Times—that included 8,000 bylines, second-highest in the paper’s history. Along the way, I

BOXING: Foreman Flattens Moorer With Blast From the Past

by Gerald Eskenazi, from The New York Times

A right hand thrown from about 1973 tonight returned to 45-year-old George Foreman the heavyweight title he had lost 20 years ago.

With that heavy, short blow to the previously undefeated Michael Moorer in the 10th round, Foreman became the oldest heavyweight champion in history.

He looked it, too, his baggy orange trunks — they were red when he wore them in Zaire against Muhammad Ali 20 years and a week ago — ill-fitting under his stomach.

At 250 pounds, he was 28 pounds heavier than the southpaw Moorer, who was 19 years younger.

Foreman had trailed on all three judges’ scorecards. But the stunning shot proved to be the only knockdown of the bout. Moorer fell flat on his back and took the entire 10-count from Referee Joe Cortez, the bout ending at 2 minutes 3 seconds of the 10th with Foreman becoming the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation champion.

Oliver McCall holds the World Boxing Council title. McCall will fight 45-year-old Larry Holmes, a former champion, in a title bout next February.

Moorer had thrown 641 punches, to only 369 by Foreman. Yet, Foreman had refused to sit in his stool between rounds against his younger opponent. He stood in his corner so calmly, it seemed like another attempt at a psych job.

The one shot made Foreman the first fighter in the division to appear in a title fight 20 years apart.

Ali had defeated him in Zaire in 1974. That ended the myth of the Invincible Foreman that had reached its peak when he knocked out Joe Frazier in 1973 to capture the title.

“These are the shorts that I fought in when I was heavyweight champion of the world,” said Foreman later. “They are short and make you look a little chubby, but I fought Muhammad Ali in these shorts.

“I exorcised the ghost, once and forever. Heavyweight champion of the world.”

Foreman had been hit with most of the bout’s punches, yet rarely faltered or staggered or changed his style. He moved forward.

The road to the knockout began with a right that sent a shudder through Moorer, who backed up. Then came a short left, and finally, the ultimate right.

“Anything you desire, you can make happen,” the once and future champion said afterward. “It’s like the song, ‘When you wish upon a star your dreams come true.’ Well, look at me tonight.”

And what better setting for this than a 15,000-seat indoor arena at the M-G-M Grand, the 5,005-seat hotel in which Dorothy and the Tin Man and the other “Wizard of Oz” characters cavort near the casinos.

“Bluebirds,” said Foreman, “fly over the rainbow. Why oh why can’t I?”

More gracious in defeat than he had been as champion, at least publicly, Moorer admitted afterward that he had been thinking of retiring if he won.

“But I’m not sure now,” he said. His record fell to 35-1, including 30 knockouts. For Foreman, who did not fight at all between 1977 and 1987, his impressive mark stands at 73-4. Moorer was his 68th knockout victim.

Why didn’t Moorer just coast the final rounds? Two judges had him ahead by 5 points, the third by 1 point. Moorer had to know he was leading.

I my mind, I knew I was winning,” he said. But apparently his trainer, Teddy Atlas, kept after him to keep circling to his right.

“I was doing it in the gym, but here it’s totally different,” Moorer explained.

Didn’t he consider backing off?

“No,” he replied, “I never considered backing off.”

Foreman claimed his strategy was to keep pounding until he could flatten Moorer. Foreman claimed that he would never get the benefit of a decision, and that the fact there was no three-knockdown rule would help Moorer. Thus, said Foreman, when he nailed Moorer, it was essential he stay down.

Foreman didn’t need to worry. Even while Moorer was down for a minute after being knocked out, Foreman was on his knees praying. In the excitement his brother, Roy, passed out in the ring, but a physician said later, “He’s O.K. “

And will Foreman continue?

“It’s too soon to say,” he said. “But I want to fight in the Astrodome. It’s my dream.” He is from Houston.

He entered the ring to a joyful sounds of “If I Had a Hammer,” looking all business in a gray hooded sweatshirt soaked with perspiration. He had on those baggy orange shorts.

Moorer, who won the championship only six months ago from Evander Holyfield, strode in to rap music, wearing a bright yellow robe over gold shorts. His handlers walked around holding his championship belts aloft.

Moorer got the first good blow, a left hook. that made the water bounce off the top of Foreman’s bald head.

Moorer connected with a few more right jabs against Foreman, who presented a stolid figure, as if waiting to unload a right. It was part of his strategy, he was to claim, to wait it out until the time was right, until Moorer could not get up again.

Foreman stood after the round, while Moorer was ministered to by Atlas, who had worked on preparing Moorer for George’s mind games as well as right uppercut.

Outwardly, the champion and the challenger represented a study in contrasts.

Snarling and intimidating, Foreman mowed down heavyweights and brushed aside friends in his rush to the title he captured from Frazier. But three years after losing it to Ali in Zaire, he dropped a decision to Jimmy Young in Puerto Rico.

After showering, he stormed out, dripping wet and started screaming that he had to find God. He tried to get back into the arena. His trainer, Gil Clancy, had to hold him down. Foreman became a preacher and didn’t fight for 10 years.

Active Writing Exercise

Active Writing Exercise

This is not a quiz. You will not be graded. Do your best

  1. This paragraph is from the Daily News.  Use the active voice to make it better. You can break it up into more than one or two sentences.

The Empire State is one step closer to approving adult use marijuana after Gov. Cuomo released an amended version of his pot proposal Tuesday that would reduce criminal penalties for illegal sales, outlines how some of the tax revenue would be spent and allows for the delivery of cannabis products.

  •   This is from Vice. Use the active voice to make it better.

         At least 2.3 million women have been forced from the workforce during the pandemic, many due to closed schools and a lack of child care.

So after one Ohio mother was arrested on charges of child endangerment for allegedly leaving her young kids in a motel room while she tried to go to her job at Little Caesars, sympathetic people rallied to support her.

  •  This is from me.  Take out the clunky words and phrases and use the active voice to explain the problem.

Currently my boss won’t give me the extra money he promised and I really need the money and the job due to COVID and due to the fact that there are so few jobs available.

  • From the New York Post. Use the active voice and rewrite the story.

      Ryan Leaf is calling for the NFL to do more for retired players in the wake of Vincent Jackson’s death.

Jackson, 38, was found dead in a Florida hotel room by a housekeeper on Monday morning. There were no apparent signs of trauma, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Police are investigating and a cause of death has yet to be determined by the county medical examiner.

  • This is from the New York Times. Use the active voice to rewrite it.

ALBANY, N.Y. — Admitting a degree of fault for the first time, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Monday that his administration’s lack of transparency about the scope of coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes in New York was a mistake.