Types of News Stories

People on the grass in Washington Square Park in early spring

Hard News- Breaking News

It is has happened, or is happening now.

The teen and victim John Vallejo, 32, shot each other in a confrontation inside First Choice Automotive on Randall Ave. near Bryant Ave. in Hunts Point, according to cops.

The teen had come into the shop with friends looking to pick up a black Mercedes E300 which had been in a crash. He was mad his repaired car hadn’t been washed yet and angry he had to pay a $1,000 deductible, according to shop manager Armando Lio.

“We told him, ‘Listen, we’re gonna wash your car so you can take it,’” Lio said. “And I guess he was on drugs or something…His eyes — it was like he had a demon in him. He was like, ‘Yo, I want my car right now.’”

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https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2021/08/25/afghanistan-taliban-kabul-mayor-mohammad-daoud-sot-giokos-ctw-vpx.cnnhttps://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2021/08/25/afghanistan-taliban-kabul-mayor-mohammad-daoud-sot-giokos-ctw-vpx.cnn

Feature Stories

By Elisabetta PovoledoAug. 23, 2021

BOLOGNA, Italy — The last time Martin Adler saw the three Naldi siblings in person, it was during World War II in the central Italian village of Cassano di Monterenzio, some 40 kilometers south of Bologna, during an Allied offensive.

Searching door-to-door for German soldiers in October, 1944, Mr. Adler, then a 20-year-old American private, and another soldier stumbled upon a large wicker container covered with a cloth in one house and were about to open fire after seeing it suddenly move.

Mr. Adler hesitated and a woman burst into the room screaming: “bambini, bambini” — “children, children” — and two girls and a boy popped out of what turned out to be a cradle. The two American soldiers lowered their rifles and laughed in relief. A photograph of Mr. Alder with the children immortalized the encounter.

On Monday, Mr. Adler, now 97, and the three Naldi “bambini” — Bruno, 83, Mafalda, 82, and Giuliana, 80 — met in person for the first time in 77 years at the Bologna airport, amid a boisterous scrum of local, national and

Read more.

From the New York Daily News

 

A copy of the 1938 “Action Comics #1” brought in $3.25 million in a private sale, according to a Tuesday announcement from online auction and consignment company ComicConnect.com.

The record-setting price, narrowly bested the previous record for the comic, sold in the auction of another copy in 2014 for slightly over $3.2 million, the Associated Press reported.

New York City-based company’s chief operating officer Vincent Zurzolo said the comic book that introduced Superman to the world is considered “is the beginning of the superhero genre.”

Read more.

Profile, A Look at a Person

Ian Austen

By Ian AustenFeb. 5, 2021

OTTAWA — For Murray Sinclair, being a bridge between Indigenous people and the rest of Canada has sometimes been a struggle. After he graduated from law school in 1979, a step that felt like “joining the dark side,” he was frustrated by courts where he heard racist comments flow and saw the justice system work repeatedly against Indigenous people.

“This is killing me, literally, to do this,” Mr. Sinclair, who is Anishinaabe, recalled telling his wife, Katherine Morrisseau-Sinclair. “I’m not really helping anybody, but I’m also being seen as one of them.”

Ms. Morrisseau-Sinclair persuaded him to visit Angus Merrick, an elder from the Long Plain Indian band and an Aboriginal court worker.

The two men met in Mr. Merrick’s tepee, the elder smoking cigarettes and both of them drinking pots of tea until 6 in the evening, at which point Mr. Merrick became direct.

Read more.

From The New York Times

The veteran Korean star Yuh-Jung Youn has had a thriving career for five decades — all because of a choice she made when she failed her college entrance exam.

By Carlos AguilarPublished April 2, 2021Updated April 7, 2021, 4:39 p.m. ET

For her 60th birthday, the veteran Korean star Yuh-Jung Youn made herself a promise. She would collaborate only with those she trusts. Even if their ventures fell short, as long as she personally appreciated the people making them, the result wouldn’t much concern her.

That late-life philosophy, born of decades of limited choices and professional trauma, brought her to “Minari,” the director Lee Isaac Chung’s semi-autobiographical story about a Korean family putting down roots in Arkansas. Youn’s bittersweet performance as the grandmother, Soonja, in the tenderhearted immigrant drama has earned her an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress, the first for a Korean actress.

“Me, a 73-year-old Asian woman could have never even dreamed about being nominated for an Oscar,” Youn said via video call from her home in Seoul. “‘Minari’ brought me a lot of gifts.”

As she recounted this triumph and the many pitfalls that preceded it, her pensive expression often broke into an affable smile, cheerful laughter even. Dressed in a demure black top and long necklace, there was an effortless grace to her serene presence. She came off unhurried and welcoming but determined to make her ideas understood. Occasionally she asked a friend off-camera for help with certain English words to hit each point more precisely.

The First Amendment

Protestors in Washington Square Park, Photo by ConsumerMojo.com

The Bill of RightsThe 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.

Freedom of the press was one of the priorities for Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson wrote a letter to another lawmaker saying,

“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

Some wanted to rewrite the Constitution but worried that people would think that they intended to tear up what they wanted to protect. They turned to U.S. Virginia Representative James Madison, a good thinker and a good writer.

James Madison

Madison argued that, “A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

In 1789 Madison drafted amendments and presented them to the House of Representatives. The House approved 17 amendments. The Senate approved 12 and the states ratified 10 in December, 1791 as the Bill of Rights.

Thomas Jefferson became the third President of the United States and James Madison became the fourth.

Finding Data

Data graphic

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data-neighborhoods.page

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data.page#showdiag1

https://www.statista.com/page/covid-19-coronavirus

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/nyregion/new-york-city-coronavirus-cases.html

Johns Hopkins University

https://communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov/

New York State Covid-19 Tracker

Covid-19 Modeling University of Washington

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/data/tools.pagehttps://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/data/tools.page

911 Response Time

Nassau County Health Data

Suffolk County Health Data Questionnaires

https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/

HPD Violation look up

Construction accident look up

https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/data-studio/

Data & Statistics

NYT Harlem 911 Call Illustration of Story Logic

Selina McNeal called the police just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday because the superintendent of her apartment building was screaming obscenities and breaking glass in the hallway. She briefly opened her door and spotted him, completely naked, she said.

Minutes later, eight uniformed police officers arrived, pouring out of an elevator. As Ms. McNeal hid under the bed, she heard a struggle and officers yelling, “Shoot him! Shoot him!” Then came a series of shots. “Pop, pop, pop, pop,” she said.

In a matter of seconds, the police officers shot and killed the superintendent, who they said had pointed a gun at them. One officer grappled with the naked man before the shooting started and was shot in the chest during the struggle, the police said. His bulletproof vest stopped the slug.

On Thursday, the police said the man, identified as Victor Hernandez, 29, had fired the bullet that struck Officer Christopher Wintermute on the left side of his chest and lodged in his body armor. Mr. Hernandez’s killing was the fifth deadly shooting by the New York police in a month.

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A review of surveillance footage recovered at the scene and body cameras worn by seven of the responding officers showed that Officer Wintermute was first to arrive at the building’s second floor, the police said.

There the officer encountered a naked Mr. Hernandez in “a shooting stance” at the end of the hallway, said Deputy Chief Kevin Maloney, who leads the Force Investigation Division.

As the two men grappled, Officer Wintermute yelled for backup. Three of his colleagues responded and fired 17 rounds at Mr. Hernandez, Chief Maloney said. Ten bullets hit him.

“I did not want him dead,” Ms. McNeal said, hours after she first called the police. “I just wanted to find out what was going on.”

Mr. Hernandez, a father of two and the son of a police officer, had become the building’s superintendent fairly recently, his family members and neighbors said. Ms. McNeal said that before she called 911, Mr. Hernandez had been yelling in the hall for about 20 minutes, making vulgar threats about a woman.

The police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, said on Wednesday that the officers arrived at about 1:50 a.m. and fanned out to search the second-floor hallway of the building, at 2785 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, and encountered a naked man with a gun. “A violent struggle immediately began and shots were fired,” the commissioner said.

Image

Victor Hernandez in a photo posted to Facebook.

Chief Maloney said Mr. Hernandez had been the subject of six domestic complaints in the past. He was last arrested in 2014. He has never been accused of any crime involving drugs, weapons or violence, officials and family members said.

Ms. McNeal said that when she briefly opened the door and saw Mr. Hernandez, she did not see a weapon in his hands. “I saw something that looked like a laptop or a tablet,” she said.

During the shooting, Ms. McNeal said, she was hiding under her bed in tears. After the shots rang out, she heard officers shout, “Watch the fire.” Shortly afterward, she said she heard them yelling at one another, “Where is the gun?”

After the confrontation ended, Ms. McNeal again opened the door and saw Mr. Hernandez lying on the floor face up. The police later told her that what she thought was a tablet was actually a firearm.

“I’m still crying,” Ms. McNeal said. “I close my eyes and it’s all I can see and hear.”

ImageThe vest that stopped a bullet during the confrontation in Harlem.
Credit…New York Police Department

Mr. Hernandez’s family members and neighbors remembered him as a dedicated father to a 6-year-old daughter and an older son, a caring relative and an ambitious man who worked hard.

His aunt, Ana Martinez, said Mr. Hernandez grew up in the Crotona Park East neighborhood of the Bronx. He had taken the police officer and firefighter exams and was studying at Bronx Community College, she said.

Mr. Hernandez’s ex-wife lived in the Throgs Neck neighborhood of the Bronx, Ms. Martinez said. The two had been fighting over custody of their children, and the domestic accusations stemmed from arguments between them, Ms. Martinez said.

The ex-wife, Jaimily Hernandez, declined to comment.

Mr. Hernandez’s mother, Maria, has spent 19 years as a New York police officer, most recently in the Bronx, and he wanted to follow in her footsteps, according to Ms. Martinez. Mr. Hernandez also had relatives who were law enforcement officers in Milwaukee, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Given that Mr. Hernandez came from a law-enforcement family, Ms. Martinez said, she doubted her nephew would have acted violently toward police officers, and she disputed the characterization of him as emotionally disturbed or violent.

“They’re depicting him like he was some kind of psycho or something and he was a menace to society, but he was a person,” Ms. Martinez said. “His mom was on the force for 19 years. She served that city for 19 years, and they murdered her son.”

In a tribute posted to Facebook, Mr. Hernandez’s younger sister, Melissa, said her brother had been her best friend and her protector, an industrious, creative and loving person.

 

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Mr. Hernandez “was always good at everything,” she wrote. He learned to play piano by ear, taught himself to make high-quality videos and had strong technical and mechanical skills.

“My brother could do so many things, and it was always clear to me that he was destined for greatness,” wrote Mr. Hernandez’s sister, who declined to comment further. “Unfortunately, he’ll never get to use any of his many skills.”

Hours before the shooting, Mr. Hernandez ate dinner at a cousin’s house, Ms. Martinez said. He had also picked up his mother from the airport, where she had returned from a vacation in the Dominican Republic.

Over text message, his mother, Maria Hernandez, said, “His only contact with the police before this was domestic with his wife.”

She declined to comment further, saying: “Just know Victor was a kind, gentle soul. And my entire world.”

In Harlem, neighbors said Mr. Hernandez seemed in public to be a quiet, calm person.

Pedro Ramos, 44, who lives on the seventh floor of the building, said he had befriended Mr. Hernandez.

“He was a sane, good guy,” Mr. Ramos said with a tone of disbelief. “This shocks me.”

Jerome Selassie, 55, who owns the corner store across the street from the site of the shooting, said he saw Mr. Hernandez often and never knew him to be violent.

“I saw him last night, at around midnight,” Mr. Selassie said. “He was running to his apartment because it was raining. He waved at me. That was the last time I saw him. He looked O.K. to me.”

Image

The police officer who was shot in the incident left Mount Sinai St. Luke’s hospital in a wheelchair on Wednesday.
Credit…James Keivom for The New York Times

Officer Wintermute, 32, has been on the police force for seven years, working most of that time on patrol in the 32nd Precinct in Harlem. His wife is also a police officer.

During the struggle with Mr. Hernandez, Officer Wintermute was punched several times in the face and took the impact of the bullet hitting his Kevlar vest, officials said. Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was in “good spirits” after the shooting, and he was released from Mount Sinai St. Luke’s hospital a few hours later. Fellow officers applauded him as he was taken in a wheelchair to a waiting police van.

The police have shot and killed five people since Sept. 29, when Officer Brian Mulkeen and a armed man he was trying to arrest were killed in a police fusillade in the Bronx. Four of the shootings occurred in the past eight days.

On Oct. 15, in two separate encounters, officers fatally shot two armed men, one in the Gowanus Houses in Brooklyn and one at the 225th Street subway station in the Bronx. Two days later, also in the Bronx, a police sergeant shot and killed a man during a traffic stop.

Officer Mulkeen was the second officer to be killed by “friendly fire” this year. In February, Detective Brian Simonsen was hit in the chest and killed as he and other officers were firing at a robber in a cellphone store in Queens. The robber turned out to have a fake gun.

 

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The police said Wednesday’s incident was the 47th time this year officers have discharged their weapons in confrontations with civilians. Ten of them have died.

“It’s high in the last couple of weeks, but it’s part of where we’ve been consistent in the last couple of years,” Chief Maloney said.

Ms. Martinez said Mr. Hernandez sometimes expressed fear for his mother’s safety because she was a police officer. But his family also feared for his.

“We always told them if the police stop you, you make sure you be respectful and give them whatever they want because you don’t want them to shoot you,” Ms. Martinez recalled. “It’s hard when you have minority children, especially boys, and you have to tell them that.”

Susan Beachy contributed research.

Correction: 

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misspelled the given name of a resident who called the police. She is Selina McNeal, not Selena McNeal. It also misstated the age of a man who was killed. He was 29, not 27.

Government Employees Promote Active Writing

GUIDELINES > KEEP IT CONVERSATIONAL

Use active voice

Active voice makes it clear who is supposed to do what. It eliminates ambiguity about responsibilities. Not “It must be done,” but “You must do it.” Passive voice obscures who is responsible for what and is one of the biggest problems with government writing. Don’t confuse passive voice with past tense.

In an active sentence, the person or agency that’s acting is the subject of the sentence. In a passive sentence, the person or item that is acted upon is the subject of the sentence. Passive sentences often do not identify who is performing the action.

Passive voiceActive voice
The lake was polluted by the company.The company polluted the lake.
New regulations were proposed.We proposed new regulations.
The following information must be included in the application for it to be considered complete.You must include the following information in your application.
Bonds will be withheld in cases of non-compliance with all permits and conditions.We will withhold your bond if you don’t comply with all permit terms and conditions.
The permit must be approved by the agency’s state office.Our state office must approve your permit.

More than any other writing technique, using active voice and specifying who is performing an action will change the character of your writing.

Identifying passive sentences

Passive sentences have two basic features, although both may not appear in every passive sentence.

  • A form of the verb “to be,” such as “are,” “was,” “were,” “could be,” or “have been”)
  • A past participle (generally with “-ed” on the end)

Use passive voice when the law is the actor

In a few instances, passive voice may be appropriate. For example, when one action follows another as a matter of law, and there is no actor (besides the law itself) for the second action, a passive sentence may be the best method of expression.

You might also use passive when it doesn’t matter who is doing an action. For example:

“If you do not pay the royalty on your mineral production, your lease will be terminated.”

Sources

  • Charrow, Veda R., Erhardt, Myra K. and Charrow, Robert P., Clear & Effective Legal Writing, 4th edition, 2007, Aspen Publishers, New York, NY, pp. 173-175.
  • Garner, Bryan A., A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage, 2nd edition, 1995, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, pp. 643-644.
  • Garner, Bryan A., Legal Writing in Plain English, 2001, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 24-26.
  • Garner, Bryan A., Garner’s Modern American Usage, 2003, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, pp. 892-893.
  • Murawski, Thomas A., Writing Readable Regulations, 1999, Carolina Academic Press Durham, NC, pp. 73-75.
  • Office of the Federal Register, Document Drafting Handbook, 1998, p. MMR-5.
  • Redish, Janice C., How to Write Regulations and Other Legal Documents in Clear English, 1991, American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC, p. 26.
  • Securities and Exchange Commission, Plain English Handbook, 1998, Washington, DC, pp. 19–20.

Tips on Writing in the AP Style

The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook is widely accepted as a standard guide for writing and is frequently used as a reference on how to deal with numbers, names and titles, abbreviations, punctuation, time, capitalization, and many other important issues.

While it’s best to read the stylebook to learn all of the rules, there are some common ones you can learn without the book.

  • Spell out numbers between one and nine, and use Arabic numbers for 10 and higher. If you are referring to an age or percentage, use an Arabic number even if it is less than 10. When you start a sentence with a number, it should be spelled out even if it is 10 or higher.
  • When you refer to the United States as a noun, the two words should be spelled out. If you are using it as an adjective, it should be abbreviated as U.S.
  • Dates should always be expressed in Arabic numbers and should not end with a suffix such as “rd” or “th.” Months should always be capitalized, and certain months (Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec.) should be abbreviated when they are used with a specific date. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone.
  • Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3… ) should be used for time, with the exception of midnight and noon. Insert a colon to separate hours and minutes, and use

a.m. or p.m. to indicate whether the time is during the day or night.

  • Academic degrees should not be abbreviated, and an apostrophe should be used to indicate a bachelor’s or master’s degree, but there is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. Abbreviations are only acceptable when you are referring to a list of people with degrees.
  • Check for correct spelling and capitalization rules for some common technological terms: email, e-book, cellphone, smartphone, BlackBerry, download, Internet.
  • Also, it is important to ensure there are no statements in the text that might be considered libelous, that the meaning is clear, and there is no personal opinion, bias, or prejudice in the story. You should look for the following:
  • Check that you do not use adjectives to characterize persons and institutions as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in hard news stories – this injects your biases or prejudices in your reporting.

Example: The eloquent mayor of Paris gave a speech Sunday. (biased)

The major of Paris gave a speech Sunday. (neutral)

  • Don’t make inferences, or statements about the unknown. Your judgment may be relevant in analytical writing, but not news reporting.

Example: The building caught fire early in the morning. It is likely that homeless residents set the fire. (unfair inference)

The building caught fire early in the morning. The cause is unknown, but under investigation. (fair)

  • Discriminate between the need for present and past verb tenses. Make your choice depending on emphasis and perspective: if what happened and its impact are more important, use present tense. If the emphasis is on time when or during what period an event occurred, use simple past.

Example: Last November’s election has changed the laws on marriage in California. (present)

The cease-fire was signed at 11:00 p.m. yesterday. (past)

  • Decide when to use active or passive voice. Consider whether you are emphasizing a subject or an object in your story. Active is typically the

preferred voice in news writing because it reveals the subjects that perform the actions. Passive voice shifts emphasis from subjects to objects, and thus can conceal the actor. This is especially common with crime stories, political and war reporting.

Example: The prime minister signed the treaty. (active)

The cars were stolen sometime last night. (passive)

Need To Know Copyright

Copyright symbol All Rights Reserve

by Barbara Nevins Taylor 

Our first instinct is to pull images and music from the internet. Everything is right there for the taking and many who create content think about using what’s accessible and seems available. Borrowing can quickly solve a variety of editorial problems.

But not all material on the internet is free to use and it may be illegal to just grab and go.

Copyright is a law that protects creators of works that include text, books, photos, graphics, artwork, music, and anything that has a copyright symbol next to it.

 

Office of Copyright in the Library of Congress
Office of Copyright in the Library of Congress

How do you get a copyright?

The federal Office of Copyright says:

“The copyright notice generally consists of the symbol or word “copyright (or copr.),” the name of the copyright owner, and the year of first publication, e.g., ©2008 John Doe. While use of a copyright notice was once required as a condition of copyright protection, it is now optional. Use of the notice is the responsibility of the copyright owner and does not require advance permission from, or registration with, the Copyright Office. 

How long does it last?

Copyright extends for the life of the author plus 70 years. There are some efforts underway in Washington to change the copyright law and reduce the number of years a creator can hold on to copyright.

But the bottom line is that the law, and basic fairness, require us to honor copyright.

That means that we can’t borrow material freely from the internet unless the creator clearly states that you can use the work.

Fee for Use

If you want to use an image or music and the creator does not indicate that you may borrow it, there’s likely a fee to use it.

 Copyright and Creative Commons

On the other hand, the good news is that some content creators are eager to have their work used and distributed even if they don’t get paid.

Most, however, want credit.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Creative-Commons-License-.png

The Creative Commons License was established in 2002 to make a wide variety of content available from willing content creators who want to get their work seen and heard, but may also want credit. The Creative Commons 4.0 license requires you to attribute the photo, or piece of music or artwork. You must link to the site where the image came from and you must give credit on your site to the creator.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Creative-Commons-License-3.0.png

Flikr,  Unsplash, SnapFish, 500px , postimage, and other sites that will probably start up by the time you read this, offer photo sharing of one kind or another.

Many of the photos posted on these sharing sites ask for Creative Commons attribution. They make their work available under a Creative Commons License.

 

In most cases, even with Creative Commons, the creator wants credit. You can freely use these images, but you must credit the creator either on the image, or somewhere in the printed material or the text on the website or the brochure. There is often a request for you to link to the creators site, or Wikimedia where the image may have been posted.

You can find images with Creative Commons licenses indicate via Google and Bing search engines.

Google screen shot for tools

When you use images on Google there is a tab for settings.

On Bing there is a tab for License.

On Google

Click on Advanced Search and it will take you to this page:

Choose:  “free to use or share, even commercially

If you plan to modify the image or graphic make sure that you choose: “free to use, share or modify, even commercially.”

You’ll then get a range of photos that you can use for free. But you must if it is an attribution license, you must give credit to the creator.

If you use Bing once you choose the subject that you are searching, images will come up and the list of headings in the bar at the top of the images will include the word: License. 

You can also find images through Wikimedia or Wikipedia

Wikicommons Better image

Some people will allow you to use the images without attributions. But be very careful.  To find the license you may have to click through several layers to check to see the requirement. 

Pixabay features a wide range of photos posted by photographers. They are free, but you can leave a donation for the artist. They ask for coffee money.

Tiger, Photo by Gellinger, Courtesy Pixabay

Photo by Gellinger, Courtesy Pixabay, Creative Commons License

Public Domain 

On Wikipedia, and elsewhere, you may find works labeled Public Domain.  The federal Office of Copyright defines public domain this way:

“The public domain is not a place. A work of authorship is in the “public domain” if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner.”

U.S. Government agencies maintain photo and video archives and most of the work is in the public domain. 

This Department of Defense photo for example is free for you to use. It’s always a good idea to give credit to the photographer and the agency.

 Photo By: Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Burgains

 

U.S. Marines on exercise

U.S. Marines, Senor Beach, Oman. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Robert B. Brown Jr.

The Library of Congress has photos and videos in the Public Domain.

Hot Lips

Hot Lips at the Apollo, 1946.  William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency offers Public Domain photos and video of disaster areas when the agency responds.

Hurricame Maria Responsed, FEMA photo

Hurricane Maria response, Photo courtesy FEMA

FEMA Home Destroyed in Bayhead, New Jersey

Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy  FEMA.

https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/FEMA

 

VIDEO 

Vimeo offers Public Domain videos. You can them here: https://vimeo.com/channels/publicdomain

Government agencies also have video that you can use for free.

Pixabay  Offers videos on a many subjects and you can use them for free. 

Videvo.net offers free stock footage.

Archive.org features videos that creators will let you use. Make sure to check the license to see if attribution is required.

https://archive.org/details/NycTrafficTimeLapse/NycTrafficWmv.wmv

Moving Image Archive hosts videos you can use. Again, make sure to check the license.

CreativeCommons has a site where you check for video. 

 

Music

Popular music generally requires the payment of royalties to the artists, composers, arrangers, producers and anyone else who had something to do with the production of those works.

Licensed Music and Music for a Fee

 ASCAP and BMI provide licensing for music and it is possible to purchase the rights, or a license, to use something that fits the creative bill.

But in most cases, the cost is prohibitive unless you have a blanket license to use a certain amount of music.

If you use music in a video that you post on YouTube and the creator has not authorized the use, it is likely that YouTube will challenge your right to use it and it may block your video.

However, there are new sites cropping up all of the time and there is a wide range of choices for music selections.

Stock music is available for a fee and there a many sites that offer this service including:

Unroyalty YouTube

http://www.stockmusic.net

http://www.freestockmusic.com

http://www.premiumbeat.com/stock-music

http://www.pond5.com/music/1/*.html

http://us.audionetwork.com

http://www.gettyimages.com/music

 

Royalty Free Music

YouTube’s audio library and has a range of music that is available for free

http://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary

There are many sites that also offer free music. There is generally a stipulation that requires that you honor the Creative Commons License and credit the creators.

ccMixter

Incompetech

SoundCloud

http://www.purple-planet.com

Again, by the time you read this there may be many new sites.

 

Fair Use in News and Reviews

From the American Bar Association

Vol. 28 No. 6

By

Pierre Vudrag practices media and sports law in Southern California.

Fair use is a doctrine that is used to encourage criticism and commentary of copyrighted works. It is based on the concept that one should be free to use portions of copyrighted materials without asking permission from the copyright owner. It is an equitable principle that is frequently used as a defense by those sued for copyright infringement.

Determining fair use. To get a general sense of how fair use is applied, one must understand a set of fair use factors outlined in the lineage of case law dealing with copyright infringement. These factors are weighed in each case to determine whether a use qualifies as a fair use, often through varying court decisions with an expansive or restrictive meaning that could be open to interpretation. If a use is deemed not to be a fair use, then one would essentially be infringing on the rights of the copyright owner and may be liable for damages. Unfortunately, even if you strictly follow these factors and the copyright owner disagrees with your fair use interpretation, your dispute may have to be resolved through litigation or the payment of licensing fees.

Fair use in the general sense, with no hard-and-fast rules, is the use of copyrighted material without permission from the appropriate copyright owner for a limited and, as the courts deem, “transformative” purpose so as to comment on, criticize, or parody such copyrighted work. Specifically, the Supreme Court emphasized that the transformative nature of the use determines whether the material has been used to assist in the creation of something new, rather than merely copied verbatim into another work. In other words, one must ask: (1) has the material taken from the original work been transformed by adding new expression or meaning? and (2) was value added to the original, thereby creating new information, or new aesthetics, or new insights and understandings?

Generally, two categories are used when making a fair use—commentary or parody. Typically, when focusing on news and editorial reviews, one would look to the first category, commentary. When commenting on or critiquing a copyrighted work, fair use principles would allow one to reproduce some of the work to accomplish one’s intent.

Courts have generally used four factors in resolving fair use disputes, which are laid out in Section 107 of the Copyright Act: (1) the purpose and character of the use; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion taken; and (4) the effect of the use on the potential market.

The purpose and character of the use. The “purpose and character” factor is the determining factor in many fair use decisions, as it allows the court to take a subjective look into the potentially infringing party’s intentions behind the use. Particularly in cases involving news reports, footage, reviews, and sports highlights, this factor typically favors the party claiming fair use for various reasons.

The first thing that we need to know is that copyright protection does not protect factual information conveyed in the copyrighted work, meaning that publicizing the scores of a sporting event or other factual information such as injuries, retirement, and so forth is considered fair use and does not constitute copyright infringement. What helps to strengthen a fair use argument in a case not involving the use of mere factual information is the use of the copyrighted material for the purpose of legitimate news commentary. For example, when using a clip or photograph to report the results of a sporting event or other factual information, courts have regarded the use of copyrighted material as fair use when the use is (1) brief quotations only; (2) presented in a news report; and (3) presented in a newsreel or broadcast of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.

Nature of the copyrighted work—published or unpublished. The scope of fair use is narrower for unpublished works because an author has the right to control the first public appearance of his or her expression. Therefore, you have a stronger argument in favor of fair use if the material copied is from a published work rather than an unpublished work.

Amount and substantiality of the portion taken. A general misunderstanding of fair use application has led to the “seven-second rule,” which many clearance representatives follow. A brief use of footage may not be deemed fair use unless all fair use factors can be applied. But the amount of footage used is a key factor in determining if a use is not fair, as highlighted in a key 1977 court case. The Second Circuit found that a CBS affiliate’s use of a one-minute-and-15-second clip of a 72-minute Charlie Chaplin film was not a fair use when used in a news report about Chaplin’s death. The court deemed that the portions taken were “substantial” and part of the “heart” of the film. The court’s analysis may have been different if CBS had used only a limited portion of the footage to simply enhance its news commentary on Chaplin’s death. The Second Circuit’s ruling is a clear indication that this type of use will never be considered fair use.

Effect of the use on the potential market. One of the most important fair use factors is whether the use deprives the copyright owner of income or undermines a new or potential market for the copyrighted work. If a copyright owner feels that he or she has been deprived of income, this is likely to trigger a lawsuit. This is true even if you are not competing directly with the original work.

Does fair use apply? Although the four-factor test of Copyright Act Section 107 provides a firm foundation for understanding which uses are fair uses, courts have infamously favored different factors in different cases, resulting in very unpredictable outcomes. There is a sizable gray area in which fair use may or may not apply.

So how does a news organization invoke fair use while falling within the permitted guidelines established by case law and without invoking potential litigation? The simplest way is to get permission from the copyright holder, but this is not always possible given the fluidity and immediacy of news reporting. To invoke fair use when using noncleared third-party clips, the news organization should follow these guidelines: (1) make sure the use is for a legitimate news report; (2) only use the clip when reporting on a fairly recent news event (usually 24 to 48 hours); (3) make sure that the use is a brief use of the clip to underscore the reporting of the news; (4) make sure there is actual commentary or criticism by a news reporter or anchor of the action appearing in the clip (there has to be a “transformative use” of the copyrighted material); (5) if reporting on a sporting event, make sure the event has been concluded, meaning it may not be fair use if the game has not been completed; and (6) make sure the materials are used in a bona fide news program.

 

More Information about the Entertainment and Sports Industries Forum

This article is an abridged and edited version of one that originally appeared on page 1 of Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, Fall 2010 (28:3).

For more information or to obtain a copy of the periodical in which the full article appears, please call the ABA Service Center at 800/285-2221.

Website: www.americanbar.org/groups/entertainment_sports.html.

Periodicals: Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, a quarterly newsletter; Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law, a biannual journal.

CLE and Other Educational Programs: Forum Annual Meeting, October 13–15, 2011, New York, New York.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the prompts at the top and enter your search.

 

You can skip down to the bottom where it says: usage rights. Click on the arrow and the following choices come up.

 

Choose:  “free to use or share, even commercially

 

If you plan to modify the image or graphic make sure that you choose: “free to use, share or modify, even commercially.”

 

You’ll then get a range of photos that you can use for free. But you must give credit to the creator.

 

If you use Bing once you choose the subject that you are searching, images will come up and the list of headings in the bar at the top of the images will include the word: License.

 

 

A drop-down menu provides the same choices that appear on Google Images.

 

Always choose a commercial license and if you plan to modify make sure that you choose the license that allows you to modify the image.

 

Music

 

Popular music generally requires the payment of royalties to the artists, composers, arrangers, producers and anyone else who had something to do with the production of those works.

 

Licensed Music and Music for a Fee

 

ASCAP and BMI provide licensing for music and it is possible to purchase the rights, or a license, to use something that fits the creative bill.

 

But in most cases, the cost is prohibitive unless you have a blanket license to use a certain amount of music.

 

If you use music in a video that you post on YouTube and the creator has not authorized the use, it is likely that YouTube will challenge your right to use it and it may block your video.

 

However, there are new sites cropping up all of the time and there is a wide range of choices for music selections.

 

Stock music is available for a fee and there a many sites that offer this service including:

 

http://www.stockmusic.net

http://www.freestockmusic.com

http://www.premiumbeat.com/stock-music

http://www.pond5.com/music/1/*.html

http://us.audionetwork.com

http://www.gettyimages.com/music

 

Royalty Free Music

 

YouTube recently launched an audio library and has a range of music that is available for free

 

http://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary

 

There are many sites that also offer free music. There is generally a stipulation that requires that you honor the Creative Commons License and credit the creators.

 

ccMixter

Incompetech

SoundCloud

http://www.purple-planet.com

 

Again, by the time you read this there may be many new sites.