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

Get emails for all live election updates

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

Associate Press Counts the Votes

https://www.ap.org/en-us/topics/politics/elections/counting-the-vote

The process
Instead of relying on crowd-sourcing or vulnerable technology, our 50-state network of local reporters have first-hand knowledge of their territories and trusted relationships with county clerks and other local officials. These stringers collect votes at a local level. We also gather results from state or county websites and electronic data feeds from states. On election night, race callers in each state are armed with a wealth of additional detailed information from our election research team, including demographics, the number of absentee ballots, and political issues that may affect the outcome of races they must call. Race callers are part of AP’s Decision Desk, which will declare winners in more than 7,000 races in the 2020 general election.
1. Collect the votes
Our stringers collect votes at a local level from county clerks throughout the night.

2. Phone in the results
Stringer phones in results to a vote entry clerk in one of our Vote Entry Centers.

3. Key in the data
A dedicated vote entry clerk keys in results.

4. Double check, and check again
Votes are subject to an intense series of checks and verifications. In 2016, we were 99.8% accurate in calling U.S. races, and 100% accurate in calling the presidential and congressional races for each state.

5. Deliver the results – fast
Results are posted on member websites and used in broadcast, newspaper stories, etc. Results are updated throughout the evening and the days following Election Day.

How Mail-In Ballots Can Delay Election Results

Shot of early voting sign on the street. Photo by ConsumerMojo.com

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/10/28/us/politics/vote-count-how-long.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

From the Washington Post

By Derek Hawkins and Jacob BogageOct. 28, 2020 at 7:44 p.m. EDTAdd to list

Amid a record surge in early voting, millions of mail ballots remained unreturned Wednesday, prompting a flurry of warnings from election officials that ballots sent via the U.S. Postal Service at this point may not arrive in time to be counted.

With Election Day less than a week away, more than 42 million out of the 92 million mail ballots requested by voters nationally had not yet been returned as of Wednesday afternoon, according to data from the U.S. Elections Project, a nonpartisan site tracking early voting.

In the 20 states where party affiliation data was available, more than 11 million of the outstanding ballots had been requested by Democrats, nearly 8 million by Republicans and about 10 million by unaffiliated voters, according to the Elections Project.

Read More

https://www.wsj.com/articles/hacker-releases-georgia-county-election-data-after-ransom-not-paid-11603923101?mod=djm_dailydiscvrtst.

From the New York Times

Trailing in Pennsylvania, the Trump camp tries to make it harder to cast a vote.

President Trump’s campaign is pursuing a three-pronged strategy in the crucial battleground state of Pennsylvania that would effectively suppress mail-in votes there by tightening the counting time available for absentee votes, limiting the number of late mail-in ballots that can be accepted and intimidating people who are trying to vote early.

The state is one of a handful that by law prevent mail-in votes from counted until Election Day. In Pennsylvania and other swing states, these ballots are expected to skew heavily toward Democrats.

In an effort to accommodate a pandemic-driven avalanche of absentee ballots, Pennsylvania, like many other states, has tried to relax some rules, like the one that requires all votes to be counted within six days after Election Day, by extending the period to nine days. But the Trump campaign has leaned on Republican allies in the legislature to prevent any changes.

Read More

From the Washington Post

By Derek Hawkins and Jacob BogageOct. 28, 2020 at 7:44 p.m. EDTAdd to list

Amid a record surge in early voting, millions of mail ballots remained unreturned Wednesday, prompting a flurry of warnings from election officials that ballots sent via the U.S. Postal Service at this point may not arrive in time to be counted.

With Election Day less than a week away, more than 42 million out of the 92 million mail ballots requested by voters nationally had not yet been returned as of Wednesday afternoon, according to data from the U.S. Elections Project, a nonpartisan site tracking early voting.

In the 20 states where party affiliation data was available, more than 11 million of the outstanding ballots had been requested by Democrats, nearly 8 million by Republicans and about 10 million by unaffiliated voters, according to the Elections Project.

Read More

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/10/28/us/politics/vote-count-how-long.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/10/28/mail-ballots-postal-service/

Difference between the candidates: https://www.cbs.com/shows/60_minutes/

Punctuation Update

Quotation marks in a bubble

The Reuters Style Guide offers guidance about grammar and word usage. It is free and an excellent resource for you.

http://handbook.reuters.com/index.php?title=The_Reuters_Style_Guide&oldid=251

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.”