Assignment September 10, 2020

Coronavirus and Your Community

Assignment due Tuesday, September 15 at 5 p.m.

Write 300 to 500 words about the way coronavirus affects your community. Interview at least two people. Please try to interview people outside of your own family.

Use the active voice.

The subject does the action. 

  1. Write in a Word document or put it in the Google Drive folder.
  2. The copy goes flush left.
  3. If you include a photo put it at the top of the piece.
  4. Remember that this is a news story and not a term paper.  

a. You want to write a lead, or lede.

  1. You can choose to write in the traditional inverted pyramid style. That means you give us the most important facts first. https://ccnyintroductiontojournalism.com/2020/09/03/reporting-basics-2/

 

 2. Or you can choose the pyramid style where you begin with a small detail, or quote.

If you need examples of these, look on our website under Stories To Read: https://ccnyintroductiontojournalism.com/category/news/

If it is still confusing, get in touch with me.

b.  After the lede, you write the nut graf. Tell us what the story is about.

c. Then continue to tell the story.

d. Remember that one idea should logically lead to the next.

e. When you finish what you have to say don’t try to wrap it up neatly. Just finish. You can finish with a quote. But don’t tell us what you have told us. You can move the story forward. So if you are doing a story about people unable to pay their rent, you might give information about where people can go to get help in a situation like that. 

 

 

 

Stories to Read

People wearing masks on a NYC subway train. Photo by ConsumerMojo.com

From the New York Times

THE MEDIA EQUATION

Journalists Aren’t the Enemy of the People. But We’re Not Your Friends.

President Trump will try to put the media on the ballot, and reporters face the increasing temptation to posture for those most eager to oust him.

 
 

 

By 

The worst thing about being a reporter in the age of Donald Trump is, of course, the president’s concerted attacks on the free press. The second-worst thing is well-meaning readers who say things like, “Thank you for what you do.”

I mean, I appreciate it. Last week, on assignment in Cape Cod — hardship travel, I know — I thanked myself for what I do with a dip in the Atlantic and a buttery lobster roll. Some of my more frontline colleagues, from Elmhurst, Queens, to Wuhan, China, take physical and psychological risks to deliver information that deserve true gratitude.

But when some of you who are alarmed by the rise of Mr. Trump thank a political journalist or a television pundit, you’re feeding our worst instincts — toward self-importance, toward making ourselves the story and toward telling you exactly what you want to hear. And you’re leading us into a dangerous temptation at a time of maximum pressure on the free press.

“The many mainstream journalists who have been charting Trump’s ceaseless outrages for four long years, myself included, inevitably risk becoming performance artists for appreciative readers who already agree with us,” said Frank Rich, the executive producer of the HBO shows “Veep” and “Succession” and a former New York Times columnist. “You have to wonder if any of it has swayed a single Trump voter.”

Read more

 

From the Washington Post

Damage in Oregon alone may add up to more than 1,000 homes.

A table stands outside the destroyed Cressman's General Store after the Creek Fire burned through Fresno County, Calif. on Tuesday. (Noah Berger/AP)
A table stands outside the destroyed Cressman’s General Store after the Creek Fire burned through Fresno County, Calif. on Tuesday. (Noah Berger/AP)

From the New York Daily News

Teen, 18, dies after he’s stabbed and set ablaze in Bronx apartment building

 
 
Investigators at the scene of a teenager's death in a fifth-floor hallway on Woodycrest Ave. at W. 165th St. in Highbridge.
Investigators at the scene of a teenager’s death in a fifth-floor hallway on Woodycrest Ave. at W. 165th St. in Highbridge. (Sam Costanza/for New York Daily News)
 

A teenager died after he was stabbed and set on fire in a gruesome attack in a Bronx apartment hallway Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Winston Ortiz, 18, had been in an argument with the assailant sometime before the brutal assault at 3:10 p.m. in a fifth-floor hallway on Woodycrest Ave. at W. 165th St. in Highbridge, police said.

He was stabbed three times in the chest before his assailant poured accelerant on him and lit him ablaze, cops said. Responding cops found him semi-conscious, with extensive burns on his body.

Medics rushed Ortiz to Harlem Hospital in critical condition, but he couldn’t be saved. There were no immediate arrests in the case.

 

Residents of the fifth floor rushed to the teen’s aid after hearing a girl screaming nearby.

A girl was screaming and I thought her apartment was on fire. When I got there, I saw a kid on the floor. He was on fire,” said one woman, a 34-year-old mom who lives down the hell. She asked her name not be used because the attacker is still at large.

“I started screaming. I was panicked. I screamed to my daughter to call 911,” she said. “I grabbed a bucket and filled it with water. Another woman came and got a bucket.”

She added, “We passed the buckets to other people, and they put him out. I couldn’t recognize him. He was too badly burned.”

The building’s super, Evaristo Rodriguez, 59, said he didn’t recognize the victim.

“When they called us, we thought the apartment was on fire,” he said. He was eating lunch with his adult daughter at the time.

“But when we got up there it was a different story. Somebody had burned somebody else,” Rodriguez said.

“He doesn’t live here. We didn’t recognize this guy. We have no idea what he was doing here.”

The attack happened on the same block where two men were shot outside a bodega Tuesday night. One victim, 21, was shot seven times, while the second, 37, was hit twice. Both survived their wounds.

With Rocco Parascandola

 

From The New York Times

18-Year-Old Dies After He Is Stabbed and Set on Fire in the Bronx

The teenager was attacked in an apartment building near Yankee Stadium. The police later arrested the brother of his former girlfriend.

By Troy Closson and Edgar Sandoval

Published Aug. 13, 2020Updated Aug. 14, 20

Winston Ortiz was shy teenager who family members said had become depressed in recent days over a breakup with his first girlfriend. So, he was excited when he heard from her on Wednesday afternoon, they said, and he left his family’s Bronx apartment in high spirits.

He never returned.

About 3 p.m., Mr. Ortiz was stabbed in the chest, doused with a flammable liquid and then set on fire while he was still alive in the hallway of a nearby apartment building, the police said. He died hours later at a hospital in Harlem.

The next day, the police arrested his former girlfriend’s brother, Adones Betances, 22, on charges of manslaughter and murder. Detectives believed that the two men had argued about Mr. Ortiz’s relationship with Mr. Betances’ 15-year-old sister, said a law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an open investigation.

“We got a call from one of the police officers who was at the scene,” his father, who is also named Winston Ortiz, said. “They said his last words to them were his mother’s phone number.”

Read More: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/13/nyregion/bronx-teen-stabbed-fire-winston-ortiz.html

 

Why Study Civics?

The word civics comes from the Latin word civicus, which means relating to citizens. In the Gettysburg Address in 1863, after the Union army defeated the Confederate army, President Abraham Lincoln stood on a battlefield in Pennsylvania and said, “…that these dead shall have not died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth.

Government of the people, for the people is basic civics. It is a call to action for Americans to come together and participate. But we need knowledge to become informed citizens and participate. Journalists need to know the basic things about government to cover stories with context that provide people with the information they need to make informed decisions.

Maybe you already know the answer. But hey. Lots of people don’t.

Opinion vs. News

Photographers waiting in the rotunda of the Russell Building in the United States Capitol, Washington, DC. Photo by ConsumerMojo.com

What’s the difference between an opinion piece and a news story? 

An opinion piece gives you information from the point of view of the writer, or presenter. It may include facts, and reporting, but it differs from a news story in that it lays out an individual’s ideas and often their biases.  Opinion is, essentially, someone’s argument for a certain point of view about a specific topic.

When we read newspaper editorial pages, we see two types of opinion. We get the collective opinion of the editors and we also read, on the OpEd page — the page opposite the editorials — what individual columnists have to say in their byline pieces.

A news story reports the facts without the opinion of the reporter, writer, producer or presenter. It can contain attributed or quoted opinions of people interviewed. So a news story can contain opinion and tell a compelling story. But it should not include the opinion of the newsgatherer or the news organization.

A Pew Research Center poll, in 2018, found that younger people were better than older people at figuring out what’s factual and what’s opinion.

Pew said, “About a third of 18- to 49-year-olds (32 percent) correctly identified all five of the factual statements as factual, compared with two-in-ten among those ages 50 and older. A similar pattern emerges for the opinion statements. Among 18- to 49-year-olds, 44 percent correctly identified all five opinion statements as opinions, compared with 26 percent among those ages 50 and older.”

Pew Research Poll Opinion vs. Fact.png

You can take the quiz and see how you do.

https://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/news-statements-quiz/

Fact vs. Opinion Quiz Pew Research Center

CBS Reporter Weijia Jiang astounded at Trump's response during news conference

 

 

The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan research organization that conducts research, polls surveys, checks facts and analyzes media trends.

This video posted by The Guardian highlights Huffington Post’s White House correspondent S V Dáte asking a quesstion.

 

How Journalists Cover the News

Mayor Bill di Blasio in the Blue Room at City for a Press Conference

This is an excerpt from a talk in June 2020 sponsored by the Paley Center for Media hosted by Charles Whitaker, Dean of Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with CNN Correspondent Omar Jimenez, CBS Correspondent Weijia Jiang and critic Michael Eric Dyson. The clip was assembled for a journalism class at CCNY.

Misinformation on Facebook and Social Media

 

Misinformation – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Misinformation
noun

  1. false or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive.”nuclear matters are often entangled in a web of secrecy and misinformation”synonyms:disinformation, false information, misleading information, deception; lie, fib, false rumor, trumped-up story, fake news, alternative fact, gossip, red herring, false trail;informalkidology; informalbum steer”a lot of misinformation was received in Moscow”
  2. Misinformation is false or inaccurate information. Examples of misinformation include false rumors, insults and pranks, while examples of more deliberate disinformation include malicious content such as hoaxes, spearphishing and propaganda.‎

It’s easy to get caught up in the things you see and read on social media. So much seems irresistible. But since the 2016 election, we have become aware of how easy it is to manipulate posts, tweets and videos that seem real.

The Mueller Report issued by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team documented Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 presidential election.

In February 2018, before the report was issued, the Special Counsel indicted 13 foreign nationals and a Russian “troll farm” connected to the Internet Research Agency or IRA. Facebook disclosed in the fall of 2017 that it sold $100,000 worth of ads to the Internet Research Agency.

How did they use the ads on Facebook and on other social media platforms?

This is from the Mueller Report:

 

“Dozens of IRA employees were responsible for operating accounts and personas on
different U.S. social media platforms. The IRA referred to employees assigned to operate the social media accounts as “specialists.”42 Starting as early as 2014, the IRA U.S. operations included social media specialists focusing on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

The IRA later added specialists who operated on Tumblr and Instagram accounts.44
Initially, the IRA created social media accounts that pretended to be the personal accounts of U.S. persons.

By early 2015, the IRA began to create larger social media groups or public
social media pages that claimed (falsely) to be affiliated with U.S. political and grassroots organizations. In certain cases, the IRA created accounts that mimicked real U.S. organizations.

For example, one IRA-controlled Twitter account, @TEN_ GOP, purported to be connected to the Tennessee Republican Party.

More commonly, the IRA created accounts in the names of
fictitious U.S. organizations and grassroots groups and used these accounts to pose as antiimmigration groups, Tea Party activists, Black Lives Matter protestors, and other U.S. social and
political activists.


Groups (with names such as “Being Patriotic,” “Stop All Immigrants,” “Secured Borders,” and
“Tea Party News”), purported Black social justice groups (“Black Matters,” “Blacktivist,” and
“Don’t Shoot Us”), LGBTQ groups (“LGBT United”), and religious groups (“United Muslims of
America”).
Throughout 2016, IRA accounts published an increasing number of materials supporting the Trump Campaign and opposing the Clinton Campaign. For example, on May 31, 2016, the operational account “Matt Skiber” began to privately message dozens of pro-Trump Facebook groups asking them to help plan a “pro-Trump rally near Trump Tower.”55
To reach larger U.S. audiences, the IRA purchased advertisements from Facebook that
promoted the IRA groups on the newsfeeds of U.S. audience members. According to Facebook, the IRA purchased over 3,500 advertisements, and the expenditures totaled approximately $100,000.56.


During the U.S. presidential campaign, many IRA-purchased advertisements explicitly
supported or opposed a presidential candidate or promoted U.S. rallies organized by the IRA ( discussed below). As early as March 2016, the IRA purchased advertisements that overtly opposed the Clinton Campaign. For example, on March 18, 2016, the IRA purchased an advertisement depicting candidate Clinton and a caption that read in part, “If one day God lets this liar enter the White House as a president – that day would be a real national tragedy.”57
Similarly, on April 6, 2016, the IRA purchased advertisements for its account “Black Matters” calling for a “flashmob” of U.S. persons to “take a photo with #HillaryClintonForPrison2016 or nohillary2016.”

Collectively, the IRA’s social media accounts reached tens of millions of U.S. persons.
Individual IRA social media accounts attracted hundreds of thousands of followers. For example, at the time they were deactivated by Facebook in mid-2017, the IRA’s “United Muslims of America”

Facebook group had over 300,000 followers, the “Don’t Shoot Us” Facebook group had over 250,000 followers, the “Being Patriotic” Facebook group had over 200,000 followers, and the “Secured Borders” Facebook group had over 130,000 followers.61 According to Facebook, in total the IRA-controlled accounts made over 80,000 posts before their deactivation in August 2017, and these posts reached at least 29 million U.S persons and “may have reached an estimated 126
million people.”62
pg. 26

https://www.justice.gov/storage/report.pdf

 

Stories We Like

Empty Supermarket Shelves, NYC

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/nyregion/coronavirus-flowers-bodies.html

 

 

https://thecity.nyc/2020/04/amazon-warehouse-packers-in-staten-island-jam-onto-mta-buses.html?utm_campaign=mailchimp&utm_source=daily&utm_medium=newsletter

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/25/nyregion/nyc-coronavirus-crisis.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/nyregion/coronavirus-nyc-fear.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/nyregion/coronavirus-leaf-blowers.html

The New York Times

Quarantine Diaries 

“The first week, I was kind of enthusiastic about it — we’re going to be a family and be a unit! But now we’re sort of trapped.”

Within this three-bedroom South Bronx apartment, a raucous soundtrack plays: children’s squabbles and TV shows and laughter and the wail of sirens that sail in from the fire station across the street.

Here Tanya Denise Fields, her six children and her partner, Mustaphai, (plus Pebbles the dog) have learned that chaos and tedium can coexist in the most extreme ways.

Since New York City shut down last month, the family members have been forced to fully intertwine their once disparate lives. Ms. Fields’ children all attend different schools but now find themselves jammed in the corners of their windowless living room or sprawled out on a bed.

Everyone is desperate for a moment of solitude. And everyone has nerves that everyone is getting on.

“Usually I only see them for a few hours a day, like, after school, but now they’re here all the time,” said Trist’ann, 15, of her family.

For Ms. Fields, 39, who runs the nonprofit Black Feminist Project and films cooking videos for social media, managing a household of eight under quarantine has been an absurd task.

Read More 

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qjd7wp/street-racers-are-tearing-up-empty-roads-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

By Mack Lamoureux
Apr 23 2020, 11:04
.IT’S A GREAT TIME TO HAVE A FAST-AS-HELL CAR AND NO RESPECT FOR SPEED LIMITS.

In early April, under a dark California sky, Jeremy was rolling at a leisurely 40 mph (65 km/h) when his juiced-up BMW slowly came into line with an almost identical car.

The two drivers lined up mirror-to-mirror and Jeremy rolled down his window. He caught the opposing driver’s eye and gave a thumbs up and the two ripped down the asphalt. Jeremy’s car engine is naturally aspirated, whereas the other car has a turbo—so, obviously, they had to see which one was faster.

Because of COVID-19, the public highway had turned into their own private racetrack to settle their differences. The Beamers went head to head three times over a four-mile stretch, with Jeremy winning twice, pushing speeds up to 150 mph (240 km/h). They didn’t see another vehicle the entire time.

“It was quite literally empty,” Jeremy told VICE. “I couldn’t see a single light ahead of me or behind me.”

Jeremy [we’re not using his real name because he’s partaking in illegal activity] is just one of many gearheads taking to the pavement to see what their cars can do now that the coronavirus pandemic has cleared the streets and highways. Police worldwide are saying they’re seeing an inverse relationship between the amount of traffic on the road and how fast cars are going. Speeding, stunting, and street racing are on the rise.

Read More

 

 

 

 

Arun Venugopal ‘s story 

https://www.wnyc.org/story/one-mans-experience-morgue-overflow-shift

 

Finding a story that makes you smile.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/in-this-quarantine-art-challenge-creativity-begins-at-home