Stories to Read from The New York Times

Sept. 26, 2020, 7:00 p.m. ET

By Manny Fernandez

Texas: Does Biden actually have a shot at winning? The answer is a tossup.

A volunteer with the Harris County Democratic Party directed people to a Houston drive-in event to watch the national convention last month.
A volunteer with the Harris County Democratic Party directed people to a Houston drive-in event to watch the national convention last month.Credit…Go Nakamura/Getty Images

Texas has 38 electoral votes. In 2016, Trump won the state by 9.0 percentage points. In 2020, it’s rated Lean Republican.

HOUSTON — It’s been a long time since a Democrat won Texas in a presidential race. “Disco Duck” ruled the airwaves and “All the President’s Men” was all the cinematic rage the last time it happened. The year was 1976, when Texans selected Jimmy Carter over Gerald R. Ford.

Nearly 44 years later, people in Texas and beyond are wondering if Mr. Biden can pull a Jimmy Carter. The answer so far is yes, no, maybe not and maybe so. You hear some version of the four depending on whom you ask and whether they live mentally or physically in red Texas or blue Texas (both are a place as well as a state of mind).

“Put me down as a yes,” said State Representative César J. Blanco, a Democrat and Navy veteran in El Paso. “It’s looking like a perfect storm for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in Texas.”

“No, I don’t see Biden being successful, and his own campaign does not either — zero serious efforts being waged 40 days out with early voting starting in just 20 days,” said David M. Carney, a Republican strategist who has advised former Gov. Rick Perry and other top Texas conservatives.

Republicans and Democrats rarely agree on anything in battleground states. In Texas, they cannot even agree on calling it a battleground. For many Democrats, the notion that Texas is a battleground state in 2020 is its own kind of victory — an acknowledgment that the decades-long Republican grip on the state has loosened and its solid red hue has started fading to purple.

A series of polls suggests such a seismic shift stirring: A New York Times/Siena College survey of Texas published Thursday found Mr. Biden trailing Mr. Trump by just three percentage points, within the poll’s margin of error.

“I don’t need to tell you, Texas is the biggest battleground state in our country,” Hillary Clinton told Texas Democrats on Thursday in a video speech at an annual fund-raising dinner.

Some Texas Republicans bristle at the description. A handful of Democrats have cut it close in Texas in recent years: Mrs. Clinton herself lost to Mr. Trump in 2016 by only nine percentage points and Beto O’Rourke was defeated by Senator Ted Cruz in 2018 by just two percentage points. But Republicans point out that the last time any Democrat won statewide office in Texas was 1994. How can a Democrat win Texas for the White House, they ask, when a Democrat cannot even win Texas for state agriculture commissioner or state attorney general?

State Senator Paul Bettencourt, a Houston Republican, sees another factor at play: the new fight over a Supreme Court nomination, which he said would help Mr. Trump energize his supporters and win votes from independents and Republicans who had been dissatisfied with him.

“I think the chance is gone at this point,” Mr. Bettencourt said of whether Mr. Biden could win Texas. “A few months ago, maybe there was a chance. But now, no. Too many hot buttons have been hit all at the same time.”READ MORESept. 26, 2020, 5:00 p.m. ET

Read More

Journalism Style Guide

Most news organizations have style and ethics handbooks. They expect reporters, editors and producers to follow the guidelines they lay out.

When it comes to writing, this means that reporters use the same abbreviations, punctuation and approach to writing.

Here’s an example from the Reuters Handbook:

adjectives

Use sparingly. Inject color into copy with strong verbs and facts first. If you have more than two adjectives before a noun, rewrite the sentence. A reader struggles with “the one-eyed poverty-stricken Greek house painter.” Avoid adjectives that imply judgment: “a hard-line speech,” “a glowing tribute,” “a staunch conservative.” Depending on where they stand, some people might consider the speech moderate, the tribute fulsome or the conservative a die-hard reactionary.

When using an adjective and a noun together as an adjective, hyphenate them if it helps to avoid a realistic ambiguity: “a sliced egg sandwich” could mean two things; “a happy birthday card” cannot; “a blue-chip share,” “high-caste Hindus.” By extension, adverbs that end in “-ly” paired with adjectives modifying nouns do not need hyphens, since adverbs cannot modify nouns: “a poorly planned operation” cannot be misconstrued to mean an operation that is poorly and that is planned.

The Reuters’ handbook is a great free resource for you to use. If you wonder about capitalizations, abbreviations, or many other writing questions, please look here:

http://handbook.reuters.com/index.php?title=A

 

Our Class Style Guide

  • Write in the active voice. That means the subject does the action. You can find more on this website here.
  • Start your paragraphs at the margin.
  • Write out numbers one through nine.  Use numerals beyond 10.
  • Write out the full name of a person, organization company, country or state before you use an abbreviation or the initials.

You can use initials for well-known names like the FBI or DEA. When the name is unfamiliar write out the full name: The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, before you write ATF.

When you abbreviate the United States always put a period between the letters. U.S. to avoid confusion with us.

Because most of your work will appear on a website, write out the full name of a company or organization followed by the initials in parenthesis. For example The Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

 

  • Link to the company or organization when you mention them. If you site research, link to the page where you found the research. Also mark open a new page or tab when you create the link.
  • Write percent rather than %
  • When you quote someone, punctuation goes inside the quotation marks. For example,

“Being around guns didn’t affect on me, but knowing how to use guns definitely had an impact on me,” Max said.

Use . . . three dots, at the beginning and end when you use only part of a quote.

  • Capitalize job titles only when they come before a name.  For example: City College President Vincent Boudreau.

Use the lower case when you write, “The City College president held a town hall meeting.”

If we talk about the president of the United States, “The president told his supporters that he doesn’t care what other people think.”

“President Trump said he doesn’t care what people think.”

Some words sound alike but have different meanings. People confuse affect and effect frequently.

  • Use affect as an adjective, noun or verb when you want to say that something influences or when something is put on.  “Nicky’s yelling affected everyone in the room.”  Or, “Nicky affected an angry air.”

Use effect when you mean the result.  “They felt the effects of the drug.”

Use italics for the names of books, magazines, newspapers, plays, movies, works of art, TV programs, radio shows, songs, albums.

  • Avoid fussy words that connect ideas:

however

furthermore

nevermore

nevertheless

  • You can find more examples of fussy words and phrases in the How We Write section of this website.
  • We’ll continue to add to our style guide.

 

 

From Vanity Fair about Washington Post Protocols

In a memo to the newsroom on Wednesday morning, executive editor Marty Baron outlined five “principles for covering potential hacked or leaked material ahead of the election.” 

First principle: “Before reporting on the release of hacked or leaked information, there should be a conversation with senior editors about the newsworthiness of the information, its authenticity and whether we can determine its provenance. Our emphasis should be on making a sound and well-considered decision—not on speed. We should resist the instinct to post a story simply because a competitor has done so.”

Second principle: “Beware the echo: The fact that politicians or other organizations are reporting or commenting on hacked or leaked information does not automatically make it reportable by us.”

Third: “If a decision is made to publish a story about hacked or leaked information, our coverage should emphasize what we know—or don’t know—about the source of the information and how that may fit into a foreign or domestic influence operation. Our stories should prominently explain what we know about the full context of the information we are presenting, including its origins and the motivations of the source, including whether it appears to be an effort to distract from another development. Headlines need to be carefully vetted to make sure they do not echo propaganda.” 

Fourth: “We should avoid linking to hacked material or potential disinformation, which could amplify such material online without context. Also, while such material may be authentic, it may be part of a release that also includes doctored or falsified material.”

And last but not least: “Connect the dots: Our ongoing coverage should help readers understand how political lines of attack fit into disinformation operations. If a candidate amplifies a critique of an opponent that is also being promoted by foreign actors or domestic conspiracy theorists, we should make that clear in our stories.”

Welcome to election season 2020.

Stories to Read

Photo New York City Mayor’s Office

The New York Daily News

Mayor de Blasio pushed back in-person school re-openings Thursday over concerns raised by union leaders.

In-person learning will now start on Sept. 29 for kids in grades kindergarten through eight. Middle schools and high schools will now re-open in-person learning on Oct. 1.

Pre-k and 3-k students will still re-open on Sept. 21, the original in-person start date.

“There are some blanks that we need to fill in,” teachers union leader Michael Mulgrew said Thursday at a press conference with de Blasio. “We must make sure we get this right.”

De Blasio said teacher staffing levels are the biggest concern and announced Thursday that the city will bring in another 2,500 teachers, in addition to the 2,000 he previously announced, bringing the total to 4,500 additional teachers.

This is breaking news – more to follow.

Photo New York City Mayor’s Office

The Wall Street Journal

By Leslie Brody and Katie Honan Updated Sept. 17, 2020 11:00 am ET

New York City schools will delay in-person instruction for a second time, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday, after growing complaints from teachers over classrooms being understaffed and unsafe due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For coverage of how students and parents are navigating education during Covid-19, please see WSJ’s Coronavirus & Education

The nation’s largest school district offered its 1 million students the option of fully remote learning or a hybrid of some in-person instruction and remote learning. In-person instruction was scheduled to begin on Monday.

Mr. de Blasio said at a news conference that in-person instruction will instead begin in phases, with the youngest students returning to classrooms first.

Read more

New York Daily News

Heart attack patient dies, 11 people injured, after FDNY truck crashes into ambulance in Brooklyn

Two life-saving efforts ended in tragedy when an FDNY truck headed to a Brooklyn fire slammed into an ambulance rushing a heart attack victim to the hospital, with the patient killed early Thursday and another 11 people injured, police said.

The lights were flashing on both vehicles when the collision occurred at a Bedford-Stuyvesant intersection, leaving a woman critically injured inside the ambulance as she rode along with the victim, officials said.

Six firefighters and two paramedics were also hospitalized, along with two people struck inside a nearby car while stopped at a traffic light, cops said.

The patient, identified by family as Jamil Almansouri, 59, was headed to Woodhull Medical Center when the ambulance was T-boned by a fire truck from Ladder 102 at the corner of Myrtle and Throop Aves. at 12:51 a.m., police said.

The fire truck was heading west on Myrtle Ave., responding to a blaze three blocks away, when it struck the driver’s side of the ambulance going north on Throop Ave., authorities said. The force of the impact sent the ambulance into a Honda CRV stopped at a traffic light with a driver and one passenger inside.

Responding medics rushed Almansouri and the 35-year-old woman riding with him to Woodhull, where he was pronounced dead. The woman remained in critical condition Thursday as authorities began their investigation into the bizarre crash.

According to police, the FDNY truck responded at 12:43 a.m. to a fire on the fifth floor of an eight-story building at 721 Willoughby Ave. to help search for people reportedly trapped inside the burning residence.

Six minutes later, the ambulance picked up the heart attack victim — already in critical condition — and took off for Woodhull.

The fire truck slammed into the ambulance near the rear axle two minutes after that, with the medical vehicle then crashing into a Honda CRV stopped at the traffic light with two adults inside, police said.

Six firefighters and two EMTs involved in the crash were taken to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries. One of the EMTs suffered a leg injury, cops said. The two people in the Honda were also taken to nearby hospitals with minor injuries.

####

Hyperallergic

The Story Behind a Misunderstood Satanic Monument

When Confederate memorials began to be toppled in June, far-right organizations called for the destruction of the Satanic Temple’s bronze statue of Baphomet. Here’s why that doesn’t make sense.

“Satanic Panic” never really ended; it just fell out of fashion in mainstream media. With the rise of QAnon in Trump’s America, however, Satanism has received renewed interest across the conservative media spectrum. When the Black Lives Matter protests started bringing down Confederate memorials in June, far-right publications and organizations like The Washington Times and Turning Point USA called for the destruction of the Satanic Temple’s bronze statue of Baphomet, its patron deity with the head of a goat and angel wings.

Read more

Pyramid Style Stories

The New York Times

By Sydney EmberKatie Glueck and Thomas Kaplan

Sept. 17, 2020, 5:00 a.m.In July, as the coronavirus pandemic raged, Joseph R. Biden Jr. made one trip to a battleground state. In August, he again visited just one swing state. And on the second weekend in September, less than eight weeks before Election Day, Mr. Biden’s only activity was going to church near his Delaware home.

Mr. Biden’s restraint has spilled over into his campaign operation, which was late to appoint top leaders in key states and embraced a far more cautious approach to in-person engagement than President Trump, and even some other Democratic candidates. While the Trump campaign claims it is knocking on hundreds of thousands of doors a day, the Biden team is relying heavily on TV ads and contacting voters largely through phone calls, text messaging programs and other digital outreach.

That guarded strategy reflects the bet Mr. Biden’s campaign has made for months: that American voters will reward a sober, responsible approach that mirrors the ways the pandemic has upended their own lives, and follows scientific guidance that Mr. Trump almost gleefully flouts.

Read more.

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.

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Dogs-Settings.png

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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. 

 

 

 

Writing Dates and Time and Word Usage

From the Associated Press:

Time:
Time: Use lowercase a.m. and p.m., with periods. Always use figures, with a space between the time and the a.m. or p.m.: “By 6:30 a.m. she was long gone.”

Dates:

Always use numerals: April 23, 2020. Do not use th, nd, rd, st.

From Reuters Titles: 

Capitalise an official’s title, or a former official’s title e.g. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former U.S. President George Bush, deposed King Constantine, Attorney General-designate Griffin B. Bell, Acting Mayor Peter Barry.

Honourific or courtesy titles such as Professor, Dean, Mayor, Ambassador and the like are capped when used before a name (e.g., Professor Harold Bloom). In the US, the wife of the president is known as the first lady (no caps). Abbreviate Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr, and only use Mr, Mrs, Ms in quoted material. When necessary to distinguish between two people who use the same last name, as in married couples or brothers or sisters, use the first and last name.

Avoid putting long titles, such as “Professor of Art History” or “Ambassador to the Bahamas” in front of a name, instead writing, “Leo Steinberg, professor of art history,” with the title lowercased. Reserve “Dr” for medical doctors only.

Junior, Senior – If the source insists on the preference, then abbreviate as Jr. and Sr. only with full names of persons. Do not precede by a comma: Martin Luther King Jr.

Use titles of nobility and military, medical and religious titles on first reference only: Lord Ferrars, the Rev Jesse Jackson. Except for obvious cases, e.g., a king or queen, avoid foreign honourifics as it is difficult to be consistent through various cultures. In general it is better to describe people by their job title or position. See military titles.

In most cases it is not necessary to distinguish between assistant, associate or full professors in Reuters stories. Adjunct professors or adjunct instructors are freelancers hired by a college or university, though they may have permanent or semi-permanent status. Depending on the context, it may be germane to note a professor or instructor’s adjunct status.

Hyphenate titles when the first word is a preposition, e.g., under-secretary, vice-admiral, or when a noun is followed by an adjective, e.g., attorney-general. (However, official U.S. titles are not hyphenated, e.g., the U.S. Attorney General.) Do not hyphenate when the noun follows the adjective, e.g., second lieutenant.

Use quote marks for the titles of films, plays and books, but not newspapers or magazines. On their capitalisation, see publications.

Government programmes, campaigns, etc., do not take quotes (Operation Iraqi Freedom). Not every name bears citing: An ad campaign called Latinos for Healthcare to drum up Latino enrollment in Obamacare may not be worth it; Swiftboat Veterans for Truth Against John Kerry may be.

 

WORD USAGE 

transgender

An umbrella adjective to describe people whose gender identity or expression differs from the sex assigned at birth. A transgender man is somebody who was assigned female at birth and lives as a male. A transgender woman was assigned male at birth and lives as a female. Do not use transgender as a noun; no one should be referred to as “a transgender.”

Always use a transgender person’s chosen name. Do not use the word “chosen” to describe a person’s gender identity; do not write “a person’s chosen gender identity.”

We typically only mention that a person is transgender if it is relevant to the story. For example, no need to describe one of three victims of a random car crash as a transgender person.

If you are not sure which gender pronoun to use, ask. If you can’t ask, then use the one that is consistent with the way a person presents himself or herself. In some situations confusion may be avoided by not using pronouns. Do not use transgendered.transpired

transsexual

The terms transsexual man or transsexual woman should be avoided as they are considered outdated. Unless a person specifically requests to be identified that way, use transgender instead. See transgender.

transvestite

This term is widely regarded as pejorative and should be avoided. Use a simple description or explanation of how the person prefers to be described, e.g., “Award-winning potter Grayson Perry, who frequently dresses as a woman and calls himself Claire…” See transgender.

Twitter, tweet

The microblogging platform and website is Twitter with initial capital letter. The verb is to tweet, tweeted etc, no capital letter. The noun is a tweet meaning a message on Twitter. Use @handle or #hashtag to cite Twitter as a source. But see the Sourcing section of the Handbook for sourcing from Twitter. [[2]]

Active Writing

New York City Hall and a news conference in front of the steps.

Barbara Nevins Taylor

ACTIVE WRITING

Active writing allows you to say what you mean in a clear concise way with colorful verbs that paint a picture.

In 1946, the writer George Orwell, author of Animal Farm and 1984,  complained about politicians and others who use fuzzy language to hide the truth.

George Orwell.png

“Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one’s own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase — some jackboot, Achilles’ heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse — into the dustbin where it belongs,” Orwell wrote.

In his 1946 essay Politics and the English Language set out six rules for clear writing.  “Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech that you are used to seeing in print; Never use a long word where a short one will do; If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out; Never use the passive where you can use the active; Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent; Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.” – George Orwell

Here’s a recent of example of what Orwell talked about.

“As a man of integrity, I will not sit idly by while outside entities attempt to destroy my character.”

“The mischaracterizations and the politicization of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr. Prude’s death is not base on facts, and is not what I stand for.

Former Rochester Police Chief La’Ron D. Singletary.

How do we write a clear, direct sentence?

We make sure the subject does the action.

What does that mean?

Put the subject before the verb and the object.

Active sentence: Subject-Verb-Object

The verb determines action

Former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster defends President Trump’s discussion with Russian diplomats.

Not So Good

“At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”

Good

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster defended President Trump and denied he leaked classified information to the Russians.

Not So Good

Allegations that President Trump revealed classified information to the Russians were denied by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

Passive Verbs Drag Down A Sentence

You create a passive verb when you make the subject the object of the action.

Passive Sentence

In the first inning, the three strikeouts were thrown by Mets pitcher Rick Porcello.

Active Sentence

Mets pitcher Rick Porcello threw three  strikeouts in the first inning.

Colorful verbs that tell a story and convey action create strong sentences.

Weak passive verbs make mushy sentences. You want to use action-filled verbs.

The verb to be does not convey action.

So we try avoid using: to be, am, is, are, was, were, being, been

EXAMPLES:

1.

Passive
The roads were destroyed by heavy rains.

Heavy rains were responsible for the destruction of the roads.

Active

Heavy rains destroyed the roads.

2.

Passive

The goalie crouched low, reached out his stick, and sent the rebound away from the mouth of the net.

Active

The goalie swept out his stick, and hooked the rebound away from the mouth of the net.

3.

Passive 

The three-pointer was shot  by the Toronto Raptor’s Fred VanVleet in the game against the Boston Celtics.

Active 

The Toronto Raptor’s Fred VanVleet shot the three-pointer in the game against the Boston Celtics.

4.

Passive

The legislation was sent to Congress by the president.

Active

The president sent the legislation to Congress.

or 

The president sent Congress the legislation.

5.

Passive

The earthquake in Puerto Rico caused victims to be airlifted by helicopter to the hospital.

Active

A helicopter airlifted victims of the earthquake in Puerto Rico and rushed them to the hospital.

or

A helicopter airlifted earthquake victims and rushed them to the hospital.

6.

Passive 

Carolina is responsible for monitoring and balancing the budgets for the journalists.

Carolina monitors and balances the budgets

or

Carolina monitors and balances budgets.

Use the passive voice when you want to emphasize the receiver of an action, not the actor.

Example:

Many Long Beach residents were forced to leave the beautiful beach area to escape the hurricane.

Use strong, colorful verbs

Example:

Violate instead of in violation

Resisted instead of was resistant

Avoid Passive Phrases Like These:

Have been

Had been passive

GERUNDS

A gerund acts like a verb and a noun. You form a gerund by adding –ing to the end of a verb:

Examples:

run, running
play, playing

A gerund describes action or a state of being.
Grammarians consider gerunds a lovely way to write.

But in ACTIVE writing a gerund can slow down a sentence.

Examples:

1.

The Mets are feeling like losers at this point in the season.

Better

The Mets feel like losers at this point in the season.

2.

Fans are wondering if the Jets will be losing games all season.

Better

Fans wonder if the Jets will lose games all season.

3.

Nets players are surprising their new coach with their driving ambition.

Better

Nets players surprised their new coach with their drive and ambition.

4.

We sat up all night reading.

Better

We read all night.

or

We sat up and read all  night.

6.

I like to go jeeping in the woods.

Better

I live to ride my jeep in the woods.

But gerunds can work when you talk about continuous action.

Example:

You might tell someone:

We jumped over puddles last night.

But if it continued to rain:

We spent the week jumping over puddles because of the constant rain.

CLUNKY WORDS AND PHRASES

 Some words and phrases make sentences fuzzy. 

Currently
Due to
Prior to
In an effort to
For the purpose of
In order to
Is of the opinion that
Due to the fact that
In the near future
At this point in time
During my time
Subsequent
Affinity For
Am Willing

The English-Zone.com created this excellent chart.

PRESENT PERFECT, PAST PERFECT and FUTURE PERFECT
Passive form:
have/has been + past participle
had been + past participle
Active: Present Perfect
I have mailed the gift.
Jack has mailed the gifts.
Passive: Present Perfect
The gift has been mailed by me.
The gifts have been mailed by Jack.
Active: Past Perfect
Steven Spielberg had directed the movie.
Penny Marshall had directed those movies.
Passive: Past Perfect
The movie had been directed by Steven Spielberg.
The movies had been directed by Penny Marshall.
Active: Future Perfect
John will have finished the project next month.
They will have finished the projects before then.
Passive: Future Perfect
The project will have been finished by next month.
The projects will have been finished before then.
FUTURE TENSES
Passive forms: will + be + past participle
is/are going to be + past participle
Active: Future with WILL
I will mail the gift.
Jack will mail the gifts.
Passive: Future with WILL
The gift will be mailed by me.
The gifts will be mailed by Jack.
Active: Future with GOING TO
I am going to make the cake.
Sue is going to make two cakes.
Passive: Future with GOING TO
The cake is going to be made by me.
Two cakes are going to be made by Sue.
PRESENT / FUTURE MODALS
The passive form follows this pattern:
modal + be + past participle
Active: WILL / WON’T (WILL NOT)
Sharon will invite Tom to the party.
Sharon won’t invite Jeff to the party.
(Sharon will not invite Jeff to the party.)
Passive: WILL / WON’T (WILL NOT)
Tom will be invited to the party by Sharon.
Jeff won’t be invited to the party by Sharon.
(Jeff will not be invited to the party by Sharon.)
Active: CAN / CAN’T (CAN NOT)
Mai can foretell the future.
Terry can’t foretell the future.
(Terry can not foretell the future.)
Passive: CAN / CAN’T (CAN NOT)
The future can be foretold by Mai.
The future can’t be foretold by Terry.
(The future can not be foretold by Terry.)
Active: MAY / MAY NOT
Her company may give Katya a new office.
The lazy students may not do the homework.
MIGHT / MIGHT NOT
Her company might give Katya a new office.
The lazy students might not do the homework.
Passive: MAY / MAY NOT
Katya may be given a new office by her company.
The homework may not be done by the lazy students.
MIGHT / MIGHT NOT
Katya might be given a new office by her company.
The homework might not be done by the lazy students.
Active: SHOULD / SHOULDN’T
Students should memorize English verbs.
Children shouldn’t smoke cigarettes.
Passive: SHOULD / SHOULDN’T
English verbs should be memorized  by students.
Cigarettes shouldn’t be smoked  by children.
Active: OUGHT TO
Students ought to learn English verbs.
(negative ought to is rarely used)
Passive: OUGHT TO
English verbs ought to be memorized by students.
Active: HAD BETTER / HAD BETTER NOT
Students had better practice English every day.
Children had better not drink whiskey.
Passive: HAD BETTER / HAD BETTER NOT
English had better be practiced every day by students.
Whiskey had better not be drunk by children.
Active: MUST / MUST NOT
Tourists must apply for a passport to travel abroad.
Customers must not use that door.
Passive: MUST / MUST NOT
A passport to travel abroad must be applied for.
That door must not be used by customers.
Active: HAS TO / HAVE TO
She has to practice English every day.
Sara and Miho have to wash the dishes every day.
DOESN’T HAVE TO/ DON’T HAVE TO
Maria doesn’t have to clean her bedroom every day.
The children don’t have to clean their bedrooms every day.
Passive: HAS TO / HAVE TO
English has to be practiced every day.
The dishes have to be washed by them every day.
DOESN’T HAVE TO/ DON’T HAVE TO
Her bedroom doesn’t have to be cleaned every day.
Their bedrooms don’t have to be cleaned every day.
Active: BE SUPPOSED TO
I am supposed to type the composition.
I am not supposed to copy the stories in the book.
Janet is supposed to clean the living room.
She isn’t supposed to eat candy and gum.
They are supposed to make dinner for the family.
They aren’t supposed to make dessert.
Passive: BE SUPPOSED TO
The composition is supposed to be typed by me.
The stories in the book are not supposed to be copied.
The living room is supposed to be cleaned by Janet.
Candy and gum aren’t supposed to be eaten by her.
Dinner for the family is supposed to be made by them.
Dessert isn’t supposed to be made by them.
PAST MODALS
The past passive form follows this pattern:
modal + have been + past participle
Active: SHOULD HAVE / SHOULDN’T HAVE
The students should have learned the verbs.
The children shouldn’t have broken the window.
Passive: SHOULD HAVE / SHOULDN’T HAVE
The verbs should have been learned by the students.
The window shouldn’t have been broken by the children.
Active: OUGHT TO
Students ought to have learned the verbs.
(negative ought to is rarely used)
Passive: OUGHT TO
The verbs ought to have been learned by the students.
Active: BE SUPPOSED TO (past time)
I was supposed to type the composition.
I wasn’t supposed to copy the story in the book.
Janet was supposed to clean the living room.
She wasn’t supposed to eat candy and gum.
Frank and Jane were supposed to make dinner.
They weren’t supposed to make dessert.
Passive: BE SUPPOSED TO (past time)
The composition was supposed to be typed  by me.
The story in the book wasn’t supposed to be copied.
The living room was supposed to be cleaned by Janet.
Candy and gum weren’t supposed to be eaten by her.
Dinner was supposed to be made by them.
Dessert wasn’t supposed to be made by them.
Active: MAY / MAY NOT
That firm may have offered Katya a new job.
The students may not have written the paper.
MIGHT / MIGHT NOT
That firm might have offered Katya a new job.
The students might not have written the paper.
Passive: MAY / MAY NOT
Katya may have been offered a new job by that firm.
The paper may not have been written by the students.
MIGHT / MIGHT NOT
Katya might have been offered a new job by that firm.
The paper might not have been written by the students.

Previous Page -English-Zone.Com Main Page-

                 

How We Write

Videographer at the U.S. open with a live camera shooting the audience.

When you sit down to write make, sure that each sentence reflects what you mean. Use active verbs and write clear concise sentences that convey your ideas.

Active Voice

The subject comes first in an active sentence.

Examples

Senate Republicans proposed a substantially scaled-back stimulus plan.

The city’s police chief and several of his department’s highest ranking officials resigned or were demoted on Tuesday in the aftermath of the death of Daniel Prude.

The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca halted large late-stage global trials of its coronavirus vaccine because of a serious suspected adverse reaction in a participant.

Murals thanking frontline workers  popped up in neighborhoods all over New York during the pandemic.

Always look for an active verb to give your writing more energy.

Example:Avoid the passive “to be” verbs: be, am, is, are, was, were, being, been.

Passive Voice

Murals thanking frontline workers were put up in neighborhoods all over New York during the pandemic.

You can use the passive verbs be, am, is, are, was, were, being, been when the subject of the action becomes the object.

Example:

Many Washington Heights residents are forced to move to other neighborhoods because landlords found tenants willing to pay higher rents.

We use the “to be” verbs to describe a state of being.

Example:

Dayan is a junior in college.

Have

We use variations of the word have when we use it, like must, can or have.

Jorge has to reapply for DACA by October 5, 2017.

We might also use a passive verb when we talk about ongoing action.

Example

The student was reading a textbook when the alarm bell sounded and everyone had to leave the classroom.

Pretentious Language 

Sure, you may think it sounds better to use flowery language and fussy words. But you end up sounding pretentious.

Example

When the scions of the elderly gentleman thought he had a female paramour, they pondered about their fortunes if he were to suddenly become deceased.

Use language that says what you mean.

Example

The children of the older man thought he had a girlfriend and worried about their inheritance if he died suddenly.

Catch phrases, Cliches and Euphemism

You may think you can make a sentence sound important if you use phrases or words that only suggest what you mean. But fussy sentences confuse readers, listeners and viewers.

Fussy                                                  Clear

economically deprived                  poor

youths                                               teenagers, young men, young women, young people,

chemical dependency                  drug addiction

downsize                                          lay off

adult entertainment                      pornography

inner city                                          give the name of the neighborhood

You also want to avoid fussy words that connect ideas

however

furthermore

nevermore

nevertheless

Avoid the Negative

Write sentences that avoid the negative.

Example

President Trump not only picked a fight with NFL players who choose to protest, he ignored the hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.

Better

President Trump picked a fight with NFL players who chose to protest and ignored Puerto Rico’s hurricane victims.

Writing Numbers

Write out numbers one through nine.

Write number 10 and up as you would in math.

Writing Percentages

Write percent rather than %.

Full Names and Acronyms

When you write for print, TV or radio, you separate the full name of an organization and its acronym with the word or, or commas.

Example

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACCA.

When you write for the web you put the acronym in parentheses.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.