The quiz results are in and I would call the overall performance “typical.” There was a wide variation in grades. Congratulations to the high scorers–Orie Givens, Aine Pennello and Divya Verma. Aine and Divya each missed one question, while Orie was perfect (with 10 minutes to spare!), minus the bonus.
For the record, no one got the bonus, so I’ll assume you thought “mandatory viewing” only applied if it came from the professor’s mouth, not Jonathan Dienst’s (LOL). Anyway, you can see the answer if you watch segment 17 from the PBS Frontline series “News War”, which can be found in part three.
Of the regular questions, there were several that gave many of you problems, starting with the one on Pete Thamel’s biggest mistake. Even if you forgot our class discussion, I did write about it later and post a link on the blog. As I’ve said, the blog is not for my own health. I was also somewhat disappointed a bunch of you didn’t get full credit on the query about the two basic questions for fact-checking, which was right there on my post of February 13th. Easiest question on the quiz, IMO.
What else tripped you up? Well, most of you knew to go to the Vanderbilt Television News Archive and ProQuest respectively for the questions about Nixon’s resignation video and New York Times front page headlines from my birthday, but made mistakes when you got there. A lot of you provided video links for something other than the NBC evening newscast on August 9, 1974 and headlines from stories on November 18, 1965 that appeared somewhere other than the front page. ProQuest does have a way to limit your search to front page stories, folks. We used the advanced search to do this in class.
Next, the two questions where I asked for separate answers that were supposed to come from the same place obviously caused some confusion. The answers on births and baby names were at the latest Mother’s Day compilation of the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features, and the poll numbers on background checks for gun buyers could be found in the guns section at Polling Report. Both sources were listed on my post of March 11th.
Lastly, the Bernard Madoff question proved to be one of the most difficult, for whatever reason. Many of you missed it entirely, while others gave me a Manhattan Supreme court case where he was a plaintiff (for which I did award credit), but what I really wanted was the case where he was a defendant from the SCROLL database, as we called it up in class before heading out to NBC.
Anyway, thanks for a memorable semester, friends. I’ll have one last roundup of your work posted soon.