Archive for August, 2008

Lesson #1: People finding and backgrounding

August 29th, 2008 by Jack Styczynski

Points of emphasis for critical thinking:

  1. People—whether witnesses to an incident or experts on a subject—should be one of your first thoughts as a source of information on ANYTHING.
  2. Why do you need to talk to experts?  Authority, accuracy, balance and CREDIBILITY.
  3. That said, never trust any person—no matter who it is—as your sole source of information, even about him or her self…and sometimes ESPECIALLY about him or her self (e.g. people lying about their age).  Always verify!
  4. Backgrounding people is crucial.  For example, you never want to write a friendly story about someone, only to be burned by not doing proper backgrounding.
  5. Last but not least: there’s some information generated about people that won’t be available.  As an example, consider Presidential candidates.  What information about them is released only at their discretion?

Social networks: primary source or resource of last resort?

August 29th, 2008 by Jack Styczynski

We’ll kick it around when discussing people and backgrounding resources on 9/9.  In the meantime, here are some worthwhile readings…

Craft and Research, I now pronounce you…

August 28th, 2008 by Jack Styczynski

After two years of the single life, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism’s Craft I and Research Methods courses tied the knot in the summer of 2008…destined to live happily ever after?

Whatever the case, they’re together this fall, and this is the official blog of Jack Styczynski, the Research Adjunct for the Craft I classes of Tim Harper and Steve Strasser.

It’s the spot for the students in those sections to come for research handouts, assignments, news, tips and whatever else comes up during the semester.

So check in often.  And welcome to the J-school!

I am researcher, hear me roar!

August 28th, 2008 by Jack Styczynski

My name is Jack Styczynski and I’m what you get when you cross a journalist with a librarian.

After five years as a radio news and sports director, I decided to forgo the glamour of city council and school committee meetings, high school football games and cheese sandwich dinners to become a mild-mannered librarian.

Not mild mannered enough to give up the news business, of course.  I’ll spare you the travelogue here, but if you’re the type who craves the old-fashioned résumé, click away.

And what captures my attention away from the job?

Enough about me.  Feel free to talk about yourself.