Archive for March, 2010

More clips and tips

March 26th, 2010 by Jack Styczynski

Yesterday, Michael Cohen profiled a Golden Gloves boxer for the Daily News.

And Andrea Swalec continues her productive ways at “The Local” for the New York Times with stories on the Green Apple Café and Kif.

Keep up the good work!

Today’s bonus: Have you checked out YourNabe.com for New York City neighborhood news?

Double bonus: If we’re lucky, maybe FOIA requests will be processed faster soon.

Enterprise story research tips

March 15th, 2010 by Jack Styczynski

You will receive your second research grade of the semester on the enterprise story.  I will again operate as I did with the news feature. The first draft gets my advice on how to improve the story from a research perspective, and the final draft gets the grade. Same standards apply:

  • You must do a clip search in Nexis and/or Factiva on at least one facet of the story. (More is better.)  Show me your search strategies and put citations on your research source list, not links to Nexis or Factiva search results.
  • Your research source list must be annotated or footnoted in a way that makes it clear what information you used from the listed sources in your story.  Bare lists of links are not acceptable.

As I mentioned in class, if you want to do a “research-inspired” enterprise story, I’m willing to give you extra help on your pitch and throughout the writing process.  However, I ask that you read this first.  My tips for last semester’s research-inspired enterprise story will make it much clearer what I expect, and what pitfalls to avoid.

Clips of the week

March 14th, 2010 by Jack Styczynski

On the New York City News Service, a package chronicling the recent Green Expo included contributions by Liza Eckert, Eugenia Miranda and Jordan Shakeshaft.

At NBC Local Integrated Media, Vishal Persaud noted that a vintage Nintendo package sold on eBay for $13,000.

Last but not least, Andrea Swalec has been busy at “The Local” for the New York Times with stories on vacant apartments and a long-delayed supermarket.

Congrats to all!

Today’s bonus: You may want to check out the links below from a recent faculty training presentation on limiting legal risk in journalism and avoiding plagiarism.

A clarification, if not a correction

March 3rd, 2010 by Jack Styczynski

During yesterday’s lesson, I said the New York State Inmate Lookup did not have everyone who has been imprisoned in the database, and while that’s still true, it’s not as I explained it.  Here’s the explanation of who’s not in the database, directly from the “Who’s Listed Here?” section of the site…

Everyone sentenced to state prison since the early 1970’s is listed in the database, except youthful offenders and those who have had their convictions set aside by a court.

The example I was thinking of when I mentioned some lower-level offenders not being listed was from the New York State Sex Offender Registry.  Here’s the explanation from that site…

Police and law enforcement have access to information on all sex offenders (levels 1, 2 and 3).  However, under the law, information on level 1 (low-risk) offenders is not available on the public website.  Only level 2 and 3 offenders are listed on the public website.

Sorry about that.  I’ll mark down my own grade!

Cops and crime

March 1st, 2010 by Jack Styczynski

Handout highlights:

  1. Crime statistics at the local, state and national levels
  2. Inmate statistics and lookup/locator tools (plus parole and probation stats)
  3. Most wanted criminals
  4. Sex offender registries
  5. Criminal court information  
  6. Gun violence timelines
  7. Death penalty information
  8. District Attorneys and lawyers