Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Quiz recap

May 14th, 2018 by Jack Styczynski

The quiz results are in and everyone should now have their scores and semester-long research grades. Congratulations to Max Parrott for the highest quiz score, as he was perfect through the first nine questions before getting tripped up. Kudos also to Molly Enking, who had the highest overall grade for the semester combining her quiz score with her participation in the “real world research” exercises. As a class, the grade variation was pretty typical. There were people whose grades were both helped and hurt by their performance in the exercises. In fact, some who scored lower on the quiz than others ended up with a better grade for the semester because of their participation.

As for some of the individual quiz questions, you collectively did best on the one about sex offenders. Tim Harper was right when he said, “always give ’em the sexy.”

On the other end of the sexy spectrum, the performance was not great on the Factiva search strategy question, as few got full credit. Given past experience, I kind of expect this going in. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t teach it well enough or because everyone these days is just Google addicted when it comes to searching. Either way, I will say that if you’re fortunate enough to work in a place where you have access to Factiva (or Nexis), it’s well worth it to bone up on your search strategy skills.

For the questions on National Teacher Appreciation Week statistics and polls on guns and gun laws, I awarded a lot of credit for answers other than the ones I really sought. I was looking for you to cite the Census Bureau’s Stats for Stories page for the former and Polling Report for the latter. Some got those, while others gave me answers I deemed “good enough,” even though I didn’t think they were the best ones.

There were a lot of folks who got partial credit on the question about what you should consider before filing a Freedom of Information request and the bonus question about how you can use social media in reporting. Both of them were kind of a test of how closely you were listening to me in class. I made it clear that you should check the web site and call a press contact before bothering with a FOIA or FOIL, and although Rima said a lot of things in her social media lesson, I summed it up at the end by saying you can use the tools she demonstrated to either find stories or enhance breaking news stories (which generally includes finding eyewitness sources).

Last, and in this case least, no one got full credit on the Jonathan Dienst bonus question. Only one person even got partial credit, as Gurami Jamaspishvili remembered that he recommended “Writing News for Broadcast,” which he took about 30 seconds to look up on his phone that day. He also recommended the AP Stylebook.

That’s all, folks. Thanks for a fine semester and I hope you enjoyed the field trip and guest speakers in particular. Good luck in the future!

More odds, more ends

April 23rd, 2018 by Jack Styczynski

On Tuesday, we’ll take a field trip to meet WNBC investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst. Among other things, we’ll discuss filing Freedom of Information requests. The Washington Post has an excellent primer video on the subject and ProPublica has a useful article, even if Illinois focused.

While I’ve got NBC on the brain, you might be interested to learn my employer recently launched Archives Xpress, a searchable library of license-ready content from NBC News and other NBCUniversal brands that’s available for immediate download by consumers. Users can select from different pricing options.

Max Parrott has become a reporting machine at AM New York, with bylines on stories about a hockey guidebook, the New York International Automobile Show, an event commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an approaching deadline for e-cigarette shops and the closing of a club I’ll definitely miss. (Sorry New York doesn’t prioritize music venues like my beloved New Orleans does.)

Elsewhere, Karina Hernandez partnered with Max for a Queens Latino piece on undocumented bakery workers. Check out the video!

Finally, I’m in a good mood since I last saw you, given that my favorite basketball team won the national championship

Interviewing two-time national champion coach Jay Wright of Villanova.

Interviewing two-time national champion coach Jay Wright of Villanova.

Odds and ends

March 26th, 2018 by Jack Styczynski

On Tuesday, J-school alum and NBC colleague Rima Abdelkader will join me to talk about social media research and reporting. Please read and be prepared to discuss the social media policies for NBC News and the New York Times.

Also Tuesday, the New York Public Library will be at the school for library card signups from noon to 3 p.m. Barbara Gray created a list of NYPL resources available remotely.

Both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are now available online CUNY-wide. For subscription information, click here.

Last but not least, I’m tardy in shouting out some of your work…

Amy Mackinnon wrote about how hundreds of thousands of patients are likely misdiagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in a story for Slate.

Max Parrott is interning at AM New York and has written stories about a spry Harlem sprinter and a midtown wellness retreat.

Make sure to send me anything you want spotlighted here!

I still blog!

November 30th, 2013 by Jack Styczynski

Anyone looking for updates on how I’m doing in New Orleans, click here!


As part of his 50-state volunteering trip, Chris Strub interviews me about YRNO.

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Relocated!

July 9th, 2013 by Jack Styczynski

As of July 2013, I’m an AmeriCorps VISTA at Tulane’s Center for Public Service, working with Youth Rebuilding New Orleans.  Part of my job is volunteer coordination, so if any of y’all ever want to have some fun and help rebuild my most beloved city, be it for a day, a week or a month, just shout and I’ll set you up right!

Thanks to everyone for five great years at the J-school!  This blog should stay up as an archive of all the material I taught over that time.  I hope it remains useful to you.

In case you missed it, I left New York with a bang, writing about my pickup hoops life, “having coffee” with a fellow researcher and celebrating with friends at one heck of a farewell blast. Witness the evidence below!

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Quiz recap

May 19th, 2013 by Jack Styczynski

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.

C’est magnifique, Mademoiselle Hamel!

March 19th, 2013 by Jack Styczynski

You made a research nerd look (sorta) cool!

The Life of Jack Styczynski from Mathilde M. Hamel on Vimeo.

Update, 3/21: Thanks to Jim Coningsby for the kind words after seeing the video!

March Madness bonus: It’s been a busy month doing research for stories about
the (not so) fast and fraudulenta cannibal cop and gun rights vs. protection orders,
not to mention writing on hoops.  (Check out all the comments on the Big East story!)

Quiz recap

December 18th, 2012 by Jack Styczynski

The quizzes are all graded and the class as a whole did better than any group I’ve ever had, by a wide margin.  Congrats!  Almost everyone scored in “double digits,” led by Irina Ivanova and Nick Wells, who each got 15.5 out of a possible 16.5 points.  Nick in fact got full credit for all the main questions, missing only the bonus.  None of the questions was a total stumper for the entire class, but the bonus was the one that the fewest people got, which is how it should be.  It was referred to only in a September e-mail about a potential enterprise project.

Really, only two other questions are worth mentioning…

I didn’t love all the answers to the first one about the superiority of Nexis and Factiva compared to Google, even when I awarded credit.  A number of answers were technically correct, although I didn’t think they expressed the most important advantages.  If I had just a few words at my disposal, I would’ve said, “More customizable searchability and deeper and denser archives of reputable sources.”  And yeah, I know that’s 11 words…sue me…or throw a semicolon between “searchability” and “deeper” instead of the word “and.”  I gave ya two ways for the price of one there anyhow.  LOL

The question about the founding and staff size of the Innocence Project was the second.  When I composed it, it was with the idea that you’d get the info from Associations Unlimited, which some of you did.  But others went to Guidestar, which is just as reputable of a source.  So I accepted a slightly different staff size number from Guidestar, so long as you reported it correctly.

Again, great job overall, folks.  I’m really happy.  I’ll be back with one last semester wrap up post soon.

Your research geek goes viral…

November 1st, 2012 by Jack Styczynski

Hope everyone survived Sandy unscathed.  Sorry I missed you this week, especially since I know a few of you wanted to discuss your beat memos.

Anyway, a big reason I had been a little slow getting them back to you last month was because I was working on this and this, which comprise an enterprise project I undertake every five years.

And today, it’s worth it as news of the project makes its way around the web, such as here and here.

It’s nice to be recognized.  Particularly when your name is spelled correctly (hint, hint). 😉

See ya soon!

The world is mine!

The world is mine!

We’ve got bylines!

September 22nd, 2012 by Jack Styczynski

Shamanth Rao’s story about the comeback of the West Side Tennis Club made The Queens Courier.

And congrats to Nathan Place for his Mott Haven Herald article on a teen robbery spike.

In other news…

When it comes to quality-of-life summonses, Mott Haven is number 1!

If you’re a TV news junkie, there’s a new archive for you.  Read all about it.

Former J-school student Collin Orcutt has become the Derek Jeter of Sports Illustrated.