Archive for the ‘Readings’ Category

Manti Te’o and the decline of research…

February 15th, 2013 by Jack Styczynski

In the last two classes I mentioned I was writing about a former Times colleague’s Manti Te’o research flub…and that the profession of news researcher is headed toward extinction, as Wonbo Woo agreed.

In both cases, I was referring to the same article, which you can now read here.

I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments section below!

Update: As my article has made the rounds of the research profession, it has come to my attention that a colleague wrote something similar in 1995.

This is why you need to learn research, journalism friends.

October 17th, 2012 by Jack Styczynski

Because I’m a dinosaur.

Looking back(grounding) and looking ahead

March 3rd, 2011 by Jack Styczynski

Regarding backgrounding, CBS News and Sports Illustrated have jointly produced a terrific enterprise package on college football players with criminal records.  Awesome research!

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When I’m next in on March 22nd, we’ll be discussing Census research.  In yesterday’s Times, there was an excellent example of Census Bureau statistics inspiring a story (video included).  On March 23rd, I’ll be “embedded” in class to assist you with a Census-related story assignment, so it’s not too soon to start thinking about what you might like to do.  As long as it’s inspired by Census data, the assignment is pretty open-ended.

Today’s rant: Another reason I’d be fine if Facebook went away forever, investigative value be damned.

Greetings, intro, etc.

January 31st, 2011 by Jack Styczynski

Welcome (and for some, welcome back) to “The Craft of Research,” the official research blog for the Spring 2011 Broadcast Craft class of John Schiumo and Marc Kusnetz.  It’s the spot for research lessons, handouts, news, tips and whatever else comes up during the semester.

My name is Jack Styczynski, and while this marks my sixth semester teaching research at the J-school, it’s my first in Broadcast Craft.  I couldn’t be more excited about the new assignment!

When I’m not here, I’m a researcher at NBC and the New York Times.  If you’re interested in more career details, click here.  One thing you’ll probably notice is that I’m a big college hoop-head.

Despite the fact I make a living as an online searcher, you may also notice past readings posted here and even my humorous Christmas post demonstrate a concern for the effects computers are having on us.  Matt Richtel of the Times often makes me feel old and feeds my fear.  For example, he shows why I worry about our brains on computers and why I don’t own a mobile phone.

Speaking of my concern with computers and stuff I’ve read in recent months, should we now fret about technology making some journalists obsolete? Or will Patch save us all?

This is tech! On my bike at the train station. No cell? No car since '95 either.

This is tech! On my bike at the train station. No cell? No car since '95 either.

Anyway, enough about me and my technology nightmares. I note that a few of you were busy during the break. Nathan Frandino had a story in the Daily News about Coptic Christians in Queens mourning a loss. Laura Shin had several bylines for OurTownNY. And Annais Morales had New York Post stories here, here, here, here, here, here and here, continuing her quest to be known as the hardest working woman in the biz. Either that or she’s addicted to getting love on this blog.

Research bonus: The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey now includes the first ever 5-year estimates from 2005-2009, and the New York Times has made some nice use of them.  On the subject of demographics, Social Explorer now has an excellent database of religion statistics right down to the PUMA level. We will be digging into Census and demographic numbers this semester.

Blekko: a new search engine

November 12th, 2010 by Jack Styczynski

Here’s an article and a video (below) that serves as a good lead-in to my next and final lesson about “Mining the web like a pro.”  I don’t plan to cover Blekko specifically, but it nonetheless serves to show you how web searches, whether using Google or another engine, can get quite advanced.

blekko: how to slash the web from blekko on Vimeo.

Today’s bonus: I’m pretty sure it’s a new era when Newsweek and The Daily Beast merge.

Congratulations, Barbara Gray!

October 15th, 2010 by Jack Styczynski

My now former boss at the New York Times becomes my new (sort of) boss here at the J-school.  If you haven’t met Barbara already, make sure you introduce yourself to her when she starts next week in the Research Center.  She’s the best!

Today’s bonus: Is Tumblr the next Twitter?

Rush vs. Wikipedia, part 2

September 16th, 2010 by Jack Styczynski

Check out this article in today’s Times.  Yeah, right, it wasn’t Wikipedia.  It was the June 31st issue of the Pensacola News Journal (chuckle, snort).

Anyway, speaking of the Times, here’s another interesting piece on forthcoming changes for Twitter.

Dog days report

August 26th, 2010 by Jack Styczynski

I often question whether all this computer use is good for me/us.  Some of my summer reading reflected that…

Nicholas Carr wrote sort of a sequel to his famed 2008 article asking “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”  In the same vein, the New York Times had a story about our brains on computers, and I finally got around to viewing Frontline’s Digital Nation episode from earlier this year.

At least the good folks at the Onion can make us laugh about it.

But seriously, how good can this pace be for journalism in general and research in specific?

For those of you I haven’t scared off to Luddite-ville, here’s some stuff to keep you hooked to the screen: guides for Deep Web Research and Mastering Twitter.

Changing gears, if you want to read some of what I worked on this summer, check out my NYT credits.   The July 26th story involved the use of Twitter, in fact.

Lastly, here’s some important news about the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Exclusivity deal does disservice

June 11th, 2010 by Jack Styczynski

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Time Inc. publications—including People, Sports Illustrated and Time—recently disappeared from your Nexis and Factiva accounts.  This stems from an exclusivity contract Time Inc. inked with EBSCO earlier this year.  While the research community hoped the deal might still allow other aggregators to continue providing access to the publications, so far, no luck.  Apparently, EBSCO will soon be the only fee-based aggregator with the archives.  (According to Library Journal, Gale retains them through 2010.)  Nexis Senior Director of Licensing Dave Oakley hasn’t given up hope things will change, but it doesn’t look promising.

“We’ve left the door wide open, though at the moment talks are not continuing with EBSCO,” Oakley said last week in an e-mail exchange. “Given my understanding of the exclusive arrangement, any after-market licensing has to run through EBSCO.”

The true irony is that at least two research departments within the Time Inc. empire—and likely more—don’t subscribe to EBSCO.  That’s not to suggest those departments don’t have access to their own backfiles.  They do, through an internal database.  But what it does say is that Time Inc. seems to have no problem forcing everyone else to access its archives through an aggregator the company’s own researchers don’t consider worth a subscription—Nexis and Factiva users be damned. (more…)

Odds and ends

April 12th, 2010 by Jack Styczynski

First and foremost, a reminder about next week’s research clinics offered by the Research Center.  I highly recommend attending, especially the Facts on File session Tuesday at 12:30.  It will be worth your while, guaranteed.

Going back to last week’s lesson for a moment, I read an interesting article in the Weekly Standard about the Census Bureau’s “Orwellian American Community Survey.”

From the byline congratulations department, Danny Gold’s story about crime plaguing a senior citizens housing development in Brooklyn made City Limits.

As for my own work, if you heard me mention my “manual labor” during our break in class last week, I was talking about my trip to New Orleans last month.  Photos and a story are here.

Educational bonus: In case you missed it, Alan Schwarz of the New York Times did some great enterprise work last week.  Stories here, here, here and here.  Also, here is some stinky, but good, enterprise reporting from AM New York.

Fun bonus: The Film Forum is in the midst of showing a month’s worth of newspaper-related flicks.