Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Congratulations to the Class of 2010!

December 15th, 2010 by Jack

Graduation day, and I have great expectations for my former students Erica Butler, Dan Chung, Michael Cohen, Liza Eckert, Spencer Freeman, Danny Gold, Katie Honan, Suyeon Kim, Kerri MacDonald, Eugenia Miranda, David Montalvo, Khristina Narizhnaya, Vish Persaud, Lisa Riordan Seville, Matt Robinson, Sam Roudman, Jordan Shakeshaft, Andrea Swalec and Joe Tacopino.  A few quick shout outs…

Lisa, you’re still the one and only to ever get a perfect score on “the quiz.”

Matt, I’m still using your enterprise story as the model for how students should do it.

And Katie, awesome speech!  As a fellow connoisseur of deprecating humor, I know you’ll appreciate it when I say I hope nobody in the Class of 2011 paid more than a buck-fifty for your beat memo. 😉

Now everyone please take Dean Shepard’s advice and GO FOR IT!!!!

Dean Steve Shepard’s remarks at the Class of 2010’s commencement ceremony from CUNY Grad School of Journalism on Vimeo.

Katie Honan’s remarks at the Class of 2010’s commencement ceremony from CUNY Grad School of Journalism on Vimeo.

Quiz recap

December 11th, 2010 by Jack

The quiz results are in and I would call the class performance “typical.”  Five of you made me “happy” by scoring in double digits.  Most of the rest at least passed by scoring 7 or better.  But a few of you clearly need work on your research skills.  I’m always happy to help; all you need to do is ask.  Believe me, I hate giving poor grades as much as anyone hates receiving them.  When you fail, we both fail.  On the bright side, school is the place to learn your weaknesses so you can address them without terrible consequences.  Especially in the first semester.

Among the high scorers, special kudos to Yudith Ho, the only one to correctly point out that my brother is not enrolled in any political party.  It wasn’t a trick question, but I wasn’t going to pick a Democrat or Republican, where you could just guess and have a decent chance of getting the right answer.  Once you figured out his birthday and his county, all you had to do was go here.

Congratulations also to the few who knew to use Access World News for the Staten Island Advance question and Associations Unlimited for the Habitat for Humanity question.  It didn’t surprise me those were among the “harder” queries.  For whatever reason, students seem not to make sufficient use of the premium databases the school makes available, even the higher-profile ones like Nexis and Factiva.  However, a lot of you did know to use ReferenceUSA for the corporate sales volume question, so that was good (…although maybe it was because I assured there would be a RefUSA question on the quiz).

The biggest surprise (and disappointment) was that not many knew where to go for the 1996 New York Times web headlines, especially since we had just reviewed the Wayback Machine the previous week, so it should have been fresh in mind.  I would have expected that to be one of the quicker and easier questions on the quiz.

Apparently, the easiest questions were the ones on Prue’s web site, the sex offenders and the police precinct crime stats.  Almost all of you got credit on those.  The last of the three should have been easy though, given that you already had to do it for the CD beat memo.

So that’s all, folks.  Enjoy your holiday break.  I may be back with some of you next semester; ya never know.  If not, just remember, ARE YOU SURE? and SAYS WHO?

And WHO DAT?!?! (LOL)

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24th, 2010 by Jack

At this point, everyone should have received a final grade on the research-inspired enterprise assignment.  To give you an idea how you did relative to the rest of the class, the median grade was a B+.  Good job, overall.  In particular, every rewrite resulted in a better finished product.  Thanks for your effort.

Now don’t eat too much!

Today’s bonus: Annais Morales has another byline in the New York Post, and it’s no turkey!

Schedule change

October 26th, 2010 by Jack

It has been decided that Barbara Gray will do an all-class session called “Using Social Media for News Research and Reporting” on November 16th, so that will not be my next time in class, after all.   Barbara is definitely the guru on this subject.

Instead, I will present a lesson on “backgrounding resources” the AFTERNOON of November 9th, and a session titled “Mining the web like a pro: Google and beyond” the morning of November 30th.  Please note these changes to the original syllabus.

Nothing changes with the due date on the research-inspired enterprise story (November 10th) or the date of the research quiz (December 7th).

See you again November 9th.

Congratulations, Barbara Gray!

October 15th, 2010 by Jack

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?

Hump day update

October 13th, 2010 by Jack

I finished with half of the beat memos last weekend.  Since I’m dealing with the enterprise pitches this week, I won’t get to the rest until the coming weekend.  That also means I want all pitches resolved by then.

Today’s bonus: Charles Wilson has some more thoughts on cops and crime research.

Weekend update

October 8th, 2010 by Jack

For anyone wondering about the beat memos, I plan to start getting them back to you this weekend.  I’ll review them in the order I received them, so those of you who used the “extra time” Tuesday will get them back later.  I’m not sure I’ll finish this weekend, but I promise that everyone will have them back by the time I see you next on October 19.

Today’s bonus: Check out this CJR article that Judy Watson sent around, which includes tips for how writers should handle research so that they don’t plagiarize.

Headed back home

October 3rd, 2010 by Jack

Don’t forget that your CD beat memos are due to me Tuesday, when we’ll discuss “cops and crime” research in class.  Please note that there will be a more comprehensive lesson on court research in Craft II.

Before I go, big shout out to my AmeriCorps friends at the Phoenix of New Orleans and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore–Chris, Jen and Will, Amanda and Melissa.  AmeriCorps does fantastic work and is a great way to offset those student loans too!

While I’m on the subject of New Orleans, I should also plug the recent video directed by the J-school’s own Bob Sacha.  Excellent job!

Jack and Chris Glynn celebrate their favorite team and a week of interior demo.

Jack and Chris Glynn celebrate their favorite team and a week of interior demo.

Breathing a sigh of relief after the Saints close win today at the Superdome.

Breathing a sigh of relief after the Saints close win today at the Superdome.

Testing the new server

September 11th, 2010 by Jack

Please update your bookmarks for The Craft of Research, as the URL has changed.  The old one will no longer be updated, and will soon be gone.

While I’m here on this day, I may as well link to my 9/11 research story that I posted a couple of years ago and mentioned during class this week.

Be wise (not Wise) with Twitter

September 2nd, 2010 by Jack

Although Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise did prove a point this week that fact checking is essential, he also proved that having a Twitter account is dangerous if you’re an idiot.

Please take both lessons to heart.