Week 2 – Monday, September 21

Attendance

Welcome Osobade Oluwabusayo, Lagos, Nigeria

Announcements:

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Minifie Lecture: Staying in the Field: Why face-to-face journalism matters on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 7:30 at the Education Auditorium

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Assignments for next class:

Agenda:

  1. Review of assigned videos –
  2. Quiz #1
  3. CAJ – How are you a journalist?
  4. Newswriting Basics – Chapter 3: Chapter3a and Chapter3b and complete all of the exercises for Chapter 3 of Newswriting Basics
  5. Generating Story Ideas – Generating Story Ideas – Chapter 2 in Investigative Journalism Manual (pp. 2: 1-18)
  6. Introduction to Interviewing Principles in Columbia University Journalism Interviewing Principles from Columbia

REVIEW ASSIGNED VIDEOS:

Dave Isay – Everyone Around You Has a Story the World Needs to Hear

Hans and Ola Rosling – How Not to be Ignorant About the World

David Puttnam (Do Journalist have a Duty of Care?)

Each student – Which video resonated most for you? What was the most important thing it taught you or impressed up you? What is your take-away?

QUIZ #1 

Complete Quiz #1 on Common faults (CP, pp. 292-301) and current events

CAJ READING

If someone said to you, “You’re not a journalist,” how would you answer them?

The CAJ documents states that there are three criteria that

must be met in order for an act to qualify as journalism. Failure to pass any one of these tests means that the act in question is not journalism, and only journalists will meet — or, at least, attempt to meet — all these criteria consistently, fully and deliberately.

What are the three criteria*** that constitute a definitional “veto,” according to the CAJ reading?  CAJ Criteria on 2 pages

What aspects of these criteria really resonate for you? Pick one and explain why you see it as important…

Recommended Reading:

Verification Handbook by Craig Silverman, author of Regret the Error

Website: http://verificationhandbook.com

GENERATING STORY IDEAS

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Click here for Generating Story Ideas – Chapter 2 in Investigative Journalism Manual (pp. 2: 1-18)

or copy this url into your browser: http://www.investigative-journalism-africa.info/?page_id=77

What is KAS?

Why is coming up with story ideas “one of the hardest parts of the journalist’s job”?

What are the “sources” of story ideas suggested in the chapter?

Exercise: Come up with story ideas from each of the “sources” of story ideas:

Your own experience – make a list of five things, places, people you experience daily, weekly, monthly…

(feed kids, drive to school, park, walk through university, repair house/prep for winter)

The experience of friends/colleagues/neighbours – make a list of five people in your world…

(Peruvian nanny next door, students dealing with student loans, Ethiopian friends celebrated their New Year, housing prices dropped, gas went up)

Shallow stories follow up – for five minutes, scan the L-P or G&M or another media site you like, and find one story that has unanswered questions…

(CBC/CTV story about “homes” of 12 people under Saskatoon bridge having their belongings removed: Who are they? Where did they go? What rights to they have?

Reading and surfing the web and social media sites – take five minutes and find a story on the web…

Public information sites – find three public information sites and subscribe to them…

(StatsCanada, Government of Saskatchewan, Regina Police Service)

Tips –

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*** CAJ Ethics

INTERVIEWING PRINCIPLES

Who among us has ever done an interview as a journalist?

What did you do? What are the rules every journalist must follow?

Think about the people you will meet and interview on our Montmartre field trip…

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  • Who are these people?
  • Why would they contact the SJ with story ideas?
  • What do you think is their experience with journalists and media?  (You will learn more tomorrow in Trish’s research class when you meet the editor of the local paper)

Interviewing Ground Rules (from reading):

The rules that govern the reporter’s behavior in the interview can be de­tailed with some certainty. Reporters, too, conceal, mislead and, at times, lie. Few reporters justify these practices. Most agree the reporter should:

  1. Identify himself or herself at the outset of the interview.
  2. State the purpose of the interview.
  3. Make clear to those unaccustomed to being interviewed that the material will be used.
  4. Tell the source how much time the interview will take.
  5. Keep the interview as short as possible.
  6. Ask specific questions that the source is competent to answer.
  7. Give the source ample time to reply.
  8. Ask the source to clarify complex or vague answers.
  9. Read back answers if requested or when in doubt about the phrasing of crucial material.
  10. Insist on answers if the public has a right to know them.
  11. Avoid lecturing the source, arguing or debating.
  12. Abide by requests for nonattribution, background only or off‑the-record should the source make this a condition of the interview or of a statement.

***  CAJ Advisory Committee, “What is Journalism?” June 2012, p. 4-5

1) Purpose: An act of journalism sets out to combine evidence-based research and verification with the creative act of storytelling. Its central purpose is to inform communities about topics or issues that they value.

  • Journalists draw their own conclusions about the necessity and direction of a story — and of the underlying veracity of facts.
  • Such conclusions are drawn in a disinterested way – that is, independently of consideration of the effect, for good or ill , of the coverage provided.
  • The economic or other benefits to companies, organizations or movements do not drive journalists’ choices.
  • Due to this definitive idea of disinterest, the journalist neither receives nor anticipates a direct benefit, financial or otherwise, from coverage.
  • Any connection or association the journalist, her editor or employer, has with individuals or groups who might benefit from publication of the information
    is made clear to audiences (although disclosure by itself does not remedy a conflict of interest or, therefore, turn an act of propaganda into an act of journalism).
  • Journalists’ careers, and those of their managers and employers do, at times, benefit indirectly from their coverage choices, but potential benefits, be they direct or indirect, play no role in editorial choices.
  • 2) Creation: All journalistic work — whether words, photography or graphics — contains an element of original production.
  • Journalism often involves a shared perspective of a team of people whose knowledge and creativity contribute to the final production.
  • Journalism is fact-based; history often shapes the context of a story.
  • In addition, the creative element is bounded by time. A breaking news story may be a single line which, while brief, still involves the skill of news judgment in selecting pertinent facts.
  • Subsequent stories are the result of more in-depth reporting dealing with the investigation of facts and the further organizing of information to give a deeper context to storytelling.

3) Methods: Journalistic work provides clear evidence of a self-conscious discipline calculated to provide an accurate and fair description of facts, opinion and debate at play within a situation.

  • This notion is not the same idea as “balance” (since a lopsided debate should necessarily be portrayed as lopsided), or as the more complex notion of “objectivity” (see Ward 2010; Schudson, 2001; White, 2010; Brisbane, 2010; Brisbane, 2011).
  • Specifically, the journalist’s craft includes certain recognizable approaches, such as some combination, but not necessarily all, of the following:
    • A commitment to researching and verifying information before publication.
    • A consistent practice of providing rebuttal opportunity for those being criticized, and of presenting alternate perspectives, interpretations and analyses.
    • The use of plain language, and story-telling techniques, as a means to attract a broad rather than an expert audience (Adam, 1993).
    • An honest representation of intent to sources.
    • A practice of conveying the source of facts.
    • A practice of correcting errors.
    • Publication.