Monday, September 28, 2015

What Better Questions Might You Ask?

A quick Google suggests some questions.  And it didn't take me long to find:

The Dark Side of Young  Girls Who Run Long Distances.

from a sportswriter:

Strikes me as PR, didn’t learn anything about running or who the girl is. So, I would start with the basics: where raised, what do parents do, brothers, sisters, high school, best run, hardest run, did you ever want to quit, worst coach, best coach, where to from here, boy friends, and so on.

Likeable girl.

Asking Athletes Smart Question

English: A fight in ice hockey: LeBlanc vs. Po...
English: A fight in ice hockey: LeBlanc vs. Ponich. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: It is good sportsmanship to shake han...
English: It is good sportsmanship to shake hands with your opponent after playing a tennis match, whether or not you have won or lost. Français : Il est d'usage de serrer la main de son adversaire à la fin d'un match de tennis, que l'on soit le gagnant ou le perdant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
* Playing sports is good for you

* Playing sportS is bad for you

* Sports/sports writing as window into society/culture

Interviewing Curlers



LA Times

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Useful How-To for Interviewing Sports Figures

George X interviewing BMX champion Dave Mirra
George X interviewing BMX champion Dave Mirra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Solid advice, including this list:

For sports features, you might ask:
  • What is a person’s biggest challenge?
  • How does someone feel about a decision he made?
  • What concerns someone the most?
  • What do someone’s parents think about her career/accomplishment?
  • What did someone used to think about … ? You can insert a person, place, issue or approach to sports.
  • What makes somebody the angriest, or saddest?
  • How does one keep going when facing such dire circumstances?
  • Tell me about your youth.
  • What do you think about when…?
  • Describe a time when you learned a great deal about yourself.

A Videolicious Recipe for Story about College Career Expo

Stories by the numbers

Using 'uh huh' in Interviewing

The pros and cons

Friday, September 18, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I Like Dashes - an Explanation

 He is excited about being interviewed - "Oh shit, yes." - edited version of lead of recent GOSSzzzzz story

The dash is a handy device, informal and essentially playful, telling you that you're about to take off on a different tack but still in some way connected with the present course — only you have to remember that the dash is there, and either put a second dash at the end of the notion to let the reader know that he's back on course, or else end the sentence, as here, with a period.
__ Lewis Thomas

In writing dialogue, the dash is used to show breaks in thought and shifts in tone:
"How many times have I asked you not to —" Jason suddenly stopped talking and looked out the window.
"Not to do what?" I prompted.
"Not to — Oh heck, I forget!"
A dash is sometimes used to set off concluding lists and explanations in a more informal and abrupt manner than the colon. We seldom see the dash used this way in formal, academic prose.

The first thing to know when talking about dashes is that they are almost never required by the laws of grammar and punctuation. Overusing dashes can break up the flow of your writing, making it choppy or even difficult to follow, so don’t overdo it.
It’s also important to distinguish between dashes and hyphens. Hyphens are shorter lines (-); they are most often used to show connections between words that are working as a unit (for example, you might see adjectives like “well-intentioned”) or to spell certain words (like “e-mail”).
With that background information in mind, let’s take a look at some ways to put dashes to work in your writing.
1. To set off material for emphasis. Think of dashes as the opposite of parentheses. Where parentheses indicate that the reader should put less emphasis on the enclosed material, dashes indicate that the reader should pay more attention to the material between the dashes. Dashes add drama—parentheses whisper. Dashes can be used for emphasis in several ways:
A single dash can emphasize material at the beginning or end of a sentence.
    Example: After eighty years of dreaming, the elderly man realized it was time to finally revisit the land of his youth—Ireland.
    Example: “The Office”—a harmless television program or a dangerously subversive guide to delinquency in the workplace?
Two dashes can emphasize material in the middle of a sentence. Some style and grammar guides even permit you to write a complete sentence within the dashes.
    Example: Everything I saw in my new neighborhood—from the graceful elm trees to the stately brick buildings—reminded me of my alma mater.
    Example (complete sentence): The students—they were each over the age of eighteen—lined up in the streets to vote for the presidential candidates.
Two dashes can emphasize a modifier. Words or phrases that describe a noun can be set off with dashes if you wish to emphasize them.
    Example: The fairgrounds—cold and wet in the October rain—were deserted.
    Example: Nettie—her chin held high—walked out into the storm.
2. To indicate sentence introductions or conclusions. You can sometimes use a dash to help readers see that certain words are meant as an introduction or conclusion to your sentence.
    Example: Books, paper, pencils—many students lacked even the simplest tools for learning in nineteenth-century America.
    Example: To improve their health, Americans should critically examine the foods that they eat—fast food, fatty fried foods, junk food, and sugary snacks.
3. To mark “bonus phrases.” Phrases that add information or clarify but are not necessary to the meaning of a sentence are ordinarily set off with commas. But when the phrase itself already contains one or more commas, dashes can help readers understand the sentence.
    Slightly confusing example with commas: Even the simplest tasks, washing, dressing, and going to work, were nearly impossible after I broke my leg.
    Better example with dashes: Even the simplest tasks—washing, dressing, and going to work—were nearly impossible after I broke my leg.
4. To break up dialogue. In written dialogue, if a speaker suddenly or abruptly stops speaking, hesitates in speech, or is cut off by another speaker, a dash can indicate the pause or interruption.
    Example: “I—I don’t know what you’re talking about,” denied the politician.
    Example: Mimi began to explain herself, saying, “I was thinking—”
    “I don’t care what you were thinking,” Rodolpho interrupted.

Your First Beat Report is Due Friday, September 25

Weekly Beat Report J2
First Beat Report Due Friday, September 25

List sources identified as useful for your beat. List surces contacted this week. Date of contact. Length of contact. Mode of contact (face-to-face, phone, email). Brief summary of what was discussed, including: general beat background; stories in progress; new story ideas; referrals to other sources of information.

List secondary sources consulted this week, i.e., W, Sports Illustrated, Politico. Cite particular stories read and what insights they provided for current or future stories.

List of stories in progress: stories currently being worked on and story ideas under development. Mark each story one-star, two-star or three-star based on their value to your audience. Since your final beat report will be a resource for those who follow you on this beat, also mention any stories that you do not have time or resources to pursue but – somewhere down the line – might be undertaken. In each case, include the rationale – remember our news values – for pursuing each story.

Story presentation: For stories currently being worked on, discuss multimedia possibilities. That is, what could add value to the basic print story: photos, slideshow, podcast, video? You have been assigned to multimedia workgroups and should now begin discussion of what your group project should be. (Given the variety of beats you are pursuing, your group project will not in some instances concern your specific beat.) What resources do you need in terms of training or equipment to create an extra multimedia dimension for individual stories or for group project?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Checklist for Fashion Story, Which is Not Due Until Monday, September 21

English: Interview with Donna Karan, fashion d...
English: Interview with Donna Karan, fashion designer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Your fashion story:

 • Interview at least 10 students and quote at least five.

• Cite a publication – which can be a newspaper, a magazine, an authoritative blog or a scholarly article.

 • Interview at least two experts, broadly defined. An expert can be a fashion designer, an academic, a fashion writer or a store owner, manager or employee. If you're having trouble, go over to Haight street and ‘cold call’ two or three stores.

* The more quickly you narrow the focus of your story, the quicker it will come together.

You might have brief interviews with several people and develop the most interesting angle you get among several suggested. Or you might begin with a single well-informed source who will suggest a variety of ideas and you will pick among those.

Or you might begin with a narrow focus -  young people who like to take selfies wearing only a plastic bag - and discover it has not yet reached USF. 

I Google "Why Fashion Matters" and collected some possible questions to ask sources.

* Do you think you have taste or style. What and why?

* Do you notice other men/women on the  street? What and why?

* Do you have a dress code? What and why?

* Can you tell me about something in your closet you never wear?

* Are there any ‘rules’ for dressing you’d like to share?

* What ‘s your process for getting dressed in the morning?

* What are you trying to achieve when you dress?

* What’s the situation with your hair?

* Tell me a story, connected to a piece of clothing that you still have in your possession in which something monumental, spectacular, odd or even just unusual happened while you were wearing it. Why is it special? Why does it have meaning? And why are you holding on to it?

 * Do you complement strangers on their clothes? Describe such an encounter.

* Can a feminist be a fashion enthusiast?

* Respond to this statement: The sense of being perfectly well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquillity which religion is powerless to bestow.

* If you don’t have any body piercings, what would your first piercing be? If you are already pierced, what would your next piercing be? What part of your body would you never pierce? Why? Same question for tattoos.

* When you die, what do you want to be buried/cremated in? Why?

* Who is the last person you looked at with envy?

* Who looks at you?

* How do you tell your story through your clothes?

* Do you know the history of what you are wearing?

* Do your clothes tell lies?

* When it comes to clothes, is it better to stand out or fit in?

* What does ‘dressing the part’ mean?

* Do you dress for empowerment? For self esteem?

* What is your uniform?

* What fashions make you laugh? Have you ever worn anything people laughed at?

* Are your clothes ethical?