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COM206 main page

This is the page where you can find new material including demos and tests of content you’ll be producing during the semester. For example, this is a graph (some would say chart) from the Google Public Data explorer. It’s a great place to get international data but also national statistics. I got this searching for crime and then saw the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting stats. So this might be part of an interesting story (what story?).

Here is Roy Peter Clark’s Pyramid of Journalism Competence. Jot down some notes based on the following suggested questions and be prepared to discuss them next week:

  • What might seem overrated or out of place here?
  • Why are certain items adjacent to each other?
  • What might still be missing?
  • Pick one some and explain what it entails (e.g. judgment, or numeracy)
  • How much of this should reside in one journalist?

Here are the links I mentioned in Chapter 4, “Gathering and Verifying Information” (not all of these are in the textbook):
  1. Open Government Guide
  2. Census Explorer
  4. Verification Handbook
  6. Quick Facts
  7. Census data tools

See also Google’s Public Data Explorer (demo at the top of this page).


Here’s a new study from Pew about how users get news (or don’t) from social media. But what do users consider “news,” and what kind of “discussion” is it (“Cool.”)?


Some links from Butch Ward of Poynter: Check on rumors at and on political statements at Also get specialized search information or do calculations at Wolfram Alpha.

Generally recommended as news sites to follow:


Some links from Chapter 11, “Covering a Beat”JR-logo-4a-flat


The fake tweet site called has vanished, due partly to this Poynter (!) article. To compensate … here’s an interesting piece on why Vice is becoming a powerful news source especially for millennials.


Chapter 3 on interviewing mentions IRE (Investigative reporters and Editors) which has some free resources.

This is the  photo composition site from the Interviewing assignment. Also, here is a photo we will use to run through Photoshop to save for the Web.fair1


Here’s a graphic I created for story structures to go with Chapter 7, Beyond the Inverted Pyramid.

Story structures--not in textbook

Story structures–not in textbook



From Chapter 5, Reporting with Numbers, here is the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) inflation calculator, based on the CPI (Consumer Price Index). And for the Excel exercise with Hurricane Sandy votes, here is the original CSV file, and some Excel tips in a PDF.

Here are the videos of Chris Kewson’s visit 11/18/14:

Just to show how the videos should look, here’s one I published through Movie Maker so that it was optimized for HD. This is part 2 (just because it was the shortest clip). Notice that while the light is still low, the picture does not pixellate (show banding patterns).

Here are images for the Chris Kewson and BillyPenn assignment:

Chris Krewson, editor

Chris Krewson, editor


The logo as I mentioned is not easy to find–it’s a background image loaded by means of CSS. When I got it saved, it turns out WordPress won’t allow the file type (SVG, or scalable vector graphic) probably because the image is made of code, <svg>, not image pixels, and someone could embed a virus in it. So I re-saved it as a JPEG via Illustrator (Photoshop can’t open SVGs).

Billy Penn logo as a JPEG

Billy Penn logo as a JPEG





And here’s a piece on StreetFight about BillyPenn that appeared Monday. How’s this compare to your article?




Some resources on Law, Chapter 14 (and see links at right):

  • Poynter article on plagiarism in the press (2011). Are there any more recent cases? Is plagiarism illegal? Is fabrication illegal (Janet Cooke, Stephen Glass and some of Jayson Blair in this list are actually fabrication cases, not plagiarism.)
  • The Open Government Guide that we saw in Chapter 4 from the RCFP (what’s that stand for?) that links to each state’s open-record and open-meetings laws
  • One lawsuit in the Shepard Fairey/Hope Obama poster case

Here are the PowerPoint slides from Dr. Olson’s presentation, and a photo.

Dr. Kathy Olson

Dr. Kathy Olson

And here are some more links about ethics for Chapter 15 and Writing Assignment #8. For other legal issues, see “Legal” in the blog sidebar links.


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