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What is public affairs journalism
and community reporting?
Damian Radcliffe / @damianradcliffe
September 2015
J462: Report...
Some definitions
University of Texas
“Public affairs reporting is in many ways the most important
function of journalism, providing citizen...
Sacramento State
“In summary, public affairs reporting –– the reporting of
public issues –– constitutes the very core of j...
What it can cover
Some example subject areas
• Government activities (federal, state, local)
• Government officials (elected officials and o...
Why it matters
To audiences…
• Hold authority to account
• Give communities a voice
• Reflect local realities
• Inform, educate and enter...
To you…
• Better understand your community
• Make a difference
• Great training ground
• Potential for glory!
How things have changed
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRFd_-Rw3wU
Reporting in 2015
• You may cover multiple beats
• Content can be multi-media
• Often includes social
• Use of public data...
Five quick examples
1. Police reporting
DNAinfo.com New
York used maps and
infographics
to demonstrate their
analysis of the city's 2011
stop ...
2. Impact of local budgets
Birmingham City University students
showed how this might work when
in 2010 they set up a hyper...
3. Crime
Google Map
of 2012 homicides
from San Jose
based
NeighborWebSJ.
Supported by other
reporting.
See also Homicide
W...
4. Local Campaigns
Tackling issues which matter to a community and
which are not necessarily being addressed.
The Seattle ...
5. Telling unique stories
Stories about life in Spitalfields, East London.
Focus on human interest stories and history.
Em...
The importance of being authentic
“Over the last two or three years, the Chicago-based content provider has infiltrated
do...
Assignments
Task 1
• Find and identify three great public affairs / community stories.
• Write 600 words + on why they’re good/bad and...
Task 2
• Interview one of your new classmates.
• Write 800 words on what they did this summer.
• Extra points for multi-me...
Questions?
Problems?
damianr@uoregon.edu
Or visit me in
201 Allen Hall
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J462 Reporting II intro

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Slides from J462 class, University of Oregon, 28 Sept 2015

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J462 Reporting II intro

  1. 1. What is public affairs journalism and community reporting? Damian Radcliffe / @damianradcliffe September 2015 J462: Reporting II Public Affairs and Community Reporting
  2. 2. Some definitions
  3. 3. University of Texas “Public affairs reporting is in many ways the most important function of journalism, providing citizens with the information they require to be free and self-governing…. [It] encompasses an enormous subject area that includes crime and criminal justice, military and defense, border and immigration, public health and health care, budget and taxation, energy, environment, natural resources, trade, U.S. foreign policy, education, labor and workforce, and electoral politics.”
  4. 4. Sacramento State “In summary, public affairs reporting –– the reporting of public issues –– constitutes the very core of journalism. The journalist is a very real sense is the public's eye on government and public affairs. Without a tenacious press, much that is "public" would never see the light of day. And still, much of it does not.”
  5. 5. What it can cover
  6. 6. Some example subject areas • Government activities (federal, state, local) • Government officials (elected officials and others) • Government agencies • Politics • Police and crime • Criminal and civil court cases • Public safety issues • Public health reporting • Accidents • Community news • Schools and education • Usage of public data
  7. 7. Why it matters
  8. 8. To audiences… • Hold authority to account • Give communities a voice • Reflect local realities • Inform, educate and entertain
  9. 9. To you… • Better understand your community • Make a difference • Great training ground • Potential for glory!
  10. 10. How things have changed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRFd_-Rw3wU
  11. 11. Reporting in 2015 • You may cover multiple beats • Content can be multi-media • Often includes social • Use of public data Reduction on boots on the ground makes this reporting more important than ever, as important stories risk going uncovered.
  12. 12. Five quick examples
  13. 13. 1. Police reporting DNAinfo.com New York used maps and infographics to demonstrate their analysis of the city's 2011 stop and frisk numbers. It showed more people are stopped at the Port Authority Bus Terminal – regardless of race – than any other location.
  14. 14. 2. Impact of local budgets Birmingham City University students showed how this might work when in 2010 they set up a hyperlocal blog – birminghambudgetcuts.blogspot.com. The site was aimed at the 50,000 public sector workers in the region. It specifically focused on budget cuts and how they were affecting people.
  15. 15. 3. Crime Google Map of 2012 homicides from San Jose based NeighborWebSJ. Supported by other reporting. See also Homicide Watch sites.
  16. 16. 4. Local Campaigns Tackling issues which matter to a community and which are not necessarily being addressed. The Seattle Times and its partners collaborative project on graffiti it took First Place in the Online/Innovation category in the SPJ NW Excellence in Journalism contest on May 21, 2011. See also: • ‘Hedon Pong’ campaign of 2011 (Hedon Blog) • Lambeth Country Show (Brixton Blog) • CEMEX (Kings Cross Environment)
  17. 17. 5. Telling unique stories Stories about life in Spitalfields, East London. Focus on human interest stories and history. Email sign up for daily updates. Ambition to author 10,000 posts. “At the rate of one a day, this will take approximately twenty-seven years and four months. Who knows what kind of life we shall be living in 2037 when I write my ten thousandth post?” http://spitalfieldslife.com/
  18. 18. The importance of being authentic “Over the last two or three years, the Chicago-based content provider has infiltrated dozens of mid to major newspapers across the country and obtained contracts to produce so-called "hyperlocal" news content. Those deals often lead to a horde of firings of editorial staff at those news organizations, as some full-time office-dwellers cede work to a small army of low-paid freelancers living all around the globe. Had editors at these newspapers requested a meeting with the individuals producing this new content, they'd have racked up a staggering amount of frequent flier miles.” Ryan Smith http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/06/adventures-journatic-new-media-outsourced-hyperlocal-news
  19. 19. Assignments
  20. 20. Task 1 • Find and identify three great public affairs / community stories. • Write 600 words + on why they’re good/bad and what attributes you learn from them. • Prepare two of them to share with the whole class on Weds. (Submit your 600+ words at the same time)
  21. 21. Task 2 • Interview one of your new classmates. • Write 800 words on what they did this summer. • Extra points for multi-media use to support your written text. • Submit by close of play 4 October.
  22. 22. Questions? Problems? damianr@uoregon.edu Or visit me in 201 Allen Hall

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