Journalism 50: Prof. Craig: In-Class Exercise 1

In-Class Exercise 1

Heavy rainstorms and massive flooding have hit California in the last week to 10 days.  At least nine people were reported dead, floods forced evacuations and inundated roads, and power was knocked out for days in some areas. Hundreds of online posts showed issues with water and mud destroying homes and causing huge damage across the state.  

As a group, find five online articles about this topic, one from each of five different sites – at least one traditional news site, one non-traditional site and one blog or discussion site.  As a group, you should try to find five very different sites with different story angles if you can – it should make things more interesting.  For example, one story might focus on loss of life, another on property damage, another on long-term impact, another on personal anecdotes, etc.

For each of these five articles:

  1. Include the headline, name of site and URL
  2. As a group, rank the articles from what you believe to be most credible to least credible.
  3. Write 3-4 sentences about each piece, summarizing it and telling why you collectively believe it is credible or not.

Each story's writeup should look more or less like this sample:

"Does a gas pump hose really cost $3,700 to replace?", San Jose Mercury News

This article looks at how a reader got a bill from a gas station for $3700 when his wife drove off with the gas nozzle still in the tank.  The writer says that he has heard from other people who were charged much less for the same issue, and he suggests going back to the station manager to see the bill.  
It seems credible because the writer has specific examples of prices that other readers have had to pay in the same situation. The writer also covers this type of topic regularly on the Mercury News website.

Work together on selecting articles and deciding on what to write about each article.  Have one person within your group type it up and email it to me by the end of class with everyone's name on it. 

You may talk freely amongst your group to do this.  I will be available to answer questions. 



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