With style...

Below is a link to the NYC24 Final Project style guide.

We will be following AP style in most cases. The style guide is a list of exceptions, clarifications and reminders. If a point is not addressed here, please refer to your AP stylebook (which we also now have access to online; see Sushil's post for login info):

NYC24 Style Guide

Topics include:
File Setup

Learn it, love it, bookmark it. Questions? Talk to your QA editors. We're here for you.

- Sarah, Sushil and Tripp



Dear staff -

Matt was trying to capture footage tonight on the first computer (next to printer) but couldn't save any of his captured takes.


Because people (namely us) are properly deleting the folder they save their material to on the desktop.

This weekend and the following week promise to be a clusterfuck. Please do us all a favor and log on to the first computer sometime this weekend, and delete the files on your personal hardrive.

You are the only one that can delete.

Thanks folks.

Your friendly multimedia editor

SLIDESHOWS...A Correction.

When saving your photos, save them within Photoshop under 'Save for the Web' as a jpg. Within that function, you can size the photo to get a good idea of what it will look like.

When sizing photos for slideshows, the dimensions of the photos are to be 600x400 megapixels. If you use a vertical photo, you need to size it to a height of 400 pixels.


NYYers...Scavenger Hunt

The eve of the "New" New Yorkers Scavenger Hunt is upon us!

Remember, you are to capture still photographs of the outside of the building and the object you are to "find", and find out some information about the object and the place. Talk to the owners, the workers, the people shopping there. Get good info.
While you're there, shoot video of yourselves, your journey, and of the places you are going. The video is for use in a video podcast.

Send to me, copy Erik, the photos and what you learned, by midnight tomorrow. LABEL your video and place it in Sushil's mailbox.

Here are the pairings and assignments:

Cara/Anne/Sarah: Chinese therapy balls, Hawaiian shirt
Matt/Courtney/Larrison: Irish Step Dancing Lessons, surfboard
Julia/Jessica: Cambodian grocery store, chat
Dakin/Abe/Erik: cowboy boots, Jamaican meat patty
Kylene/Rebecca/Maria: Dominican style cigars, Russian bookstore
Cherry/Mariana/Alissa: cuatro, dashiki
Sushil/Cardiff/Susan: Pearson's Salted Nut Bar, Bier Garden
Erin/Khody/Rodrigo: Ethiopian beer, Red Sox bar
Alex/Tripp/Jill: Cricket equipment, Al-Ahram newspaper

If you have trouble or questions, you can reach me all day at (617) 818-6810

Good luck and enjoy yourselves!

new media testament: the sacred texts

Thanks for sitting through my tutorial. I hope it helped, and for those still seeking answers to complicated questions, check out this site. It taught me everything I know about Flash.

Click here to learn the gospel of flash slideshows!



All: We now have access to the AP Stylebook online. Please access that IN ADDITION to the style guide that we are putting together (it will be finished very shortly). The login information for the stylebook is:

login: NYC24
password: to be distributed in class (I was warned by the Tech department not to email / post passwords)



This doesn't have anything to with our final project, but it looked like a good read (if any of us ever get the time). It is from the Oxford Research Group, which did a study last year on the number of Iraqi civilian deaths. This latest report is of the consequences of war with Iran:

"A US military attack on Iranian nuclear infrastructure would be the start of a protracted military confrontation that would probably involve Iraq, Israel and Lebanon as well as the United States and Iran, with the possibility of west Gulf states being involved as well. An attack by Israel, although initially on a smaller scale, would almost certainly escalate to involve the United States, and would also mark the start of a protracted conflict.

Although an attack by either state could seriously damage Iran’s nuclear development potential, numerous responses would be possible making a protracted and highly unstable conflict virtually certain. Moreover, Iran would be expected to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty and engage in a nuclear weapons programme as rapidly as possible. This would lead to further military action against Iran, establishing a highly dangerous cycle of violence.

The termination of the Saddam Hussein regime was expected to bring about a free-market client state in Iraq. Instead it has produced a deeply unstable and costly conflict with no end in sight. That may not prevent a US or an Israeli attack on Iran even though it should be expected that the consequences would be substantially greater. What this analysis does conclude is that a military response to the current crisis in relations with Iran is a particularly dangerous option and should not be considered further – alternative approaches must be sought, however difficult these may be."

Village Voice on the April 10 March

"Whether you believe the low-ball attendance figure of 70,000 or the organizers' claim that 300,000 showed up, the April 10 rally that shut down Broadway from Barclay Street to north of Canal was a success. It took place on a Monday afternoon, in a city with a legendary diversity in its foreign-born population, and was put together in less than two weeks by a coalition embracing more than 100 groups."

Click here for more.

Photos/Photo Deadline

Hi all,

I know that everybody is currently in the thick of reporting, but I just wanted to provide details about the photo deadline and how photography is going to work.

For the photo deadline (Sunday, April 23, by 10 p.m.) –

(Send to: nyc24photos@gmail.com, copy nyc24_final@yahoo.com)

-Five best photos. Be sure to include at least one good photo of each orientation. (vertical and horizontal)

- Include A photo to preview each multimedia element (whether a slideshow,
video, graphic, etc.)

-Please specify which photo(s) you want to preview your multimedia

-Preview photos must come with a headline AND a brief caption summarizing the multimedia element the photo will preview (one sentence).

Once I have reviewed and approved them, I will ask you to drop them in the folder in the New Media server called /new_Yorkers (see Alex’s message)

File names –

As in Alex’s message, rally_wander_photo1.jpg

File sizes (for preview photos) –

I’m going to get back to you on this. I will give you the file size to send me, and I will take care of re-sizing them.

For those doing audio slideshows or photo essays –

I need to see all of the photos you intend to use before you produce the slideshows. Get them to me by the photo deadline or update me. If you’ve already produced the slideshows, then let me know and I’ll take a look at them.

Feel free to bounce things off of me before the deadline.

And finally, I have some talented photographers at the ready, so let me know if you need somebody to shoot for you. I’m also happy to provide tips and pointers on shooting if you need that.

Looking forward to seeing your pictures. Thanks and happy reporting!



Staff bio info

Just a reminder that updated staff bios (past tense), pictures (if you want a new one) and links to your NYC24 stories (with headlines) are due to me tomorrow (Wednesday) at midnight.

Tooting My Own Horn

My colleague, Aaron Rutkoff, and I just launched our first installment of "Border Lines," a regular look at immigration writing from around the Web. (This link should give it to you for free.)

Tale of Two Immigrants

Something like this interactive feature from NYTimes.com could work well in New New Yorkers.

And The Times does it again ...

Just noticed this story on "cyberstalking" -- it even has the same source: Jayne A. Hitchcock.


The Art (or Science) of Headline Writing

A New York Times article claims that headlines are increasingly being written for the software programs that scour the Web and not for human readers. That means more facts and less wit. (Read article.)

As someone with a copyediting background, this makes me pretty sad. But it also makes a lot of sense. Something to consider while writing headlines for your final project.

Faces of the Fallen

The "Faces of the Fallen" feature on washingtonpost.com is pretty darn cool. It's a searchable database of all the soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. By the way, this is the second version of the site. The first version was completely done in Flash; this version is not -- giving credence to my belief that Flash doesn't work for everything.

Pulitzers in the Digital Age

Also, (in case you weren't paying attention) the New Orleans Times-Picayune won the Pulitzer Prize on Monday for its reporting on Hurricane Katrina.

This award is especially significant because the Times-Picayune published its content only online for the first three days after the storm, making it the first Pulitzer ever given to online-original news content.

More from cyberjournalist.net:

"In the first year since the Pulitzer Prizes changed their rules to allow online components in most categories, five winning entries included online elements. Online material was part of the winning entries in both Public Service Awards, the Breaking News reporting award and the photography awards.

Sig Gissler, administrator of the prizes, said about 10% of the entries included online elements. In the Public Service category (which previously allowed online entries) about one-fourth included online entries; and in the breaking news reporting category, about 15% included online entries.

"We're moving in the right direction," Gissler said. "Will be fine-tuning the rules as we proceed."

Full list of award winners.

Q&A: NYTimes.com's Len Apcar

Departing from the immigration conversations for a minute, I wanted to point out the Online Journalism Review's Q&A with Len Apcar, editor of NYTimes.com. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at the redesign.


undocumented and illegal

I have to start by saying that I was not in class for this discussion. But I really believe that there should not be a sole term used throughout our site. Every single article comes with a by-line, and I think we all know by now that there is no such thing as objectivity in journalism. We can let our readers know where each of us stands in this issue by giving our writers the freedom to use the word or words they want. If we go for homogeneity in this, maybe we will sound very boring to our readers; political correctness leads to jargon sometimes.

Jeffrey A. Dvorkin, NPR Ombudsman on the ilegal vs. undocumented debate

Jeffrey A. Dvorkin, NPR Ombudsman wrote on a column published yesterday (April 17h):

“ …While NPR has (correctly in my opinion) avoided loaded terms such as “illegals” or “illegal aliens” as being overly charged and largely inaccurate to describe all of the people affected, there still is no word or phrase that can be used without fear of objection by someone in this debate.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has put out a helpful glossary of terms that is very useful and some of the NAHJ’s recommendations are being used, coincidentally by NPR.

A number of NPR and member-station journalists asked that NPR put out a guide of which terms and phrases are preferred on NPR. Vice President for News Bill Marimow says that common sense should guide journalists, rather than any specific dos-and-don’ts:

When there is only one word which precisely and accurately describes a situation, we will use that. But when there is a range of choices, we prefer that journalists use their common sense and choose words that describe the situation with accuracy, thoroughness, fairness and sensitivity.

My own suggestion is that the word that seems to be the most accurate but least incendiary is “undocumented.” The debate seems to be about whether people who come to the United States have some recognizable legal status, signified by their possessing the proper documents. To me, that’s what the core of the debate is all -- or mostly -- about. Anything else sounds like advocacy to me.”

Read the whole piece on:

Production notes

I know everyone is currently focused on their reporting, but I wanted to share a few notes on production. The sooner we put a consistent production process in place the smoother everything will go from now thru our final launch.

Here’s the plan:

The newsroom
511c (and the new media server) will be the official newsroom for the final project. Feel free to report/write wherever you are most comfortable, but the versions saved in the new media server will be the only files used for production and the only versions backed up. This means if you only have a file saved on your laptop or a personal folder somewhere else it will not get used. The idea here is to minimize any confusion that can stem from having multiple versions of files floating all over the place.

File names
All file names should be labeled with slug, name and status. For example, “rally_eule_copy.doc” would by my draft copy about the rally. For audio, please use rally_eule_audio1.mp3, rally_eule_audio2.mp3, etc.

Folder structure

We have created a new folder in the New Media server, called /new_yorkers. It is on the first level of the folder and doesn’t require you to enter the “public” sub-folder. Within /new_yorkers, you'll find a sub-folder labeled "working."

Within new-media/new_yorkers/working, we've created a personal folder for every member of the new media workshop. This is where you should save all working material, including copy and multimedia. Reporters will inform editors via blog or e-mail that they have saved material in their personal folder. Editors would then use these folders to review, edit and approve materials. [Photos will be sent directly to Erik via the
nyc24_final@yahoo.com address Erin has already provided.]

Include all video in your personal folder. Once you have edited videos on a local computer, be sure to move and store your entire project in the /new_yorkers folder. This includes all files in your scratch folders.


The entire /new_yorkers folder will be backed up on a daily basis until launch. This will ensure we avoid the loss of data faced by last year’s workshop. PLEASE keep in mind, however, that any work saved outside the new media/new_yorkers folder will not be backed up.

Next steps
In order to avoid confusion, editors will be the ones to move files once copy/multimedia has been reviewed. Unlike in the first four issues, we will not be asking reporters to move files/folders to the staging server. Again, by streamlining the production process we’re trying to reduce confusion and potential technical issues.

Of course, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the info above or the production process in general. Thanks.


Calling all Immigration reporters

Hello everybody,

You'll recall that my story topic concerns the economic impact of immigration on jobs, wages and the labor force of New York City. If any of you is covering an immigration story that is also related to my topic - for example, a story about an immigrant business owner or about an immigrant group that tends to work in one type of industry - it may be a good idea to discuss ways to merge our pieces. As Duy suggested in class, a collaboration such as this one would give the site more fluidity and bolster each of our stories. Any takers?

Also, Erin might have previously sent this out when pitching the final project idea, but I highly recommend reading the brief overview of the findings from the Newest New Yorkers survey from the Department of City Planning. Below is the link, followed by a paragraph copied and pasted to this post that describes broadly the particular impact that constant immigration has on New York City:


New York City's demography is not static, but a dynamic process defined by the ebb and flow of people. As some people leave the city for points in the region and beyond, the city's population continues to be replenished by the flow of new immigrants. These demographic processes result in a unique level of diversity: 43 percent of the city's 2.9 million foreign-born residents arrived in the U.S. in the previous ten years; 46 percent of the population speaks a language other than English at home; in just 30 years, what was primarily a European population has now become a place with no dominant race/ethnic or nationality group. Indeed, New York epitomizes the world city.


Covering Immigration Fairly

Timothy J. McNulty
From the Chicago Tribune's Public Editor

Read the article online.

The words and photos prompt chagrin and vitriol among some readers. They resent the coverage of demonstrations in which illegal immigrants and their supporters protest new enforcement legislation now in Congress. They believe the newspaper is too sympathetic to lawbreakers, too willing to be enticed by a human-interest story and perhaps by political correctness.

The voices that complain about our coverage cannot be written off as just racist or the perpetually resentful. The language some use may be off-putting, but the issues they raise deserve attention.

Readers who want stricter immigration enforcement claim our coverage of demonstrations here and around the country is too positive. They are upset at the prominence of the stories and the photos. That, however, is news coverage, and I suspect we would give as much prominence to any group of 100,000 demonstrating in the Loop, whatever the cause.

Much of the enterprise in our reporting is in the telling of the stories of legal and illegal immigrants and the hardships they endure to make it into this country, plus their ability to become successful once they are here.

The newspaper's lead immigration writer, Oscar Avila, and a half-dozen other reporters have been diligent in keeping readers abreast of Chicago's immigrant communities. Their tales are compelling. We are a nation that prides itself on being built by immigrants who often arrived with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

People open their hearts to those who strive for a better life and endure separation and exploitation in order to build a better life for themselves and their families. But the changing job picture, especially with globalization and jobs moving abroad, is adding to a national anxiety.

The immigration story is one that the Tribune is determined to tell. "We cover immigration as one of the two or three top stories in the city today," said Steve Kloehn, a deputy metropolitan editor. "It's a story that tells us where we're going to be 20 and 30 years from now." The newspaper's Washington bureau and its national and foreign correspondents also contribute to the ongoing immigration report.

But reporting on immigrant groups, both legal and illegal, tends more to the personal than it does to the systemic issues of society. It does not address the problem that some readers see with our coverage.

Many of the complaints about coverage are valid: We have written well about the people who are illegal immigrants and about the politics of the debate, but not as well about the impact illegal immigration has had on society. The fault lies not in the stories we report, but in the stories we ignore.

The newspaper writes about the politics of illegal immigration in both news and opinion pages, but too often fails to focus on the problems created by illegal immigration. Some of that is understandable. Those who want stricter enforcement are rarely able to provide concrete and direct examples or to personalize the plight of citizens who suffer because of illegal immigrants.

They rarely produce the citizen who is out of work--or making only $6 an hour--because illegal immigrants take the jobs and drive down the pay scales. They talk about higher costs for health care and education consumed by illegal immigrants--but can't show it as a line on your tax bill.

The role of illegal immigration in the workplace, how it drives down wages, does not get wide coverage. We don't write as much about the business owners who seek out illegal immigrants because they can be paid less and are easily intimidated by threats of disclosure.

While there are mentions and even occasional stories, not often do we highlight the consequences of illegal immigration in the public schools, or the stress it puts on health care, especially emergency room services at public hospitals.

We have noted the rise of the private militia group called the Minutemen both in the Southwest and in Illinois, but the rise of gangs among illegal immigrants gets only occasional attention. The fairness issue to those immigrants who wait years for legal entry is only a footnote in our coverage.

Polls show that American attitudes have shifted noticeably in recent years. A majority appears to be forgiving and welcoming to those illegal immigrants already here, but the surveys also show less and less tolerance for allowing that flow to continue. We have to be mindful and report on the reasons behind that change.

On the Media: Word Watch

Here is the transcript of "On the Media"'s discussion about words in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. (I mentioned it in class.) This may be helpful in deciding how you'll refer to immigrants.