Good afternoon all. Here’s the class notes [PDF] and assignments for the coming week. Keep safe over the Labor Day weekend!
- Attend a city council, city commission or school board meeting (muni of your choice). Write a detailed memo of what happened during the meeting and the most interesting items for potential follow-up. Due Sunday, Sept. 11 at 12 pm.
- Complete the free Poynter “Math for Journalists” online course. http://www.newsu.org/courses/math-for-journalists. Due Sunday, Sept. 11 at 12 pm (Send me a note saying you completed it. No form or receipt required.)
- No class meeting Monday (Sept. 5 – Labor Day) or Wednesday (Sept. 7 – Field Work)
Attend a city council, town council or school board meeting. Write a 300-500-word memo focusing on the most important issue addressed in the hearing. In addition, write two to three story ideas that came from the meeting that you think merit further investigation.
By “memo” I mean a summary of what you saw, how the meeting progressed, what you understood, what was confusing and the like. It is not a story. Instead, it is a more free-form report of your experiences. However, I want to know what meeting you attended and why you chose that one. In addition, I want you to speak to a minimum of two people (getting contact information as always) and find out why those people attended the meeting. These can be people in the audience, city staffers or elected officials. Find out what they care about. You may just get a good story out of it.
Be sure to do your research ahead of time. Don’t just show up to a random meeting. Have an idea of what will be discussed. Look at the agenda for the meeting. To find such agendas, Google the name of the city or school board that interests you and add in “meeting agenda.”
Here’s an example: “hollywood florida city commission agendas” brings up this search result: https://www.google.com/#q=hollywood+florida+city+commission+agenda
This, in turn, leads to this URL: http://www.hollywoodfl.org/index.aspx?NID=145
And to the main calendar page: https://hollywoodfl.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx
And then to agenda [PDF] the next City Commission meeting, which is on Sept. 6 at 1 pm
Hollywood also provides backup material (sometimes called staff reports) as PDF links within the calendar. Not all cities do this, nor are all agendas as easy to find. However, dig around online for a bit and you’ll get what you need.
Questions? Just ask. I’m easy to find 🙂