Category: SFNS

Preliminary Production Schedule – Oct. 16, 2017



Slug: Zoo Miami’s hurricane clean up wraps up as it prepares to reopen 

Writer: Elizabeth Soza

Length: 12-20 images

Art: photo

Summary: Zoo Miami has remained closed since before Hurricane Irma hit South Florida. The zoo has sustained a lot of landscape damage, which is essential to the animal’s enclosures. Many of the animals are being released to their enclosures. The zoo prepares to reopen on October 14, offering 50% off entry and giving out free sunglasses for the first 1,000 people. I will photograph before reopening and the day they reopen.
Slug: Breast Cancer Awareness

Writer: Shanise Wallace, Olivia Napoles

Length: 200 words

Art: Video – from Olivia Napoles and Shanise Wallace

Summary: On Saturday October 14th, the Susan G Komen Race for Cancer will be held in Miami, Florida. The goal is to race 1.5 million dollars and bring awareness. 75% of the proceeds will go to the community such as Screening, diagnosis and treatment services. The other 25% will go to national priorities like Screening, diagnosis and treatment services.


Slug: Grovetober Fest, Miami’s biggest Octoberfest Celebration

Writer: Adrian Dominguez

Length: 10-20 Digital Images

Art: Photographs

Summary: with over 500 beers being served, Grovetober fest is back in Miami to celebrate the globally recognized month of celebration known as Oktöberfest. With German inspired live music, food, art, and yes beer, the festival is a fantastic day to unwind and enjoy a sense of community amongst hurricane fatigued Miamians including local brewmasters showcasing their own selection of ales and lagers.


Slug: Food that can prevent from headaches

Writer: Adriana Finol

Length: 400 words

Summary: Following experts to tell more about types of food that can help prevent from headaches. This includes providing healthy options, especially for students.


Slug: Miami Music Scene: Boogie-Oogie at Fish House

Writer: Jessica Barrios

Length: 300-400 words

Art: Photographs (will take photos myself)

Summary: Let’s dwell deep into the local Miami music scene with bands such as Hometown Losers, Reede and Company, Pandorama and more. Fish House’s Boogie Oogie will feature EP releases from these local bands. Mystic Joint in Cutler Bay will be hosting a benefit concert. This article will cover how the local music scene finds a way to keep their music up and how they make their audience grow.

Oogie Boogie @ Fish House – Friday Oct. 13 at 7pm

Benefit Concert @ Mystic Joint – Saturday Oct. 14 at 6pm




Slug: FEMA recovery center opens in Sunrise

Writer: Victoria Salas

Length: 500 words

Art: Photographs

Summary: FEMA has just opened a recovery center in Sunrise to deal with issues stemming from Hurricane Irma. We do a follow-up from what the Sun Sentinel has already written perhaps focuses on how the agency is helping small businesses get back on its feet.


Budget Line: Seafood Festival at Miami Marines Stadium ; 2017

Writer: Paige Fleming

Length: 450

Art: Video

Summary: The Miami Marine Stadium will be opening its gates to all of South Florida, by hosting its very own seafood festival on October 21st – 22nd. It has been years since the actual gates of the Miami Marine Stadium opening for all people to enjoy a day in the park. After years of encasement, the question “Why” is raving through all of South Florida, waiting for answers. The event will be held in Coconut Grove, where Florida’s diverse culture resides. What better way to start off the Stone Crab season, than to enjoy it with family and friends?  Fresh sea food, mojito bars, wine lounges and LIVE Caribbean music will create the perfect ambiance, with endless entertainment.


Slug: The thought behind the shooting

Writer: Natalia Molina & Olivia Napoles

Length: 500-600 words

Art: Yes, Photographs

Summary: This article will present three interviews to people who owe, work and play at the shutting range called Lock & Load Miami which, is located in South Florida’s premier. We want to discover the reaction they had after the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. The main idea is to understand why people are interested in this kind of places, what is their reaction after the massacre and what do they think about it. How are they feeling, do they think there is a correlation between doing it for fun and turning it into a “real game” that can have further consequences. We want to see how people who pay to be in these places feel about the current situation with mass shootings and gun possession.

Budget — Oct. 9 Publish Date


Slug: Washington Fly-In: Dreamers take Congress

Writer: Jessica Barrios

Length: 500-600 words

Art: Photographs

Summary: Following President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on September 5th 2017, recipients of this Obama-era policy also known as “Dreamers” have fiercely begun to pressure Congress to pass a new piece of legislation that would grant them a more permanent status before the program officially ends March 5, 2018. Organized by Ted Hutchinson, Florida Organizing Director at, hundreds of Dreamers will participate in a three day Washington fly-in where they will meet with Members of Congress on the Hill, attend press conferences and interview with media outlets. I have close contact with all of the Dreamers from Miami that are going on the trip as I am a Dreamer as well.


Slug: Local relief efforts for Puerto Rico at Baru Latin nightclub

Writer: Adriano Dominguez

Length: 8-12 Digital Images

Art: Photographs

Summary: In collaboration with local businesses such as KIND Birthdays and YES Real Estate Services, Baru Nightclub is hosting a Puerto Rico Donation drive on October 5, 2017 in reaction to the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Baru, a very predominant Latin scene in Miami is offering volunteers beginning necessary items for Puerto Ricans such as water/Gatorade, Nonperishables, hygiene supplies etc.  a free drink ticket along with 50% all drinks for those helping. I’d be shooting about a dozen images in the club of various tables, supplies, donors and organizers to show the solidarity the Miami Latino community has to offer.


Slug: Several venues in South Florida take action for hurricane relief

Writer: Victoria Salas and Phil Castilla

Length: 500

Art: Yes, photos

Summary: With the recent natural disasters that have affected the Caribbean, Texas, and Mexico, communities have attempted to raise funds to bring relief to those who need it most. Whether it is a small local business, such as New York Grilled Cheese, or larger companies like Neiman Marcus, many have attempted to bring aid to those stuck in a difficult time.


Slug: Will there be 5 star security at the 3 points festival?

Writer: Paige Fleming

Length: 450 words

Art: Photographs

Summary: Recently, tragedy struck on the last day of the sold-out event – Route 91 Harvest Festival, located at the Las Vegas Village.  Shoulder to shoulder, people from all over the world gathered to show their love and support to their all time favorite artists. Here in Miami, the well known 3 points festival is underway with a line up of national performances paired with the best of Miami’s music , dreamers, thinkers and innovators. Many questions have surfaced in regards to the safety precautions that will be taken to protect the people coming out to enjoy great music, lectures, labs and inspiring tech talks.


Slug: Survival and communication after Hurricane Maria

Writer: Adriana Finol and Alexandra Rodriguez

Length: 500 words

Art: Yes – Photographs

Summary: Following Mayra Suarez, a seventy-year-old woman, who recently experienced tragedy in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria. She will share her personal story during the hurricane, how challenging it was for her and her husband to survive.  Communication was hard for everybody in the island since there was no electricity. Mayra will talk about the difficulty their son faced trying to bring his parents to the United States during these difficult days where everything was flood and they could not communicate. There are other stories of people trying to communicate with family such as Henry Irizarry who tried to call his parents but tried almost 300 times before he got through only to find out his parents had already left where they were. There are many others who had similar situations or are still trying to contact loved ones.


Slug: Black Women Matter

Writer: Shanise Wallace

Photographer: Shannon

Length: 200 words

Art:  Video

Summary: Black Lives Matter has been a slogan that has made controversial headlines in America. On October 1, 2017 Marcia Olivo organized an event in Miami, Florida that brought awareness to black women. “As an Afro-Latina, I don’t want to be complicit of black women always having to wait because other people have to be served first” stated Marcia Olivo. Not only did the protestors bring awareness but while they marched they stated, “Black women united will never be defeated.” The March that took place on Sunday in Miami concurred with the “March for Racial Justice” in Washington D.C.


Slug: The thought behind the shooting

Writer: Natalia Molina & Olivia Napoles

Length: 500-600 words

Art: Yes, Photographs

Summary: This article will present three interviews to people who owe, work and play at the shutting range called Lock & Load Miami which, is located in South Florida’s premier. We want to discover the reaction they had after the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. The main idea is to understand why people are interested in this kind of places, what is their reaction after the massacre and what do they think about it. How are they feeling, do they think there is a correlation between doing it for fun and turning it into a “real game” that can have further consequences. We want to see how people who pay to be in these places feel about the current situation with mass shootings and gun possession.


Slug: Deering Estate Moonlight Canoe Tour

Writer: Yaneli Gonzalez

Length: 150 – 200 words

Art: Video

Summary: The Deering Estate is hosting a Moonlight Canoe Tour on Friday, October 6 at 7 PM. The tour will start at the Deering Estate, go across Biscayne Bay to Chicken Key where attendees will enjoy s’mores by a campfire, and return once again to the Deering Estate. I will speak to the organizers as well as attendees and will film the experience. I will also find out if the estate’s staff plans to make this a recurring event.

Budget lines and examples


Here is an example of a budget line for a text story. Audio/Video pieces need to have an estimated length and Photo Essays need to have the estimated number of images.

Slug: Tamara James Profile
Writer: Nyamekye Daniel
Length: 550 words
Art: Yes – Photographs
Summary: Following a nine-year professional basketball career in the WNBA as well as in Israel and Europe, lifelong Dania Beach resident Tamara James is now taking shooting for a seat on the City Commission, squaring off against four other candidates for three open seats. Though she had not held elected office before, James, 32, is hardly an unknown in the Broward County town, serving on the city’s Marine Advisory Board, Charter Review Board and Parks and Recreation Community Affairs Advisory Board. She also lives on a street named after her.

Links to good examples of each type of piece:




Death of a dictator: Miami reacts to Castro’s passing [Audio]

Tensa calma en el Sur de la Florida al endurcerse la política migratoria [Audio]

Photo Essay:

Trabajadores de Homestead [ensayo fotográfico]


SFNS Fall 2017 Rundown…


Here are the deadlines, examples, links and all types of assorted stuff to make your lives easier for this semester:

Production: Mondays 5 – 6 pm ; 7 pm to completion 
News Meetings: 
Mondays 6 pm – 7 pm

General Expectations: 

  • Text reporters are expected to bring to each meeting a fully-fleshed out story idea (between 500-700 words) that can be turned around in one week.
  • Video reporters, working in teams of two, are expected to bring to each meeting a fully-fleshed out story idea (at least 30 seconds, and no longer than two minutes) that can be turned around in one week.
  • Audio reporters are expected to bring to each meeting a fully-fleshed out story idea (between 30 sec – 2 minutes) that can be turned around in one week.
  • Still photographers are expected to bring to each meeting a fully-fleshed out idea for a photo essay (between 10-20 images) that can be turned around in one week.

A fleshed-out idea means a timely, interesting piece that you know you can do. This means doing some initial reporting to make sure you can talk to your sources, set up photo assignments and the like. It is not: “I heard something might be going on in Wynwood Saturday.”

Story-specific requirements: 

  • All pieces must have at least two elements, and one must be text. For video/audio pieces and photo galleries, this is a 150-200 word intro. For text stories, this means all articles need either a photo or a video accompaniment. If the photo/videographers are unavailable, you need to provide the art yourself. 
  • You are responsible for promoting your work on your personal social media sites, linking back to the SFNS ones. If you have not liked our pages, do that now. @SFNS_News • Instagram• Facebook 


Create your SFNS business card


To create your own SFNS business cards, click on the link below. You’ll need to, of course, change the name and title. The ONLY acceptable titles are: Reporter; Photographer; Videographer; Managing Editor; City Editor; Multimedia Editor. If you have a question about your specific title, ask prior to ordering.

Video production guides, requirements and tips

MMC 4936 - Fall 2016SFNS

There are three main requirements for video stories for the South Florida News Service and this class.

The first is a storyboard template. You want to plan out completely how the shoot will go voiceovers and the whole setup of the piece. Fill this out [PDF]. 

Second, create a detailed outline, including drafts of voiceovers, the sources you intend to interview, how b-roll will be used, and the pacing of the piece itself. How does it start, what happens in the middle and how does it end? Fill this out as well [PDF]. 

Some general tips: 

• Remember that video work is done in PRESENT tense. This is different than text. 

Video pieces are done linearly. That means that your first words are not the lede in the same manner of a text piece. You introduce the story, have some b-roll that leads us in, having your interviews, perhaps more b-roll, additional sources and conclude the piece with an outro that ends with “Reporting for SFNS, Brandon Gonzalez with Cassandra Cabral.” Only one voice for the outro please. 

Edit your pieces in Premiere and give yourselves enough time to do the editing to make your deadline. Pieces need to be less than five minutes, so keep that in mind. 

• Plan to record a WIDE, MEDIUM, & TIGHT of every shot. Shoot to edit in mind every time, and the variety of shots will make the editing process much, much smoother. 

Make sure to account for audio; ambient sounds, natural sounds, echo, by writing these notes down on your storyboard.  Audio is just as important as video, if not more.

Utilize the “circle spectrum.” Imagine an invisible circle around the action or event taking place. Now go INSIDE the circle to capture your shots to find creative and unique angles and distances viewers will find interesting. Give your viewers unique access to your subject. Don’t be on the outside looking in. Be in the action.

• When planning for ACTION shots, make sure to record at least one REACTION shot for each action shot. The emotion is in the reaction on the audience’s face, the crowd going wild, the tears of joy… not necessarily on the action. Get to the emotion and plan for it on the storyboard!

Never have two of the same shots in a row, such as wide-wide, medium-medium, close-close. Therefore, every edit should be from a different camera distance and angle. 

• Finally, if interviewing multiple people alternate the Rule of Thirds for the interviewees – left third/right third, especially if videotaping the interviews in the same location. Offering a variety of locations and backgrounds for those people being interviewed is visually interesting and won’t confuse the viewer.

Another method is to do the famed BBC five-shot technique, which needs to be in order. See a few examples of this below:

More useful links:

The SoFla Scoop – Editing & Content Guide

J3117 - Fall 2016SFNS


This piece is also downloadable here [PDF]

The SoFlo Scoop is a news aggregation post done each weekday during school sessions. The work is primarily done by students in Dan Evans’ (and others, if desired) Jour 3117

The intent of this feature is to provide our readers with a five-minute snapshot of the most important news items happening in South and Southwest Florida. This means our focus is not just on Miami-Dade, but on Broward, Palm Beach, Monroe and (to a lesser extent) Collier counties.

First, a few general rules and guidelines:

  • Remember, even though you are using other publications’ work, you cannot plagiarize. That is, you need to rewrite the words they use, not simply cut-and-paste them. Synonyms are very important for this work.
  • You need to have at least six different news items from at least four different publications. Don’t just rewrite what the Miami Herald said on Tuesday. Look around. It’s a big world out there.
  • Along those lines, news items need to come from at least three different counties.
  • Individual items need to be short enough to entice your reader to click on the link, but not so long they know the complete story already. This is as much an art as a science, so ask your friends whether you’ve succeeded.
  • Remember that you’re shooting for a wide audience across multiple cities and counties. Focus on larger trends or stories that affect broad swaths of people. Ask yourself: Would someone 100 miles away care about this story? No? Don’t use that item.
  • Actually read the story before making a decision. You need to understand the piece before summarizing it. That means reading the whole thing.
  • The post is designed to be a morning feature. Because of this, it should not be completed too early in the day, as readers may have already seen the aggregated items. As a result, reporters’ deadline for this is 6 pm the day the post is designed to appear.
  • Though reporters will have access to the site, generally such individuals will be give an “author” role, limiting their access. The ability to actually publish the piece is reserved for the managing editor and news director. It is the responsibility of these individuals to publish these pieces by 6 am day-of.

The feature follows this formula:

  • A headline that starts with “The SoFlo Scoop:…” (Note the capitalization) The text following the ellipse must include three items from the post, summarized and separated by a semicolon.
  • The first paragraph starts with a greeting and an announcement about the date. (E.g.: “Good morning South Florida! Today is Wednesday, Sept. 23.)
  • The remainder of the first paragraph is a summary of the weather report for the following cities: Miami, Key West, Fort Lauderdale and Naples. The data needs to be linked to the appropriate source. (Weather Channel is the easiest.)
  • The first paragraph ends with “Time to get smart fast” or words to that affect.
  • The main part of the post involves rewritten news articles from numerous sources (see above), but a minimum of six.
  • The piece ends with a tagline, which is a simple italicized sign off starting with a double dash, name and South Florida News Service.

Additional tips for writers:

  • Deadlines are strictly enforced. 6:01 pm is considered late. 
  • Send the completed template as both a Word attachment and pasted into the text of an email to:
    • Dan Evans, News Director
    • SFNS Managing Editor
    • All members of the team, regardless of whether they worked on the items that day or not 
  • Grading is weighted heavier toward the end of the week, in part to allow you to see my notes and adjust accordingly.
  • The SFNS managing editor does the first edit of the piece.I will make additional edits, as needed, and will provide the grade. He/she will not be privy to your grade.
  • Pay very close attention to AP style regarding titles, numbers and street addresses.
  • Team members receive the same grade, so help one another.
  • Grammar and spelling count. Reread your summaries to make sure you have written them in standard English. Double check the spelling of all names. 
  • Budget no less than an hour. This assumes each team member is doing three pieces. Double that estimate if you are doing this by yourself.
  • Remember you are summarizing these pieces, NOT copying them.Put them in your own words. Accidental plagiarism has the same outcome as intentional plagiarism — a zero for that day. Avoid this by hiding the source article while you’re writing your piece… Only look at the source piece AFTER you’re done to make sure you haven’t made any mistakes.
  • Avoid using the same word in the summaries.For instance, instead of saying “investigated” twice, use “police continue to search for clues” or something else.
  • Do not convict people, either in headlines OR in the summaries.You can avoid this by writing “Police accuse” or “Bob Jones allegedly stole the money.” DO NOT use “Bob Jones was arrested for stealing the money” or even “Police arrested Bob Jones for stealing the money.” Why? Because this construction states Jones DID IT. Though wordy, you need to say “Police arrested Bob Jones on suspicion of stealing the money.”

Editing procedures for The SoFlo Scoop (Managing Editor):

Please follow IN ORDER

  1. The raw copy from the writers is due at 6 pm Sunday – Thursday. The writers should cc the news director, managing director and all team members of their team. However, if the ME has not received the raw copy by 7 pm, please send a note to the news director asking for an ETA.
  2. Login to using your login/pswd. The login link is:
  3. Start a new post by clicking on the “+ New” button at the top of the page.
  4. Paste the raw copy from the writers into the text area (not the headline)
  5. In the top right of the posting page look for the box labeled “Publish.” The item at the bottom is labeled “Publish Immediately.” Click “edit.”
  6. Change the publication time/date to the following day at 6 am. (For example, if you received the copy on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016 for Monday publication, you would change the publication date to 09-Sept / 26, 2016 at 06:00.) Click “OK.”
  7. Below the “Publish” box is another box labeled “Categories.” Find the category labeled “Roundups.” Click the check box.
  8. Edit the headline. It needs to begin “The SoFlo Scoop:” with three mini-headlines separated by a semicolon. The headline should be no more than 120 characters (including spaces) for Twitter/SEO purposes.
    1. This means you may need to do a quick read of the stories chosen by the writer for the headline.
    2. Feel free to change the featured stories (that is, the ones in the headlines) if you’re having trouble having them fit in 120 characters or if you believe another story is more interesting.
    3. The stories referenced in the headline do not have to be the first three items. In fact, it is sometimes best if they are not. This is not a big deal, however.
  9. After you are happy with the headline, cut-and-paste it into the headline field (at the top). Then (and only then) click on the “Schedule” button in the “Publish” box on the top right of the page.
  10. Edit the lede (weather) for AP style and grammar. The link is the same ( It should be linked to the name of each of the cities referenced. The names of the cities are not bolded. After linking, delete the URL from the text box.
  11. To link, copy the URL above (or in the writers’ piece), highlight the word(s) to be link and then click on the link button in the text toolbar (center-right, looks like a chain). Paste the URL into the popup field and hit the return button. Done.
  12. Now, edit each of the content pieces for AP style, content, grammar and logic.
  13. Once you are happy with the edits, link the name of the source (That is, Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, etc.) the same way as above. The name of the source should be bolded. After linking, delete the URL from the text box.
  14. At the bottom of the piece, edit the byline so it shows the names of all writers of the piece that day. It is a double-dash, name(s), comma and “South Florida News Service.” It also needs to be italicized. For example: — Dan Evans, South Florida News Service 
  15. Put bullets for each of the news items ONLY. Not for the byline or lede. Do this by highlighting all the paragraphs to be bulleted and click on the “Bulleted list” button, which is third from the left in the text toolbar.
  16. After bulleting, put a soft return (shift return) between each news item to space them out.
  17. Reread the entire piece at least twice, cleaning up anything you may have missed. You can also click on the “Preview Post” button, which is above the headline to see what it’ll look like. And you’re done!!
  18. Do not worry about the photo. That will be taken care of by the news editor.

Other editing tips:

  • Trust yourself! If you don’t understand something, it’s very likely our readers won’t either. Do not worry about changing words – or even rewriting completely – as the individual item requires.
  • Watch for plagiarism – especially pieces that are a cut-and-paste job but for a couple of synonyms.
  • Watch for items that state or imply someone has committed a crime. Make sure crime items include phrases like “Police said…” “Prosecutors accuse…” Even the word “arrest” can be dangerous if it includes phrases like “arrest for theft.” That means the person arrested did it. Instead, the phrase that pays is “Police arrested Bob Jones on suspicion of theft.”
  • In general, the more challenging the copy, the more you need to take care that the writer(s) have summarized their items completely and fairly. It is rare that piece with poor grammar is accurate.
  • Items should no fewer than two sentences and no more than five. Even five is probably too long. Feel free to cut items that go on too long. Remember, we are giving readers a taste of the news item, not a complete story.
  • Make sure the links for each piece (and for the weather report in the lede) work correctly and go to where they are supposed to go.
  • Look at already published roundups. These serve as a model for how these pieces should be formatted and edited.