Assignments for October 10

3 Oct

Oct. 10: Read: NRW, Chapter 10, “Writing to be Read.”

Prepare: Critique #4:  Find a story that breaks strict journalistic structure and is more alternative. Evaluate it for its risk-taking/structural innovation.

Critique group: Arianna and Clara

Prepare rough draft ideas/sources/questions for your SFR piece. We will spend part of the time working on these in class, read out loud and have live workshopping/feedback, line editing based on “Writing to be Read” chapter.


Election Story Assignments  and Resources, as well as notes from Alexa’s visit:

Brandon Brown
Campaign advertising, and particularly outside spending (by super PACs and political nonprofit groups), has gotten more and more negative over the years. How does that affect voters?

  • student interviews: do negative ads make you less inclined to vote?

Jessica O’Brien
Voting 101: Helping uninformed voters by distilling the key factors that make the two presidential candidates different. Pick four main areas (education, health care, taxes, whatever) and discuss how the two candidates differ.

  • Obama & Romney campaign websites for basic platform info
  • news outlets for more nuanced info

Brady Johnson
How successful have Romney’s efforts to court the low-income immigrant population been?

  • background research on Romney’s positions toward immigration and low-income people (will his tax plan raise taxes on low-income people?)
  • interview 4-5 low-income immigrants to gauge their impressions of Romney

Charlotte Martinez
Life on the campaign trail in one of the newly redrawn, big districts…probably HD 50

  • Stephen Easley, Dem candidate for HD 50 – see if you can shadow him for a couple hours of campaigning
  • Brian Egolf for insight about changing districts such as Eldorado (Julia has his info)
  • voters on how changing districts affect them (if at all)

Nick Beckman
Interviews with first-time voters, both ones who are registered in NM and those who are absentee voting for their home states, on why they’re getting involved and what they think of the election process

  • several 18-year-olds (or other first-time voters)

Clara Hittel
Fact-checking Martin Heinrich & Heather Wilson campaign ads for US Senate race

Ariana Sullivan
Cliffs Notes to the ballot (very short, 1-sentence blurbs on each candidate/amendment)

Veronica Menne
What students think about Obama—how he’s done so far, whether they’re motivated to vote for him again. Focus on:

Allyson Lupovich
Demographics of low voter turnout: Who’s voting? Who isn’t? Then interview the people who don’t vote and ask them why. Sources:

Brandon Ghigliotty
First-person: Why I’m voting this time. Narrative story starting with why you didn’t vote in the past, then progressing to the reasons you’re voting now.

Blanca Olivas
Interviewing phone bankers about their experience. Sources:

Nick Martinez
Interviewing independent and Republican voters at SFUAD and around Santa Fe in general. Sources:

  • Santa Fe Coalition for Good Gov’t (Republican group), Cindy Katz: 660-2180 or

basic voting/elections info

Santa Fe County Clerk, Valerie Espinoza, reminds voters that the General Election will be held on Tuesday, November, 6, 2012 at all precinct polling places around the county. Polls will be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Additionally, Ms Espinoza alerts voters to some special conditions in this year’s election.

Straight-party voting will not appear on this year’s ballot. As a voter, you used to be able to fill in one oval for the party of choice and all members of that party on the ballot would automatically receive a vote. Now you must fill in the ovals for each candidate you wish to vote for. Please note: if you want to vote for only one office, you can. You do not need to vote for all the contests.

This year the County Commission has added a question on a Fire Tax for voters in unincorporated areas, specifically, voters who live in the county. Residents of the City of Santa Fe, the City of Espanola, or the town of Edgewood do not vote on this issue. For most people, this issue will be invisible—it will either be on the ballot or not. But for precincts that are split between the county and a city/town, there will be two sets of ballots: one with the Fire Tax question for county residents and one without the Fire Tax question for city residents. You do not need to know whether you are in the city or county: the poll workers will have two separate lists to be able to locate your name and give you the correct ballot. It may take a little bit longer to process voters, but that should be the only difference.

If you requested an Absentee Ballot late and don’t think it will arrive by 7:00 PM on Election Day (November 6) if sent by mail, you have other options. You may drop off your voted Absentee Ballot at the County Clerk’s Office (102 Grant Avenue, Santa Fe, on the corner of Grant and Palace Avenues) any time until 7:00 PM on Election Day or at any polling place until 7:00 PM on Election Day. Please note: you cannot drop off an Absentee Ballot at an early voting site.

You may have heard about Voting Convenience Centers (VCC) in Albuquerque, where a voter can go to any VCC in the city to vote. Santa Fe County will not be using VCCs. VCCs work best in compact urban areas such as Bernalillo County. Santa Fe County is large and mostly rural; making it difficult to set up VCCs. Lack of parking is a major deterrent to VCCs in downtown Santa Fe. Thus on November 6 all voting will take place at normal polling places. If you do not know your polling place, call the County Clerk’s Office either before or on Election Day at 505-986-6280.

If you cannot vote at the polls on Election Day, you have other options: you may request an application for an Absentee Ballot any time before Friday, November 2; though we hope you will do so sooner.

In addition, you can vote early, beginning Tuesday, October 9 at the County building in downtown Santa Fe (102 Grant Avenue) and at the following alternate locations, beginning Saturday, October 20:

·                  Santa Fe County Fair Building – 3229 Rodeo Road, Santa Fe
·                  El Dorado Senior Center – 16 Avenida Torreon, El Dorado
·                  Edgewood Fire Station – 25 East Frontage Road, Edgewood
·                  Pojoaque County Satellite Office – 5 W. Gutierrez – Suite 9, Pojoaque Pueblo Plaza

All Early Voting ends at 6:00 PM on Saturday, November 3, 2012.

Questions? Call the Santa Fe County Clerk’s Office at 986-6280.


Alexa’s Presentation for SFUAD

current SFR projects

  • in general, we try to combine 4 elements:
    • something new or different
    • something of public worth or import
    • a good story
    • multifaceted: social media, multimedia, graphic elements
  • investigative coverage: Pat Rogers, Martinez administration (watchdog function)
  • examples:
    • A Higher Power (altering format of news to fit story, using graphic elements, legal issues were a big concern)
    • Giant in the Dark (figuring out how to cover a sensitive situation)
    • Pension Politics (jumping off a NYT op-ed to explore a new idea)
  • elections
    • endorsement interview process
    • investigative work, especially after Citizens United
    • but it’s still really hard to get people to vote! why?

other opportunities at SFR

  • news & culture interns
  • writing contest – deadline Oct. 19
  • pitching to SFR
    • news, cover, arts stories
    • 3 golden rules of pitching:
      • do your homework
      • tell me why it’s new, important and different
      • tell me where it fits in my particular publication