The Scoop | Alumni Newsletter

October 2010

A Note from the Editor

After a hectic start of the semester – abuzz with energy and new beginnings – October is a calmer time for students and faculty as they settle into their fall schedules.

You are invited to celebrate the autumn back-to-school spirit with October’s Wednesday evening workshop. Similar to our workshop last fall, this three -class series will be taught by Gerry Marzorati, editor of the New York Times Magazine, with the themes of story ideas, manuscript drafts, and the magazine on the web. Come prepared! For the first class, October 13th, Gerry asks for each person attending the seminar to arrive with one big idea, drawn from a newspaper article that appeared in the Times in the previous week.

If you missed last year’s October workshop, with Distinguished Writer in Residence Lawrence Weschler, you can watch all three classes (or other featured videos!) on our newly redesigned website. After much planning and organization we have unveiled a streamlined, clean, and modern site that reflects the wonderful work of our faculty, students, and alumni. A special thanks to Laura Foti Cohen (WSC ’78), who generously contributed to making the upgrade possible. As always, send along your clips and bylines to feature in the newsletter or on the website.

After graduation it is difficult to sustain the close network most students share. If you miss your former classmates or are searching for new connections then look no further than our NYU Journalism Alumni page on LinkedIn or our New York University Journalism Alumni page on Facebook. These pages are valuable resources for connecting to friends and colleagues and reaching out to fellow alumni.

I hope you are settling into the fall as well. Enjoy these beautiful days and hope to see you soon at the Institute!

Top Stories

Fibbing With Numbers (The New York Times)
Professor Charles Seife continues his run of captivating books. The NY Times reviews his latest, Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception, which examines the art of using pure mathematics for impure ends.

Professor Yvonne Latty is undertaking an ambitious project with her Reporting New York and Reporting the Nation graduate programs in collaboration with The University of Arizona. Titled Beyond the Border, this month they will be traveling to Arizona to report on issues affecting Arizona and the borderlands in October and on the Mexican and Mexican-American communities in New York City in November.

If you missed our latest Primary Sources event, a conversation between Salman Rushdie and Professor Suketu Mehta, fear not. The taped event is archived on the Primary Sources website here. In the meantime, The Washington Square News provides a review.

Ed Diamond, the long-time New York magazine media critic, was a member of our faculty for many years. His daughter, Ellen Diamond, has now created a website to publicize the award we give in Ed’s name to our top graduate and undergraduate student each year. The award is funded annually by Ed’s friends and family. If you were an award winner yourself and would like to post a thought, or would like to contribute, follow this link.

Down the Block with Pete Hamill (
Watch the warm reminiscences of Distinguished Writer in Residence Pete Hamill on his time living in the East Village at the launch party of The Local East Village. Pete lived down the block from such notable figures as Jimi Hendrix, W.H. Auden, and Ted Hoagland.

Why I am Not a Journalist: A True Story (
Ever wonder how Professor Jay Rosen got his start as a media critic? Here is his engaging personal history with the media.

What the Hell Is the Brooklyn Rail? (
Teaching professional, Ted Hamm, recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of The Brooklyn Rail, a monthly publication of art and politics in the borough.

Alumni in the News

The innovative website for documentary filmmakers, telegraph21, awarded Priyanka Pruthi’s (M.A. NewsDoc ’09) Women of Steel the Feature Documentary Runner-Up in their first annual student film contest.

Congratulations to Julie Sobel (M.A. Magazine ’09), a staff writer for Hotline, and Matthew Vogel, chief of staff of the White House National Economic Council and special assistant to the president for economic policy. The couple was married on September 23rd.

Alumni Bylines

Any Mad Men fans out there? You’ll love alumna Meredith Blake’s (M.A. CRC ’10) recap and commentary of last week’s episode in the Los Angeles Times.

Bloggers Need to R-E-S-P-E-C-T Real Writers (
Featured contributor, Kimberly Seals Allers (B.A. ’95), opines on the craft of writing.

Twain’s Nicaragua, 144 Years Later (The New York Times)
Freda Moon (M.A. Magazine ’06) follows Mark Twain’s footsteps in her exploration of Nicaragua from the Pacific to the Caribbean coast along the San Juan River.

Stephanie Todaro (M.A. Magazine ’08) spent the summer in Castelfidardo, Italy, reporting on where her grandfather learned to make accordions, the town where that industry began.

Self-published comic book writer and artist, Phil Molnar (M.A. Reporting New York, ’09), explores the hidden comic mecca, the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, which is teaching art to the next generation. (USA Today)

Career Moves

Brian Foster (B.A. ’03) recently left his job as Assistant News Director at WSYR-TV in Syracuse, NY and took a job as the Digital Media Manager for Hearst-owned KMBC-TV in Kansas City, MO.

Stephanie Kim (B.A. ’10) landed a job shortly after graduation as an Assistant Publicist for William Morrow/HarperCollinsPublishers.

After three years as an editor and writer at Education Week Teacher, Elizabeth Rich (M.A., CRC ’06) was recently named Education Week‘s Commentary editor.

Molly Stark Dean (M.A. Reporting the Nation ’08) recently accepted a new position as TVNewser Co-Editor & MediaBeat Video Producer/Editor at

Upcoming Events

Wednesdays in October, 6 – 8 pm, 20 Cooper Square, 7th floor
Gerald Marzorati Magazine Workshop

Greetings, and welcome to the three-evening-long magazine-editing seminar I will be leading from 6-8pm on October 13, 20, and 27. What I will be trying to give you a sense of is what it is like to edit a general-interest magazine in this day and age — what I do, what my priorities are, what my day is like, how I reach decisions, and so on. Each of our three evenings together will be organized not as a lecture by me but as a meeting we are attending together that I will lead, and each of these meetings corresponds to a meeting I hold regularly at the magazine.

On the evening of October 13, we will have an ideas meeting. I will talk a little about the New York Times Magazine in general, what sort of ideas work for us and don’t, and how we go about both generating ideas and matching them with writers. Then we will get down to work.

I expect each person attending the seminar to arrive the evening of the 13th with one big idea, drawn from a newspaper article of some sort that appeared in the Times in the previous week. I want this idea to be for a long (8,000-word+) reported story. This can be a narrative or an investigation or a profile, but it should be a story substantial enough to be a cover story in the Times Magazine. Given when our meeting is taking place, it might be interesting, for example, to think about what would make a good post-election political story that could begin to be reported now, and run in December or January. Whatever the idea, please be prepared to really sell it at the meeting — to be able to convey WHY it is an important story, WHY it is a story to do NOW, and WHO should report and write it.

On the evening of the 20th, we will discuss two manuscripts I will get to you in the next week or so.

In our final get together, on the 27th, we will have a strategic planning meeting, at which we will discuss ideas for taking the magazine into the 21st Century, and what the place of a magazine like the Times Magazine is in a multi-platform, social-media world.

I look forward to meeting you all and having some lively conversations.


Gerald Marzorati, editor of The New York Times Magazine and assistant managing editor for new media products, will give the first of three magazine workshops. Today’s topic: Story Ideas.

All events are open to the public unless otherwise specified.

Monday, October 18th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, 20 Cooper Square, 7th floor
A Discussion with Rimjingang’s editor and publisher, about journalism in and about North Korea

This event is free and open to the public
Please join us on October 18 (Monday), from 6:30-8:30, at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, for a discussion with Ishimaru Jiro, Rimjingang‘s editor and publisher, about journalism in and about North Korea.

After reporting on North Korea for 17 years, Ishimaru Jiro launched Rimjin-gang in 2007. Edited by Seoul-based defector Choi Jin-i, Rimjingang publishes reports about everyday life in North Korea, filed by a dozen underground North Korean journalists. It is the first publication to create a channel for two-way communication between the divided Korean people. Indeed, the title “Rimjin” is the name of the river (“gang”) that flows across the DMZ, connecting north and south.

The occasion for this discussion is the publication of Rimjingang‘s first English edition.

Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1962, Ishimaru studied in Seoul for two and a half years. Ishimaru began reporting on North Korea in 1993, both from inside the country and along its border with China. He is the Osaka representative of Asia Press.

Asia Press was founded in 1987 to support independent Asian journalism. The network consists of thirty journalists from Japan, South Korea, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and India.

In 2004, Asia Press began training North Korean refugees in journalism so that they could report on their country themselves. Their stunning undercover video and photographs have been shown around the world. A sample of their work will be on display.

The event is jointly sponsored by
The Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute
NYU’s Department of East Asian Studies
The New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU

Thursday, October 21st, 5:30 – 7:30 pm, 20 Cooper Square, 7th floor
The Nation Institute Seminar Series

Aram Roston, Nir Rosen and Ann Jones on reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan.

All events are open to the public unless otherwise specified.

Wednesday, October 27th, 4:30 – 8:30 pm, 20 Cooper Square, 7th floor TV Studio
Master Class with Kirsten Johnson

In-depth discussion of camera technique based on exercises students complete prior to class. Kirsten returns by popular student demand.

All events are open to the public unless otherwise specified.

Tuesday, November 2nd, 6 – 8 pm, 20 Cooper Square, 7th floor
Maryn McKenna’s Viral Journalism (and Bacterial, too)

Maryn McKenna on superbugs, tsunamis and adventures in infectious-disease reporting. Part of the SHERP Inside-Out speaker series.

All events are open to the public unless otherwise specified.

Thursday, November 11th, 6 – 8 pm, 20 Cooper Square, 7th floor
Rebecca Skloot on Cancer, Racism and the Making of a Bestseller

More than a decade in the making, Rebecca Skloot’s debut book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, is an overnight bestseller and a media sensation. Part of the SHERP Inside-Out speaker series.

All events are open to the public unless otherwise specified.


Kaiser Media Internships in Health Reporting
A program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the Kaiser Media Internships Program is an intensive twelve-week summer internship for young journalists interested in specializing in health reporting, with a particular commitment to coverage of health issues affecting diverse and immigrant communities.

The program provides an initial week-long briefing on health issues and health reporting in Washington, D.C. Interns are then based for ten weeks at their newspaper, online, or radio/TV station, typically under the direction of the Health or Metro Editor/News Director, where they report on health issues. The program ends with a three-day meeting in Boston to hear critiques from senior journalists and to go on final site visits. The aim is to provide young journalists or journalism college graduates with an in-depth introduction to and practical experience on the specialist health beat, with a particular focus on diverse and immigrant communities.

Travel to and from Washington, D.C., the internship city, Boston, and all training and accommodation expenses in D.C. and Boston are paid by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Interns are responsible for housing and other expenses during the ten weeks spent working at their news organizations. The Kaiser Foundation provides a stipend (minimum $550 gross per week), matching the news organization’s own weekly rate, if higher.

This is a program for new journalists who can demonstrate a commitment and ability to report on health issues affecting diverse and immigrant communities. Strong writing skills and previous newsroom reporting experience are essential. In addition, priority will be given to journalists who are bilingual and/or bicultural; and to journalists who have studied or reported on health issues affecting diverse or immigrant communities. This could include previous reporting experience and/or academic expertise in health, medical, or science-related issues, or urban affairs. Typically, interns selected are graduating from college and/or journalism school with quite considerable experience, including previous internships at a newspaper, TV, or radio station, or at a news organization’s Web site. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The 2011 program application deadline is December 1, 2010, for print and online applicants, and January 6, 2011, for broadcast applicants.

Visit the KFF Web site for complete program information.

Tribeca Film Institute Announces New Documentary Fund
The Tribeca Film Institute has announced its new TFI Documentary Fund, which will annually provide more than $100,000 in fellowships and grants for engaging, character-driven documentaries.

The newly launched fund will provide financial support and one-on-one meetings with key HBO Documentary Film executives to select filmmakers who are developing artistically significant and engaging feature-length documentaries that emphasize character.

Three fellowships will be awarded to films in the advanced stages of development, production, or post-production. A fellowship of $50,000 will be awarded to an emerging filmmaker in production on his or her first feature-length documentary under the TFI/HBO “Documentary Screen Test” Fellowship. The TFI/HBO “House I Live In” Fellowship will award $25,000 toward completion of a documentary focused on the filmmaker’s personal story. A $25,000 TFI/HBO “Outside Looking In” Fellowship will be granted to support an extraordinary character-driven story that aims to take audiences into someone else’s world.

In addition to the new TFI Documentary Fund, TFI will continue to administer grants through three existing funds and will expand the Tribeca All Access program to include grants to all participating filmmakers. The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund provides finishing grants totaling $100,000 annually for feature-length documentaries that highlight and humanize topics of social significance. The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund will award a total of up to $140,000 in support of compelling narrative filmmaking that explores scientific, mathematic, and technological themes. The Tribeca All Access Program will continue to cultivate relationships between filmmakers from traditionally underrepresented communities and film industry executives, and will provide each 2011 participant with $10,000 in order to maximize the program’s impact. In addition, the TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund will support innovative film and video artists working in narrative or documentary film and living in Mexico or Central or South America.

All programs have an early deadline of November 8, 2010, and a final submission deadline of December 8, 2010.

Visit the TFI Web site for complete program guidelines and application procedures.

Link to Complete RFP

Jobs of the Month

Multiple Positions, E.W. Scripps Company – Multiple Locations

“Scripps Fellows” program to strengthen local news coverage on multiple platforms

Leveraging its strength and reputation in an effort to define the future of journalism, The E.W. Scripps Company is shifting resources within its newspaper division to add multimedia journalists, editors and web developers in the company’s 13 newspaper markets.

Through the new Scripps Fellows program, as many as 40 people will be hired for full-time positions that will last either six or 12 months. Recent college graduates or other individuals with relevant journalism or Web experience can apply for the positions. Scripps will hire promising talent in the fields of: multimedia reporting, online production, Web development, Web design, user-experience analysis, copy editing, and page design.

The fellows will be hired in October and November and will contribute to the community-changing journalism of Scripps newspapers, which include: The Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel; Naples (Fla.) Daily News; the Scripps Treasure Coast newspapers in the Florida markets of Stuart, Vero Beach and Ft. Pierce; Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press and The (Henderson, Ky.) Gleaner; The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn.; Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller-Times; Ventura County (Calif.) Star; Wichita Falls (Texas) Times Record News; Abilene (Texas) Reporter-News; San Angelo (Texas) Standard Times; Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight; Kitsap (Wash.) Sun; and the Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail.

“The Scripps Fellows program will bring fresh talent to Scripps communities across the country,” said Chris Doyle, vice president of content for the company’s newspaper division. “The fellows will tackle pivotal responsibilities on the front lines of editorial coverage, strengthening our ability to produce impactful storytelling for our growing audience of print and online readers. They will benefit from our newsrooms’ focus on editorial excellence, and our permanent employees will benefit from the new perspectives of the visiting fellows.”

‪Prospective fellows can learn more and apply for the program by friending “Scripps News Online” through Facebook.

Multimedia Reporter, Long Island Press -New York, NY
This is an entry-level position. Candidates should have a degree in journalism and training in numerous forms of both new and traditional media. We’re looking for someone who can write and edit copy, who can shoot and edit video, who knows how to handle a camera, and who has an understanding of how to best utilize social media. We’re also looking for someone who loves the field and the craft, and who sincerely wants to do this with his or her life. This is a position that demands someone organized, deadline-oriented, able to work non-traditional hours (i.e., occasional nights and weekends), understands where and how to find stories, and cares deeply about the business of news. The right candidate will be given the opportunity to do both daily deadline news (on our website) and long-form feature and investigative writing, covering Long Island and the New York metropolitan area.

About us: The Long Island Press is the ninth-largest alternative weekly newspaper in the country, with a print circulation of 90,000 per week and a Web readership of 500,000 unique visitors per month. Since its inception in 2002, it has won more than 150 journalism awards, including the Casey Award for Meritorious Journalism in 2009, for breaking the story of Long Island’s heroin epidemic. It is a member of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, specializing in long-form lifestyle features and investigative journalism, arts criticism and political coverage. For more, please visit our website,

Apply via e-mail (no phone calls!) to Editor in Chief Michael Patrick Nelson at Please include a resume, writing samples and salary requirements.

Multimedia Editor, The Jewish Forward – New York, NY

We seek a motivated and Web-savvy multimedia editor to join the online team of our newspaper.

The web editor, who will work in our on-site podcast and video studio, will produce and edit original multimedia and blog content. They will also help shape our social media efforts and moderate user-generated content.  Multimedia editors will have access to state of the art recording and editing technology and will leave the position with several completed projects to their name.

An exciting, paid opportunity!