First, skim through this New York Times investigation on the racial breakdown of Americans who’ve contracted the coronavirus. Link:

Hover over Milwaukee, WI and other counties to see the numbers. The New York Times had to sue the CDC to get this data. After they got it, the reporters created a database to show the big picture.

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Next, listen to the first 36 minutes only (the first 2 segments) of the “Evolution of All-American Terrorism”
(Links to an external site.)
episode of the investigative podcast Reveal. Link:

You’ll hear two segments, or stories, about domestic terrorism. The non-profit news organization Reveal
teamed up with another non-profit called Type to create a database of domestic terror incidents. In the first two segments, reporters use two experts for facts and context. They also feature two “real people” whose experiences show the human side. This approach is typical in journalistic storytelling.
The point of skimming the New York Times story and listening to the podcast is to consider the work of journalists to present a larger picture: in these cases, to create databases where none existed before, on topics the government is choosing not to highlight or even misrepresent.

For the Week 3 Discussion, respond to the following prompts. Reply to at least two other students’ posts.

1. Summarize the first segment of the podcast (the one that focuses on the Walmart shooting and other mass shootings). Summarize the second segment of the podcast (the one that focuses on online radicalization). In each segment, the reporters combined big-picture context with “real people” who help the listener understand the human side of the story. Is this approach effective, or not? Note any memorable moments from the segments.

2. When we say we “get our news from social media,” that usually means seeing bits of information here and there, without much context. Both the New York Times coronavirus investigation and the Reveal domestic terrorist investigation try to pull together complicated information and create something new: databases that shows patterns to tell a larger story. In these two examples, were these efforts worthwhile? Why or why not? Did you learn anything new from the stories, or not? Use specific examples.

3. Switching gears for this question: looking back on the week’s assignments, did you learn anything new about how to verify online information, or not really? Did any of the readings or exercises surprise you? Honestly, is it worth taking a few minutes to check out sketchy stuff you see on social media?

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