ENG1151 Fall 2023

Week 13: Longer Form Journalism, Post due Wed. Dec. 6

Journalism Students:

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving break.  We only have a few more weeks to go and I’m looking forward to finishing up reading your OpEd essays. I will have comments on all of them by this Friday.

For this week, I want to get you started thinking about your last, small formal assignment. This assignment will be due: Mon. Dec. 18. Essentially, I ask you to think about a larger journalism project you might like to work on if you had more time – and a budget!  What would this project be?  Who would be your audience?  What journalism techniques, platforms, and technologies would you use?  What steps would you need to take? What would be the outcome?  What challenges do you foresee?

To help you start thinking about his final assignment, I want you to consider a variety of exciting projects professional journalists, writers, and CUNY students have been working on.

Let’s begin with Brooke Kroeger, author of Undaunted: How Women Changed American Journalism. She is a former journalism professor at NYU and director of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.

Here is a 10-minute interview with her (entitled “Eye Roll Moments”) in which she discusses touchy situations female journalists have had to deal with up until quite recently (and certainly still today).

Please also look at this news story on the amazing work CUNY graduate students are doing at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism.

They received two dozen awards in recent national journalism competitions.  According to the article: “The winners represent stories told in a variety of media formats — and range from New York’s scramble to combat the climate crisis to tales behind street names in Queens to the push to boost shipping on New York’s waterways.”

Finally, please also look at the work of a former student of mine (Emily Hu) who wrote an important letter to the community on Anti-Asian Violence during the pandemic.

“Many Years After: A Letter on Anti-Asian Violence”

The following year she transformed the letter into a short film:

Many Years After

POST ASSIGNMENT (Due. Wed. Dec. 6)

Choose one of the readings or videos and discuss what you liked about it and
any ideas it gave you for a longer, extended journalism project of your own (or
for someone else).  You can choose to respond to the interview with Kroeger, a project by a CUNY Newmark student (scroll down in the article to find them), or Emily Hu’s letter and/or film.

39 Comments

  1. Edmond Lee

       After reading Emily Hu’s letter I appreciate how she talked about Asian hate and how many Asians felt hostility toward them. Her letter showed us that we do indeed have a voice. The way she talked about her own experience with Asian hate was insightful and gave us a glimpse of how she feels on a personal level. The fact that she felt unsafe leaving her own home without her boyfriend was heartbreaking. Her parents’ constant worry is something many people can relate to since most people can understand firsthand how that feels.

             This letter made me think of the controversy going on in Japan and how their nuclear reactor waste is being dumped into the ocean. It made me think of the controversy that was sparked when Japan decided to do this and the hypocrisy of other countries for being critical of Japan when they are dumping higher levels of tritium in our waters. 

    • Mark Noonan

      Very interesting response Edmond. Perhaps for your final proposal, you can come up with a website and chart that monitors the dumping of nuclear waste in our waters. You could present the problem, and have a site that keeps track of incidents of dumping.

  2. Odalis

    I read the article about the work CUNY graduates have been doing at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. There were so many students who achieved an award over their writing and their concepts they used stories of various different topics. Their topics were all different but with a strong passion. Like Lorena Borjas Way she did a type of podcast to tell a story they all used different types of media. They all had various stories and it helped me think about the upcoming project and think about the type of media I want to use. I really liked the way that some of their stories were personal and had to do with them and not about something else. Their stories were strong and entertaining.

    • Mark Noonan

      Nice overview Odalis. I hope the site gave you some good ideas for your final journalism project proposal.

  3. Cui Zhang

    Racism in general has always been an extreme topic to talk about. This is due to inequality, injustice, stereotypes, and discrimination based on one’s race or ethnicity. I read Emily Hu’s letter in “Many Years Later: A Letter on Anti-Asian Violence”. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic first started a few years ago, there have been many cases of Asian hate and Asian hate crimes going on in the world. Some of the Asians were being attacked and blamed because of this issue, even though this has nothing to do with those who live in America. In Emily’s letter, she mentioned, “Former President Trump only fueled the flames of anti-Asian hate with his use of the term “China Virus”, spurring people to express racist anger through both physical and verbal abuse”. As soon as read what she wrote, I was thinking what if, just what if America was the one who’s causing this virus? Surely, there won’t probably be so much hate crime going on. Other races in particular won’t even target Americans as much either. Emily also mentioned how many of those inefficient, racist, and uneducated people are specifically targeting the elderly who can’t fight or stand up for themselves because they’re old. I was thinking this could potentially happen to my family members one day if this issue keeps on rising. However, as of 2023, anti-Asian crimes have decreased by 33%. Although the percentage has decreased a bit, yet this issue will still be ongoing no matter what. Not just for Asians, but also those other races, especially for those living in the United States.

    • Mark Noonan

      You make so many excellent points on this important topic Cui. Perhaps for your final journalism project proposal, you could introduce the issue, and propose creating a “tracker” of on-going incidents.

  4. Christopher Willis

    “Politicians were hesitant to talk about the attacks. However, after all of the outcry in the media, people have become more aware of the harassment and physical abuse Asians face.” A statement made by Emily Hu in her letter to the Asian community during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It was sickening to hear the stories of victims of Asian hate crimes during the pandemic. The politicians did not talk about it before the media influence because of former President Donald Trump’s ignorant comment, calling the coronavirus the “China Virus.” If our leader were making these statements, imagine what regular people filled with hate are doing.

    Emily says, “I used to see members of the elderly Asian community walking around the park for exercise, meeting up with their friends to catch breakfast at a restaurant, or simply strolling around the block. I rarely see that these days. They are not afraid of getting COVID-19. They are afraid of being attacked.” I also appreciated how she shared her feelings about her fear of going anywhere without her boyfriend. It shows the trauma the Asian community faced during those times of disgusting racism. An idea for a longer, extended journalism project is to gather stories of discrimination/racism from diverse communities. 

    • Mark Noonan

      Nice commentary Christopher. I like your proposal. Think about how you would add specifics to your website collection on discrimination stories. Which groups? Which communities? Would the incidents be organized in some way? eg.

  5. Christine

    Racism has always had a big impact on the world and people’s daily lives. After reading “Many Years After: A Letter On Anti-Asian Violence,” by Emily Hu, I can agree with what she said about worrying for her grandparents safety when going outside. As an Asian American, it is truly sad because I have felt the same way towards something happening to my grandparents the same way Emily has with hers. Emily’s words was well said as she stated “Whenever I watch these clips, I feel millions of bottled up emotions swirling in my head and heart. This or that person could have been one of my grandparents, my mother, or anyone in my family, had they been in the wrong place at the wrong time.” When I use to see videos of crime attacks on elderly’s, I’ve always thought of it happening to my own grandparents and would worry about them every time they would go out for daily tasks. Also, Emily enhanced her point by adding how Trump has increased the Asian crime attacks which I thought was clever. Emily stated “Former President Trump only fueled the flames of anti-Asian hate with his use of the term “China Virus,” spurring people to express racist anger through both physical and verbal abuse.” Furthermore, I like how Emily used her own personal situation to provide a clearer point. I also liked how Emily included her personal thoughts, her family, her boyfriend and her point of view of what she noticed on the train to help readers get a better understanding of what is going on with Asian hate crimes. 

    • Mark Noonan

      Thank you for this careful reading and appreciation of Emily Hu’s powerful piece, Christine.

  6. Cindy

    Reading the article “Many Years After: A Letter On Anti-Asian Violence” by Emily Hu, I was able to understand what Emily means during the COVID-19 there were so many assaults on asian people due the backlash former president Donald Trump calling it a “China Virus”. It didn’t help the situation. It was hurtful seeing videos of attacks on older people become so viral depending on the situation if people were reposting it because they agree with the backlash or because they thought that they needed to bring awareness to stop the assaults. In most videos that I saw, surfing consisted of no intervention for the victims. . To imagine pushing an elderly which can be fatal because of vulnerability due to their age, is truly sad.

    • Mark Noonan

      You make important points here Cindy. It seems that this kind of awful behavior is now being directed towards other groups connected to the current war in the Middle East.

  7. Sphear Forde

    For this week’s assignment, I read Jacqueline Neber’s New Service investigation, “Broken Homes”.“ Broken Homes” is a great example of investigative journalism. In “Broken Homes”, Neber highlights the plight of disabled New Yorkers  who have been living in group homes for adults with developmental or physical disabilities. She reveals that 13 of New York State’s most-troubled private and public providers have been allowed to continue running dozens of homes and programs despite serious unresolved issues.

    “Broken Homes” reminded me of a documentary I watched recently called “Right to Fail” from PBS Frontline. “Right to Fail” is a short documentary that highlights the struggles of New Yorkers with mental illness, their experiences in group homes, and how supportive housing has failed them.

    The article also gave me some ideas for a longer, extended journalism project I would work on if I had more time – and a budget. One of them is corruption in the homeless system. It is a well-known fact that homelessness is a major issue in the United States; however, many people are unaware of the corruption and mismanagement in the homeless system. Investigating this issue could help bring to light the problems in the system and help improve the lives of those who are affected.

    • Mark Noonan

      Very interesting commentary Sphear. I think you proposal idea is fantastic. Could you flesh it out a bit more in the final proposal? You could give an overview of the problem and create monitoring system of some sort, perhaps.

  8. QiTing

    After reading about the article,” Many Years After: A letter on Anti-Asian Violence” by Emily Hu, would like to share some feelings. Racism is a big problem and should stopped it, if necessary might need to action such as protest march to against and say out the voices. If racial discrimination occurs and then we didn’t speak out the voice, it might happens more these events. Beginning of the covid pandemic, I was wearing mask to protect myself on the train, there is a person come over to me and say “Covid girl”. I didn’t say anything to him and then he go to other 2 ladies and say the same words because they are wearing masks too. The 2 ladies was respond to him with “Stop saying these words, wearing masks is personal freedom and choice, doesn’t mean wear mask is having covid, stop your stupid language”. The guy still want to say more but the ladies keep saying the same sentence to him, he ran away after few minutes.

    • Mark Noonan

      I love this story of standing up for yourselves QiTing. Good for you and your friends!

  9. Gabriel

    Reading Emily Hu’s letter “Many Years After: A Letter on Anti-Asian Violence”, it expresses the reality of how a certain race was treated during the height of the pandemic, continuing after once the pandemic had dwindled down. The amount of violent, tragic events that occurred towards Asians really set up adjustments to how they live their lifestyles, having to live in fear of the possible attacks, verbal slurs or harassment they could’ve dealt with out in public. Seeing that this essay was published 2 years ago, reading it today sets a difference of how the era between 2020 and 2022 felt as a dark age for Asians with the constant harassment towards them, even mentioning the fact that President Trump would only lighten up these attacks more by calling Asians out for the virus the world was going through. Emily was able to express her feelings of the times she had to go through living in this type of era for not just herself but for her loved ones and community, all having fear if this is the world they’ll be living in from now on.

    • Mark Noonan

      Excellent point about how differently this essay reads “two years after.” It still seems that hatred towards particular groups continues apace depending on the latest news event. I wonder if a website that calls attention to such incidents and a call for zero tolerance wouldn’t make for an excellent final journalism project proposal.

  10. Kobe

    After reading the article “Many Years After: A Letter On Anti-Asian Violence” by Emily Hu, I can say that there were many interesting things that were said. But one thing that stood out to me the most is how Emily created a scenario and gave the readers a visual of what was going on. For instance, when she said “Whenever I watch these clips, I feel millions of bottled-up emotions swirling in my head and heart. This or that person could have been one of my grandparents, my mother, or anyone in the family, had they been in the wrong place at the wrong time”. In other words, I agree nobody should be Harassed, attacked, physically abused, or treated another way that they wouldn’t want their loved ones to be treated. Also, another thing that stood out to me was how Emily was able to give key points on the topic of Asian Hate for instance mentioning the video clips of people being attacked, Trump’s hateful comments towards Asians, and mentioning her own experience on how people look at her a certain way. She adds all of these key points to clarify her point on how Asians are concerned about their safety.

    Therefore, this letter gave me many ideas for a longer, extended journalism project of my own. But One idea is to talk about the congesting pricing tolls in Manhattan. This new congesting pricing toll has its pros and cons. Many people’s lives are gonna be affected because there going to have to pay each time they want to drive to Manhattan. Another idea I had was something similar to Emily Hu’s topic, but its to talk about the hatred that was seen towards Mexicans as Trump was running for president because he would use hateful words like “Mexicans are taking jobs” and “Mexicans are bad people” and “Mexicans are bringing illegal substance”. So I would like to talk about how this has affected and changed the way they live their lives.

    • Mark Noonan

      Excellent commentary Kobe. I like both of your project proposal ideas. Choose one of them and explain how you would research the topic and how it would be presented (website/film/feature article).

  11. thierry

    The achievements of CUNY graduates at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism are commendable. Their award-winning work spans various topics, each approached with a passionate perspective. For instance, Lorena Borjas utilized podcasts to narrate compelling stories. The use of different media formats by these students has prompted me to contemplate the media I’ll employ for my upcoming project. I particularly appreciate how some of their narratives were deeply personal, adding strength and entertainment to their stories.

    It’s inspiring to see the impactful work and diverse storytelling at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. Incorporating personal elements into your project can indeed make it more engaging.

    • Mark Noonan

      Thierry, Excellent commentary. I’m looking forward to your proposal!

  12. Elan Gan

    I chose to read the letter called, “Many Years After: A Letter on Anti ASsian violence” by Emily Hu. Emily started off by saying a few background key points about her cultural background and how they are attacked either in their country or internationally. She then brings up the Covid-19 and says that Asian American have been blamed for it because it came from their home country. This puts the lives of these people in danger on a day to day basis. She also states that back then she would see fellow Asian Americans at the work for a walk  but now she rarely sees it as she believes they are afraid of being attacked. Even though from all these dangerous situations, Emily believes that there is still time for a change and this can help return her cultural background lifestyle back to normal. 

    My topic ideas after reading this is: how has the Israel vs Palestine war affected the lives of Jews around the world.

    • Mark Noonan

      That’s a pretty interesting (and important) final journalism project proposal Elan. Try to flesh the idea out a bit more perhaps with links to some stories already coming out.

  13. Mamadou

    For this week’s assignment, I focused on Emily Hu’s “Many Years After: A Letter On Anti-Asian Violence” and I’ve got to say, one of the better writings I’ve read in previous times discussing the COVID pandemic.

    I want to make it clear that I am not of Asian descent, but understood what Asians like her were going through in such a rough time. The levels of hatred spiraled out of control because of a Chinese government who failed to inform the world about the COVID outbreak. It is evident China understood the threat to a virus spreading rapidly but completely underestimated its power and expansion into other countries, with the United States later being a dominant case of outbreak because of travel. The pure dismission of claiming the newly-discovered virus did not inherit a human-to-human transmission was an attempt at a government trying to downplay the severity of a disease.

    Back in the United States, the sentiment was the vaccine was made by the Chinese and Asian people. Attacks sought to “hold responsible” the races of humans whose origin countries reflected the lack of transparency towards the US government. Instead of a swift retaliation towards the Chinese government, many preferred to incite violence towards those of descent because it was the only “solution” – or so it was believed. We must hold the MSM accountable for a successful deception into trickling the real narrative into futile propaganda.

    Despite the disturbance, it was great to hear from Hu’s side of the story. She did an exceptional job expressing her discomfort towards the inciting of violence and hatred against Asian Americans. Her last statement, which states: “I hope things have indeed changed” clearly represented a cry for help and I’m appreciative of the voice she has to speak up against injustice.

    • Mark Noonan

      Wonderful probing commentary Mamadou!

  14. Efaz Kareeb

    After reading the article “Many Years After: A Letter on Anti-Asian Violence” by Emily Hu, one thing that interested me was that more than 6,600 attacks against Asian Americans were reported by the nonprofit Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate. However, this figure certainly understates the real number of events, as many go unreported because of victims’ embarrassment. The elderly make up a sizable proportion of those targeted, making them especially susceptible. The older Asian community’s everyday life has been significantly impacted by the dread of assaults, with a drop in activities like exercising in parks, chatting over breakfast, and just taking walks, showing a widespread feeling of anxiety and concern for personal safety.

    The article also covers the persistent issues stemming from the fact that a significant percentage of Asian Americans are statistically living with the fear of being racially targeted, harassed, or assaulted in public places or crowded settings. Despite a considerable decline in COVID-19 cases, violence against Asian Americans has increased. People of Asian origin, like myself, are still wary about using public transit, such as trains or buses. Furthermore, because of the prevalent anxiety, we are hesitant to return to locations we formerly loved or frequented. During these circumstances, some people are even afraid to eat out at restaurants. As remote work arrangements possibly come to an end and a return to office spaces becomes unavoidable, the issue of what steps will be taken to confront and prevent these persistent attacks on regular citizens simply attempting to live their everyday lives like everyone else becomes increasingly relevant.

    • Mark Noonan

      Excellent commentary Efaz.

  15. mareefa

    Emily Hu’s letter is a strong and moving look at the rise in racism and hate crimes against Asian people, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an Asian American woman, her own fears, experiences, and opinions give her a very personal view of the bigger problem facing society. Some parts of the letter that really struck a chord with me:

    1. Personal Connection and Emotion: Emily’s way of talking about the killings in terms of her own family members makes the problem very personal and moving. It helps people remember that behind every number and piece of news is a living person with a family, fears, and hopes.

    2.Racial Dynamics and Intersectionality: She talks about how complicated racial identity is in the U.S. by talking about her boyfriend, who is both South Asian and Black. That’s an example of how race problems can add up and affect each other in different ways.

    3.The letter talks about how the fear of violence has changed the daily lives of Asian Americans, especially the old, and how it has affected the Asian American community as a whole. This part stresses how these kinds of hate crimes affect the whole community.

    4. Silence vs. Solidarity: Emily talks about how many Asian Americans were raised in a way that values quiet integration over conflict. In comparison, she says, we need to speak out against injustice and stand together, like the Black Lives Matter campaign.

    These topics could be looked into more deeply in a longer news project:

    Community Profiles are in-depth accounts of different Asian American people or families and how the rise in hate crimes has changed their lives. This could include personal stories, effects on mental health, changes to daily habits, and ways of dealing with stress.

    We will look at how racism against Asians is connected to sexism, classism, and racism against other minority groups in more detail in this part called “Intersectional Perspectives.” Interviews with people from a number of excluded groups might be part of this.

    Historical Context: An article that looks into the past of anti-Asian feelings in the US and how they relate to the present situation. This would help people understand why these hate crimes are not one-time events but part of a larger trend that goes back a long time.

    Community Response and Activism: A look at how different Asian American groups are fighting hate crimes and getting together to do so. Profiles of local groups, community leaders, and the ways they are working to make the community safer and stronger could be included.

    Emily’s letter is mostly about the United States, but it would be interesting to look at how anti-Asian feelings have shown up around the world during the pandemic. Comparative studies and stories from various places could be a part of this.

    • Mark Noonan

      Very good commentary Mareefa. For your final journalism project proposal (is it a website?), perhaps you can add/link a few sample articles for each category.

  16. Riley Gatto

    The piece that stuck with me most this week was Emily Hu’s letter “Many Years After”. This piece, written a mere two years ago, gave me that eerie feeling of being in the thick of the pandemic–the fear, the anxiety, the uncertainty about what a reopened world meant. This time, however, I saw it under an entirely new light and felt horrified that Asian Americans and Asian people across the globe were facing something much more sinister than the virus simultaneously. I remember reading the news reports about the uptick in violence committed against the AAPI community, but Emily’s vulnerable first-person perspective sheds new light. Something about this piece that I admired and would like to incorporate into my own future piece is the way she was able to make her audience view their own lived experience from a different perspective. Everyone went through their own trials and tribulations when the pandemic hit, but the AAPI experience was unique. I am considering using this technique to write a journalism piece about unique circumstances to a common situation I was in myself. I very much enjoyed all of the work in this unit!

    • Mark Noonan

      Thanks for your probing commentary here, Riley. I look forward to your journalism project proposal.

  17. Aaron Gan

    After I read Emily Hu’s letter in “Many Years Later: A Letter on Anti-Asian Violence” I liked how Emily Hu discussed Asian hatred and how many Asians felt anger against them after reading her letter. Her message showed us that we do have a voice. The discussion of her encounter with anti-Asian sentiment was perceptive and offered us a peek into her feelings. Many individuals may identify with her parents’ continual anxiety since they can all personally relate to how it feels.Put differently, I believe that no one should be subjected to physical abuse, harassment, attacks, or any other form of treatment that they wouldn’t want their loved ones to endure. Something else that impressed me was Emily’s ability to highlight important aspects regarding Asian hate, such as citing videos of individuals being attacked.

    As for what topic I would like to talk about next would be the War between Isreal and Palestine and see write about how it affects Palestinians and Jewish people.

    • Mark Noonan

      Aaron, Thanks for you commentary here. For you final journalism project proposal, I wonder if you couldn’t create a website, giving context and history (perhaps even a timeline) to the middle east crisis. Would the site be one that allows viewers to see the problem from both sides and also offers a potential solution?

  18. Richard Morales

    When I read the article “Many Years After: A Letter on Anti-Asian Violence” it has stood up to me the most that it made me think back at the time in the year 2020 where Asians was receiving so many hateful speeches and encountered violence towards other people because since COVID 19 came from China others were too oblivious to know the real facts and then straight up blaming Chinese people just because they were from China which made no total sense it was so unfair for how they were being treated badly just from their race and none of those people who caused the Chinese people to be treated badly were ever seen punished or stopped for their aggression/misbehaving and when recalling back to the article the author stated that herself and her family had to deal more with their own safety when going out to public such as transportation and feared that anyone would try to criticize her race and being blamed for it as well worst case scenario that anyone would physically assault her. So for her best assuring safety when she had to step out she had to go out with her boyfriend at all times which is something nobody should ever have to deal with in their lives just for their own race and not at fault and something had to be done to reduce and the completely remove hate crime against Asians such as a group/organization to fight against Anti-Asian racism.

    • Mark Noonan

      very good commentary Richard.

  19. Coumba Diallo

    Emily Hu’s letter, “Many Years After: A Letter On Anti-Asian Violence,” effectively conveys the feelings, anxieties, and optimism that a large number of Asian Americans have encountered in the face of rising prejudice and violence.

    What I enjoyed:

    Emotional and Personal Story: Hu shares her own anxieties and experiences in a very intimate letter. This humanizes the problem and enables readers to understand the psychological cost of anti-Asian violence.

    Hu also discusses the intersectionality of racism by pointing out that her boyfriend, who is Black and South Asian, also experiences prejudice. This deepens the story and highlights how racism is a widespread problem that affects many different populations.

    Suggestions for a Long-Term Journalism Project:

    Given Emily Hu’s letter’s richness and depth, an extended journalism project may go in a number of different directions:

    Interviews in-depth: Speak with those who have personally experienced or seen acts of anti-Asian violence in-depth. Examine the psychological effects, coping strategies, and social reactions. This can result in a number of individual stories to spread awareness.

    Community Initiatives: Look into and highlight neighborhood-based programs that address and thwart anti-Asian violence. Showcasing community-based initiatives, advocacy groups, and support systems might encourage others to participate.

    • Mark Noonan

      Very good commentary Coumba. For the final journalism project, can you come up with a topic/issue you’d like to pursue?

  20. kevin halley

    after reading the article about the cuny graduates are doing at the Craige Newark school of Journalism i found it interesting to see them all achieving things for themselves such as awards for their hard work and dedication. For example i didnt even know that they had different types of awards that you could win for wonderfully written articles such as eppy awards. I also found it intruiging that you could win different categories for the same piece for example “Hard Lessons special report” won runner up in two different positions and third place in a different category. But above all else i found it interesting that giving insights to things that youve experiemced yourself can make a large difference in the outcome of your work.

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