The successful public affairs reporter needs to cultivate the following four habits:
a. Diligence, knowledge of sources, accuracy, ability to write clear explanations.
b. Diligence, contempt for sources, accuracy, ability to write complicated explanations.
c. Knowledge of sources, ability to flatter politicians, fondness for windy speeches, accuracy.
d. Accuracy, ability to use long words, fondness for bureaucratic detail, knowledge of sources.
The first assignment for many reporters is the police beat. Which of the following is NOT one of the things young reporters learn from working the police beat?
a. The community, both geographically and sociologically.
b. News values and the need for accuracy.
c. How to develop sources that will serve them for years.
d. How to trick sources into telling reporters things the sources should keep confidential.
The work of police reporters varies from community to community in part because,
a. crimes and accidents are never newsworthy in small communities although they are in big cities.
b. minor crimes and accidents are newsworthy in small communities but not in big cities.
c. crimes and accidents are never newsworthy in big cities but they are in small communities.
d. crimes and accidents are newsworthy in big cities only if they involve famous people.
In order to get the details they need to write news stories about crimes, reporters need to interview
a. police officers who were at the scene of a crime because
b. the police department's public affairs officer.
c. the police chief.
d. any police officer who has seen the official incident report.
Police officers are often suspicious of reporters. The best way a new reporter can gain the trust of officers is by
a. chatting with police officers about their families.
b. having coffee with police officers when they're off duty.
c. riding with police officers as they patrol their beats.
d. reporting stories accurately and treating sources fairly.
The news coverage of the arrest of Lisa Nowak, a former NASA astronaut, is an example of how
a. reporters can solve crimes that puzzle police detectives.
b. sensationalism can distort the public's understanding of criminal cases.
c. news organizations downplay serious crime.
d. news organizations cooperate with police.
Of all the information usually included in crime and accident stories, the most important usually is
a. the identity of the investigating officers.
b. the name of the victim.
c. the exact charges filed against the suspect.
d. any deaths or injuries.
What is the problem with the following sentence? “A man was arrested Sunday and charged with aggravated battery.”
a. The story should describe the specific crime and not just the legal charges.
b. The statement should be attributed to the police chief.
c. The verbs should all be in the present tense.
d. The statement should be attributed to the prosecuting attorney.
News stories about crimes should identify people by race only when it is relevant. One example of when race is relevant is
a. when both the suspect and the victim are of the same race.
b. when the suspect and the victim are of different races.
c. a description of a criminal suspect who is at large.
d. any story about a homicide.
Which of the following sentences best describes the difference between city and county governments?
a. City governments provide more services than county governments, but counties usually are responsible for collecting taxes.
b. County governments provide more services than city governments, but cities usually are responsible for collecting taxes.
c. City governments provide police and fire protections, while county governments provide water and sewage treatment.
d. City governments are repositories for records of deeds and land transactions, while county governments keep track of birth, marriages and deaths.
Journalists need to keep in mind that local government budgets are
a. largely the product of wishful thinking.
b. have no relation to how the government performs its duties.
c. are dictated by the federal government.
d. are the blueprint by which governments work.
The major source of money for cities, counties, school districts and other local governments is
a. federal income tax.
b. state income tax.
c. property taxes.
d. local sales taxes.
In most communities, the largest share of local tax revenues goes to
a. county government.
c. city government.
News organizations that compile report cards on local school districts have discovered
a. that pupil test scores alone are an accurate measure of how well a district is performing.
b. they must include the age and education levels of teachers, salaries of school administrators and number of administrators as well as pupil test scores.
c. they must include property tax levels and per-pupil spending rates as well as pupil test scores.
d. they must include such things as parents' education and income, percentage of pupils who enter or leave during the school year and percentage of pupils for whom English is a second language as well as pupil test score results.
Of the following types of records typically kept by local school districts, which one is NOT considered public record?
a. Budget and financial information.
b. Accreditation reports and other assessment records.
c. Food service records.
d. Educational records of specific students.
Which of the following is NOT an example of the mistaken impressions people often derive from highly sensational criminal trials?
a. Police and prosecutors usually rely on confessions to build their cases.
b. DNA and other scientific evidence is always key in any prosecution.
c. The attorneys engage in courtroom theatrics and make inflammatory statements.
d. Criminal trials typically last several weeks or months.
The case of Michael Morton, who was prosecuted in connection with the murder of his wife, illustrates
a. that police always arrest the person who actually committed the crime.
b. the scrupulous fairness of prosecuting attorneys.
c. the need for reporters to remain skeptical of what police and prosecutors say.
d. the ability of jurors to reach the right verdict in every instance.
Which of the following statements is most true about the news coverage of criminal and civil court cases?
a. Civil cases receive more news coverage than criminal cases, but they usually affect fewer people.
b. Criminal cases receive more news coverage than civil cases, but they usually affect fewer people.
c. Civil cases and criminal cases receive roughly equal attention from news organizations.
d. Criminal cases receive more news coverage than civil cases because they affect more people.
e. Civil cases receive more news coverage than criminal cases because the issues are easier to understand.
The purpose of a preliminary hearing in a criminal case is to
a. determine whether the defendant is guilty.
b. determine whether there is a strong enough case against a defendant to justify a full trial.
c. explain the nature of the charges to the defendant and the public.
d. give the defendant an opportunity to rebut the charges against him.
A criminal trial begins with the
a. delivery of a true bill by the grand jury.
b. opening arguments of the defense attorney.
c. swearing in of the first witness.
d. selection of the jury.
The central point of a news story about a trial should be
a. a recapitulation of the charges against the defendant.
b. a review of the crime that the defendant is accused of having committed.
c. the most important testimony or ruling of the day.
d. the probable reaction of the jury to the evidence presented that day.
One difference between a criminal trial and a civil trial is that the jury in a
a. criminal trial often has fewer than 12 members.
b. civil trial often has fewer than 12 members.
c. civil trial often has more than 12 members.
d. criminal trial often has more than 12 members.
If a criminal trial ends in a verdict of not guilty, the prosecuting attorney can appeal that decision.
Information exchanged between attorneys during the discovery process in a civil case
a. becomes available in full to the public when the trial begins.
b. becomes available in full to the public when the trial ends.
c. never becomes available to the public even when used in the trial.
d. remains confidential unless it is filed with the court.