The Stand Delivers
At the 2011 Juneteenth Festival, reporters from The Stand, a community newspaper written for South Side residents, were on the hunt for a story. Donning South Side Stand T- shirts, they jotted notes during the parade and interviewed vendors. Following the festivities, they returned to The Stand’s office at 2331 S. Salina St., wrote their stories, uploaded photos and published the finished product online promptly on deadline.
These aspiring community reporters were South Side residents participating in a Stand workshop. Some of them were participating for the first time without any previous journalistic experience. Their involvement showed that with support from The Stand’s staff and volunteers, anyone can cover local news for the community newspaper.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon, the niche newspaper published eight times a year will offer a twist on the usual workshop. “Behind the Scenes of The Stand” will feature three student reporters from Syracuse University who work with the publication. The students will give an inside perspective to the challenges of publishing the October issue and its two new features.
“Since last May we’ve had a set of people who wanted to be like our community correspondents, so we got their feedback about what they wanted to learn,” said Stand director Ashley Kang. “They said that hearing from the student reporters and the challenges they face would help them.”
The idea for the project came in 2006, when associate professor of newspaper and online journalism Steve Davis, who teaches at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, presented a challenge to his advanced reporting students. Instead of interviewing their roommates and campus personnel for stories, Davis sent his students to Syracuse’s South Side to search for stories for the Student Voice biweekly magazine.
With extra funding from Newhouse, the class was able to print extra copies of the issue and distribute them throughout the South Side. The readers in the community responded well, and ultimately established The Stand as a website and a regular print publication.
“That’s how we discovered the need for community news,” said Kang. “This was after The Post-Standard’s paper shrunk and there was a lot less local coverage happening.”
The workshops began in the summer of 2009 to cater to the growing interest in The Stand. Basic journalism lessons expanded to photography, video and general interest sessions every month. Attendance has ranged from four at one workshop to 28 at another, although Kang won’t hesitate to work one-on-one with a curious community member. But it became clear that The Stand needed to continue tailoring their workshops to their attendees.
“We noticed that people would come to a 1½-hour session and get some insight, but they wouldn’t be comfortable with going out and writing a story,” said Kang. “That’s a lot to ask after an hour lesson.”
The Stand found that daylong workshops were more successful. Those registered would be paired up with a mentor—a graduate journalism student. After conducting interviews during the morning the mentors would help the aspiring community journalists to write, edit and publish their stories.
This symbiotic relationship between journalism students and community reporters is a unique aspect of the publication. The upcoming workshop is one of many opportunities for journalism students to meet a multicultural community to get ideas for stories.
“A lot of the time community reporters don’t know where to start,” said Kang. “But the student reporters don’t really know their community that well. So putting them together really helps to fit the audience, focus on the publication, and get community voices in there.”
Camille Bautista is a Newhouse graduate student at SU’s Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism program. She first learned of The Stand when she worked on the newspaper’s layouts for her news editing course. Since community reporting is part of what she wants to pursue in the future, Bautista began contributing two articles a month to The Stand.
The October issue will feature her story about a South Side food co-op and the shortage of fresh produce in the neighborhood, and she’s working on a story about drug prevention for next month. “I really enjoy it,” noted Bautista. “The exposure to the struggles and issues prevalent in that part of the community have really benefited me as a reporter. The neighborhood is so rich and diverse and not many people know about it.”
Bautista, along with two other Newhouse students, will present their experience with the publication alongside a sneak peak at the new Special Achiever and Strolling the South Side features. While Special Achiever seeks nominations for single profiles from the community, Strolling the South Side is a look back at history and provides information about overlooked historical places.
It is little known, for example, that an aerial view of Libba Cotten Grove, located at Castle and South State streets and named for the Grammy-winning African-American folk musician who grew up in Syracuse, reveals that it is shaped like a guitar.
“I’m really excited to meet everyone at this workshop. I think it’s great to have the opportunity to be exposed to people who want to learn how to write and report,” said Bautista. The workshop is not exclusive to the South Side, either. The Stand encourages everyone to have their voices heard as long as the story focuses on South Side news.
“With this workshop we want to show that we’re working with the community and, if someone wants to write, to get their voices in,” said Kang. “Many of the stories we cover wouldn’t have happened if the community hadn’t helped with the reporting.”
And as the enthusiastic Juneteenth reporters showed, contributing a story from the neighborhood is as easy as showing up.
For more information, call 882-1054.
SU’s Scarlet Ending
The Oct. 1 game between the Syracuse University football team and Rutgers University started with an SU fumble and ended with an SU fumble. In-between, it was just as ugly for the Orange.
As a result, SU lost a game it should have won, one week after winning a game it probably should have lost. It’s been that kind of year for an Orange team that’s full of fighters who have to keep fighting to overcome their own mistakes.
Rutgers kicker San San Te’s 47-yard field goal in the second overtime provided the winning points as the Scarlet Knights tripped SU 19-16 before an announced crowd of 42,152 at the Carrier Dome. It could turn out to be the final Big East Conference opener for the Orange, which will leave for the Atlantic Coast Conference within the next two years, or earlier, if the Big East allows.
After this past Saturday’s stinker, the Big East might want to release SU right now. . . and ask Rutgers if it wouldn’t mind a change of scenery, too. The teams combined for nine turnovers, five missed field goals and a missed extra point, and 143 penalty yards in a four-hour, 20-minute game of hot potato: You take it. . . no, you take it. . . I don’t want it, you take it.
“I think it’s very difficult to win football games when you have five turnovers, and a field goal gets blocked and a PAT gets blocked,” SU coach Doug Marrone said.
“Those things happen, and we lost that game because of those errors, and we weren’t able to capitalize at times. We had our chance.”
SU’s final chance came in the second overtime, after Te’s 47-yarder gave Rutgers (3-1) its first lead of the game. On second-and-5 from the Rutgers’ 20, SU running back Antwon Bailey gained four yards and was lunging for the first down when Knights linebacker Edmond Laryea knocked the ball loose and teammate Logan Ryan fell on it. After a lengthy review, the officials upheld the ruling that Bailey’s knee was not down when the ball squirted out. Rutgers, which had celebrated after the initial call, got to celebrate again.
Bailey, who also fumbled on SU’s first play from scrimmage, said, “I thought I was down. But at the end of the day, I’ve got to hold onto the ball. That’s all on me.” Before that fumble, Bailey rushed for 124 yards on 23 carries and gave SU a 13-3 lead with a 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Oddly, that final play was the only play of the day for Rutgers’ Laryea, a sixth-year senior because of a medical redshirt year. Laryea is the backup for Khaseem Greene, the Knights’ leading tackler who left the game after the previous play because of a severe cramp in his leg.
But while Laryea deserves props for his game-deciding play, it should have never come to that for the Orange (3-2). Whether you want to blame it on karma, the football gods or just plain bad luck, SU seemingly paid the price for beating Toledo the week before.
In that game, you might recall, SU kicker Ross Krautman was credited with an extra point that gave SU a 30-27 lead over Toledo with about two minutes remaining in the game. Toledo marched down the field and tied the score with a field goal on the last play of regulation, but Syracuse won in overtime.
Hours after the game, the Big East said the officials blew the call on Krautman’s PAT. It was too late by then, of course, but Toledo should have won the game 30-29.
Against Rutgers, Krautman missed a 39-yard field goal attempt and had an extra point and 44-yard field goal attempt blocked, both times by Rutgers’ Jamal Merrell. Both blocks were the result of high snaps.
The second block, with 8:34 remaining, set up Rutgers’ only touchdown drive that ended with backup quarterback Gary Nova’s 3-yard toss to wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. SU quarterback Ryan Nassib’s third interception of the game— and third in Rutgers’ territory—enabled Te to attempt a 44-yard field goal with six seconds left.
In keeping with the theme of the day, Te—who’s sixth among active NCAA kickers in field goals made—hooked the attempt and the game went into overtime. It was SU’s third overtime home game of the season, but this time the Orange couldn’t pull it out.
“We are not good enough to overcome those turnovers and we had five, which is unacceptable,” Marrone said. “It is actually more than five, because we had the blocked PAT and a blocked field goal. When you have the ability to score points and you don’t execute, it is like a turnover.”
The Orange will play its final non-conference game of the season against Tulane University at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Superdome in New Orleans. Tulane is 2-3 after getting thumped by Army 45-6 this past Saturday.
To rebound from the Rutgers disaster, the Orange will have to forget about the loss while correcting its mistakes—much easier said than done.
“It’s very frustrating; you’ve got to go into another week with another game. You’re going to think about that game that you just lost,” said safety Phillip Thomas. “But we’ve just got to move forward as a unit and just don’t dwell on it, because if we dwell on it, we’re going to be affected for the next game.”
Orange Slices: SU sophomore running back Prince-Tyson Gulley broke his collarbone in an off-field incident and is out for the season, Marrone said after Saturday’s game. Marrone did not provide details on how Gulley was injured. Gulley, who rushed for 66 yards on 10 carries against Toledo, had surgery during the week between the Toledo and Rutgers games, Marrone said. Sophomore Jerome Smith, who ran for six yards on three carries against the Scarlet Knights, replaced Gulley as Bailey’s backup at tailback.
SU’s injury-riddled defense played without standout defensive end Chandler Jones, strong safety Shamarko Thomas and nickel defensive back Olando Fisher. Defensive backs Ri’Shard Anderson and Keon Lyn had casts on their injured hands, and Marrone explained after the game that he closed practices to the media last week because he didn’t want Rutgers to know about the injuries.
Despite the injuries, SU’s defense played its best game of the year, limiting Rutgers to five yards net rushing, recording five sacks and creating four turnovers, including Anderson’s fumble recovery on Rutgers’ second offensive play of the game. Linebacker Dyshawn Davis caused the fumble with a monster hit, and Anderson rambled 66 yards for SU’s first defensive touchdown since 2006.