The Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism prepares reporters for the next era of journalism. Our students learn to report and interview and how to tell their stories in the most effective medium – print, video, audio or photography. As they progress, students use their skills more broadly in investigative, political, business, health, international, science and other reporting classes. Our progressive and flexible curriculum ensures that students are deft and versatile with skills they need for the quickly evolving news industry and job market.
Kapowerfulis a news and features website produced by Kerri Connolly. It is dedicated to creating and curating digital content for women in geek culture. From ground-breaking research to fan-focused activities,Kapowerfulsheds light on all parts of the nerd spectrum.We keep an eye on events and activities around the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley (because we live here), but true geekdom knows no boundaries. We aim to create a fun and meaningful content for our readers ( no matter their gender or niche) that celebrates…nayelevates, nerdiness.
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In June 2012, Stockton, California— a city of nearly 300,000 people, 80 miles east of San Francisco— filed for bankruptcy, becoming the largest city in the country ever to do so.
Less than a decade earlier, times were good. Stockton experienced a booming housing market and population growth through the early 2000s that left the city’s coffers flush with cash. With this increased revenue, the City Council approved several lavish revitalization projects and signed lucrative labor contracts with city employees, police and firefighters. But, the housing bubble burst and the financial collapse of 2007 devastated a burgeoning Stockton, depleting municipal revenues while leaving massive debt intact. By 2012, that debt exceeded $500 million. The city council was forced to cut public services and make citywide layoffs, including police officers. A virulently rising homicide rate and an unshakeable stigma has followed. Twice in the last three years, Stockton has been voted “The Most Miserable City in the U.S” by Forbes magazine.
In November 2012, Stockton voters responded to the city’s miserable state by voting out nearly half of the City Council. One seat on the council was left vacant when former councilmember Susan Eggman won election to the California State Assembly. The city sought to fill the vacant seat through an appointment process, application to which was open to anyone living in Stockton’s District 5—an historically impoverished part of town that includes downtown Stockton, as well as many of the city’s failed revitalization projects. Twelve applicants ultimately stepped forward and submitted their names—taking it upon themselves to join a beleaguered local government trying to salvage their city.
Vacant Seatfollows five applicants from all walks of Stockton-life through the appointment process, from initial signature gathering to public interviews in front of the council, and finally, to the appointment of Stockton’s newest councilmember.
We follow Christina Fugazi, a fourth-generation Stocktonian who seeks to better her hometown for the hundreds of high school students she teaches every year. We meet new Stockton resident Michael Marino, a serial entrepreneur and salesman who’s driven to help the city with his seasoned business know-how. We hear from Don Aguillard, a gardener who runs several urban community gardens, engaging the city’s youth and teaching them gardening skills while providing fruits and vegetables to the hungry. We also meet Dyane Burgos, a former intern and friend of Susan Eggman, the woman she seeks to replace on the Stockton City Council. And lastly, we meet Vincent Sayles, a regular at City Council meetings where he shares his readings of the Bible, and also promotes an exercise that he believes can save Stockton—trampolining.
Following these five residents turned political newbies, the documentary gives a glimpse into local municipal government, as well as life inside a bankrupt city. We learn of the hardships of skyrocketing crime, the disastrous effects of poor leadership, and the resolve and resilience of a public taking it upon themelves to fix their hometown.
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A short op-docs style film and new media project. Provides a window into the lives of five women waiting to have abortions in two Southern states that heavily restrict the procedure. The piece is built around intimate interviews, environmental footage of the surrounding landscape, and verite access to the inner workings of the clinics. The finished product is meant to shed light on the issue before the Supreme Court makes a final decision on the legality of the Texas omnibus abortion law in June 2016.
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