Powerful story/commentary for Lantern and Mag Writing classes

This story is about a football player but it is bigger than football. Pay special attention to the use of quotes and pacing, the level of detail.

FOR MAG WRITING: Be sure to read these next two stories before class on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

This one is a history lesson, but pretty incredible storytelling and reporting.

This one is about Apple, its products and jobs and politics and more.


Although many students at Ohio State consume alcohol, it may be a surprise that the Giant Eagle on West Fifth Ave. sold more money in spirituous liquor sales during fiscal year 2012 than the Kroger near campus on High Street.

Matt Mullins, a spokesman for the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, said that in fiscal year 2012 Kroger located at 1350 North High Street sold $2,648,427.62 in spirituous liquor. Spirituous liquor is classified as being over 21 percent alcohol, which does not include beer, wine or low proof alcohol, said Mullins.

Giant Eagle located at 851 West Fifth Ave. sold $6,350,728.18 in spirituous liquor during fiscal year 2012, said Mullins. The Giant Eagle at 777 Neil Ave., closer to the campus area, is not a contract liquor agency which means they are able to sell beer, wine and low proof liquor but not spirituous liquor, he said.

The total money sold in spirituous liquor sales is not the profit made by the business, said Mullins. The business makes 4 percent of the wholesale liquor and 6 percent of the retail liquor sales, he said.

A spokesman for the Ohio Wholesale Beer and Wine Association said that due to sales competition between alcohol distributors, dollar sales for individual businesses are not readily available through the state.

Melissa Blume, a forth year studying human development and family science, thought it was “weird” that Kroger sold less liquor than Giant Eagle but she said, “it could be because there are a lot of young professionals (near Giant Eagle)”. She added that she lives on the North side of campus and for her and others near her Kroger isn’t as convenient as a gas station or local liquor store.

The Campus State Liquor Store located at 2465 North High Street just North of West Blake Ave. had dollar sales of $6,797,365.01 in fiscal year 2012, said Mullins.

There are different permit classes available depending on the business entity selling alcohol. For example, a C1 permit is for beer carry out only and costs a business $252 dollars per year, while a D5 permit that allows full liquor sale privileges costs $2344 per year, according to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control website.

Mullins explained that there are three main entities in the state of Ohio that control liquor sales. The Ohio Division of Liquor Control handles the permit sales, the Ohio Investigative Unit of the Department of Public Safety handles enforcement of the laws, and the Ohio Liquor Control Commission enacts the enforcement.

“We all work together, but also separately,” said Mullins who explained the system allows for “checks and balances.”

In order to obtain a permit, there must first be a permit available to be sold. Mullins said that the number of permits distributed is based on each taxing district. The city of Columbus as a whole is considered one district.

Suann Cook, agent in charge of the Columbus District of the Ohio Investigative Unit, said there are approximately 24,000 permits issued in the state of Ohio.

However, many class permits are exempt from the allotted quota, said Mullins. The Arena District near downtown Columbus is considered a Community Entertainment District by the city of Columbus, which means any business in the district is allowed to file for a liquor sales permit regardless of the tax district quota. A CED permit is also $2,344 per year, the same as a D5 permit.

Feb. 1 of each year is the day inspections take place in Columbus. The renewal inspections check for regulated administrative issues such as proper sanitation, said Mullins.

Agents, like Cook, have the ability to issue violation notices against permits held by local businesses.

Administrative charges can include Sunday sales, after hour sales and selling to already intoxicated individuals, said Jacqueline Williams, the Executive Director of the Ohio Liquor Control Commission.

Several area businesses located along High Street near the OSU campus have had permit violations in calendar year 2012. According to dockets provided by the state of Ohio, the 14-0 Express Carryout, Large Bar, and Buckeye Express all had violations of selling to individuals under the legal age of 21. Large Bar also violated the rule regarding gift certificate use that says no more than 30 percent of a gift certificate may be used for liquor sales. In addition, Gusses Enterprises LLC and Scarlet and Gray Café had violations for insanitary conditions where alcoholic beverages were not maintained in potable conditions. Each of these cases are still open.

Cook said that while a violation for selling to a minor is considered a criminal offense, the customer and the seller are the individuals charged while the business itself would be required to go to a hearing at the commission. The underage individual purchasing the alcohol could be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree and the seller could be charged with an unclassified misdemeanor.

The commission itself acts as a court but only handles the administrative matters, said Cook.

There are three commissioners that are the deciding factors on hearings. A permit violation could result in a fine, a suspension or a revocation, said Williams.

“A revocation is serious and there are usually a number of prior offenses,” said Williams.

Mag Writing class–Memoir Reading

READ THIS BEFORE CLASS ON 1-23: This is one of the better personal experience/memoir pieces I’ve read in a while. The author ran the AP’s political team in DC when I was on the business staff.

READ THIS TOO: One of my favorite stories. Only time I wrote in first person for the AP as a full-time reporter.

Edit this

An Ohio State student was granted a rare opportunity this past summer: the chance to fulfill her dream of interning in the nation’s capitol.

The White House Internship program offered through The John Glenn School of Public Affairs provides Ohio State students with the opportunity to study and work in the nation’s capital. The interns remain fully registered Ohio State students and earn credit for their internship. In addition to the internship, the students participate in a research seminar and take a course on policy and public service.

Aiesha White, a senior in international studies with an economics minor, felt that her experience as an intern for three years at Procter and Gamble and as vice president of John Glenn Civic Leadership Council, gave her the upper hand amongst the other applicants.

White was always attracted to public policy, particularly in relation to education.

“Education is one of the most important pieces of and individuals,” said White. “And it is the key to getting the nation and country to a better place.”

White decided to apply for the John Glenn Washington Academic Internship Program this past summer because she wanted to get the experience first-hand from a broad perspective, rather than from a local one. While in Washington DC, White interned at the US Department of Education in the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institution program.

The HIS Program is a nationwide program that provides grants to assist HSIs to expand and improve educational opportunities for Hispanic students.

After months of researching colleges and grants, White presented her findings to the HIS and then had the opportunity to add in her own feedback.

“It was definitely the highlight of the internship,” said White. “It’s very rare that staff members can go as in depth as I did and it’s nice to be able to provide them with that important information to give perspective on how to help schools.”

For White, one of the biggest findings that stood out amongst all of her research was the large number of schools trying to be more innovative with the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematical (STEM) approach.

“Schools are trying hard to utilize new ideas and learning,” said Whyte. “They are making really strong efforts to improve, and that was really exciting to find out.”

The experience White gained through the internship has instilled in her a drive to pursue this educational policy. She dreams of leading a non-profit group geared toward education reform, and knows that she can utilize her experiences in DC to achieve her goal.

“I would definitely tell anyone to do this (internship),” said White. “It’s a great experience, no matter what you’re studying. You’re in Washington DC: one of most influential cities in entire world. It’s a life changing experience.”

White is currently an intern with the National Economic Council at the White House, and will return back to OSU for her final spring semester.

Interesting stuff happening for Lantern and Mag Writing students

The Atlantic pulled an advertorial after getting blasted for running it. What do you think?

Thoughts on CBS and CNet editorial independence.

Lance Armstrong is in the news. Oprah interview yet to air but what do you think of coverage so far?

Shaq vs. Yao

Every generation thinks theirs is special, with athletes, games and entertainers never to be seen again. Truly once-in-a-lifetime experiences and personalities.

I mostly avoid that sentiment.

As a journalist, I know that unique people and moments are rare. It’s far more likely that eerily similar characters lived, and events transpired, many times before and will many times again.

But something happened 10 years ago that I’m confident will not be repeated. It was the perfect storm of athletes, personalities and global superpowers.

Shaq vs. Yao. Jan. 17, 2003.

It could have been like any other game. Except it wasn’t.

Memories of that night endure for the hard-core basketball fan I used to be and the more casual fan I have become.

It was appointment television. Shaquille O’Neal vs. Yao Ming. Shaq’s Lakers against Yao’s Rockets. But honestly, the teams meant little.

Millions around the world tuned in. The 10:30 a.m. broadcast of that Friday night game reached more than 100 million households in China alone, according to a Sports Illustrated story published later that month. And if you watched, you were watching to see Shaq vs. Yao.

More specifically, you were watching to see if Yao could hold his own. And Shaq had raised the stakes by taking every opportunity to make clear through taunts in interviews and other intimidation attempts that the two did not belong in the same conversation or on the same court. Yao quickly proved they did.

What else was happening in the worlds of sports and entertainment on game day? Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” was the No. 1 song in the country. “CSI” was the TV ratings champ. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were on their way to winning their first and only Super Bowl.

I watched Shaq vs. Yao from a crowded two-bedroom condo in Washington, D.C., with a melting pot of guys in their mid-20s. Black, white, Latino all represented. No one had a rooting interest for either team, but everyone was interested enough to delay, or even forgo, a Friday night out partying to watch Shaq vs. Yao.

Most in the room thought Shaq would dominate. From the outset, we were wrong. Yao lived up to the moment and to his 7’6” frame, especially defensively, blocking Shaq’s first three shots.

That is what I remember most: thinking Shaq is going to work Yao over, and Yao quickly making clear that was not happening.

The Rockets won the game in overtime. I know that now only because I looked it up. I did remember Shaq ultimately dominated the box score: he had 31 points and 13 rebounds to Yao’s 10, 10 and six blocks. But again, the stats really didn’t matter.

Shaq was still unstoppable but there was someone else who legitimately deserved to be in the conversation. Someone who would battle him for years for NBA titles and bragging rights as the league’s most dominant big man.  Someone who would not cave when so many others who were physically inferior had crumbled.

That didn’t happen. It was too good to be true.

Yao never really challenged Shaq in a significant way. Shaq won his fourth and final championship ring with the Miami Heat in 2006. He is now an entertainer, endorser of Icy Hot, Buicks and other products, and a basketball analyst on TNT.

Yao never came close to an NBA title and has largely disappeared from public view. Some recent mentions of him online under “news” headings reference current NBA players getting All-Star votes who don’t deserve them, much like Yao did during parts of his injury-plagued career.

Still, that game was something special. It was bigger than basketball, which was growing in global popularity partly because of Yao and Shaq.

I don’t follow basketball nearly as much as I did 10 years ago. My life has changed and my TV viewing habits beyond 10 p.m. are mostly nonexistent. My job, wife and two young sons make sure of that.

I am not complaining.

But I know we will never see a match-up like that again. Two huge men, a brash American larger than life and stronger than all he played, taking on an even bigger Chinese star, not as physically gifted but more universally loved by his country.

It could have been a script out of the WWF. I know it’s been WWE since 2002. Some memories don’t fade.

It wasn’t fake wrestling, though, it was the real NBA and that matchup, that game, cemented its global reach and attraction.

I have a friend who thinks we will see another pair of players square off with that much hype, that many storylines, in our lifetimes. A brash international star, maybe a scoring forward or do-it-all guard who will come over to take on the top American baller in the game at that position.

Maybe something like: LeBron James vs. Insert Foreign Player Name Here.

I just don’t see it.

I’m 35 and this all makes me sound old. But “Lose Yourself” still gets radio play. “CSI” has outlived some of its spin-offs. The Buccaneers have never come close to another Super Bowl, but their coach from that team, Jon Gruden, remains in the spotlight.

Every generation thinks theirs is special, with athletes, games, entertainers never to be seen again. Truly once-in-a-lifetime experiences and personalities.

I mostly avoid that sentiment.

Shaquille O’Neal played Yao Ming for the first time on Jan. 17, 2003.

It was the perfect storm of athletes, personalities and global superpowers.

It won’t happen again.

Welcome to Magazine Writing! Let’s look at some of the best of 2012

Here is one list of 10 of the best articles from last year. We’ll read them all before the semester is over.

This is one of the better personal experience/memoir pieces I’ve read in a while. The author ran the AP’s political team in DC when I was on the business staff.

This story from GQ about the animals that were loose in Zanesville is an incredible read. FEATURE TO BE READ BEFORE 1-16


These stories are likely to bore you to tears, but they helped a young magazine reporter in Washington learn the ropes.

This is a NYT multimedia project that had people buzzing a few weeks ago. I think they still are and rightfully so.

Want to write a memoir? You sure? Read this.

Top 10 Wall Street Journal stories of 2012.

Want to launch your own online magazine? Read this.

Welcome back, Lantern class! Let’s look at what you’re about to take on.


Send me an email with the raw copy you sent your editors. Subject line should be Section, Number of story.

For example: if Dan is filing his first story for Campus, the subject line would be: Campus 1.

If Joan is filing her 4th story for Sports: Sports 4.

Any questions, let me know.


A recap of the best (worst) media errors and corrections from 2012. Some are funny, many are sad, all could have been avoided.

What you need to know now about journalism as we start 2013.

A look at the business side of college media. Some interesting stuff here about apps, also The Lantern appears to be doing better than most.

Last year was a bad one for plagiarism and this story shows it is not always the young, inexperienced, stressed-out reporters who do it. Paper issued a front-page apology!

Want to write a memoir? You sure? Read this.

Top 10 Wall Street Journal stories of 2012.

A list of some of the best multimedia projects last year, led by the NYT project that had so many people buzzing.

Want to launch your own online magazine? Read this.

This tweet is from a reporter/columnist @SarahMaslinNir for the NYT:  Measuring a subway platform on your hands and knees in Queens and other things I never thought I’d do #journalism

Ignoring a significant part of personal history is not acceptable and this NPR piece explains why.