If it’s not on SnapChat, Kik, or Vine, most secondary school students don’t care about it. However, an integral part of their education is developing an understanding of the world around them. That’s where a journalism unit built into their language arts classroom can make an engaging connection between their lives and the news media.
Why study journalism?
Studies show that students who participate in journalism perform better in college than their peers:
- High School Journalism Matters
- Why Journalism Students Do Better
- Minority Journalism Kids Do Better Academically
If you are not familiar with the Journalism industry, news writing and newspaper publication, you may want to brush up on Journalism Essentials, including principles of the craft, theories of journalism, bias and objectivity, and verification and accuracy. Read through these Student Journalism Resources to help you gain an understanding of this skills and issues in this field.
A well-rounded unit in journalism includes coverage of each these three areas. Students must understand the historical significance and purpose of the Fourth Estate before they will grasp the importance of ethics, understanding legal issues, and reporting accurately. Links to related resource are including in the following list and in resources below.
- History and purpose of Journalism
- Ethics and Legal Issues in Journalism
- Journalist techniques and style
Skill & Purpose
|INTERVIEWINGInterviewing teaches students how to prepare, how to be persistent, and how to speak and listen.|
|REPORTINGReporting teaches students to identify newsworthiness, evaluate story sources, and gather all the information related to a story.|
|ETHICAL and LEGAL DECISIONSStudying ethical and legal decisions helps students broaden their understanding of the world and evaluate situations and information using new frameworks.|
|WRITINGStudents must learn to write a lede, use 3rd person POV, and leave out their opinions.|
|EDITINGStudents learn how to evaluate their own writing and make changes to improve the piece for publication.|
|PHOTOGRAPHYStudents learn how to create visual media of news events and features.|
|DESIGNStudents learn how to take all the elements they have produced and create a publication with them.|
Students must learn to write in the third person POV, and leave out their opinions.
Extended Reading: Journalism in the Classroom Resources
- High Five 2012: The Integrated Language Arts and Journalism Curriculum by American Press Institute
- Student Reporting Labs by PBS
- Lesson Plan Archive by SchoolJournalism.org
- Journalism: Who, What When, Where, Why, and How by Mass Communications Professor James Glen Stovall
Little Axe Middle School