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TECEP Introduction to News Reporting
Journalism is typically considered a group-activity course; that is, several students learn together and then produce a newspaper, yearbook, or both. However, all students, even individual homeschoolers, can benefit from an introduction to the basics and principles. A course in journalism can help students improve their writing skills, and learn the difference between fact (news reporting) and opinion (editorializing). As the internet phenomenon of "blogging" becomes increasingly popular, it is critical that students learn to recognize a true news story written by a credible source from an opinion-filled, biased, or slanted "article" written by a questionable or unreliable source. They should also start to recognize when those who identify themselves as news reporters or television anchors interject opinions into their stories, as opposed to responsibly reporting only the facts of an event, case, or issue.
The following courses are from the Poynter - News University Website. They require registration but are free.
News Sense – The Building Blocks of News
The Writer's Workbench: 50 Tools You Can Use
Cleaning Your Copy – Grammar, Style, and More
The Be a Reporter Game
The Lead Lab
First Amendment for the High School Journalist
Introduction to Ethical Decision Making
Online Media Law: The Basics for Bloggers and Other Publishers
Reporting Across Platforms
Reporting Global Issues Locally
News Writing - video lessons
Newspaper Writing 101
Create Your Own Newspaper
Journalism 2.0 – A Digital Literacy Guide for the Information Age
Student should use skills acquired through studying to complete one of the following projects:
Construct a family "newspaper." Using the Create Your Own Newspaper website, write three to five articles that detail family news, such as a job promotion, a birth, or a vacation. These stories do not necessarily need to be considered "newsworthy" outside of the family, but should be of interest to the intended audience. Each article should include quotes/interviews from at least two people, and maintain good journalistic writing and standards. Include photos if possible.
Launch a student-centered news blog. Regsiter for and create a blog (www.weebly.com offers free websites and blogs) then write and post at least four articles about current news events. If possible, include personally conducted interviews. (Refer to "Reporting Global Issues Locally" and "Online Media Law".) Look for stories that are of particular interest to students. The blog may be kept or deleted after the project is complete and graded.
Write a research paper about the differences between reporting the facts and voicing opinions. Choose at least 6 articles from online news sources and evaluate whether they are fact-based only or if they contain editorializing. Include these articles/examples in your paper.
Recommended Course of Study:
Register for an account at the Poynter - News University website and work through the offered courses. Be sure to keep good notes in your study journal. Watch the News Writing videos, and read the information from Newspaper Writing 101. Download a copy of Journalism 2.0 to read. Finish the course by choosing and completing one of the projects listed. You can find more information for the TECEP exam on the Thomas Edison website.