Many excellent resources are available to teachers of journalism. Here are a few:
News-directory.org. The folks at this site are trying building a comprehensive news web site and journalism web directory. A form on the site allows you to submit your site for inclusion on the directory.
SunshineWeek.org. Sunshine Week is a national initiative to open a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include print, broadcast and online news media, civic groups, libraries, non-profits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know. There are resources for teachers to use to impress upon students the importance of open government and the public’s right to know.
Newsinitiative.org. This is a national initiative led by five of America’s leading research universities with the support of two major foundations (Carnagie and Knight) to advance the U.S. news business by helping revitalize schools of journalism. According to the site, “The universities will take advantage of the riches of their institutions by integrating the schools of journalism more closely with the entire campus in an effort to better teach, challenge and prepare the next generation of news industry leaders for an increasingly complex world. The initiative will experiment with curriculum and hands-on experience with the hope of creating a national conversation with other schools across the country.”
TeachFirstAmendment.org. Chances are that your students have the wrong idea about the First Amendment. Many think the goverment controls the content of the Internet. (It doesn’t.). This site can help put things right in their heads.
NewsU. This site offers a variety of “courses” that you or your students can take. The site has lots of other resources, too.
Library of Congress resource. Of the many resource sites for instructors on the Internet today, one of the most valuable and accessible is the Library of Congress. Here is the link to the Library’s webcast archive. This site has dozens of speeches and interviews that can be shown directly to your class from the site or that can be assigned to students to view on their own. The appearance of Bob Schieffer, CBS news correspondent, at the Library’s Bookfest 2003 is a good example. Schieffer talked for about 20 minutes about his life as a journalist and his book This Just In. He answered three questions he says he is asked the most: Who is the most fascinating politician he covered? (Lyndon Johnson); What was his biggest scoop? (He tells the story of his getting an interview with President Gerald Ford for Walter Cronkite.); What was the biggest story he almost got but missed? (He almost got an interview with Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 22, 1963.) The archive is well worth a visit. (Posted April 24, 2005)
Newsline Publications. Instructors wanting a different approach to encouraging their secondary education students to follow news events might want to check out Newsline Publications’ It’s News to Me, a set of flashcards and game approach to current events. This approach has been developed by Barbara Goldman. Here’s part of the description the Newsline site has for its products:
Pittsburgh, PA-based Newsline Publications, Inc. develops and markets unique educational solutions including games, workshops, programming and partnerships. The mission of Newsline Publications, Inc. is to strategically plan and create innovative products to stimulate the mind, educate target audiences and provide hours of entertainment.
(Posted April 24, 2005)
New York Times Learning Center. This site, which requires a free registration with the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com) contains a vast array of lesson plans on many different topics, many of them keyed to the news of the day. The site is divided up by topics, and journalism is one of the main topics. There you will find a variety of plans and classroom activities designed to help students understand the process and meaning of journalism.
Highschooljournalism.org. This site has been set up by the American Society of Newspaper Editors and contains a number of resources for both teachers and students of journalism at the high school level. The site has a remarkable number of lesson plans and classroom ideas on many topics such as advertising, bias, diversity, design, ethics, history, interviewing, news values, etc. While you’re there, check out the ideas in the teaching tips portion of the site.
Poynter Institute. While there is no specific section of the Poynter Institute web site devoted to high school journalism, the institute does have a high school program and a director (Wendy Wallace). This article by the director tells more about the program. The Poynter web site has a vast number of articles and ideas about many journalism-related topics. High school and college journalism teachers are likely to find much of value there.
Journalism Education Association. JEA is the major national organization for scholastic journalism teachers. Its web site contains a variety of resources to help in teaching, including a number of articles and discussions about topics such as grading, photos and copyediting in its curriculum section.
Public Broadcasting System. PBS has produced and aired a number of shows concerning journalism-related topics, particularly through its American Masters, Frontline and American Experience series. These shows usually contain fully packed web sites that include teacher’s guides for building classroom lessons. Here are just a few you might want to check out:
- Why America Hates the Press(Frontline)
- The Battle Over Citizen Kane(American Experience)
- The Wizard of Photography(American Experience)
- Murder of the Century(American Experience
- Henry Luce, founder of Time magazine (American Masters)
- Edward R. Murrow(American Masters)
Discovery Channel. The Discovery Channel maintains a large web site with a substantial section devoted to teaching aids. Teachers look for a way to post online quizzes and tutorials might want to take advantage of the tools provided (free) by this site. The site also contains a large number of lesson plans and classroom activities on a wide variety of topics. One of those is titled News Coverage and helps teach students about how news is produced.
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