CBS anchor Scott Pelley said at a speech at Quinnipiac University that journalists “are getting big stories wrong, over and over again,” as quoted by a commenter on The Idaho State Journal politics blog.
Young Journalist’s Book: How to Write and Produce Your Own Newspaper, is a great place to help children begin learn the difference between good and bad journalism.
The book is a step-by-step guide that explains what a journalist does, what makes an interesting story, and how newspapers differ from books. Students learn about gathering facts, writing a story, proofreading, designing layout, printing, and distributing their newspaper. There are frequent references to using computers in the process. The authors describe the different types of stories, e.g., news, features, and editorials, with hints on how to write each one and suggestions for topics. This title is similar in format to Guthrie and Bentley’s The Young Author’s Do-It Yourself Book (1994) and The Young Producer’s Video Book (1995, both Millbrook). The full-color cartoons are appealing. Inspirational, practical fare for writers and would-be reporters.-Marion F. Gallivan, Gannon University, Erie, PA
E How talks about the steps to establishing a newspaper at your elementary school. They include:
Brainstorm possible newspaper names and story ideas with your newspaper staff. Articles can be about school-wide news, book reviews, movie reviews and more.
Assign articles to your students. Warn them about the dangers of plagiarism and explain the term to your students. Provide them with a deadline for their articles. Make the deadline reasonable. Since they are elementary school students, they will probably need at least a couple of weeks to complete their articles.
Decide whether you will type the articles into a word processing document or whether you will leave this task up to your staff. Some students know how to type quickly while others haven’t learned keyboarding yet. Be sure you run spell check and proofread the articles.