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End-of-the-year audit: whose voice made the cut?

Posted by on May 23, 2018 in Blog, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

By Kristin Taylor

One of the highest callings of journalism is to “give voice to the voiceless.”

As scholastic journalism classes begin to wrap up, it’s a good time for staffs to look back at the year to evaluate their coverage and see how fully they’ve met that goal. Before starting the process, I suggest having students make predictions.

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When sources don’t respond QT35

Posted by on Dec 4, 2017 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Guideline:

The publication staff will provide every reasonable opportunity for sources to respond to a request for an interview. Students must first attempt to contact the source in person or through an administrative assistant. If the person is not available, they should attempt calling and leaving a message with a request for an in-person interview. If, after 24 hours, the source does not respond to the telephone call, staffers should send an email requesting an in-person interview with a clear deadline by which the staffer will include the line “the source did not respond to an interview request.”

Social media post/question:

What to do when a source does not respond?

Stance:

Publication staffs must make all reasonable attempts to secure an interview, and if they cannot get a response from a source, they must develop their credibility and show the reader they made an attempt to interview a source, but the source did not respond.

Key Points:

An easy way to stop or stall a story is to make sure the students never get an interview with the people who have the information. It’s easy for a source to ignore a request for an interview. What is your responsibility as a publication when reasonable attempts are made to secure an interview, but the source does not respond?

Reasoning/suggestions:

To maintain credibility with their readers and/or to show balance, publication staffers must show they followed proper procedures to offer right of response or to obtain pertinent information for a story. When a story goes out with important sources who have been omitted, readers have a right to question the veracity or intent of the story. Always let your readers know who you contacted for the story even if they ignored or rejected your request for an interview.

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Developing reporters
who are more than note-takers

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 1 comment

by Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE

“Question authority” is my favorite button, something I have worn proudly on my jacket, a message to both students and administrators. True, questioning in a snarky or defiant way isn’t a good idea. My approach is more like “Make sure authority isn’t leaving out information we need to know.”

But that isn’t very catchy and definitely wouldn’t fit on a button.

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