Posts Tagged "Scholastic Journalism Week"

Temper social media rights
with journalistic responsibility

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By Tom Gayda
I am a First Amendment fighter. I have long stood by supporting people’s rights to say and do what they want. But then came social media.SJW-2014

There is a fine line between what is right and what is wrong sometimes. Sadly, with the never-ending onslaught of posts, likes and tweets, the notion of acting responsibly has at times taken a backseat.

It isn’t my intent to curtail one’s First Amendment rights. However, I think we must all do a better job showing future adults that not everything in life is post-worthy and what one posts can follow a person for life.

There are responsibilities that come with one’s rights. And while one can basically say anything he or she wants on social media, that isn’t always the smartest thing to do. I warn my own students to think about the image they are projecting by their social media use. Dropping “f-bombs” like nothing might make one hip with their social circle, however others who see such warfare might think twice about interacting with the offender.

I also ask my students to tell me how it’s going to be when their kids are old enough to take advantage of the latest Internet craze and can see everything their mom or dad posted when they were teenagers. Ouch! (Never mind the dancing!) Life went on for millions of years without people sharing with the world their every innermost secret. Somehow we can survive with fewer posts.

Schools patrolling their students Internet activities hardly seems like a good use of time, however it is important kids know there can be consequences to what they post, be it legally or not. Many folks tend to get extra courage behind the safety of their smartphone. We can support free speech and teach how to use it responsibly.

Times are changing and so do the ways we communicate. Think first, and remember, everything you say today will be out there forever.

 

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Celebrate Scholastic Journalism Week
with lesson plan gifts for others

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by Candace Bowen
It’s time to celebrate! Feb. 17-23 is Scholastic Journalism Week. Did your staff make 45 cookies, each with one word from the First Amendment on it? Wear staff t-shirts?  Sign the TAO pledge?

That’s great, but celebrations also need gifts and how about some for your colleagues, the other teachers down the hall? It’s likely some of them could use a great last-minute lesson plan, so how about letting THEM see how well journalism skills apply to their content areas, not just in your classroom? The links below are a good start.

• Some think math and journalists don’t mix, but unfortunately, they must because stories have numbers —  everything from budgets to school levies to percentages on standardized tests. EditTeach.org, edited by Dr. Deborah Gump, is full of useful goodies, but one of its teaching resources is “Math for journalists – and readers.” Included are math story dilemmas (READ: story problems) journalists – and their readers – face frequently. Yes, the answers are there, too – and so are two PowerPoints.

• HSJ.org is THE site for lesson plans for you, but it includes plenty to share with others in your building.  One is perfect as a gift for a history teacher. JEA Illinois State Director Stan Zoller, who attended the ASNE Institute at Hampton University in 2003, created “Watergate: The Coverage and the Aftermath.”

• Concordia University’s HotChalk offers a range of lesson plans tied to rather generic but probably useful standards. For instance, for social studies teachers “Do Something about…Teen voting/civic engagement”  gives examples of using writing to spur others to action.  Activities include role playing as muckrakers and creating blogs while seeing what impact those can have on civic engagement in the real world.

• The  New York Times and Learning Network is just full of lesson plans, all formatted and complete with accompanying materials.

• How about sharing a lesson plan on the history of Valentine’s Day with materials from articles in that publication.

• The economics teacher might like “Here Comes the . . . Bill,” a lesson plan on the cost of milestone events.

• Do teachers in theater classes have students study reviews? Offer them a lesson plan from the New York Times that discusses the pros and cons of using movie reviews to choose what to see.

Use Scholastic Journalism Week to build some good will with these gifts for your fellow teachers. And my gift to you? Some sites you may not have known about, full of additional lesson plans for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beyond SJW: an education for reality

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by Fern Valentine, MJE

SJW-2012

During Journalism week, and every week for that matter, we need to stress the unique learning opportunities a publication class offers, unique learning they will be able to utilize no matter where they head after high school.

For example, while law is mentioned at least in social studies classes, in publication classes the students learn first hand the opportunities and limitations of U.S. law including, of course, the First Amendment, but also copyright, libel, etc.   They learn to check out their legal questions with free advice from the Student Press Law Center.  They learn to use their rights responsibly investigating topics of interest to their audience.

Speaking of their audience, instead of their teacher as an audience to their writing, publications staffs have their peers and other readers as their audience, making them take special care in getting everything right. Students learn to edit copy and apply all those grammar and punctuation rules they have been taught, but, in other classes, only their teachers have corrected.

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Beyond SJW: an education for reality

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by Fern Valentine, MJE

SJW-2012

During Journalism week, and every week for that matter, we need to stress the unique learning opportunities a publication class offers, unique learning they will be able to utilize no matter where they head after high school.

For example, while law is mentioned at least in social studies classes, in publication classes the students learn first hand the opportunities and limitations of U.S. law including, of course, the First Amendment, but also copyright, libel, etc.   They learn to check out their legal questions with free advice from the Student Press Law Center.  They learn to use their rights responsibly investigating topics of interest to their audience.

Speaking of their audience, instead of their teacher as an audience to their writing, publications staffs have their peers and other readers as their audience, making them take special care in getting everything right. Students learn to edit copy and apply all those grammar and punctuation rules they have been taught, but, in other classes, only their teachers have corrected.

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Establish public trust. Take the Pledge. Carry the Seal

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SJW-2012

A lesson plan for Wednesday of Scholastic Journalism Week. You can download the lesson here.

 

by Kathy Schrier

Scholastic Journalism Week is the perfect time for student media staffs to renew their commitment to practice ethical journalism that is Transparent, Accountable and Open (TAO.) One way to do that is to take the “TAO of Journalism Pledge” on Wednesday, Feb. 22.  A year ago, more than 1,000 student journalists around the country took the TAO Pledge and those student media groups now carry the TAO of Journalism Seal in their mastheads or on their websites.

The TAO of Journalism, endorsed by JEA, is an idea launched by the Washington News Council as a way for professional and student journalists, who care about building public trust in their work, to make a promise to practice ethical journalism. Since its launch three years ago, journalists around the world have signed on and now carry the TAO of Journalism Seal. Go to www.taoofjournalism.org to learn more or to take The Pledge.

Student groups who take or renew the TAO of Journalism Pledge will receive a poster of the TAO of Journalism Pledge, temporary tattoos of the TAO Seal for all staff members.

Here are some ideas for a successful TAO of Journalism Pledge day in class:

First: Present the following questions for discussion:

1. Are we a trusted source of news and information for our school? If yes, what makes us trustworthy? If no, why not?

2. Are we trusted by our administrators? If we must submit material to administrators for prior review, what can we do to reestablish their trust?

3. If student journalists make all content decisions without prior review,  how do we show our audience, including our administrators, that we are committed to being a trusted information source?

(Suggestion: Show short Powerpoint: “Transparent, Accountable, Open; Basic Media Ethics for Student Journalists.” Contact kathyschrier@mac.com for PPT copy.)

Visual:  Project the TAO of Journalism Pledge from www.taoofjournalism.org

• Read through The Pledge as a group.
• Decide if taking the TAO Pledge would fit with the mission of your staff.
• If so, take the TAO Pledge.
• Have your staff photographer take a picture of your staff taking The Pledge.
• Have an editor fill out the Student TAO Pledge registration form on “The Pledge” page.
• Email your photo to pics@taoofjournalism.org along with a caption and photo credit to be posted on a Student TAO Pledge Pics page.

What will you get:

  1. Temporary tattoos of the TAO of Journalism Seal for all staff members.
  2. Poster of the TAO Pledge for your staff room.
  3. Listing on the TAO of Journalism site, with a link to your homepage.
  4. Photo of your staff taking The Pledge posted on the TAO Pledge Pics page.
  5. Bonus for advisers whose students take The Pledge before the end of February: a TAO of Journalism thermal travel  cup.

Wrap-up:

Taking the TAO of Journalism reminds student journalists to be conscious of the role of ethics in the work they do; and to think about the importance of earning the trust of the public they serve.  There is something powerful in making such a public promise, then posting the TAO Seal as a reminder to live up to that promise.

 

Next, look for five “bell ringers —  short discussions or activities to use right when class starts.

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