Evaluating News Coverage

Topics: Newspaper, New York Post, The New York Times Pages: 3 (660 words) Published: February 19, 2012
Title: Evaluating News Coverage: September 11
Description of Target Population:
This is a focused lesson that can be used with 11th or 12th grade students in honors English and/or journalism classes. (Students should already be familiar with traditional news values/ balance and their role on the front page of the daily newspaper.) Generative Topics:

Traditional news values (timeliness, proximity, consequence, prominence, conflict, drama, oddity, emotions, etc.) •The role of news values in the composition of the front page of the daily newspaper •"Balance" in news coverage

Generative Objects:
Copies of local daily newspaper, New York Post, The New York Times, San Francisco Examiner, small daily, out-of-state regional newspaper from Sept. 12 clipped across white board at front of room. •Also several examples of the "special editions" published on Sept. 11. Understanding Goals:

Essential or guiding questions:
oHow were the basic principles usually employed in determining placement, size, and appearance of certain stories on the front page and other sections of the newspaper utilized on this day? oHow are the missions of different newspapers demonstrated by their decisions about headlines, cuts, etc., on their front pages? oHow did the newspapers accomplish their mission on Sept. 12? oHow did these decisions impact the "bottom line" for newspapers? •Critical engagement questions:

oHow did different editors choose what kind of coverage of the events belonged on the front page? oIf news values are universally accepted, why would different newspapers have different ideas about what types of coverage belonged on the front page? oHow did economic decisions affect the content, output of various newspapers on Sept. 12? Overview & Rationale:

Activity 1:
Discuss boarded newspapers.
Discuss the look & layout, demographics of each paper and identify key differences between number and type of stories in a paper like the Post vs. The New York...
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