Fall SAVY 2017, Day 2- Leads and Angles: Judging Journalism Through Analysis and Perspective (5th/6th)
Today, SAVY Students interviewed many people in the [Vanderbilt] Commons to see how they read the news, and they found out most people prefer to read the news online.
“’Find the story, not the answer!’”
“How do you read your news?”
Students of Leads and Angles, thank you again for a fun, investigative day! We began our session with a discussion about how phones are changing the way news is consumed, and how the news industry has evolved to accommodate the use of phones as a primary source of news information. We discussed the Echo Chamber Theory, an emerging idea that we only read news and surround our social media feeds with ideas similar to ours, and the dangers of confirmation bias.
To lay groundwork for our primary activity, we learned about investigative journalism. Investigative journalism seeks examines a particular topic or issue, shaping a story from gathered content. We compiled a list of questions to go out and find our story about how people use their phones related to news consumption. Students had questions like:
Do you have a phone?
Do you read the news?
How do you get your news?
What newspapers do you read?
We set out at Vanderbilt Commons to broaden our scope and interview as many people as possible in attempt to find our story. Students asked their questions of people that were encountered on campus, including students, staff, and campus visitors – including a few friends younger than our youngest SAVY student! After we completed the interviews, we went back to the classroom to compile our information, share with one another, and look for patterns.
Overwhelmingly, we found that people use their phones to read the news. We also discussed how our sample size could reflect bias: most of our subjects were college-aged, and we were interviewing on a college campus. Because we interviewed a limited population, we could only make claims that fit the demographic that we interviewed.
Students then wrote hard and soft leads to introduce our findings, and we discussed how the audience determines the angle, and therefore determines what lead we may use. We created leads for imagined news outlets varying from IT professionals to potential Vanderbilt instructors to parents of SAVY students – for whom you wrote leads such as the three that began this post!
I’m eager to see you in the classroom next week. Take care: the world is a wild, fascinating place, and together we are expanding our awareness!