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Fall SAVY 2017, Day 5- Leads and Angles: Judging Journalism Through Analysis and Perspective (5th/6th)

Posted by on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 in Grade 5, Grade 6, SAVY blog.

We started off the class with a little activity: students where asked to close their eyes and make a list of every sound they heard in the room.  We cataloged everything from finger snapping to computer humming.  Once we had compiled a list, we discussed how to rank facts based on the target audience.  For example, if the audience were the maintenance staff, they would want to know about circulating water and clock ticking, where if it were the president of Starbucks, she would want to know about Mr. David’s coffee sipping.  This close observation exercise also brought about the point that journalists should not insert themselves into the story.  There were noises such as lip popping and pencil tapping that were inserted by the class, but as journalists, we don’t want to influence the story.

Once we used target audience to pick out important facts, we learned that putting the most important stuff at the beginning of the story is very important.  When an editor is editing an article, when they need to shorten it, they cut from the bottom.  This means that the information that the audience needs to know should be at the very top, just in case the story needs cut down.

Finally, we learned the ten ways to determine if a story is news worthy or not.  These characteristics include timeliness, proximity, prominence, oddity, consequence, conflict, human interest, extreme or superlative, impact, and scandal.  Most good news stories hit most of these categories.  We read articles from The New York Times to see how many criteria each story hit, and if they were a good story.  Once we had this information, we were able to put it into practice with a fun activity.  In teams of two, students were asked to go through the newspapers and find a story for each category, cut it out, and hang it on the board under the section it fit in.  Students worked very hard, and they were able to defend why an article went in its chosen category.  All of the groups put up a unique and stellar contribution to the activity, and we had a lot of fun in the process!

Looking forward to Open House next week!

David