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Archive for the ‘Chapter 6’ Category

Screen Shot 2022-02-25 at 11.56.05 AMIn the earlier post News Reporting, the topic of journalistic projects was discussed and examples of news features were shared.  Recently, another piece by my students was selected for broadcast and it showcases a distinctive range of material used to present its story.  For their piece, students Matt Sinofsky and Jack Pixton used a wide variety of techniques discussed in News Reporting to craft this feature on an educational initiative by the local land conservancy.  It is worth noting that this marked the third time that a project had been attempted by students on this topic, with the first two attempts being thwarted by the outset and then further developments of the Covid pandemic.  In this case, the third time proved to be a charm and the project creators were very much up to the task.  Check out Suffield Land Conservancy Makes Strides to Preserve Space in Town.

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Screen Shot 2022-02-25 at 12.56.28 PMSeveral years ago, the Journal of Media Literacy Education published my article The Role of Collaboration and Feedback in Advancing Student Learning in Media Literacy and Video Production.  In this piece, I discuss examples of public service announcements for safe driving initiatives.  Safe driving is certainly one of the most common topics of PSA campaigns for high schools since this issue is one of the most directly impactful for American teens.  This fall, my students produced pieces for the Just Drive campaign sponsored by the Impact Teen Drivers program.  

For this project, students examine approaches to the creation of advertisements and other forms of promotional messaging, along with informational segments for a variety of media.  They develop and pitch their own concepts in pre-production workshops and then devise approaches to produce their pieces.

Screen Shot 2022-02-25 at 1.03.30 PMFor this particular initiative, a strong range of messages were created.  One project was created by a two-person team; theirs, titled Just a Second, turned out to be an award-winning piece.  Another group of three students worked together by each writing and directing their own piece while crewing or acting in each others’ projects.  Yet another PSA was crafted by a student working alone, and he created a piece that hinged on a single visual idea designed for stark impact.  Check out these others here: Cut Short, Lucky, and Don’t.

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Screen Shot 2022-02-25 at 10.21.11 AMAcross the United States, many local news stations and educational programs offer platforms for students to develop skills in news reporting through the production of pieces that may be selected for broadcasting or streaming.  These news reports can cover a wide range of types of media journalism, from feature pieces to hard news to community events to business stories to other categories.

As discussed in Chapter 6 of Moving Images (“Recording and Presenting Reality”), one of the most difficult tasks facing students when developing non-fiction projects is finding a topic that is newsworthy, compelling, and manageable.  In the classroom, this part of the process can provide some of the greatest challenges for teachers.  It is critical to develop a process so that students can hone their abilities to investigate, analyze, and assess sources of material and approaches to portraying the stories they depict.  

Once students have determined topics for investigation, they work on pre-production.  With such a wide range of types of news projects, there are many approaches that can be taken with the material, and valuable pre-production elements can be two-column scripts, story breakdowns, interview questions and contacts, time-sensitive events, scheduling, and related considerations.  Students must ask: what are my images – first-person reporting, interviews, recording of events, b-roll or cutaways, archival, or other types?  At the same time: what is the audio – sound recorded with the aforementioned images, voiceover, ambient tracks, or other elements?  With all of this, some of the most powerful challenges that can be faced are ones of logistics, particularly if people involved with these topics need to be contacted and met.   

Screen Shot 2022-02-25 at 11.40.08 AMNon-fiction projects are core elements to the work in Moving Images.  In the realm of news reporting, for several years my students have been producing pieces that have been shared with the Student News program in Connecticut.  Here are links to two pieces that have aired as part of the program.  The first was an award nominee for this year (by Craig Gnatek, Brennen Yourous, and Tristan Skorupski): Suffield Agriscience Gives Boost to Gardening, and another featured work by Aiden Dultz was Businesses Helping Businesses

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How did a character from Matt Furie’s comic Boy’s Club become one of the mega-memes to end all viral meme characters?  Yup, it’s Pepe the Frog.  Do you even know where Pepe comes from?  How he became a symbol of powerful forces of provocation and extremist alt-right political views today?  And what does its creator have to say about how this came to be and what he can do about it?

If interested, check out more info on the Sundance Award-winning documentary Feels Good Man. Director by Arthur Jones leads us on an investigation of the webverse that many of us, particularly today’s students, inhabit here and now.

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Numerous mediateacher posts have explored media literacy and its integral relationship to social studies in contemporary education, including Media Manipulation: An Ongoing Story, Media Literacy and Social Studies: Clash at Lincoln Memorial, Media Literacy and Social Studies: Portraits of America, and Infekted Minds. Currently, our tumultuous times bring us what seem to be daily examples of media messages intersecting with how events are actually playing out and the ways in which we process them. Here is a striking example of a video essay from the op-ed pages of the New York Times: The Bill of Rights, Revised. This can serve as a resource for classroom debate along with linked viewpoints and journalistic reporting from a range of online, print, video, and audio media resources.

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