Journalist Method

Posted by @SilvijaMarkic on March 16, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

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It is likely to be useful and possibly essential for any person working in the areas of science or engineering to be able to discuss their field, and any associated controversies, so that they can be readily understood by non-specialists. The skills required to develop such scientific literacy need to be developed, so it is important that students in Higher Education are afforded opportunities to practice such presentations during their studies. The journalist approach is an ideal way to provide such learning opportunities.

A current event or controversial issue is likely to provide the focus for a topic suitable for use in the journalist method. The students’ task is to “play” the role of a journalist by producing their own concise but engaging news article. This can be either in the form of a written article, suitable for a newspaper or magazine, or an oral presentation, suitable for a TV-news bulletin. Students may either be given a list of relevant references from which to draw the information needed for their articles or they may be instructed to find the information for themselves from the internet etc..

A rich learning experience and production of a good news item requires that students:
  • Take reasonable care to consider the importance of new information from a range of sources and display a high level of accuracy in their reporting
  • Use the opportunity to build up their own ideas and opinions by consulting a range of often conflicting sources 
  • Think carefully about their own subjective beliefs concerning the topic being reported, and strive to ensure that their report is as objective as possible.
More information can be found in the source listed below
Marks, R., Otten, J., & Eilks, I. (2010): Writing news spots about science - A way to promote scientific literacy. School Science Review, 92(339), 99-108.
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