Untitled_0_01_05-14.jpgOverview
In this activity, teams of students compose in two phases: (1) a script/storyboard and (2) a completed news script for a news package that builds upon one of the themes developed in Caitlin Flanagan’s essay in The Atlantic, “”Babes in the Woods.” Each team takes a different angle on the issues raised in the reading. Working under deadline pressure, students pitch a story idea to the assignment editor. After getting approval, each team develops a well-planned and polished script/storyboard that conveys a particular angle on the key ideas and opinions using the conventions of broadcast news. Then students polish their scripts to produce a finished news package script, complete with script and image production plan. All work for these activities is completed in classes approximately 90 minutes in length. Phase 1 is done in a regular classroom; phase 2 is held in a computer lab.

Phase 1: Develop a Script/Storyboard
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Develop Your Story
Using some of the concepts we discussed in responding to the Flanagan reading, develop the core argument and ideas you’d like to showcase in a news package. Pitch the idea to the assignment editor (the instructor). Keep pitching until you get your idea approved.

Compose a Script/Storyboard
Your job is to find a newsworthy angle to make the ideas you’re conveying fresh and important to the target audience of adult news viewers. Use word processing software to compose your script and use the storyboard forms provided to draw in a plan for each visual shot of your package. Together, the script and storyboard help the editor to put together your story.

Compose a news package using these conventions of the genre:

  • An intro and outro spoken on camera by the reporter Untitled_0_00_18-13.jpg
  • Interview with expert(s)
  • Compelling actuality footage of an event or experience (no reenactments or staged footage allowed)
Your script/storyboard should be exactly one minute and 30 seconds in length.

Criteria for Evaluation
1. Your script and storyboard provide a well-planned and polished script/storyboard that conveys a particular angle on the key ideas and opinions using the conventions of broadcast news.
2. Your ideas convey some of the depth, complexity and nuance of the ideas developed in the magazine essay by Caitlin Flanagan, without oversimplifying or stereotyping, to offer something thought-provoking and meaningful to viewers.
3. Your writing is clear, crisp and appropriate for broadcast news and you’ve developed a creative approach to “tell the story” visually.

DUE: April 14 as an in-class writing activity

Phase 2: Polishing Your Script

Writing for Broadcast News: Round 2
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Overview
In this activity, teams of students polish their scripts for a news package that builds upon one of the themes developed in Caitlin Flanagan’s essay in The Atlantic, “”Babes in the Woods.” Each team takes a different angle on the issues raised in the reading. Working under deadline pressure, develops a well-researched and factual script that conveys a particular angle on the issues of children’s and teens’ use of digital media, using the conventions of broadcast news.

Polish the Script

Step 1. Research. Find newsworthy information to add facts and information that will be meaningful to your target audience of adult news viewers. Find real sources and qualified experts you can interview. Document your sources by providing citation for all information you gather to develop your story. Use APA citation format and place this source information at the bottom of the wikipace, under the script.

Step 2. Deepen Content Quality. Your editor loves the story so much you’ve been offered 3 minutes for your news package. Find strategies to deepen and develop your ideas without losing the audience’s attention. Your script should be close to three minutes (+/- 15 sec) in length.

Step 3. Post Script Online. Use a two-column style format to polish your script and put in on its own wikipage. In the right hand column, place all spoken language, indicating who is speaking at all times. Use simple description to indicate what the viewer will see. Also consider including information in the left hand column to indicate key visual and sound editing, including transitions, CG (the information is placed on the lower-third of the interviews), and any graphics (charts or words presented on the screen).Untitled_0_00_10-06.jpg

Criteria for Evaluation
1. Your script is a complete and polished work that conveys a particular angle on the key ideas and opinions using the conventions of broadcast news.
2. Your ideas convey depth, complexity and nuance without oversimplifying or stereotyping. Your script offers something thought-provoking, meaningful and useful to viewers.
3. Your writing is clear, crisp and appropriate for broadcast news and you’ve developed a creative approach to “tell the story” visually.
4. You have created a list of your sources used in this story using APA citation format.