Lessons

Planning Like a Journalist

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Displaced women and children gather under trees at al-Dashin's camp in Taiz. Image by Ahmed al-Basha/IRIN. Yemen, 2016.

Displaced women and children gather under trees at al-Dashin's camp in Taiz. Image by Ahmed al-Basha/IRIN. Yemen, 2016.

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A boy stands in the village of al Ghayil in Yemen where U.S. Navy SEALs, attack helicopters, and drones launched an operation on January 29. Image by Iona Craig. Yemen, 2017.

A boy stands in the village of al Ghayil in Yemen where U.S. Navy SEALs, attack helicopters, and drones launched an operation on January 29. Image by Iona Craig. Yemen, 2017.

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Burhan Nasser holds his nine-month old son, Shaker, at the only therapeutic feeding centre for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Yemen's city of Aden. Image by Iona Craig. Yemen, 2017.

Burhan Nasser holds his nine-month old son, Shaker, at the only therapeutic feeding centre for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Yemen's city of Aden. Image by Iona Craig. Yemen, 2017.

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A displaced Yemeni girl in the al-Dashin camp of the Taiz governorate. Image by Ahmed al-Basha/IRIN. Yemen, 2016.

A displaced Yemeni girl in the al-Dashin camp of the Taiz governorate. Image by Ahmed al-Basha/IRIN. Yemen, 2016.

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Mabkhout Ali al Ameri stands with his 18-month-old son, Mohammed, in the village of al Ghayil in Yemen’s al Bayda province. Mabkhout’s wife, Fatim Saleh Mohsen, was shot in the back of the head by helicopter gunship fire as she fled with Mohammed in her arms during a U.S. raid. Image courtesy of The Intercept. Yemen, 2017.

Mabkhout Ali al Ameri stands with his 18-month-old son, Mohammed, in the village of al Ghayil in Yemen’s al Bayda province. Mabkhout’s wife, Fatim Saleh Mohsen, was shot in the back of the head by helicopter gunship fire as she fled with Mohammed in her arms during a U.S. raid. Image courtesy of The Intercept. Yemen, 2017.

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Ryan Owens, a Navy SEAL and Noor Al-Awlaki, a Yemeni girl both died in Yakla, Yemen. Image by Wikimedia Commons/Family of CPO Ryan Owens and Internet/Fair Use. Yemen, 2017.

Ryan Owens, a Navy SEAL and Noor Al-Awlaki, a Yemeni girl both died in Yakla, Yemen. Image by Wikimedia Commons/Family of CPO Ryan Owens and Internet/Fair Use. Yemen, 2017.

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Children in the rubble of houses in the village of al Ghayil, Yemen. Image by Iona Craig/The Intercept. Yemen, 2017.

Children in the rubble of houses in the village of al Ghayil, Yemen. Image by Iona Craig/The Intercept. Yemen, 2017.

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Mountains loom over displaced peoples' shelters in Al-Wazia'a. Image by Ahmed al-Basha/IRIN. Yemen, 2016.

Mountains loom over displaced peoples' shelters in Al-Wazia'a. Image by Ahmed al-Basha/IRIN. Yemen, 2016.

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A man fixes a solar panel in front of a blue tarpaulin, used to block the view of Houthi snipers, strapped between bullet-ridden buildings in Taiz. Image by Iona Craig. Yemen, 2017. 

A man fixes a solar panel in front of a blue tarpaulin, used to block the view of Houthi snipers, strapped between bullet-ridden buildings in Taiz. Image by Iona Craig. Yemen, 2017. 

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Fadilah struggles to produce enough milk for her malnourished daughter Saeeda while they are displaced in Taiz. Image by Ahmed al-Basha/IRIN. Yemen, 2016.

Fadilah struggles to produce enough milk for her malnourished daughter Saeeda while they are displaced in Taiz. Image by Ahmed al-Basha/IRIN. Yemen, 2016.

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Soldiers block roads and burn tyres in protest against unpaid salaries in Yemen's southern city of Aden. Image by Iona Craig. Yemen, 2017. 

Soldiers block roads and burn tyres in protest against unpaid salaries in Yemen's southern city of Aden. Image by Iona Craig. Yemen, 2017. 

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Displaced women and children gather under trees at al-Dashin's camp in Taiz. Image by Ahmed al-Basha/IRIN. Yemen, 2016.

Displaced women and children gather under trees at al-Dashin's camp in Taiz. Image by Ahmed al-Basha/IRIN. Yemen, 2016.

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Mountains loom over displaced peoples' shelters in Al-Wazia'a. Image by Ahmed al-Basha/IRIN. Yemen, 2016.

Mountains loom over displaced peoples' shelters in Al-Wazia'a. Image by Ahmed al-Basha/IRIN. Yemen, 2016.

Warm-up:

Can anyone think of an international current event?

  1. Where did you learn about this event?
  2. Whose job is it to tell people about what is going on in the world?

Journalists will report on these events by going to the places where they are happening.

  1. Why is it important to go to the place to report?
  2. What do you think journalists does once they get somewhere?
  3. What do they do if they are going somewhere that they cannot speak the language, the place has different customs/laws, or there may be a security risk?

Introducing the Lesson:

To learn more about how journalists prepare and what it is like to report from another country, read Iona Craig’s Field Note, “'Working in the Shadows,' Iona Craig Reflects While Reporting in Yemen.”

In addition, read or listen to at least one of Craig’s stories about Yemen that are in the Resource section of the lesson plan.

As you read the Field Notes and stories make sure to record your thoughts and reactions.

Discussion:

If everyone in the class did not view or listen to all the resources, have people provide a quick summary of their additional story.

As a class discuss:

  1. What media does Craig use for her reporting?
  2. What is she reporting on?
  3. Why is she reporting on it?
  4. What was your reaction to the Field Notes and stories that you viewed or listened to?
  5. Why do you think that someone in the United States needs to know about this topic?

Based on the Field Notes, make a list of the things that Craig had to think about before she went to Yemen, and while she was there, in order to safely and effectively do her work. Compare this to what you answered for questions 2 and 3 at the beginning of class.

Extension Activity:

Pick a recent current event that interests you.

Read, watch, or listen to at least 3 stories from a reputable news source about the topic. (A great place to search for stories is the Pulitzer Center Reporting page.)

Imagine you are a journalist going to report on this current event and conduct research so you can answer that following questions.

  1. Where would you need to go?
  2. Who would you want to interview?
  3. What would you need to know before you left?
  4. What would you do once you arrived in the places you would report from?

Present your current event and reporting plan to the class as a 5 to 7-minute presentation.

Educator Notes: 

You can assign the additional stories to read or let students select. Make sure that at least one person reads each story in the Resource section.

Most Pulitzer Center grantees (and foreign correspondents in general) hire a fixer to help them navigate the terrain, language, customs, and politics of the places they are reporting from. You and your students can learn more about fixers here (http://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/journey-jordan-fixer-friend) and here (http://pulitzercenter.org/blog/putting-fix-finding-fixers-faraway-places).

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