Lessons

Seeking Global News: Connecting with Journalists

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Marvin Kalb speaks to Arthur Jones II about journalism. Image by Cece Charendoff. United States, 2017.

Marvin Kalb speaks to Arthur Jones II about journalism. Image by Cece Charendoff. United States, 2017.

Introduction:

1. Take a poll of the class. Where do you get your news?

  • Print newspapers and magazines
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Internet
  • Word of mouth

2. List some specific outlets or places where you get your news.

  • On a scale of one to ten, how much do you trust the source of your news?
  • Explain your ranking. Why do you trust or not trust your news source?

3. Is the news you consume usually about domestic issues or international issues?

  • What percentage of the news you consume is international?
  • Do you ever talk about international news with friends, at school, or at home?

4. Why do you think it is important to learn about what is going on in places other than the United States?

Discussion:

1. To learn more about the importance of international journalism, watch the following video. The video is an interview of Marvin Kalb by Pulitzer Center alumnus Arthur Jones II.

2. Answer the following questions:

  1. Who is Marvin Kalb?
  2. Why did Arthur Jones interview him and ask him about international journalism?
  3. What is Kalb’s news diet?
    • Do you get your news from any of the same outlets?
    • Why do you think it is important to read or listen to more than one source of news?
  4. Why does he think it is important to learn about international stories?
    • Do you agree? Why?
  5. What is a journalist’s responsibility according to Kalb?
  6. What skills does he think are important for young journalists?
    • Why are they important for a reporter?
    • Do you think these skills are important just for journalists or can other people benefit from developing them?
  7. Who does Kalb think is responsible for cultivating young reporters?
  8. Why does he think journalism matters today?
    • Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Activity:

1. Research local journalists and find one who has done international reporting.

2. Contact the journalist and see if they would be willing to do an interview.

  • When you contact the person, make sure you explain who you are and why you are asking for an interview.
  • Use formal and courteous language in all your communications with the journalist.
  • If the journalist does do an interview with you, make sure you send him or her a thank you note.

3. Before the interview, come up with questions about journalism and international reporting that you want to ask.

  • Use the questions that Jones asked in his interview as a springboard for your questions. Do you want to ask similar questions, additional questions, completely different questions, background questions, etc.?
  • If multiple people are conducting the interview, divide up the questions and agree who will ask what and in which order.

4. Film or record the interview with the journalist and take notes about anything you think is important.

  • Make sure you have his or her permission to film or record the interview.

5. After the interview, use the film or recording to report on your subject. You could present it in any media (print, audio, video).

  • Share the report with the journalist after it is completed.
  • Discuss the answers from your journalist and the ones that Kalb gave.
    • Do they agree or disagree on issues?
    • What do you think of his or her answers?
Educator Notes: 

Capture the students’ answers to the introduction questions by writing or graphing them. Refer back to the results in the discussion.

The class should use a search engine to learn more about Marvin Kalb’s experience either before watching the video or before starting discussion.

The activity can be done as a class, in groups, or individually. If students cannot identify a local journalist, contact the Pulitzer Center Education Team at education@pulitzercenter.org. We can put you in contact with one of our journalist grantees for your students to interview.

Once students complete their reporting, see if the school or local media has an interest in publishing it. Another option for sharing the students’ reporting is to post it online through the school website, Youtube or Vimeo channel, or social media. Make sure the journalist and students agree to this before publishing or posting anything and make sure you follow any school or district guidelines too.

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