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Is a news story the same as a talk show segment? Is a network TV entertainment program the same as a reality show?
When it comes to broadcast storytelling, there is no one-size-fits-all way to do it!
Broadcast television offers a number of different show formats for storytelling, ranging from newscasts to news magazines, talk shows, entertainment magazines, reality shows, and online news. Smart broadcast journalists understand how to choose the right format for a particular story; and, they understand the latitude for storytelling and production techniques when telling that same story across multiple formats.
This 6-page lesson plan requires students to critically analyze all covering the same topic: The exploits, celebrity, and notoriety of a popular actress. After screening these segments, students will discuss the different story formats and use their observations to write and produce stories for a range of specific student media formats. A guideline of essential questions is provided for the instructor, to help lead students through large peer group discussion.
Students also will be required to write a reflection paper on the similarities and differences of the treatment of subject matter across multiple program formats; and how they can apply that knowledge to their own work.
Note that this lesson also can function as a component of career exploration, as students think critically and specifically about potential broadcast career pathways suited to their particular aptitudes and interests.
Total time: 2-hour class, plus outside writing assignment with a suggested turnaround time of 48 hours. This lesson has the flexibility to be presented in shorter class periods, as well, presented over 2 – 3 days.