This unit has been developed as part of a course that concentrates on teaching the mechanics of producing the school newspaper. This unit consists of four student activities which will be spread out over the course of the school year.
During the first marking period the students will be introduced to a brief history of the newspaper revolution in America. This history will cover the emergence of the Penny Papers, the issue of objectivity, “Yellow Journalism” and the Hearst and Pulitzer style of reporting, “New Journalism” and the writers of the 1960’s and 1970’s. The students will be required to research, in a five-to-ten-page paper, some aspect of the brief history. This paper will be a significant part of the first marking period grade.
During the second marking period the students will read several articles that exemplify the writing styles of the “New Journalists”. The students will analyze the articles to determine the journalistic form: new nonfiction journalism, alternative journalism, advocacy journalism, or precision journalism. During the third marking period the students will be required to scrutinize the content of several newspapers and magazine groups. These publications are not well known to the students, therefore the students will be required to read at least three articles from each group before selecting the journalistic form. During the fourth marking period the students will read several novels. They will read “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote, “The Electric Kool-Aide Acid Test” by Tom Wolfe, “In The Armies of the Night” and “Why Are We In Vietnam?” by Norman Mailer and “Dispatches” by Michael Herr. All of these novels exemplify “New Journalism”. The students will be analyzing the conventional forms of journalism in these novels as well as the journalists’ creation of the novel technique and the use of words and punctuation.
(Recommended for 11th and 12th grade Journalism)
Journalism Sixties American History