FINDING AND COVERING ISSUES

Brief summary of activity

An improvised editorial conference: The instructor will assume the role of an editor and the participants the role of journalists. A discussion on which topics will be covered shall follow. The participants will be divided into groups and will choose some of the topics discussed. Then they will be given 60 minutes to find as much information about their topic as possible. They are advised to pay attention to finding out all the aspects of the topic. During the next 60 minutes the participants will present their choices and argue in favour of them. This lesson will teach the participants how journalists find material for their articles. The participants will cover the chosen event in depth, find the causes for it and think of its possible consequences.

Aim of the activity

Participants will understand:
Editorial work means forming and shaping an unclear topic (covering information)
Editorial work is based on two fundamentals: programme philosophy and structure
The cycle of editorial work
Ways of internal decision making
The basics of and the criteria for choosing topics/issues in the public's centre of attention (current affairs)

Expected Outcomes

To be able to select topics
To be able to accumulate and research information

infrastructure, setting, resources

Whiteboard/blackboard , Telephone (more than one recommended)
A room is recommended for each group

Length

1 hour 40 minutes at least

Materials

Computers with internet access, various newspapers

How the activity should take place

The trainer will aim to find issues for a special radio broadcast (e.g. a daily information magazine). A brainstorming session on the participants’ suggestions for topics based on their interests will follow. The instructor will collect as many suggestions as possible without choosing any one of them for roughly 20 minutes. Afterwards they will discuss every topic/issue with regards to their relevance, motivation and potential public interest. Every participant will then be instructed to rank five topics of his/her own choosing on a scale of 1 to 5. Depending on the points given the top three or four topics will be selected.
The trainer will divide the participants into groups of interest. The participants will then discuss in groups the main issues concerning the chosen topic and afterwards present their findings. The group session will last 20 minutes. The instructor will recommend the sources for research into the prior mentioned topics. The participants will return to their groups again for additional research. A part of this research is also to find partners for an interview.

Recommended max. number of participants and trainees to trainers ratio

12 ( 4 per trainer for visually impaired/ blind trainees and participants with learning difficulties)

Will be divided into groups for the purpose of the activity

Scheduling

After research, as an initial activity for planning a programme.
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