Media Shred Choose one of the following to find your “raw topic”: Cut the front page of a newspaper into 1-4 word bits from heads and subheads or Grab a sound byte off TV or the web or Go to CraigsList.com and search on “teen” in Rants and Raves category or Surf to a favorite teen magazine on the Web and pick an article topic or title
Raw Topic – Example 1 Here is a raw topic:“The First Move.” Make a statement about this topic that you believe to be true. Use this format: “_________[topic (person or subject)] is/was______________________[describe]. ” Examples: “The first move is traditionally up to the male,” or, “The first move should be up to the female.”
Raw Topic – Example 2 Here is a raw topic: “Facebook Goes Public with Private Information.” Make a statement about this topic that you believe to be true. Use this format: “_________[topic (person or subject)] is/was______________________[describe]. ” Example: “Facebook is violating its promise of privacy.”
Scripted Brainstorming Know-It-All: Guess what? Detective: What? Know-It-All: _________[topic (person or subject)] is/was______________________[describe]. (Note to Know-It-All: You can bluff but your statement cannot be totally ridiculous.) Detective: Why? Know-It-All: Because ________________________________ Detective: Why is that? Know-It-All: Because __________________________________ Detective: Who is your main suspect? Who are your other suspects? Know-It-All: _____________________________ caused this. And maybe _________. Detective: Why would ___________ cause this? Know-It-All: ____________caused this because _________________________. Detective: What about if you’re wrong? What if ____________________? Say, for example, ____________________________________________________. Know-It-All: Why does this matter to us here at school? Detective: Because __________________________________________________.
Scripted Brainstorming Example Know-It-All: Guess what? Detective: What? Know-It-All: Family life is dead. (A statement you “know” is true.) Detective: Why? Know-It-All: Because families don’t spend any time together anymore. Detective: Why is that? Know-It-All: Because parents work multiple jobs. Teens have too many activities. Married couples are splitting up because everybody’s working too hard. Detective: Who is your main suspect? Who or what caused this? Know-It-All: Technology caused this. Detective: Why would technology cause this? Know-It-All : Technology caused this because it makes people work faster than ever before, so things get done faster and owners get more out of the workers in a shorter amount of time, so they need people to work less hours. This can lead to reduced salaries. Therefore, many people need to find extra work to compensate. Detective: What about if you’re wrong? What if people just chilled? Say, for example, someone created a National Slow Day, like the slow food movement? Know-It-All: Why does this matter to us here at school? Detective: Because we don’t have any time at home with our families, consequently all we do at school is socialize with our friends instead of doing our work.
High School Newspaper Story Ideas Generated from Example Above Students are fooling around in school and not learning as a result because they have little social interaction at home. How is this affecting their academic performance? Students are learning more in a shorter amount of time, with time to spare, so they have the potential to increase their academic capacity and are doing so via extracurricular activities. Students “drop the ball” because it is boring to have to pretend that they are engaged about something that has little meaning for them. Why do school activities and assignments have little meaning?
Raw Topic: Michael Jackson “Michael Jackson was…” Talented Troubled Accused of pedophilia Losing his skin pigment Forever young Abused as a child *** Note that in some cases these descriptions are fact (e.g., “accused of pedophilia”), while in some cases they are value judgments (e.g., “forever young”). Although non-opinion journalism pieces should not contain value judgments, it’s okay for students to use their opinions as springboards for story ideas.
I wonder why r.i.p. MICHAEL JACKSON was… Abused as a child. Troubled. Accused of pedophilia. Losing his skin pigment. Why do people get vitiligo? Why do people bleach their skin? Why are teens often the source of blame and forced to “prove” their innocence? Why do adults prey on children? How do teens protect themselves against undesired sexual advances from adults or other teens? Why do parents abuse their children? Why do stars become troubled? How is our school dealing with students’ mental and emotional health? What kind of performance pressure does school put upon students? How is our school district preventing this from happening to us? How can teens handle the pressure of growing up and performing at the same time? Why did he pay millions in a settlement if he was not guilty? What medical conditions stigmatize students at our school? Why are so many of our students concerned about their degree of darkness or lightness? Talented. Why are some people more gifted than others? Where does talent come from? How can adults support teens’ talent without being overbearing? Forever young. Why do some people seem to stay young forever? Are some teens refusing to grow up?