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20 Activities to Get Your Middle Schoolers Into Journalism

November 4, 2022 //  by  Josilyn Markel

These days, it seems anyone with a smartphone can be a journalist! It's true for your middle school students, as well. Whether they are already interested in journalism, or they are brand new to the subject, they will be quick to recognize the importance of the media in their young lives. Learning more about journalism in middle school can help improve their media literacy, and it gives them a chance to express themselves to the world around them.

Here are our top twenty journalism activities to help your middle schoolers thrive in a media-driven world.

1. Current Events Scavenger Hunt

With this fun activity, middle school students look for different news stories and news articles that fit certain descriptions. Their goal is to teach students about journalism while also exposing them to many different types of publishing methods and stories throughout today's news media.

Learn more:  Teachers Pay Teachers

2. Intro to Teaching Journalism

This video is a great introduction for teachers and student journalists who are new to the game. It goes over some of the most important points related to journalism, and it introduces different keys to writing an excellent journalism curriculum.

Learn more:  Migratory Birds

3. News Presenter Role Play

Pretending to be a newscaster is one of the best ways to introduce the roles and importance of different features of broadcast news. It also explores the different personalities that we see in news coverage, and how the human element impacts the overall quality of journalism.

Learn more:  Twinkl

4. What is Community Journalism?

This video is a great introduction to community journalism. It highlights the concepts and vocabulary that are connected to journalism, and it looks at different ways that middle school students are already journalists in their own way. It's a great first step towards more formal journalism training.

Learn more:  Asociatia Go Free

5. Benefits of Studying Journalism in Middle School

You can assign this article as a way of exploring the benefits of journalism classes with your students. It touches on way more than just the writing and academic components of journalism: it also explores the social and psychological benefits of getting involved in journalism courses from a young age.

Learn more:  Washington Journalism Education Association

6. Listicles and Psychology

This video explores an emerging trend in today's feature stories: the listicle. It is a great way for journalism students to look at the changing ways that media impacts our psychology, and how layout, formatting, and organization play a huge role in the effectiveness of journalism.

Learn more:  TED-Ed

7. The Importance of Community Journalism

This TED Talk highlights all of the benefits of community and citizen journalism. It's a great way to inspire kids to make the most of their experiences and to share what they see, hear, and feel with the world. It also touches on the importance of journalism moving into the future.

Learn more:  TEDx Talks

8. Basics of News Gathering

This video introduces the most basic and straightforward methods of gathering information to report on. It's all about finding the facts to make a compelling and informative news article. The video is level appropriate for middle school students, too!

Learn more:  NBCU Academy

9. Journalism Lesson Plans Database

This website hosts over 200 weeks' worth of journalism lesson plans. It covers the technical skills, organizational skills, and oral communication skills that students need to thrive in journalism. It also helps to inspire students with many timeless feature ideas sprinkled throughout each unit.

Learn more:  JEA Curriculum Initiative

10. Analyzing News Trends Worksheet

If you want students to read the news more carefully, this worksheet can be a great help to you. It encourages students to look at stories from print or television news and analyze the message of these stories. Of course, in journalism, there's always more than what meets the eye!

Learn more:  Worksheet Place

11. Journalism Lesson Plans, Unit by Unit

This introduction to journalism bundle includes lots of high-quality lesson plans from the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs. These lesson plans offer insights into how journalism impacts daily life, and how stories about school life can inspire change in the wider society as well.

Learn more:  Student Reporting Labs

12. Misleading Graphs and Journalism Ethics

For an eye-opening look at how graphics can impact the veracity of journalism, take a look at this video. It shows how charts and graphs can play a huge role in the message of a piece. It also teaches students how to make ethical and appropriate graphs that will help them convey truthful and clear information.

13. Podcast Journalism in the Classroom

This is a great resource for teachers who want to incorporate real-life podcast examples into their journalism curriculum. It touches on the best tips and tricks for making podcasts relevant to young learners, and how to highlight the main ideas and messages in news and journalism podcasts.

Learn more:  Erintegration

14. Introduction to Journalism

This is a pre-made journalism lesson, all ready to go! You can show the video directly to your middle school students, or you can use the video as an inspiration for your own lectures and lesson plans. Either way, it's a great resource for vocabulary and fundamental concepts.

Learn more:  TV47 Kenya

15. Comparing News Stories Worksheet

This worksheet helps students identify and talk about the different ways that people can explain the same event. It encourages kids to look at the nuance and underlying tone of two different descriptions of the same event or policy. Then, students will compare and contrast these two news stories.

16. Tips and Tricks for Teaching Journalism

This is an excellent resource for teachers who find themselves teaching journalism to middle school students. Whether you're the sponsor of the school newspaper or just doing a journalism unit in the language arts or social studies class, these tips and tricks will make all the difference!

Learn more:  Secondary English Coffee Shop

17. First Five Steps for a School Newspaper Sponsor

This article lays out the first five things that you should do if you should find yourself leading a school newspaper. It also gives great tips and tricks for how establishing sustainable systems and practices so that students can learn and grow.

Learn more:  Healthy Teaching Life

18. Conduct a News Interview Worksheet

This worksheet is a great form for students who are new to conducting news interviews. It includes all of the major questions and details that students should be looking out for, and it is a great reminder even for experienced interview givers.

19. News Determinants in Language Arts Class

This is a language arts and journalism lesson plan that looks at the different determinants -- or aspects, elements -- of news reporting. It helps students learn the differences between news stories and other forms of writing or reporting. It's also a great segue into specific reading tasks for standardized testing.

Learn more:  The Daring English Teacher

20. Journalism Crossword Puzzle Worksheet

This is a fun crossword puzzle that features the important and fundamental vocab words associated with middle school journalism. It's a great way to catch kids' attention at the beginning of a lesson, or it can be a nice way to end the first unit as a review activity. Either way, the words featured here are must-knows!

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middle school journalism assignments

20 Activities to Get Your Middle Schoolers Into Journalism

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middle school journalism assignments

1.News Scavenger Hunt: Organize a scavenger hunt for your students to find and analyze news articles. They can bring in clippings, share online links, or even write their own summaries.

2.Interview Practice: Teach students the art of interviewing by having them partner up and practice asking each other open-ended questions.

3.Classroom Newsletters: Encourage students to contribute news stories or opinion pieces to a classroom newsletter, fostering their interest in journalism.

4.School Newspaper: If your school doesn’t already have one, start a school newspaper with your middle schoolers and enlist them as journalists to cover school events, news, sports, and other topics.

5.Guest Speakers: Invite local journalists to speak about their experiences and answer student questions about the field of journalism.

6.Blogger’s Club: Form an after-school club focusing on blogging where students can learn about journalistic writing styles in an online medium.

7.Digital Portfolio: Encourage your middle schoolers to create their digital portfolio of journalistic work that they can showcase later on.

8.Current Events Discussions: Lead regular in-class discussions about newsworthy events and have students consider possible angles for reporting on the story.

9.Collaborative Fictional Storytelling: Have students create a fictional news story collectively, where each student contributes a paragraph or two before passing it on.

10.Mock Press Conferences: Set up a mock press conference with your students acting as journalists and subject matter experts.

11.Journalistic Ethics Debate: Discuss real-life journalistic controversies relating to ethics and encourage students to engage in debates around these issues.

12.Field Trips to Local Media Outlets : Visit local newspapers, television stations, or radio stations with your class so they can see journalism in action.

13.Podcast Club: Create a club centered around creating podcasts where students learn the basics of storytelling through audio journalism.

14.Social Media Reporting: Have students create, curate, and share content through social media platforms using journalistic principles.

15.Op-Ed Writing: Assign students to write opinion pieces on timely events and issues, honing their persuasive writing skills.

16.Video Reporting: Teach students the basics of video reporting by having them film interviews and create their own news videos.

17.Book Review Column: Encourage students to write book reviews for your classroom or school newspaper, highlighting journalism-inspired books.

18.Current Events Quiz: Test your students’ knowledge of recent national and global news by holding weekly current events quizzes.

19.Peer Editing Workshops: Develop peer editing workshops where middle schoolers can critique each other’s journalistic work and foster teamwork and collaboration.

20.Reporter Roleplaying: Provide scenarios where your students pretend they are a field reporter covering a breaking news story, helping them practice their reporting skills.

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Journalism Teaching Activities

An introduction to journalism and news teaching activities. This is a free teaching unit that requires critical thinking and exposes students to news, news sources and how to write the news. Writing a good news lead and using the inverted pyramid structure to learn how to write news for both print and televised. A grades 7-10 teaching unit aligned to the ELA standards. These free journalism and media teaching activities are available in both google apps and print format.

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Teaching Journalism: 10 Tips for New Journalism Advisers

Teaching Journalism: 10 Tips for New Journalism Advisers

Welcome to the amazing world of teaching journalism and advising the school newspaper! Whether you’ve signed up to teach journalism or were assigned the class, teaching students journalism and advising the school newspaper can be a gratifying aspect of your career. In this post, I will share my top tips for new journalism advisers.

High school journalism holds a special place in my heart. I was on the newspaper staff all four years of my high school career, eventually serving as my school paper’s editor-in-chief and studying journalism in college. And now, I continue my work in scholastic journalism by teaching journalism at my school.

Coming in as a new or first-time journalism adviser can be daunting, especially if you have no prior journalism experience. If you are looking for a great teaching resource to get you started, my journalism teaching unit has enough materials to get you started.

Here are ten tips for new journalism advisers.

1. tips for new journalism advisers: join scholastic journalism organizations.

One of the best ways to become more acquainted with scholastic journalism is by joining professional organizations. My favorite professional organization is JEA , the Journalism Education Association. Another good organization is the Columbia Scholastic Press Association . These organizations help advisers by sharing curricula, ideas, and contests.

2. Tips for New Journalism Advisers: Become familiar with the inverted pyramid

B26A7159 Edit 2

One of the biggest struggles I see new student journalists face is trying to write an eloquent, English essay-style introduction for their news stories. Instead, students should keep it simple and report the straight facts. In my classroom, I use this News Lead lesson plan and these journalism graphic organizers to help my students become more familiar with the inverted pyramid.

3. Tips for New Journalism Advisers: Start with the basics (5W and H)

Once my students have their assignments, I have them begin working on their story packages. Since we publish both online and in print (not all stories make it to print, though), a story package contains everything that the editors will need to be able to publish the story. One of the elements of the story package is the 5Ws and H.

On their document, students write out WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW, and then they complete each item with information from the story. This brainstorming activity is especially helpful for new journalists because it helps them stick to the inverted pyramid.

4. Tips for New Journalism Advisers: Review AP style

B26A7277 Edit 2

I also use this AP Style Writing Unit which covers the essential elements of AP style that students need. I also ensure that my editors are well-versed in AP Style and help out the newer staff members as they learn to write like journalists.

5. Tips for New Journalism Advisers: Know your students’ rights

As decided in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” This landmark ruling is beneficial for student journalists.

One of the best things you can do as a new adviser is to learn your students’ rights. The Student Press Law Center is an excellent resource for this.

6. Tips for New Journalism Advisers: Focus on instruction before worrying about publication

One of the biggest mistakes I made as a new journalism adviser was jumping right into publication before the students were ready. I took journalism all four years of high school and majored in it in college. I knew how to write journalistically, but my students did not.

Since I rushed to publish content that first year, I spent so much time helping students revise their stories to fit journalistic standards. In the long run, it took more time than starting with the curriculum at the start of the year.

Now, I use the lessons in my Journalism Curriculum to help my students learn how to write like journalists before we press publish.

Teaching Journalism: An All-in-One Journalism Curriculum

My journalism curriculum has everything you need to get your journalism students started on the right foot and working on a successful newspaper -whether you publish in print or digitally!

From learning basic journalism terminology to news writing to the inverted pyramid to AP Style writing, this curriculum has everything you need to get your student journalists writing and publishing high-quality news stories. This journalism curriculum works for both middle school journalism and high school journalism.

This is the curriculum that I use in my classroom with my students.

JOURNALISM ADVISERS LIKE YOU SAID…

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Doreen T. says, “ This helped me SO MUCH with the first journalism class I’ve ever taught.  The powerpoints are amazing – very informative, thorough, and visually appealing. Not sure what I would have done without this resource! .”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Midwestern Miss says, “Omgoodness!  As a teacher who hasn’t taught journalism in 8 years, this saved me! I was able to print and go.  The kids loved being able to create their own AP mini books and were laughing at each other’s crafting abilities. Bringing some artistic time into the room before we start the yearbook!”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Geneva W. says, “Thank you for this amazing resource! I am teaching a journalism class for the second time this year. Last year I bought a few of your lessons, but this year I splurged on the whole package, and I am so thankful that I did!  It really has been an essential part of building my journalism class. Pretty much everything is taken care of for me, and I feel confident in presenting the materials even though journalism is not my strength. ”

7. Tips for New Journalism Advisers: Utilize student editors

The ultimate goal of any student-run publication should be to have the students choose the content, write the stories, edit the stories, design the print issues, and publish the online content. However, when you are just starting, especially if it is a newer program on your campus, that can be challenging. Try to build the program each year while utilizing student editors to help the publication run.

I have my section editors (news editor, sports editor, etc.) assign stories to new students, check-in on the stories, and edit the stories before I even see them. Not only does this help alleviate the workload, but it also gives students more ownership of the publication.

8. Tips for New Journalism Advisers: Start small

When you are just starting, all of the tasks might seem too much. If you are starting from scratch, have a relatively new staff, or don’t have much of a clue as to what you are doing right away, start small: decide on print or online. From there, focus on what is realistic for you and your staff to accomplish.

I had to bring the program back during my first year advising the newspaper. The school where I started teaching didn’t have a newspaper, and I knew I wanted to change that. I recruited enough students to get the class on the schedule and was essentially starting from scratch. We started publishing online-only first. In the second year, we incorporated print issues but only completed two eight-page issues a year.

As a new journalism adviser, it is okay to start small. If you are a new adviser for an established program, lean on those student editors. They will be your biggest asset.

9. Tips for New Journalism Advisers: Keep accuracy and fairness above all

The most important thing is to strive for accuracy and fairness in everything you publish. From day one, all of your students should know just how important accuracy and fairness are, and in every single story, students need to reflect journalistic integrity. Writing stories free from bias will help your program gain credibility and respect, especially with your coworkers and admin.

10. T ips for New Journalism Advisers: Celebrate your students

When it comes to advising student publications, comparison is the thief of joy. It is always so easy to look at other student publications and feel inadequate, like an imposter. As a new adviser, it is essential to avoid that pitfall. Instead, celebrate your students. Celebrate the first published story of the year.

Celebrate each print issue. Celebrate your students’ work, and share it with colleagues. When colleagues send praises your way, relay those messages to your students. After each print issue (we only do 3-4 a year because our main focus is online – again, it is okay to go small), we celebrate with a staff potluck.

The students work so hard during deadlines and in the days leading up to sending the paper off to print that the class celebration is a very welcomed class tradition.

And once you are ready to move on to more journalistic features, check out this blog post about five journalism assignments and activities to assign!

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Schools urged to get children to drink more water, understanding parents’ and schools’ responsibilities towards excluded pupils, 22 princess books that break the mold: a fresh take on traditional fairy tales, planning for behaviour management, 30 5th grade books to prepare your child for middle school, 20 enlightening facts about martin luther king jr., empowering teachers: providing cpd for educators of children with sen, investors in people: worth the effort, advice for students with special educational needs (sen) – helpsheet 21, 20 activities to get your middle schoolers into journalism.

middle school journalism assignments

1. News Scavenger Hunt: Organize a scavenger hunt for your students to find and analyze news articles. They can bring in clippings, share online links, or even write their own summaries.

2. Interview Practice: Teach students the art of interviewing by having them partner up and practice asking each other open-ended questions.

3. Classroom Newsletters: Encourage students to contribute news stories or opinion pieces to a classroom newsletter, fostering their interest in journalism.

4. School Newspaper: If your school doesn’t already have one, start a school newspaper with your middle schoolers and enlist them as journalists to cover school events, news, sports, and other topics.

5. Guest Speakers: Invite local journalists to speak about their experiences and answer student questions about the field of journalism.

6. Blogger’s Club: Form an after-school club focusing on blogging where students can learn about journalistic writing styles in an online medium.

7. Digital Portfolio: Encourage your middle schoolers to create their digital portfolio of journalistic work that they can showcase later on.

8. Current Events Discussions: Lead regular in-class discussions about newsworthy events and have students consider possible angles for reporting on the story.

9. Collaborative Fictional Storytelling: Have students create a fictional news story collectively, where each student contributes a paragraph or two before passing it on.

10. Mock Press Conferences: Set up a mock press conference with your students acting as journalists and subject matter experts.

11.Journalistic Ethics Debate: Discuss real-life journalistic controversies relating to ethics and encourage students to engage in debates around these issues.

12.Field Trips to Local Media Outlets: Visit local newspapers, television stations, or radio stations with your class so they can see journalism in action.

13.Podcast Club: Create a club centered around creating podcasts where students learn the basics of storytelling through audio journalism.

14.Social Media Reporting: Have students create, curate, and share content through social media platforms using journalistic principles.

15.Op-Ed Writing: Assign students to write opinion pieces on timely events and issues, honing their persuasive writing skills.

16.Video Reporting: Teach students the basics of video reporting by having them film interviews and create their own news videos.

17.Book Review Column: Encourage students to write book reviews for your classroom or school newspaper, highlighting journalism-inspired books.

18.Current Events Quiz: Test your students’ knowledge of recent national and global news by holding weekly current events quizzes.

19.Peer Editing Workshops: Develop peer editing workshops where middle schoolers can critique each other’s journalistic work and foster teamwork and collaboration.

20.Reporter Roleplaying: Provide scenarios where your students pretend they are a field reporter covering a breaking news story, helping them practice their reporting skills.

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Samara Joy, 24-year-old jazz sensation

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Jazz singer Samara Joy is just 24 years old. She has more than 1.3mn social media followers and three Grammys. Most notably, she won 2023’s best new artist award, only the second jazz musician ever to join that coveted club. Today, Lilah speaks with Samara about her path: discovering jazz, her thought process as she performs, and how she finds new takes on compositions by greats such as Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus. They also discuss the challenges and pressure of being singular. Does she want to be considered the artist ‘bringing jazz to Gen Z’?

We love hearing from you. Lilah is on Instagram @lilahrap and we’re on X @ lifeandartpod . You can email us at [email protected] . We are grateful for reviews, on Apple, Spotify etc.

Links (all FT links get you past the paywall):

– Lilah’s HTSI profile of Samara, for which this conversation was recorded, is here: https://on.ft.com/3I9H4Kz

– The music video for Tight is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OkkyRkGSRY

– Samara is on TikTok @samarajoysings and Instagram @ samarajoysings . You can see if she’s touring near you at www.samarajoy.com/

Special FT subscription offers for Life and Art podcast listeners, from 50% off a digital subscription to a $1/£1/€1 trial, are here: http://ft.com/lifeandart

Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com

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Thomson Reuters

Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters. He has covered the presidencies of Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden and the presidential campaigns of Biden, Trump, Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. He served as president of the White House Correspondents’ Association in 2016-2017, leading the press corps in advocating for press freedom in the early days of the Trump administration. His and the WHCA's work was recognized with Deutsche Welle's "Freedom of Speech Award." Jeff has asked pointed questions of domestic and foreign leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's Kim Jong Un. He is a winner of the WHCA's “Excellence in Presidential News Coverage Under Deadline Pressure" award and co-winner of the Association for Business Journalists' "Breaking News" award. Jeff began his career in Frankfurt, Germany as a business reporter before being posted to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. Jeff appears regularly on television and radio and teaches political journalism at Georgetown University. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and a former Fulbright scholar.

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Supreme Court to Decide How the First Amendment Applies to Social Media

Challenges to laws in Florida and Texas meant to protect conservative viewpoints are likely to yield a major constitutional ruling on tech platforms’ free speech rights.

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Five people standing on a sidewalk, staring at their phones.

By Adam Liptak

Reporting from Washington

  • Feb. 25, 2024

The most important First Amendment cases of the internet era, to be heard by the Supreme Court on Monday, may turn on a single question: Do platforms like Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and X most closely resemble newspapers or shopping centers or phone companies?

The two cases arrive at the court garbed in politics, as they concern laws in Florida and Texas aimed at protecting conservative speech by forbidding leading social media sites from removing posts based on the views they express.

But the outsize question the cases present transcends ideology. It is whether tech platforms have free speech rights to make editorial judgments. Picking the apt analogy from the court’s precedents could decide the matter, but none of the available ones is a perfect fit.

If the platforms are like newspapers, they may publish what they want without government interference. If they are like private shopping centers open to the public, they may be required to let visitors say what they like. And if they are like phone companies, they must transmit everyone’s speech.

“It is not at all obvious how our existing precedents, which predate the age of the internet, should apply to large social media companies,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote in a 2022 dissent when one of the cases briefly reached the Supreme Court.

Supporters of the state laws say they foster free speech, giving the public access to all points of view. Opponents say the laws trample on the platforms’ own First Amendment rights and would turn them into cesspools of filth, hate and lies. One contrarian brief , from liberal professors, urged the justices to uphold the key provision of the Texas law despite the harm they said it would cause.

What is clear is that the court’s decision, expected by June, could transform the internet.

“It is difficult to overstate the importance of these cases for free speech online,” said Scott Wilkens, a lawyer with the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of neither side in the two cases, saying each had staked out an extreme position.

The cases concern laws enacted in 2021 in Florida and Texas aimed at prohibiting major platforms from removing posts expressing conservative views. They differed in their details but were both animated by frustration on the right, notably the decisions of some platforms to bar President Donald J. Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

In a statement issued when he signed the Florida bill, Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, said the law was meant to promote right-leaning viewpoints. “If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable,” he said.

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, also a Republican, said much the same thing when he signed his state’s bill. “It is now law,” he said, “that conservative viewpoints in Texas cannot be banned on social media.”

The two trade groups that challenged the laws — NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association — said the platforms had the same First Amendment rights as conventional news outlets.

“Just as Florida may not tell The New York Times what opinion pieces to publish or Fox News what interviews to air,” the groups told the justices , “it may not tell Facebook and YouTube what content to disseminate. When it comes to disseminating speech, decisions about what messages to include and exclude are for private parties — not the government — to make.”

The states took the opposite position. The Texas law, Ken Paxton, the state’s attorney general, wrote in a brief , “just enables voluntary communication on the world’s largest telecommunications platforms between speakers who want to speak and listeners who want to listen, treating the platforms like telegraph or telephone companies.”

The two laws met different fates in the lower courts.

In the Texas case, a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a lower court’s order blocking the state’s law.

“We reject the platforms’ attempt to extract a freewheeling censorship right from the Constitution’s free speech guarantee,” Judge Andrew S. Oldham wrote for the majority. “The platforms are not newspapers. Their censorship is not speech.”

In the Florida case, the 11th Circuit largely upheld a preliminary injunction blocking the state’s law.

“Social media platforms exercise editorial judgment that is inherently expressive,” Judge Kevin C. Newsom wrote for the panel. “When platforms choose to remove users or posts, deprioritize content in viewers’ feeds or search results, or sanction breaches of their community standards, they engage in First Amendment-protected activity.”

Forcing social media companies to transmit essentially all messages, their representatives told the justices , “would compel platforms to disseminate all sorts of objectionable viewpoints — such as Russia’s propaganda claiming that its invasion of Ukraine is justified, ISIS propaganda claiming that extremism is warranted, neo-Nazi or K.K.K. screeds denying or supporting the Holocaust, and encouraging children to engage in risky or unhealthy behavior like eating disorders.”

Supporting briefs mostly divided along the predictable lines. But there was one notable exception. To the surprise of many, some prominent liberal professors filed a brief urging the justices to uphold a key provision of the Texas law.

“There are serious, legitimate public policy concerns with the law at issue in this case,” wrote the professors, including Lawrence Lessig of Harvard, Tim Wu of Columbia and Zephyr Teachout of Fordham. “They could lead to many forms of amplified hateful speech and harmful content.”

But they added that “bad laws can make bad precedent” and urged the justices to reject the platforms’ plea to be treated as news outlets.

“To put a fine point on it: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok are not newspapers,” the professors wrote. “They are not space-limited publications dependent on editorial discretion in choosing what topics or issues to highlight. Rather, they are platforms for widespread public expression and discourse. They are their own beast, but they are far closer to a public shopping center or a railroad than to The Manchester Union Leader.”

In an interview, Professor Teachout linked the Texas case to the Citizens United decision , which struck down a campaign finance law regulating corporate spending on First Amendment grounds.

“This case threatens to be another expansion of corporate speech rights,” she said. “It may end up in fact being a Trojan horse, because the sponsors of the legislation are so distasteful. We should be really wary of expanding corporate speech rights just because we don’t like particular laws.”

Other professors, including Richard L. Hasen of the University of California, Los Angeles, warned the justices in a brief supporting the challengers that prohibiting the platforms from deleting political posts could have grave consequences.

“Florida’s and Texas’ social media laws, if allowed to stand,” the brief said, “would thwart the ability of platforms to moderate social media posts that risk undermining U.S. democracy and fomenting violence.”

The justices will consult two key precedents in trying to determine where to draw the constitutional line in the cases to be argued Monday, Moody v. NetChoice , No. 22-277, and NetChoice v. Paxton , No. 22-555.

One of them, Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins from 1980, concerned a sprawling private shopping center in Campbell, Calif., whose 21 acres included 65 shops, 10 restaurants and a movie theater. It was open to the public but did not permit, as Justice William H. Rehnquist put it in his opinion for the court, “any publicly expressive activity, including the circulation of petitions, that is not directly related to its commercial purposes.”

That policy was challenged by high school students who opposed a U.N. resolution against Zionism and were stopped from handing out pamphlets and seeking signatures for a petition.

Justice Rehnquist, who would be elevated to chief justice in 1986, wrote that state constitutional provisions requiring the shopping center to allow people to engage in expressive activities on its property did not violate the center’s First Amendment rights.

In the second case, Miami Herald v. Tornillo , the Supreme Court in 1974 struck down a Florida law that would have allowed politicians a “right to reply” to newspaper articles critical of them.

The case was brought by Pat L. Tornillo, who was unhappy about colorful editorials in The Miami Herald opposing his candidacy for the Florida House of Representatives. The newspaper said Mr. Tornillo, a labor union official, had engaged in “shakedown statesmanship.”

Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, writing for a unanimous court in striking down the law, said the nation was in the middle of “vast changes.”

“In the past half century,” he wrote, “a communications revolution has seen the introduction of radio and television into our lives, the promise of a global community through the use of communications satellites and the specter of a ‘wired’ nation.”

But Chief Justice Burger concluded that “the vast accumulations of unreviewable power in the modern media empire” did not permit the government to usurp the role of editors in deciding what ought to be published.

“A responsible press is an undoubtedly desirable goal,” he wrote, “but press responsibility is not mandated by the Constitution, and like many other virtues it cannot be legislated.”

Adam Liptak covers the Supreme Court and writes Sidebar, a column on legal developments. A graduate of Yale Law School, he practiced law for 14 years before joining The Times in 2002. More about Adam Liptak

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  1. Journalism Teaching Bundle: Lessons, PowerPoints, Assignments

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  3. New article by Andrew Pudewa: "What Do Middle School Students Need to

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  6. Middle School Journalism Semester 2

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COMMENTS

  1. 20 Activities to Get Your Middle Schoolers Into Journalism

    1. Current Events Scavenger Hunt With this fun activity, middle school students look for different news stories and news articles that fit certain descriptions. Their goal is to teach students about journalism while also exposing them to many different types of publishing methods and stories throughout today's news media.

  2. Lesson Plans

    Lesson 3.2: Team Work and Planning. Hey, we moved! For all updated lesson plans, visit StoryMaker, a dynamic resource platform designed for educators to help your students become confident, powerful storytellers. Read More. PBSNewshour Student Reporting Labs lesson plans.

  3. Lesson 1.1: What is Newsworthy?

    2Subjects: Journalism, Language Arts, Social Studies Estimated Time: One 45-minute class period Grade Level: Upper Elementary, Middle and High School Materials Copies of Worksheet 1.1 for every student Warm Up Activity News and Information 1. Ask students "What news stories are important in your life?" and write their answers on the board. 2. After a list of 10 (or […]

  4. Lesson 1.3: Journalism Ethics

    Lesson 1.3: Journalism Ethics. Subjects: Journalism, Language Arts, Social Studies. Estimated Time: One 45-minute class period. Grade Level: Middle and High School. Materials: Worksheet 1.3. Overview Students will explore, engage and develop a thorough understanding of the theories and ethics related to journalism. Warm Up Activity General Ethics

  5. 20 Activities to Get Your Middle Schoolers Into Journalism

    1.News Scavenger Hunt: Organize a scavenger hunt for your students to find and analyze news articles. They can bring in clippings, share online links, or even write their own summaries. 2.Interview Practice: Teach students the art of interviewing by having them partner up and practice asking each other open-ended questions.

  6. PDF Middle School Journalism: Tell Your Story

    Middle School Journalism: Tell Your Story Who? What? When? Where? Journalism provides us with the answers to these questions for the events that affect our lives. In this course, students will learn how to gather information, organize ideas, format stories for different forms of news media, and edit their stories for publication.

  7. Middle School Journalism Activities

    Mary Thomsen Middle school journalism students can unravel the mysteries of their school while also paying more attention to the world and rapidly changing technology. They'll gain social, research, English and organizational skills too, along with potential career choices. Do the Groundwork

  8. Teaching Journalism: 5 Journalism Lessons and Activities

    1. Staff Interview Activity One of the very first assignments I have my students do is partner up with a fellow staff member that they don't know and interview them. This activity works on two things: first, it helps the class get to know one another. Secondly, it helps students proactive their interviewing skills in a low-stakes environment.

  9. Exercises & Assignments

    Interviewing 102: The Transcript Students practice turning an interview into an original story by separating important ideas from trivial ones, identifying key quotes, picking up on nuance, and recognizing when to paraphrase. (Or, view in Google Slides ). Story Development: Look, Listen, Map

  10. Exercises & Assignments

    Middle School Journalism Elective News Product Design Race This two-session designing sprint will help familiarize students with the designs thoughts process over a series of practical geared towards imagine equitable, audience-first news products this serve my target audience's general needs.

  11. Journalism Teaching Activities Worksheets

    An introduction to journalism and news teaching activities. This is a free teaching unit that requires critical thinking and exposes students to news, news sources and how to write the news. Writing a good news lead and using the inverted pyramid structure to learn how to write news for both print and televised. A grades 7-10 teaching unit ...

  12. Middle School Journalism Teaching Resources

    $7.00 Zip The zipped file contains the forms to run a junior high journalism writing workshop. The following forms are included in this listing: article checklist, brainstorming graphic organizer, inverted pyramid graphic organizer, peer review, peer edit, subject approval, grading rubric, and article analysis reading assignment.

  13. Broadcast Journalism Curriculum & Lesson Plans

    Lesson plans, activities, and how-tos for journalism, ... Any school, teacher, and student can use our newest prompts to practice essential video journalism and production skills. The prompts include deadlines, but educators can create their own timelines and deadlines. You may submit student work that you would like for SRL and PBS NewsHour to ...

  14. Media and Journalism Lessons

    2,083,530 Views. 1. TED-Ed lessons on the subject Media and Journalism. TED-Ed celebrates the ideas of teachers and students around the world. Discover hundreds of animated lessons, create customized lessons, and share your big ideas.

  15. Broadcast Curriculum

    5 W's and H. 10 activities for a first level Broadcast course. 30 to 45-second voiceover news video lesson. 60 Seconds. Adobe Premiere Pro Editing Tutorials. Adobe Spark Post photo assignment. Adobe Spark Selfie photo assignment. Adobe Spark Pages personal portfolio. ASB Classroom curriculum.

  16. 20 Activities till Get Your Middle Schoolers Into Journalism

    Learning more about journalism in middle school able help improve their media literacy, and it given them an shot to express themselves to the world around them. Results for media middle educate | TPT. Here were our top twenty journalism activities to help your middle schoolers thrive in a media-driven world. 1. Current Events Scavenger Chasing

  17. Teaching Journalism: 10 Tips for New Journalism Advisers

    Here are ten tips for new journalism advisers. 1. Tips for New Journalism Advisers: Join scholastic journalism organizations. One of the best ways to become more acquainted with scholastic journalism is by joining professional organizations. My favorite professional organization is JEA, the Journalism Education Association.

  18. 1.12 Unit Test: Narrative Techniques and Structure

    Select the sentence from the excerpt that most effectively explains how the narrator's first reporting experience will benefit her in the future. And thanks to my first story, I'd already met most of the school administrators in person and had the beginnings of an actual list of sources for future stories. Part A.

  19. 20 Activities to Get Your Middle Schoolers Into Journalism

    4. School Newspaper: If your school doesn't already have one, start a school newspaper with your middle schoolers and enlist them as journalists to cover school events, news, sports, and other topics. 5. Guest Speakers: Invite local journalists to speak about their experiences and answer student questions about the field of journalism. 6.

  20. 1.12 unit test: narrative techniques and structure-part 1

    Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like Read the passage. A Community Park It was Friday, and as she walked home from school, Samara thought about what she would do that weekend. Everyone would be at the fund-raiser for new sports equipment at the high school on Saturday. As she was trying to remember if any good movies were coming out this weekend, she noticed a group ...

  21. Avanzato, Samara / Weekly Homework

    Our School; Principal - John Fabbo; Vice Principal; School Counseling-Guidance; Health Office: Nurse; New Student Registration; Library Media Center; Departments

  22. Lesson 1.5: Broadcast News

    Subjects: Journalism, Language Arts, Social Studies Estimated Time: One 45-minute class period Grade Level: Middle and High School Overview: Students will identify structural features of broadcast news and then compare different news sources. Materials Make copies of Worksheet 1.5 for students. Warm Up Activity What is broadcast news? Ask students if they know what broadcast news is. If they ...

  23. My First Day on the Job The complicating incident is when the narrator

    Middle School; verified. answered • expert verified. ... A The narrator decides that journalism is the right career for her. B The narrator learns a great deal about journalism over the next few months. ... The animals engage in activities that are typical of their species, such as the cow chewing its cud and the beaver building a dam. ...

  24. Samara Joy, 24-year-old jazz sensation

    Jazz singer Samara Joy is just 24 years old. She has more than 1.3mn social media followers and three Grammys. Most notably, she won 2023's best new artist award, only the second jazz musician ...

  25. Biden hopes to have a ceasefire in Israeli conflict by next Monday

    Jeff appears regularly on television and radio and teaches political journalism at Georgetown University. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and a former ...

  26. Supreme Court to Decide How the First Amendment Applies to Social Media

    Challenges to laws in Florida and Texas meant to protect conservative viewpoints are likely to yield a major constitutional ruling on tech platforms' free speech rights.