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Richard Scholz
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Forming a code of ethics

In-depth reporting

In-depth reporting

Richard Scholz of Valley Lutheran High School in Phoenix.

Richard Scholz
Valley Lutheran High School

Title: In-Depth Reporting


  • Reporting is a key skill necessary for good writing in any newspaper. In this unit, the entire class will work together to report on a single broad topic. Students will work together to find several different story ideas based on that topic, and to find as much information as possible. They may then be published in the student newspaper.

Goals for Understanding:

  • Essential questions:
    • What is reporting?
    • What are different types of information?
    • What are different sources of information?
  • Critical engagement questions:
    • What stories could be written about this subject? Consider who, what, when, where, why, and how. Could any of these become its own separate feature?
    • Who are some people that could be interviewed for this story? Students? Teachers? Administrators? Community members or leaders?
    • Where else can you look for information? The library? The Internet? Newspaper archive?
    • What other types of information could be obtained? Personal observation by visiting a place or event? Student opinion through a survey?


  • Have students come up with a story that would be appropriate for this unit. Some possible examples include the armed forces, jury duty, Selective service registration and summer jobs.
  • Have students brainstorm possible different angles that could be taken on this story. Be sure to include possible news, features, and opinion stories.
  • Have students brainstorm possible sources of information for this story. Consider possible interview sources, and research opportunities. Consider other possible sources of information.
  • Have students then research the story, using the above ideas for sources of information.
  • Have students compile the information gathered into several stories for possible publication into the student newspaper. Each story must contain at least three sources of information, one of which must not be a personal interview.


  • StudentÕs final papers will be evaluated to determine that they used the proper number of sources, they used appropriate sources, they performed interviews well, they included at least one non-interview source, and they compiled the information into a well-written story.

Recommended Readings and Sources:

  • Brian S. Brooks, et. al. "News Reporting and Writing, 1999." Chapters 3 and 4
  • Numerous Internet search engines for research

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