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proportion : Puts something in proper relation to something else-explains specific numbers in the news by relating them to the size or magnitude of the whole. News Reporting & Writing (Eighth Edition) by the Missouri Group. Copyright 2005. Reproduced by permission of Bedford/St. Martins.

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Teresa Gallegos
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Introduction to Online News


Charting Online News Sites

Introduction to Online News

Teresa Gallegos
Blackfoot High School
Blackfoot, Idaho

Title: Introduction to Online News

Overview and rationale

This lesson is designed to get students who are already producing a print publication thinking about why an online counterpart might be beneficial and what an online counterpart could look like.

Goals for Understanding

  • Essential questions
    • How are online and print editions similar to one another?
    • What would the benefits be of creating an online companion to a print edition?
    • What would be appropriate to include in an online version of our school newspaper?
  • Critical Engagement Questions
    • Do you ever receive news from internet sources? Which ones?
    • Could our publication benefit from having an online edition? Discuss pros and cons.

Overviews and Timeline

Activity 1: (70 minute class period)

  • Ask students to share how they receive news. Discuss their habits. (5 min.)
  • Pass out copies of the article from the Pew Research Center; have students read the article and then discuss the articles conclusions. Quiz them over the four categories of news consumers identified in the article, and ask them which category (categories) they belong in. (30 min.)
  • Discuss the importance of having a multi-media publication in today’s news climate. (5 minutes)
  • In groups of two, have students go to the computers and select two online publications for analysis and comparison using Chart 1. (25 min.)
  • Conclusion: Discuss for a few minutes the merits of what they are seeing. Assign them to be ready to hand in and discuss their worksheet at the next class period.
Activity 2: (70 minute class period)
  • Begin class by asking if any students left school and spent any more time looking at online media. (5 minutes)
  • Have each pair show the two online publications they analyzed on the projector and point out some of the elements of each site that they liked and didn’t like. Use this time to point out things they might have missed, to watch a good video they’ve found, and really immerse them in online news. (50 minutes)
  • End the class by showing them the my.hsj.org site where high schools get started for free with an online newspaper. Discuss the feasibility of starting one, emphasizing the importance of keeping it updated regularly, and begin planning how to make it happen.


Students are graded on the comparison worksheet and their insights during their presentation.

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