A Fragile Trust

Decisions on Deadline

Decisions on Deadline is a fast-paced game that puts players in the shoes of working journalists as they report on the daily drama of life in Southside, a fictional American town.

A player plays the role of reporter working against the clock and under a strict budget to figure out the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of a breaking news story, all while navigating difficult ethical decisions facing all journalists working in the digital age.

Should you use Twitter as a source? Should you accept a gift from a subject? Can you become Facebook friends with someone you’re reporting on? These are just some of the questions DOD journalists need to consider as they work to get to the bottom of what really happened for any given assignment.

game screenshot

After sorting through emails and voice messages, traveling, conducting interviews and research and reviewing documents, players are given the chance to “fact-check” their work and "publish". Reporters then receive a "progress report" with explanations culled from the Codes of Ethics of top journalism institutions.

Modeled on the hierarchy of a traditional newsroom, Decisions on Deadline has multiple levels of play. Players start out as stringers with the hopes of moving up the ladder to the coveted position of international foreign correspondent.

Can you get the facts right, make your deadline, and become a top-ranked reporter?
Play Decisions on Deadline to find out >>

For Educators

lesson plans

A Fragile Trust and Decisions on Deadline Lesson Plans

The two standards-aligned lesson plans encourage students to think critically about the daily changes faced by journalists and media makers, and how they react to the pressures they face in this fast paced and quickly changing field.

View and download (PDF, 6.6 MB)