October 28th, 2006
Edward R. Murrow: This Reporter
Lesson Overview

Overview:

During World War II, Edward R. Murrow became the CBS news correspondent for CBS radio, delivering riveting reports on the bombing of London and the experiences of soldiers. He handpicked a group of reporters, “Murrow’s Boys,” who became known for their reliable news stories. After a brief stint in administration at CBS, he returned to broadcasting, this time in the relatively new technology of television. There, too, he gathered the best researchers and reporters with a commitment to accurate, no-holds-barred reporting. On the inaugural program of WNET (then WNDT) on September 16, 1962, Murrow said he hoped that public television would remedy any reticence on the part of network programming, asserting, “If newness be its vice, let boldness be its virtue.”

This lesson plan will give students an in-depth experience of media literacy by providing an opportunity to analyze Murrow’s thoughts on the responsibility of the media, examine modern issues in depth, and simulate Murrow’s style in the SEE IT NOW format.

Grade Level:

9-12

Time:

  • two class periods or homework assignment for Murrow’s Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) speech
  • one class period to go over answers to RTNDA speech
  • one class period to explain and assign research topics
  • three class periods to research background of topic
  • one class period for students to share results of background research
  • one class period to debrief research
  • one class period to present scriptwriting assignment

Subjects:
Social Studies, Language Arts, Speech and Communication, Media Studies, Technology

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to do the following:

  • critically read primary source documents
  • read for specific content
  • access, analyze, interpret, and comprehend media messages
  • isolate factual statements from emotional appeals
  • examine issues from several points of view

Standards:

MCREL VISUAL ARTS, Level 4, Standard 3
Knows a range of subject matter, symbols, and potential ideas in the visual arts.

MCREL BEHAVIORAL STUDIES. Level 4, Standard 1
Understands that group and cultural influences contribute to human development, identity, and behavior.

MCREL BEHAVIORAL STUDIES, Level 4, Standard 2
Understands various meanings of social group, general implications of group membership, and different ways that groups function.

MCREL ARTS AND COMMUNICATION, Level 4, Standard 4
Understands ways in which the human experience is transmitted and reflected in the arts and communication.

MCREL CIVICS, Level 4, Standard 11
Understands the role of diversity in American life and the importance of shared values, political beliefs, and civic beliefs in an increasingly diverse American society.

MCREL CIVICS, Level 4, Standard 13

Understands the character of American political and social conflict and factors that tend to prevent or lower its intensity.

MCREL CIVICS. Level 4, Standard 19
Understands what is meant by “the public agenda,” how it is set, and how it is influenced by public opinion and the media.

MCREL CIVICS, Level 4, Standard 21
Understands the formation and implementation of public policy.

MCREL CIVICS, Level 4, Standard 22
Understands how the world is organized politically into nation-states, how nation-states interact with one another, and issues surrounding U.S. foreign policy.

MCREL CIVICS, Level 4, Standard 23
Understands the impact of significant political and nonpolitical developments on the United States and other nations.

MCREL CIVICS, Level 4, Standard 28
Understands how participation in civic and political life can help citizens attain individual and public goals.

MCREL U. S. HISTORY, Level 4, Standard 27
Understands how the Cold War and conflicts in Korea and Vietnam influenced domestic and international politics.

MCREL WORLD HISTORY, Level 4, Standard 43

Understands how post-World War II reconstruction occurred, new international power relations took shape, and colonial empires broke up.

MCREL WORLD HISTORY, Level 4, Standard 44
Understands how post-World War II reconstruction occurred, new international power relations took shape, and colonial empires broke up.

MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS, Level 4, Standard 4
Gathers and uses information for research purposes.

MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS, Level 4, Standard 7
Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts.

MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS, Level 4, Standard 8
Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes.

MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS, Level 4, Standard 9
Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media.

MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS, Level 4, Standard 10
Understands the characteristics and components of the media.

Salinger

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