Unit 1 Assignment

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mspikes's picture
Unit 1 Assignment

In Unit 1, we taught you about the news neighborhoods, and what characteristics make a piece of information "News". 

Using the tools below, share a story with us that you think demonstrated the qualities of a piece of news and tell us why. Be sure to include the following:

  • Tell us if the story was "V.I.A.ble" 
  • Also tell us which of the news drivers the story fulfilled. 
  • Who do you think the audience for this story was? How could you tell?

Tip: The easiest method for submitting a story is to provide a link to the story online directly in your reply. Be sure to include the title of the story along with the link. 

kyatonia's picture


Although over the past couple of weeks I have read a number of articles concerning the arrest of Sean Combs at UCLA, most of which could not be considered "NEWS" based on the information provided in this first Unit of class. However, "Sean 'Diddy' Combs Arrested for Assault at UCLA With Kettlebell" by Andrew Blankstein published on NBCNews.com meets all of the requirements. First, Blankensten's articles is "V.I.A.able":

  • As verification, Blankenstein notes all sources of information. 
  • Independence-Blankentstein, unlike the reports presented by UCLA news affiliates, has no direct connection to Combs or the university. Also, Blankenstein does not mention any previous charges against Combs.
  • to demonstrate accountability, Blankenstein publishes the article under his own name. 

The article also fulfills the prominence news driver as Sean Comb is a popular public figure. In addition, the article presents a conflict of man versus man; more importantly, it looks at the role of parent in their adult child lives, which could be seen as a human interest story.

The audience of this story are the general public. However, a more specific audience would be middle-class Americans ages 30-55, which can be deduced from the source outlet being NBCNews.com.  

mspikes's picture

Great Response Kya, 

I hope that you didn't have trouble getting through the entire 1st Unit. If you had any other questions or concerns, please let me know. 


anettesofia's picture

Totally agree with Mike!  Very good job Kya!

Janvier's picture


This news article was of particular interest to me because I teach child development.  We often have discussions about the role of "discipline" in the care and education of children, and I am always looking for articles that offer research-based info on the subject.  This one does just that, and definitely satisfies the criteria for being "V.I.A.ble:

Verification can be established because the author presents data and statistics collected from research studies and government agencies, which have been cited by name so that they can be independently sought out by the reader who wants to verify them, or simply wants to access the source material.  The author has listed the first and last names of her sources, and their credentials, which help the reader verify that they actually are reliable sources for this particular topic.

Independence calls for the journalist and journalism organization to be free from the control or support of interested parties.  In this case, the only individual who might reap any material rewards from this article would be the author of the book discussed, and the accompanying program. So, the author might be an "interested party", but he has no control over the journalist or the organization.  The author, through the lens of her own bias in favor of these methods, might have chosen statistics to support her bias.  It is hard to tell if she has been "intellectually independent" in her presentation.  With that in mind, I would encourage any student reading this article to see if they could find a reliable source that might refute the data provided by this author.

Accountability is maintained due to the fact that the author provides her contact information, and has a web page and twitter account--so there is room for public discussion and debate of the information she presented. 

I think the audience for the article is wide--it includes parents, students of child development and/or child psychology, and teachers in those same disciplines.  I also optimistically state that educational policy-makers would be a valid audience (though history would indicate that those folks are not big purveyors of the literature).  I believe these groups are the target audience because of the article headline--it mentions "discipline" and "children" and those two topics are on the minds of the groups mentioned.  You can also tell its targeted towards academia because of the research it cites.

As for news drivers, I think the following are relevant:

Importance--The research here, and its application, have the potential to affect how we educate children, which has huge potential for society as a whole.

Human Interest--The integration of personal stories about children helped by this method adds depth to the story and makes this driver applicable.

Change--This research runs counter to some long-standing beliefs about how children should be disciplined.

Relevance--This story has immediate relevance for those of us in the field, and long-term relevance for communities and societies at large.

mspikes's picture

Wonderful and Detailed response! 

I'm glad that you found opportunities to integrate the concept of VIA in your own classroom, which is something we'll be focusing on during our week with you at Roosevelt University. As you go through the course, of which Unit 2 will be sent directly to you in the next day or so, keep thinking about ways that you can adapt parts of the course to the courses that you already teach. 

I look forward to seeing you in a few weeks and hearing more.