[10/16/18] – Reporting Breaking News

Today news moves fast. With the advent of Twitter, other social media, the internet, etc. news can move so quickly that news stations and outlets are compelled to respond to and report on information in something approaching real time. It is the case now, for instance, that many of the reporters of the White House press corps are on their phones during White House Press Secretary meetings/briefings. These are journalists, who, for their respective newspaper, are assigned to be the only person stationed at the White House from their organization. Despite the fact that these people represent a select few with direct access to certain information that others do not have, the focus is moving away from the quality of information and towards the urgency of information. Many of these reporters respond by tweeting in real-time—so that their network/outlet gets the news before someone else. This week we look at the real-time reporting of an unfolding issue—the disappearance and potential murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Reporting Breaking News



Redefining Real Time Journalism in the Digital Age

A lecture by the 2015 Donald Murray Visiting Journalist, Megan Specia ’09, delivered April 7, 2015 at the University of New Hampshire. We no longer live in a world defined by previous journalistic mediums—they are shifting and virtually unlimited in capability. What does this mean for journalism?

Part 1: Katie Couric on Social Media and Real-Time Journalism

Katie Couric talks about how much has changed in journalism because of new technology.





Writing: What are the benefits or dangers of instant news? Consider how headlines influence our beliefs and ideologies.

Debate: When current demand for news emphasizes urgency over journalistic quality or reflection, does this make for worse news? Can we have fast news that is also good news?

Poll: Review the articles from this week’s news. Were they all entirely objective? Yes or No?

Short Answer: How much do you follow news that occurs in countries other than your own, such as today’s focus?


Current Events Quiz

Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian ____ of the Saudi government.

  • suspicious
  • supportive
  • ambivalent
  • critical

He has not been seen since visiting the Saudi consulate in Turkey, and reports by the Turkish Government indicate he was:

  • Awarded with a Medal of Honorable Merit.
  • Given a lollipop and sent on his way.
  • Taken into custody.
  • Murdered there.

The Saudi king has ____ and the Turkish government will soon ___.

  • ordered a probe; search the consulate
  • resigned the monarchy; deny involvement
  • spoken to Angela Merkel; speak to her too
  • sone nothing; close the consulate

 A Turkish government-run newspaper has indicated Khashoggi ___ before entering the consulate.

  • turned on the recording function of his Apple watch
  • gave his fiancé a last will and testament
  • yelled obscenities
  • called for help

 Donald Trump has responded by:

  • Touting his expertise in terrorism
  • Reiterating the words of the Saudi king
  • Blaming Hillary Clinton for the unfolding events
  • Calling for a joint council to investigate the issue

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