7.5: How Reporters Report Events

Print and television news reporters make multiple decisions about how they report the events they are covering, including who to interview, which perspective to present, which camera angles to use for capturing footage, and which audio to record. These decisions structure how viewers think about the causes and consequences of events.

Historian Rick Perlstein (2020) described how, during the beginning of the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979, ABC News vaulted to the top of the TV news show ratings with its late night broadcasts of "America Held Hostage: The Crisis in Iran" (the show that would soon be renamed Nightline). The network focused on showing images of a burning American flag, embassy employees in blindfolds, Uncle Sam hanged in effigy, and increasingly more people watched the broadcast. Perlstein (2020) noted, "the images slotted effortlessly into the long-gathering narrative of American malaise, humiliation, and failed leadership" (p. 649) - themes Ronald Reagan would capitalize on during his successful 1980 Presidential campaign.

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In the following activities, you will examine reporters' differences in coverage of the 2016 Hong Kong Protests and then you will act as a reporter and create or remix the news. 

Activity 1: Evaluate How Reporters Covered the 2016 Hong Kong Protests

Just as the accounts from Marie Colvin, Nellie Bly, and other war correspondents shaped public opinion during the past, photos and videos taken by reporters from today's conflict zones can have a huge influence over how people view and understand those events.

Hong Kong protest Admiralty Centre "Hong Kong protest Admiralty Centre" by Citobun is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Designing for Learning: Student-Created Activity Example

Evaluate How Reporters Covered the 2016 Hong Kong Protests by Ryan Shea

Activity 2: Report an Event From a Different Perspective

Designing for Learning: Student-Created Activity Example

How Reporters Report the News

Additional Resources

Connecting to the Building Democracy for All eBook

Building Democracy for All: How Are War Correspondents and War Photographers Essential to a Free Press?

Connecting to the Standards


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