Magazine online supplement

Spring 2021 issue: A look back at 2020 and lots of tips for 2021 and beyond

cover sp2021

Cover photo by Katlyn Dickey, Sparkman High School (Harvest, Alabama)

Classrooms all over the country have evolved. From going totally online to working in hybrid mode to working with students face-to-face, teachers, too, have evolved. All the while, student media operations find new ways to cover the students at their school. The 2021 issue profiles 26 scholastic media advisers and looks at the challenges they faced in 2020. JEA curriculum link

Contributions by Louisa Avery, Cherie Burgett, Kathleen Calder, Kyle Carter, Maggie Cogar, Cary Conover, Jackie Davis, Mary Kay Downes, Linda Drake, Kristen Hunter Flores, David Alan Foster, Kelly Huddleston, Warren Kent, Val Kibler, Erica Kincannon, Debra Klevens, Tiffany Kopcak, Alicia Merrifield, Andrea Negri, Sarah Sherman, Stacy Short, Nicole Brewington Smith, April Van Buren, Cathy Wall, Jennie Wilson, Mitch Ziegler

Local Politics | From school boards to the statehouse, coverage of local politics provides so many opportunities for student journalists. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE JEA curriculum link

Keeping Up | Making surnames plural is generally as simple as adding an s or an esJEA curriculum link

40 photos, 55 days | Students turn in 10 photos per week for four weeks. This story includes a grading rubric and some workflow ideas. | By Josh Clements, CJE JEA curriculum link

Yellow and Gray | Pantone chose a pairing of yellow and gray as the colors of the year. JEA curriculum link

Words of the year | From pandemic to lockdown to the coronavirus, various dictionaries released a word of the year for 2020, a crazy year. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE JEA curriculum link

Answer key

Answer key

Multimedia Packages | Julia Satterthwaite, MJE, discussed planning multimedia packages at last summer’s Advisers Institute. JEA curriculum link

  • By Michael Ellson
  • By Travis Armknecht, CJE


Winter 2020 issue: Some new technology and a pivotal court case


Photo by Alice Liang, Cinco Ranch
High School (Katy, Texas)

While this issue leads with an article by Krystle Hoisington, CJE, about sports coverage, based on a session by R.J. Morgan, CJE, at the 2020 JEA Advisers Institute, there's a lot of great and varied content. Thanks to a partnership with Jeffe Browne at the Quill & Scroll Honor SocietyHoisington's article has some award-winning images and stories to illustrate the concepts Morgan suggests to improve sports coverage.

Another session Morgan taught at the 2020 JEA Advisers Institute is also the subject of a spread by Shari Chumley: "Journalism, at its heart, is a question."

Flourish | Flourish is an online tool for creating colorful and interactive stories in graphic form. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE

LINKS TO GRAPHICS | In this issue, we referenced quite a few online infographics made with Flourish including one by Mori Ono, a student at Community High School (Ann Arbor, Michigan). Check them out.

Photopea | Photopea is an online tool that looks, acts and operates a lot like Adobe Photoshop. But it’s free. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE

A question | Journalists need to go out in the world and seek information from many sources. | By Shari Chumley, CJE

B.L. v. Mahanoy | A case appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court may decide what free speech rights students have. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued an historic opinion in B.L. v. Mahanoy Area School District, upholding the free speech rights of public school students. VIEW EXHIBIT D-1 that contains material considered offensive.

Try broccoli | The news hasn’t changed, but the way we access information has, according to Jim Streisel. | By Nancy Smith, MJE


Fall 2020 issue: Best practices during a pandemic

Photo by Dylan Mitchell, Shawnee Mission Northwest High School (Shawnee, Kansas); Susan Massy, adviser

Last spring, the National Scholastic Press Association invited schools to submit material related to their coverage of COVID-19. Despite the fact that schools were closed, students had no access to servers and advisers couldn’t meet in person, some of the submissions illustrated best practices regardless of medium. | By Gary Lundgren

Whether broadcast, newsmagazine, yearbook or web coverage, the best work shared some common qualities:

  • Tip O’Neill, legendary speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, used to say, “All politics is local.” The same is true of journalism — especially scholastic journalism. The best COVID-19 coverage delivers local stories. Student media operations are uniquely positioned to share those stories. Don’t strive to be CNN or The New York Times. Those big national media outlets would love to have your localized, focused readership.
  • Storytelling focuses on people and how the pandemic impacted lives in unique ways. The best student reporting uncovered students, teachers and administrators with unique COVID-19 stories.
  • Relevant data adds context and credibility to the human stories. Don’t just deliver data. The best coverage presented data in a visual way. Digital journalists animated the data, allowing for interaction.
  • The best stories answer the critical question: Why should I care?
  • Social distancing and sheltering in place resulted in innovative visual -storytelling including extensive use of impressive student-generated illustrative art and images shared by readers and published with permission. Lifting images from the internet without getting written permission to use them is never OK — even during a -pandemic.

Prepare to be impressed.

Critiques by Logan Aimone, Makena Busch, Andrew Chambers, Michelle Coro, Karl Grubaugh, Kathy Habiger, Joe Humphrey, William Love, Heather Nagel, Marcella Pieper, Sally Renaud, Kristi Rathbun

VIEW all the contest winners.

VIEW the videos and interactive graphics mentioned in the magazine.

Photo assignments | Karl Grubaugh, CJE; Kate Peterson; and Jeff Gabbard, CJE, developed creative photo assignments. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE, with more assignments by Debra Klevens, Cary Conover, Pia Longinotti and Kim McCarthy

Zoom's videoconferencing tool became the de facto standard almost overnight. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE

My life | For some instructors, being in isolation presented an opportunity. | By Shannon Oden • JEA curriculum link

In the field | Erin Ailworth, a correspondent with The Wall Street Journal, discusses how she covers breaking news. JEA curriculum link

Eye-Opener | A high school junior discusses how she covered Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Kansas City, Missouri. | By Noelle Griffin • JEA curriculum link


Summer 2020 issue: Using Roy Peter Clark's book in the classroom, stylebook updates

Photo by Luis Salas, Paso Robles High School (California); Jeff Mount, adviser

Helping students write is the focus of the first major story in the summer 2020 issue. By Timothy Cain, CJE, the article is based on a session by Valerie Kibler, MJE, journalism instructor at Harrisonburg High School (Virginia), who shared tips and tricks to improve student writing based on Roy Peter Clark’s book, Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, at last summer's Advisers Institute. JEA curriculum link

  • Kibler discusses Roy Peter Clark, her hero
  • Jim Lehrer’s “Rules of Journalism” | By Jim Lehrer
  • In 1913, Willard G. Bleyer published 11 strategies for writing. Clark updated them. | By Roy Peter Clark

Stylebook updates | Every year, the Associated Press editors update the Stylebook. This excerpt includes some of the updates and two exercises. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE JEA curriculum link

As part of the section on the Associated Press Stylebook, JEA included a word finder. The answer key is here.

Have a little fun | Brian Wilson, MJE, shares some of his ideas for leadership and team building. | By Trisa Dyer JEA curriculum link

Va. teacher inspires | Mary Kay Downes received the Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award. Read an edited version of her speech at the 2019 Advisers Institute. JEA curriculum link

Academic Coverage | Examples from the national Quill and Scroll competition show excellence in yearbook academic coverage that goes beyond the basics. JEA curriculum link

Profile: The Communicator magazine | Community High School (Ann Arbor, Michigan) | By Gary Lundgren

Profile: Pantera yearbook | Mead High School (Spokane, Washington) | By Gary Lundgren


Spring 2020 issue: new ways to think about classroom engagement, mobilizing print content

Cover photo by Iliana Ortiz, Claudia Taylor “Ladybird” Johnson High School (San Antonio, Texas)

The first major story in the spring 2020 issue is over a piece of software that's been around for a while — Issuu. Many schools use Issuu to archive PDF files online or just to give their program an online presence. However, Issuu has evolved to be much more than just a way to put PDF files online. With the philosophy of "create once and share everywhere," as CEO Joe Hyrkin says, the software now work almost seamlessly with PDF files and within Adobe InDesign to create mobile versions of stories. 

  • CEO Joe Hyrkin and numerous scholastic media advisers discuss how they use Issuu and how it can expand a publication’s reach. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • RESEARCH: Adults spend more time using mobile devices than they do watching television.
  • Integrate Issuu and Adobe InDesign
  • Create Issuu articles for consumption on mobile devices
  • Make a video or animated GIF to make social media posts visually interesting
  • Monetize content, reach new audiences and incorporate video

Look differently | Al Drago, a freelance photographer in Washington, D.C., shows how photographers can see even a monotonous situation in a variety of ways. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE JEA curriculum link

Factors affecting censorship | Research finds that school administrators influence how and what student media can publish. | By R.J. Morgan, CJE JEA curriculum link

Engagement strategies | Sarah Nichols, MJE, gives readers eight tips for giving a media program staying power. | By Julia Walker JEA curriculum link:

  • Focus on three areas | By Emily Miller
  • Reading list | By Emily Miller
  • short stories.

Kodiak yearbook | Bridgeland High School (Cypress, Texas) | Gary Lundgren

Chuck Todd tells students to focus on local politics.

Words of the yearclimate emergency, existential, they

Color of the year — Classic Blue


Answer key to crossword puzzle.

Winter 2019: Devoted to climate change coverage

Cover photo by Ryan Ash, Edwardsville High School (Illinois); Amanda Thrun, adviser

Cover photo by Ryan Ash, Edwardsville High School (Illinois); Amanda Thrun, adviser

More than half of this 52-page issue is devoted to coverage of the environment and climate change. Take a look:

  • Environmental journalists empower readers to take action. | By Carol Terracina Hartman
  • Society of Environmental Journalists president offers advice for budding journalists. | With Bobby Magill
  • Focusing on writing and storytelling. | By Carol Terracina Hartman
  • Institute for Environmental Journalism helps students turn passion into skills. | By Katina Paron, MJE, with student work by Christine Zhu, Madeleine Klass, Celeste Wolf and Satchel Walton
  • Young environmental journalists form global network | By Mai Hoang with student work by Sarah Wang and Shah Tazrian Ashrafi
  • Texas photographer covers environment while teaching others. | By Jason Weingart

And to top it off, for the first time, the issue is printed on recycled paper.

ONLINE SUPPLEMENT: Climate coverage story ideas by Mai Hoang CLICK HERE

THE FIRST AMENDMENT | The First Amendment we know now wasn’t really the first amendment. Indeed, it was third. After a historical review, several authors contribute seven exercises on the 45 words that make up the First Amendment. | Contributions by Lori Oglesbee; Sarah Nichols, MJE; Carol Lange, CJE; Bradley Wilson, MJE

WRITING SAY THIS, NOT THAT |  At this past summer’s JEA Advisers Institute, Kelly Furnas, MJE, talked about some common grammar mistakes almost everyone makes. | Susan Pavelka

THE MIRROR | Students at Van Nuys High School (California) cover everything from the homeless in their community to famous alumni from their school. | Gary Lundgren, NSPA


Watch for it in your mailbox in mid-November.

Fall 2019 issue provides thought-provoking suggestions for policies, coverage

Fall 2019

Fall 2019

Cover photo by Abigail Roberts, Shawnee Mission Northwest High School (Shawnee, Kansas); Susan Massy, adviser.

In the lead article, on the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Adam Pawlus, executive director of NLGJA, The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, and Bethany Grace Howe, a recent graduate of the doctoral program at the University of Oregon, answer questions about how to cover the LGBTQ community in the school. And Logan Aimone gives an adviser's perspective on how to be honest, truthful and transparent.

Then various advisers and attorneys specializing in scholastic media law give advice on how to deal with takedown requests, when a student or staff member requests that material published online be taken down.

Also, Howard Spanogle takes a look at how students who compete in JEA's Write-off infographic competition learn by doing. So, here's an exercise created just to supplement this issue of C:JET. It's modified from the spring 2017 infographic contest.  DOWNLOAD IT here.

And, in a package devoted to creating quality podcasts, Jerred Zegelis discusses "J Room" and Ellen Cowhey discusses what Chris Waugaman told advisers about podcasts and audio recording during the JEA Advisers Institute.

In a peer-reviewed research article, Kristy Dekat looks back at how Kanas created legal support for students as part of what became the New Voices movement.


Changes coming in magazine, association leadership

With bylaw changes that were approved by the Board, some Board members will be leaving their leadership positions after next year's elections. Some may choose to run again. Either way, some positions will be open for fresh faces. READ COMMENTARY BY CANDACE PERKINS BOWEN

But the Board is not the only place within JEA to see leadership changes. The flagship magazine — Communication: Journalism Education Today — will also see some changes after the retirement of two senior staff members. READ COMMENTARY BY BRADLEY WILSON

movie posters

“While the temptation may be to think only of showing a film as a few easy class days, that approach limits student learning and smothers teacher vitality.” | Howard Spanogle, author, "Directors of the Screen" in spring 2007 issue

Movies in the classroom

Scholastic media instructors often find it useful to use documentaries or popular films in the classroom for educational purposes.

However, the worst thing a teacher can do is just start playing the film with no discussion in advance, no discussion during the film and no context after the film.

Instead, for each film, select discussion scenes, important results and journalism challenges. Plan appropriate questions after showing a short segment — five to 10 minutes. Consider using repeat segments later in the semester. The information about the actors and the historical background provides helpful details about the stature of each film as a major journalism film.

Being familiar with the background and the trivia details equips teachers to enhance the value of the film for their journalism students.

To that end, use each of the movie guides printed in Communication: Journalism Education Today to accent classroom instruction.

Guides provided include those for

  • Absence of Malice
  • All the President's Men
  • Good Night & Good Luck
  • Newsies
  • The Paper
  • The Post
  • Shattered Glass
  • Spotlight
  • Through a Lens Darkly


Summer 2019

Photo by Raquelle Bennett, Robert G. Cole High School (San Antonio); Brenda Marafioto, adviser

The summer 2019 issue of JEA's flagship publication Communication: Journalism Education Today features a number of short features.

  • Lessons learned at the JEA Advisers Institute. 

    • The recipient of the Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award says that what we teach matters. | By Brenda Gorsuch, MJE

    • Adam Dawkins taught a class on how he instructs students to do a little of everything. | By Jill Cavotta

    • Getting all the right video involves following basic rules according to Justin Raisner.|| By Erin Burden

    • The Magic Rubric is a solution to the grading dilemma according to Sandra Coyer, MJE. | By Jill Cavotta

    • Sarah Nichols gives tips about how to use time wisely in a publications classroom. | By Keri Kemble, CJE

  • Stylebook updates | Every year, the Associated Press issues updates to the Stylebook. Some are trivial. Some reflect a change in culture or a new trend. Answer key to Word Search below. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE — JEA curriculum link

  • Bokeh | Learn how to use low depth of field to help make the subject stand out from the background. Obtain low depth of field by use of wider-open apertures, longer lenses and by moving up closer. | A Q&A with Jessica Stamp of Dripping Springs High School (Texas) — JEA curriculum link

  • Something New | The web is all about now. Readers, listeners and viewers want timely information packaged in creative formats. | By Michelle Balmeo, MJE — JEA curriculum link/

  • The Echo | Grand Blanc Community School (Michigan) | Yearbook illustrates modern design.

  • Favorite Teacher | In this assignment, students first write about then photograph their favorite teacher. | By Jeff Grimm

  • Paper Plate | This assignment is a great icebreaker for a new staff or during deadline stress. | By Jeff Grimm

Links provided by advertisers

Spring 2019


Cover photo by Kathleen Bock, Glenbrook South High School (Glenview, Illinois); Brenda Field, adviser

The spring 2019 issue of JEA's flagship publication Communication: Journalism Education Today features a number of short features.

  • Rebecca Pollard, MJE, wrote a one-page feature on Pearltrees, a way to bring websites, images, audio and video together in an online story. In some ways, this application replaces Storify.  JEA curriculum link
  • Representing the fusion of modern life, Pantone Living Coral, the color of the year, is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media. JEA curriculum link
  • Time magazine's 2018 person of the year are four journalists and a newspaper, including the slain Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi, in an effort to emphasize the importance of reporters' work in an increasingly hostile world. JEA curriculum link
  • Kyle Carter of Richland High School (Essex, Missouri) wrote a story on how he and his students covered a visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to their community, sharing lessons everyone can learn from. JEA curriculum link
  • Based on her experience at the JEA Advisers Institute, Diana Burban wrote a story on a session by executive director of PolitiFact Aaron Shrockman who, talked about the importance of fact checking. JEA curriculum link
  • Each year, various dictionaries choose their words of the year. Collins Dictionaries chose "single use." chose "misinformation." Merriam-Webster chose "justice." And the Oxford Dictionaries chose "toxic." JEA curriculum link

In addition, we profiled two online publications.

And our feature story in this issue was "The Portable Document Format: Toward a paperless society." Back in 1978 Wilfrid Lancaster wrote about a paperless society. In 1990, one of the co-founders of Adobe, John Warnock, developed the Portable Document Format. PDF has not necessarily reduced the amount of paper businesses use, but it has made it easier to share documents electronically. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE JEA curriculum link

Building on the dream of a paperless office conceptualized five years earlier by F. Wilfrid Lancaster, PDF began as the pet project of one of Adobe’s founders, John Warnock. Initially it was an internal project at Adobe to create a file format so documents could be spread throughout the company and displayed on any computer using any operating system.

He began with a vision, living in an ideal world, a world without paper, starting with sharable tax forms, as early as 1984 along with the debut of the first Apple Laserwriter. The idea really did not move forward then, but by 1991, it moved to the forefront again.

In 1992, Adobe announced Version 1.0 of PDF at Comdex Fall, where the technology won a “Best of Comdex” award. Adobe released the tools to create and view PDF files, Acrobat, on June 15, 1993, advertising the release with an accompanying eight-page ad in The Wall Street Journal.

The article mentions quite a few resources for students and advisers, including original documents on the formation of PDF and the idea of the paperless society. Here are direct links to those references.

Suicide coverage a dilemma for media

By Bradley Wilson, MJE

suicide coverage

Suicide coverage a dilemma for media

Jack Kennedy, MJE, a former JEA president and now Colorado Student Media Association executive director can be profound with the simplest of statements. The day the winter issue of C:JET hit his box was no exception.

"I just finished reading the Winter C:JET and wanted to thank you. Sometimes content just happens to fit perfectly with needs, and the wildly different focus topics of suicide coverage and typography are very timely for Colorado advisers."

He continued.

"Suicide is a national health emergency and Colorado's suicide rate for young people is double the national average. I field emails and calls multiple times each month about best practices. My answers pale in comparison to this package."

As I wrote in the introduction to the package, "The increase in the suicide rate has been making the news. The debate continues on how — or if — media outlets should be covering suicides at all depending on who is involved and how the death occurred. Ongoing research shows the imitative effects of media coverage of suicide to be minimal and usually under special circumstances. To minimize imitative effects, how media outlets cover suicide and how much can make a big difference."

So, he asked if it were possible to make the package available more widely.

While we were considering how to deal with Jack's request, Katie Frazier, CJE, adviser at Mayde Creek High School (Houston, Texas) wrote on the JEAHELP email distribution list, "Over the weekend, we lost two students who were sisters (14 and 16) in an apparent murder-suicide; the girls' stepfather allegedly killed the two girls and then himself while the mother was not home."

As I wrote in the winter issue, "The increase in the suicide rate has been making the news. The debate continues on how — or if — media outlets should be covering suicides at all depending on who is involved and how the death occurred. Ongoing research shows the imitative effects of media coverage of suicide to be minimal and usually under special circumstances. To minimize imitative effects, how media outlets cover suicide and how much can make a big difference."

So, to all 3,000 members of JEA and others, here is an excerpt from the winter 2018 issue including 13 tips for media coverage of suicides, a model for Suicide Awareness Week, thoughts from advisers all over the country, case studies, sample policies, and academic research with guidance.

How should a journalist cover suicide

13 tips

  1. Maintain objectivity. Do not use big, sensationalistic headlines. Phrase headlines to refer to the death, not the manner of the death.
  2. Maintain objectivity. Do not place the story at the top of page one or at the top of the website for an extended period of time.
  3. Maintain objectivity. Do not devote too much space to the coverage of the event. Instead, devote space to the mental health issues.
  4. Be sensitive to the family and to the community. Be careful about how and when you release timely information on social media.
  5. Discuss warning signs, perhaps as a sidebar. Do not say the death was “without warning.”
  6. Include up-to-date information on the investigation to present information such as whether a note was found, without quoting the note.
  7. Realize that investigations take time. Do not refer to the cause of death without an official statement. The rest is speculation. When discussing the speculation, include comments from suicide prevention experts and mental health experts.
  8. Use a traditional school photo or a photo provided by the family. Avoid pictures of the scene or grieving friends.
  9. Describe the deceased as “having died by suicide” rather than as “a suicide” or having “committed suicide.”
  10. Contrast “suicide deaths” with “non-fatal attempts.” Do not use “successful” suicide or “unsuccessful attempt.” Attempted suicide may technically be a crime. It is best reported as a public health issue.
  11. Work with mental health officials, including school counselors, to discuss the bigger issues of mental health that help present the suicide in context.
  12. Do background research. Use data from the Centers for Disease Control and the state’s health department to discuss trends in suicide.
  13. Include suggestions about what to do or whom to consult if students or their friends are considering suicide with all coverage, including information on where students can go for assistance, including the National Suicide Hotline number and local crisis phone numbers.

CLICK HERE for direct download of PDF file.

CLICK HERE to view document on


Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide

Suicide Awareness Week from Kirkwood High School

Mitch Eden's speech as Dow Jones News Fund Teacher of the Year


Media Coverage as a Risk Factor in Suicide. Stack, S. April 2003. Journal of Epidemial Community Health. 57. 238-240.

Media Contagion and Suicide Among the Young. Gould, M., et. al. May 2003. American Behavioral Scientist. 46(9). 1269-1284.

Suicide in the Media: A Quantitative Review of Studies Based on Nonfictional StoriesStack, S. April 2005. The American Association of Suicidology. 35(2). 121-133.

The Impact of the Media Coverage of the Suicide of a Well-Known Quebec Report: The Case of Gaëtan Girourad. Tousignant, T., et. al. 2005. Social Science and Medicine. 60. 1919-1926.

Position Statement and Guideline on Media Coverage of Suicide. Ramadas, S. et. al. April 2014. Indian Journal of Psychiatry. 56(2). 107-110.

Trends In News Media Coverage Of Mental Illness In The United States: 1995–2014McGinty, E. et. al. 2016. Health Affairs. 35(6). 1121–1129.

Winter 2018

CJET cover winter 2018The winter 2018 issue of JEA's flagship publication Communication: Journalism Education Today features a 17-package on how scholastic media can accurately, fairly and in a timely fashion cover a suicide at their school. The package features decades worth of research and, finally, 13 specific tips for such difficult coverage.

After two stories based on sessions at the JEA Advisers Institute, one by Erin Burden and one by Jenann Elias there are also two technology stories, one on TimelineJS by Nicole Smith and one on Steller by Jacqueline Rogers.

The cover photo is by Claire Schaffer of Westlake High School (Austin, Texas), Deanne Brown, adviser.

The second major package in the magazine is an in-depth package on making font choices by Bernadette Cranmer, MJE.

Not only does the package of stories include various sample of sophisticated typography from various high school publications, it includes a list of books for type nerds with commentary by Cranmer and a vocabulary list.

Typography exercise

It also includes an exercise on typography on page 36. Here are the answers.

  1. The correct answers are 1. D; 2. M; 3. J; 4. L; 5. T; 6. K; 7. G; 8. E; 9. I; 10. S; 11. H; 12. Q; 13. P; 14. B; 15. C; 16. N; 17. A; 18. F; 19. R; 20. O
  2. This question has a variety of answers depending on the fonts installed on your system.
  3. There are 12 points in a pica. There are 6 picas in an inch. There are 72 points in an inch.
  4. When a printer says set the copy "10 on 12," it means to set the copy in 10 point font with a 12 point leading or 2 points of blank space between each line.
  5. A serif font is considered the easiest to read in body copy sizes because the serifs help join the individual letters into words allowing the mind to "chunk" the pieces together so they can be read faster.

Fall 2018

The fall 2018 issue of JEA's flagship publication, Communication: Journalism Education Today features an in-depth movie guide for Steven Spielberg's 2018 release "The Post."

For the film, select discussion scenes, important results and journalism challenges.

Plan appropriate questions after showing a short segment — five to 10 minutes. Consider using repeat segments later in the semester.

The information about the actors and the historical background provides helpful details about the stature of “The Post” as a major journalism film. Advisers should recognize the many details that director Steven Spielberg considered as he worked carefully to establish credibility for a film about the history of freedom of the press. Being familiar with the background and the trivia details equips advisers to enhance the value of the film for their journalism students.

“While the temptation may be to think only of showing a film as a few easy class days, that approach limits student learning and smothers teacher vitality.” Howard Spanogle, author, “Directors of the Screen” in spring 2007 issue

The Post Crossword

On page 11, students can crossword puzzle while doing background research and reading articles contained in this issue, complete the crossword puzzle. Here's the answer key to the puzzle.

Events in The Post

On pages 12-13, students can complete a chronological movie guide while watching the movie, ideally after having completed other exercises and having reviewed other material with the instructor. Here are the answers to the open-ended questions.

  1. State Department military analyst Daniel Ellsberg accompanies Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to Vietnam. Ellsberg tells the secretary that there has not been improvement over the last year. “What I’m most impressed by is how much things are the same.” Yet what does the secretary tell reporters? “Military progress over the past 12 months has exceeded our expectations. In every respect we’re making progress.”
  2. What think tank did Daniel Ellsberg work for when borrowing the documents, the sensitive Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force? The Rand Corporation
  3. The discussion about what to do in Vietnam took place across five presidential administrations. Which five? Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon
  4. Katherine Graham was planning to take her company public, selling shares in the company to raise capital. What did Graham want to use the money to invest in, something she said Gannett, Knight and Ridder did not do? Reporters, really good reporters; “Our readers are leaders. They’re educated. They demand more. Quality and profitability do go hand in hand.”
  5. Why was Judith Martin denied the opportunity to cover Tricia Nixon’s wedding? She burned her bridges when she crashed the reception of Nixon’s older daughter Julie. She compared Tricia Nixon to a vanilla ice cream cone.
  6. After eating dinner at Art Buchwold’s house, Kay Graham and the other wives move to the couches. What do they discuss? the style section
  7. Even while reading the paper, Graham acknowledges, “It’s hard to say no to the president.” What had she done with the president and his family? What did the president want? She had spent a weekend swimming and speedboating on Johnson’s ranch. In return, Johnson wanted the paper to endorse. 
  8. How does Bradlee try to take advantage of Graham’s relationship with McNamara? He tries to use Graham to get a copy of the study from McNamara.
  9. As Nixon says in actual recorded tapes used in the movie, “[C]ould the Times be prosecuted? As far as the times is concerned…, they’re our enemies. I think we just oughta do it.” Prosecuted for what? Releasing classified information. Indeed, the attorney general does ask the Times to “refrain from further publication” for “irreparable injury to the national defense.”
  10. How many shares did the initial offering of The Washington Post Company sell and at how much? Why was this significant? 1.35 million shares at $24.50/share. Graham had been pushing for a higher price per share to fund more reporters.
  11. The study had 47 volumes. Covert ops. Guaranteed debt. Rigged elections. What was the motivator for copying and distributing the sensitive material? Guilt. A bigger motivator than courage.
  12. And 70 percent of the effort in Vietnam was for what? To avoid the humiliation of defeat. “They knew we couldn’t win … and still sent boys to die.”
  13. As Bradlee is recounting the night at the hospital, he remembers Jackie Kennedy saying, “None of this, none of what you see, none of what I say is ever going to be in your newspaper, Ben.” That’s when Bradlee says he never thought of President John F. Kennedy as a source. What was he and how did Bradlee feel about that? a friend; “We can’t be both; we have to choose.” “We have to check on their power; if we don’t hold them accountable, my god, who will?”
  14. The paper’s attorney’s say the United States government will argue that publication of the papers is a violation of what? The Espionage Act, a felony
  15. What did McNamara warn that Nixon could do if the papers are published? “The Richard Nixon I know will muster the full power of the presidency and if there’s a way to destroy your paper, by God, he’ll find it.” “He’ll crush you.” “He’s wanted to ruin the paper for years and you will not get a second chance.”
  16. Despite insistent attorneys who say, “I guess I wouldn’t publish,” Graham makes the decision to do what? “Let’s go, let’s do it. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. Let’s publish.”
  17. Bradlee goes over to Gramham’s house to talk about a bit of a “complication” and that they could be held in contempt and could go to prison. What is Graham’s reaction? “My decision stands. And I’m going to bed.”
  18. The morning after the Post publishes the first article, William Rhenquist from the Office of the Legal Council at the Department of Justice calls Bradlee and requests what? “[Y]ou publish no further information of this character and advise me that you have made arrangements for the return of these documents to the Department of Defense.”
  19. We’ve got a decision. What was it? 6-3. “We win. And so does the Times.” Quoting Justice Black, Meg Greenfield tells the newsroom, “The Founding Fathers gave the free press … the protection it must have … to fulfill its essential role in our democracy… The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. …”
  20. What was Nixon’s reaction according to actual tapes of him played in the movie? “I want it clearly understood that from now on, ever, no reporter from The Washington Post is ever going to be in the White House. … Never, never in the White House, no church service, nothing that Mrs. Nixon does. … [N]o reporter from The Washington Post is ever to be in the White House again. And no photographer either.

Additional information

Carol Lange also published a guide to "The Post" for The Washington Post's Newspaper in Education program. VIEW IT HERE.

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