Journalism Merit Badge
Please arrive with ample time prior to the start time of your class for registration.  Remember there will be others checking in as well and depending on the size of the class, and the event the class is being held in conjunction with, that registration may take a little time.

You should bring a blue card filled out properly for this class. - Scoutmaster Bucky Online participants - you will not be allowed to participate if you have not provided your signed blue card prior to the class - you should have forwarded your blue card to Scoutmaster Bucky prior to the class via email or postal mail:
Scoutmaster Bucky - 5724 Aldrich Avenue South  Minneapolis, Minnesota  55419.

If you are not familiar with how to fill out a blue card, you should familiarize yourself with Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card" document. Click here for Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card".  Remember it is a Scout's responsibility to take care of their own blue card from beginning to end.
Your Scout Uniform is required to be worn for attending this Merit Badge session.   If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners; Scoutmaster Bucky via email or on the phone at 612-483-0665.

Reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending and doing preparation work will insure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities. The merit badge pamphlet is a wealth of information that can make earning a merit badge a lot easier. It contains many of the answers and solutions needed or can at least provide direction as to where one can find the answers.

It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event. You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Journalism Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference and completion of any Merit Badge workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scouts completion of any merit badge requirement(s). You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Journalism Merit Badge Workbook by clicking here .   If this link is not working please check the internet for other merit badge workbook options.

It should be noted that this merit badge class is not meant for those who just want to come and see what they can get done. It is possible to complete this merit badge by being properly prepared and having done the preparation work prior to the class. Preparation is a MUST 
Other Journalism MERIT BADGE PAGES
Journalism Merit Badge Current Requirements
Scoutmaster Bucky's - Journalism Merit Badge Workbook
Journalism Merit Badge and Merit Badge History Page

Journalism Merit Badge Things to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

1. Merit Badge Blue Card properly filled out and signed off by your Scoutmaster

2. Journalism Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Writing instruments and paper, along with any other pertinent equipment necessary to complete requirements

5. Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to this merit badge which may also include a Merit Badge Workbook for reference with notes

6. A positive Scouting focus and attitude


1. Explain what freedom of the press is and how the First Amendment guarantees that you can voice your opinion. In your discussion, tell how to distinguish between fact and opinion, and explain the terms libel, slander, defamation, fair comment and criticism, public figure, privacy, and malice. Discuss how these matters relate to ethics in journalism.

Scouts should have this written out to show the counselor that some thought and research has gone into this requirement and Scouts should be prepared to discuss their findings. Scouts will not automatically be signed off on this requirement just for attending as the requirement states that they must discuss a number of items and will be required to partake in group and/or individual discussion to obtain credit.


2. Do either A OR B:


1. All on the same day, read a local newspaper, a national newspaper, a newsmagazine, and (with your parent's permission) an online news source. From each source, clip, read, and compare a story about the same event. Tell your counselor how long each story is and how fair and accurate the stories are in presenting different points of view. Tell how each source handled the story differently, depending on its purpose or audience

2. Visit the office of a newspaper, magazine, or internet news site. Ask for a tour of the various divisions (editorial, business, and printing). During your tour, talk to an executive from the business side about managements relations with reporters, editors, and photographers and what makes a "good" newspaper, magazine, or internet news site.


1. All on the same day, watch a local and national network newscast, listen to a radio newscast, and (with your parent's permission) view a national broadcast news source online. List the different news items and features presented, the different elements used, and the time in minutes and seconds and the online space devoted to each story. Compare the story lists and discuss whether the stories are fair and accurate. Explain why different news outlets treated the stories differently and/or presented a different point of view.

2. Visit a radio or television station. Ask for a tour of the various departments, concentrating on those related to news broadcasts. During your tour, talk to the station manager or other station management executive about station operations, particularly how management and the news staff work together, and what makes a "good" station. If possible, go with a reporter to cover a news event.

NO components for Requirement 2 will be covered in this class HOWEVER Scouts who can bring documented proof of completing either of these requirement components will have an opportunity to share with the counselor their accomplishments and potentially be signed off. It is STRONGLY recommended Scouts interested in completing this merit badge bring their work for requirement 2a or 2b with to the class. If the work meets the satisfaction of the merit badge counselor, (saying you did it is not enough, you need to bring proof), most counselors will sign off on the requirement.


3. Discuss the differences between a hard news story and a feature story. Explain what is the "five Ws and H." Then do ONE of the following:

There are two parts to this requirement and Scouts have a couple of options to complete this requirement as a part of this class. All Scouts should make sure they formulate a written answer for the discussion on hard news and feature story. All Scouts should also have notes prepared for explaining the "five W's and H".

a. Choose a current or an unusual event of interest to you, and write either a hard news article OR a feature article about the event. Gear the article for print OR audio OR video journalism. Share your article with your counselor.

Scouts choosing requirement component 2a should come to the class with the work completed and ready for review. Don't forget to bring your completed article in whatever format you develop it in.

b. With your parent's permission and counselor's approval, interview someone in your community who is influential because of his or her leadership, talent, career, or life experiences. Then present to your counselor either a written or oral report telling what you learned about this person.

Scouts are encouraged to prepare ahead of time if they know someone who they can interview from their community that meets the criteria set forth in this requirement component. Scouts may either provide a written or oral presentation of their interview to the counselor during the class for consideration of sign off on this requirement component. Scouts, at a minimum should review this requirement and have an understanding of each of the aspects of this requirement. It should not be expected that Scouts who have not reviewed this requirement will be signed off during the class. There is some level of preparation that can and should be done prior to the class, even if there is not someone that they can interview prior to the class. Formulating some questions they might want to ask should be the minimum preparation done prior to the class for this requirement component.

c. With your parent's permission and counselor's approval, read an autobiography written by a journalist you want to learn more about. Write an article that tells what you learned about this person and the contributions this person has made to the field of journalism.

Scouts choosing to complete this requirement component should choose carefully so as to make sure their selection is not rejected by the counselor. Remember, that while this requirement component does not state the length the article must be, this is the Journalism Merit Badge and the article should be comprehensive enough to give a good book report on your selected book. Only Scouts meeting the counselor expectations of the requirement component will be considered for sign off on this requirement component.  Have your article ready to share at the class.

d. Attend a Scouting event and write a 200-word article (feature or hard news) about the event. Use either the inverted pyramid style or the chronological style. Review the article with your counselor, then submit it to your community newspaper or BSA local council or district newsletter for consideration.

Scouts choosing requirement component 2d should come to the class with their article ready for review. Note that this requirement component states you must review your article with the merit badge counselor BEFORE submitting it your community newspaper or local BSA organization.  Scouts choosing this requirement component will NOT be able to complete the requirement until after the class and submission of the approved article is completed.


4. Attend a public event and do ONE of the following:

a. Write two newspaper articles about the event, one using the inverted pyramid style and one using the chronological style.

b. Using a radio or television broadcasting style, write a news story, a feature story, and a critical review of the event.

c. Take a series of photographs to help tell the story of the event in pictures. Include news photos and feature photos in your presentation. Write a brief synopsis of the event as well as captions for your photos.

For this requirement, Scouts should plan on whether they want to do written journalism, photo journalism, or video journalism, as a part of the class. Whichever one they choose they should bring the appropriate equipment. Scouts will be given Scoutmaster Bucky Press Passes and will serve as reporters at the Scoutmaster Bucky event. They will visit other merit badge classes happening at that time and compose their story based on the event. These articles, photos, or videos may be posted on the website after the class is complete.


ONLINE CLASS PARTICIPANTS - you will need to do this requirement on your own prior to the class.

Only Scouts that have prepared and have their requirement component ready to share will be considered for sign off on this requirement. Please make sure you have your work in electronic format for sharing with the merit badge counselor during the class.


5. Find out about three career opportunities in journalism. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.

Scouts should review this requirement and its elements and be prepared to discuss. It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for discussion of these items.

this page last reviewed / updated: April 2019