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:
NEWSPAPER, MAGAZINE, and ONLINE JOURNALISM
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.
RADIO and TELEVISION JOURNALISM
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
choosing this requirement
component will NOT be able to
complete the requirement until
after the class and submission
of the approved article is
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 www.ScoutmasterBucky.com website after the class is complete.
ONLINE CLASS PARTICIPANTS - you will need to do this requirement on your own prior to the class.
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
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.