An Ethics Lesson: Why CBS Aired Graphic Death Video

In August 2015, CBS’ 60 Minutes re-aired some of the most graphic video it has ever aired. (It first aired in April 2015.) The program included video of victims from Sarin gas attacks in Syria.

Scott Pelley explains the decision. Watch the interview, which includes clips of the video in question:

“If you don’t see it, I don’t believe the impact truly hits you,” Pelley tells Silvio. “Even though people will be disturbed by what they see, it has to be seen.”

Eyewitness cellphone videos, broadcast on 60 Minutes, show the aftermath of the 2013 sarin gas attack and the horror that victims of all ages suffered — including seizures, vomiting, and respiratory failure.


Ask your students, what would have happened if Jews in Germany and Poland had cellphones and could have posted their plight on the Internet?

“That’s not the kind of thing you want to report on for a couple of days and then walk away and never remember again,” Pelley says. “You want to never forget that that kind of thing happened — and that’s where 60 Minutes comes in.”

Google Tools for Educators


Our TEACHAPALOOZA friend Vanessa Schneider at Google shared amazing tools with us including:

Storytelling with Google’s Geo Tools – Tutorial site:

Getting started with Fusion Tables – Tutorial site:

Movie Making with Google Earth – Tutorial site:

Teachapalooza Demo Data (for practice!):

Google Media Tools:

Google Media Mailing list:

Let’s take a closer look at  Google Public Data .
This powerful search tool makes it easy to look at thousands of data sets from around the globe.

Click on the image to go to the website

Click on the image to go to the website


Google trends can help you find out what people are searching for.
Not only can you find out what’s hot, you can find out what is hot where you are.

Google Trends can also tell you WHEN people search for certain topics.

Click on image to go to website

Click on image to go to website

Google Trends Visualize
See what his hot in a constantly updated visual.

The constantly changing screen shows you what people are searching for on Google.

The constantly changing screen shows you what people are searching for on Google.

Vanessa Schneider's constantly updated blog : click on image to link to site

Vanessa Schneider’s constantly updated blog : click on image to link to site

Google Charts
This is a way to visualize data 

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Eric Newton’s Keynote on the Teaching Hospital Concept

Eric Newton says his concept of a Journalism Teaching Hospital would include six elements:
1. Students doing the journalism;

2. Professionals mentoring them to improve the quality and impact of the journalism;

3. Professors bringing in topic knowledge and raising issues;

4. Innovators pioneering new tools and techniques;

5. Academics doing major research projects;

6. Everyone working together with an emphasis of not just informing a community but engaging it. The sixth element is not a type of person, it’s a way of doing things: working with each other and a community.

The background document on which the notion is based.

Eric says:

The teaching hospital for journalism education rests upon the ancient idea that people learn by doing. There’s a quote often attributed to Ben Franklin in the United States. It is on all the quotation websites. You can look it up. It says, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” The only problem with that: Ben Franklin may have never written it. No original can be found. When you do your homework, however, when you learn by doing, you discover this idea is not 200 years old. It is more than 2,000 years old. A Confucian philosopher Xunzi seems to have written it down first. It’s a Chinese proverb, commonly translated thusly: “I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.” Education thrives through learning by doing.

In other fields, science students work on real experiments with their professors. Sports students participate in actual sports. Computer science students program real computers. Journalism educators interested in learning by doing could find examples in studies of agriculture, law, the arts, education, science, sports and many other fields. But I believe medicine, and its concomitant, the teaching hospital, holds the most promise for journalism education — because like many news organizations, the teaching hospital is deeply rooted in community.

The teaching hospital

In these hospitals, medical students under the tutelage of actual doctors learn how to draw blood, how to insert catheters, how to set broken arms, even deliver babies. Why? Because book learning and passing tests are just not enough to teach you how to be a doctor. How many of you would like to go to the doctor’s office, only to have your young physician say to you, “Well, gee, I read about this in my textbook, but I’ve never actually inserted a catheter before, so, bear with me…”.

Thankfully, in the United States, there are about 400 teaching hospitals. They develop new cures and treatments. They set high standards for patient care. And they treat the most difficult cases while serving the poor. At the same time, they train more than 100,000 new doctors and other health professionals every year.

So if giving physicians real-world experience is part of their education, of course it should apply to journalism. Young journalists need to employ objective techniques to collect facts. They need to use the latest equipment. They need to learn how to communicate clearly. They need to understand that journalism is not about them, it’s about the community. Communities need news for their social health as much as they need clean water and clean air for their physical health. News and information are the lifeblood of communities.

But at this point no journalism education program mirrors exactly an actual teaching hospital. In my country, that may be a controversial statement. We have deans and directors who raise money by extolling the virtues of their journalism and mass communication programs. That is hard work under difficult circumstances. Many people, including more than a few university presidents, don’t appreciate journalism. Journalists have this irritating habit of telling everyone uncomfortable truths. So it’s an uphill battle, with funders the likes of me saying universities should care more about the future, and many news companies not willing to fund journalism education in the present.

There is some good news. American foundations are not only investing more in media at triple the growth rate of their other grant-making, but we’re also investing more in journalism education. The teaching hospital model is helping with that. But if schools don’t do actual journalism, it heightens the criticisms of those who argue that foundations should pour their money directly into critical areas like investigative reporting.


Inside the Gun Wars and Hooked Projects from News21 ASU

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“Gun Wars,” an investigation of gun rights and regulations in America, is the 2014 project of the Carnegie-Knight News21 program, a national multimedia, investigative reporting project produced by the nation’s top journalism students and graduates. Each year, students selected into the program report in depth on a topic of national importance.

29 journalism students from 16 universities traveled to more than 28 states to examine the political and cultural divide between those who say the right to own and carry guns is guaranteed by the Second Amendment and those who believe firearms should be more regulated. As a result, this project showcases the voices of longtime politicians, shooting victims, militia members, rural sheriffs, hunting enthusiasts, inner-city mothers and advocacy groups on all sides of the debate.

The fellows conducted hundreds of interviews, reviewed thousands of pages of state statutes and other records and assembled nine databases that included a comprehensive analysis of child and youth gun deaths and domestic violence homicides by firearms. They also produced more photos and videos than any previous News21 project.

The student work began in January 2014 with a video-conferenced seminar that included reporting and research. In May, they began the 10-week investigative reporting fellowship based out of a newsroom at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus. News21 is supported by grants from the Carnegie Corp. of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as well as The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the Peter Kiewit Foundation of Omaha, Nebraska., and Women & Philanthropy, part of ASU’s Foundation for a New American University.


HOOKED: Tracking heroin's hold on Arizona from Cronkite on Vimeo.

Hooked: Behind The Scenes from Cronkite on Vimeo.

Official: FREE TEACHAPALOOZA Tuition for Ten Texas Educators



This is for TEXAS college and university educators:

Through a grant  to the Poynter Institute, the Headliners Foundation of Texas is offering free tuition for the first ten Texas college and university journalism faculty members to register for TEACHAPALOOZA, a three-day technology education seminar from June 12-15 conducted by the Institute, which is located in St. Petersburg, Florida. TEACHAPALOOZA brings together up to 100 college journalism educators to help them learn new technology and new ways of teaching through “hands-on” learning to get re-energized and sharpen skills – focusing on turning data into journalism.

While the Foundation will pay tuition for up to 10 participants for the seminar, each participant will be responsible for the cost of airfare, hotel and dinner. Poynter Institute will provide lunch Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Once you have applied, the Poynter Institute will provide you information about special low hotel rate deals they have arranged, with rates as low as $110 a night, including breakfast, internet access and shuttle transportation to and from the seminar site at the Poynter Institute.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please click on the following link to apply; the deadline to apply is May 19, 2015:

At the conclusion of the seminar, you will be required to return a 1,000 word (or so) written assessment of the program to help the Foundation evaluate this opportunity for future funding.



Apply NOW and we will confirm your participation quickly. 

Lessons from 2014’s Teachapalooza IV

hernandez#EdShift did a first-rate job capturing the 10 big lessons from TEACHAPALOOZA V.

Among the most spirited discussions arose about this:

Grades aren’t important.” Well, they are and they aren’t. The always-interesting discussion of how to grade in project classes came up during a presentation by USC’s inspirational force-of-nature, Robert Hernandez. Hernandez teaches advanced multimedia reporting, and he gave four innovation suggestions for the classroom, including teaching the “unknown” – diving into a class topic without knowing necessarily the direction the class is going to take. It was during that discussion that he spoke of working on one class project, where students bought into the idea that “grades don’t matter,” and instead were focused on producing solid journalism.