Journalism

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Journalism Merit Badge requirement resources include the Merit Badge Worksheet,
links, and cross-references to related Merit Badges and Boy Scout Awards.
Journalism is one of the rarest Merit Badges with only 1,113 earned in 2007!

Journalism requires prior counselor approval for requirements #3b, 3c.
Journalism merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1927
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 066
Requirements revision: 2007
Latest pamphlet revision: 2006

Contents


Journalism requirements

  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.
  2. Do either A OR B:
    a. Newspaper and magazine 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 a newspaper or magazine office Ask for a tour of the various divisions, (editorial, business, and printing). During your tour, talk to an executive from the business side about management’s relations with reporters, editors, and photographers and what makes a “good” newspaper or magazine.
    b. 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.
  3. Discuss the differences between a hard news story and a feature story. Explain what is the “five W’s and H.” Then do ONE of the following:
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
  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.
  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.


The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2014 Edition (BSA Supply No. 33216 - SKU# 619576)

The text of these requirements is locked and can only be edited
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Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Notes

Worksheet A FREE workbook for Journalism is available here! Adobe Acrobat PDF
with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need!
Or click here to print just the Journalism requirements.
meritbadge.org has PDF and DOC versions of
Boy Scout merit badge workbooks,
Webelos workbooks, and Cub Scout workbooks.


Requirement resources

1: Freedom of the Press From the Department of State
3a: Hard News Writing

15 Minutes of Fame! Lesson Plans for Feature Stories

4a: The Inverted Pyramid Illustrated and plainly explained.
5: Broadcast Media and Journalism Career Guide

Related awards

Profession Awards

Profession-related awards

See also

Boy Scout portal
Varsity Scout portal
Venturing portal
General Merit Badge information


External links

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