Skip Navigation

Oh no, you’re missing out on great content!

This content contains copyrighted material that requires a free NewseumED account.

Registration is simple — and comes with full access to videos, artifact, interactives, shareable content, and more.

Sign Up
?

NewseumED is provided as a free educational resource and contains copyrighted material. Registration is required for full access. Signing up is simple and free.

or log in to your account

Once you create a free account, 
you’ll have access to:

  • Downloads
  • Videos and Artifacts
  • Interactives
  • and more!
Duration
60-90 minutes
Topic(s)
  • Civil Rights
  • Journalism
Grade(s)
  • 6-12

(Note: For more support, see expanded procedure in downloadable lesson plan.)

  1. As a class, define the term news report and discuss the “reporter’s questions”— who, what, where, when, why and how.
  2. Ask the class why newspaper reports were important to readers and participants during the civil rights movement.
  3. Explain that the purpose of this lesson is to look at newspaper coverage of civil rights from different newspapers around the country.
  4. Read and discuss the lead article on The Augusta Courier (found under 1965 on the map below). How does its coverage compare to what you know about Martin Luther King Jr.? Is it biased or objective?
  5. Create a list of choices made by the Courier on the board. Refer to the Press Choices and Do’s and Don’ts of Journalism handouts for analysis of The Augusta Courier and examples of good journalism practices.
  6. Explain that freedom of the press allows newspapers to print what they want, with some limits.
  7. Discuss how a newspaper’s choices can influence their readers.
  8. Students then apply this knowledge independently by choosing two historical civil rights front pages and completing the Analysis of a News Report worksheet. Front pages can be found in the media map (below).

  • Analysis of a News Report worksheet (download), one per student
  • Press Choices and Do’s and Don’ts of Journalism handouts (download), for teacher reference
  • Internet access to examine Civil Rights Media Map

Have students share their findings. Ask:

  • What content and layout similarities and differences do you notice about the newspapers? What similarities and differences do you notice about the articles?
  • In terms of the news report best practices we talked about earlier, what are some of the strengths and weaknesses of each report?
  • Does the content in each report confirm, deepen or contradict your prior knowledge about the event? How?
  • Why do you think the reporters and editors made these content and layout choices? What factors may have influenced these choices?

Explore More Lesson Plans

Quick View

Related EDClasses & Training

  • The Civil War: From the Front Lines to the Front Pages

    Students see how technology affected news coverage and public perception of the Civil War, then create their own front pages with breaking news, maps and telegrams.

  • Fighting Fake News: How to Outsmart Trolls and Troublemakers

    Can you navigate the flurry of fake news and strike a balance between being a cynic and a sucker? Get the tools you need to stay ahead of online tricksters and trolls.

  • Media Ethics for Students

    Is it OK to clean up a quote or broadcast unconfirmed information? Students become more critical consumers of news media by examining real-life case studies of journalists striving to be accurate, fair and clear.

Keep in the loop.

Sign up for NewseumED updates and newsletter today.