See attached.
Section 1:
For this assignment I just want to know what topic you would like to choose for your report!
I’d also like to know what you already know or think about this topic. What ideas are you
going into this project with? What have you heard about this topic? Where do you plan on
getting information and what preconceived ideas do you need to be careful of?
This is an informal response!

Section 2:
Report Assignment
For this assignment we will be pretending to be hopeful journalists! We are interning at a news
station and have been tasked with writing the prompt on a current event that our newscasters will
read on the nightly news. But, oops! Our first draft used a lot of unreliable sources, which means
we didn’t quite get the story right. For our second draft we’re going to be more careful about
where we’re getting our information.
For this assignment you’ll be writing both versions of the report. This means that yes, for the
first one I want you to find unreliable, biased sources that provide you with misinformation. But
you should pretend like you didn’t know. Use these sources as if they’re reliable and write a
nightly report based on those sources.
For the second one, you realized your mistake just in time! That means that you’ve gone back
and found actual reliable sources that you’ve used to write the report.
Each report should be 100-200 words, so you’ll have to be really on top of using clear, direct
writing so you can get the whole story across.
Finally, you’ll be writing a short reflection on how the story has changed from one report to the
This project requires that you implement a number of skills we’ve been learning in the media
literacy unit. First, you’ll have to identify unreliable sources in order to use them in the first
version of your report (the media bias chart will be helpful for this!). Then you’ll have to know
how to go back and find actual reliable sources on this topic. In writing the report we’ll be
utilizing a number of skills including writing in a straightforward, non-biased way – we are
trying to uphold our journalistic integrity in reporting the news. So the report itself should be
reliable. Finally, we’ll also be practicing how to do some more secondary source attribution,
making sure to tell our viewers where we’re getting information from.
You may choose any current event to report on.
For this assignment you need:
1. An unreliable news report around 100-200 words
2. A reliable news report around 100-200 words
3. A brief explanation for each of where you got your information and why you think it is
unreliable or reliable including sources (don’t worry about putting them in MLA, just
make sure I can find them).
Example #1 (Misleading):
Good evening. Breaking news tonight. Amid record breaking winter storms in Texas, millions of
people are without power. Tucker Carlson notes that due to a failure in green energy policies,
Texas has become more reliant on windmills for energy. This reliance ultimately led to the
rolling blackouts. This is a stark example of the ways in which green energy is unreliable and
will lead to more power failures. Public Utility Commission Chairman DeAnn Walker is quoted
as saying “My understanding is, the wind turbines are all frozen.” The Wall Street Journal notes
that this recent tragedy in Texas demonstrates how Biden’s plan to reduce our reliance on fossil
fuels might well be a greater threat to Americans than climate change. Our thoughts are with
The first article is on Infowars, a far-right website with low reliability. It is here that I got my
quotes from Tucker Carlson. The problem is, Carlson is not in any way a climate or energy
expert, so I shouldn’t have been going to him in the first place for reliable news, not to mention
his show is notoriously misleading. The second source is trickier. I got it from the Wall Street
Journal, which is typically fairly reliable and only slightly right leaning. But, what I failed to
consider is that this is an opinion piece (you can see it labeled as such reeeally small above the
headline)! I shouldn’t have relied on this to make so much of my argument in this report. It’s
doubly sneaky because by saying it came from the WSJ (technically true) I’m misleading my
viewers into thinking I got good info.

Example #2 (Reliable):
Good evening. Breaking news tonight. Amid record breaking winter storms in Texas, millions of
people are without power. Record cold temperatures have wreaked havoc across Texas’ power
grid. In attempting to deal with this winter storm, Texas faced a number of obstacles. Texas runs
on an independent power grid, disconnected from regional grids, that is managed by ERCOT, the
Electrical Reliability Council of Texas. According to Reuters, this isolation made it more
difficult for Texas to source energy from elsewhere. While many point to the failure of green
energy, particularly windmills that froze in the storm, the culprit is more likely to be a number of
different factors including a lack of winterization and this inability to connect to other grids.
NPR notes that while wind turbines did freeze, so did natural gas wells, pipelines, critical pipes
at coal and nuclear power plants, and electrical panels. Even ERCOT President and CEO Bill
Magness stated that it was an across the board failure. As Texas rushes to get power back to
homes, our thoughts remain with them.
Reuters is where I got a lot of this information. Reuters is highly factual and largely middle of
the road. The article itself is full of links to other reliable or primary sources (not other articles
on Reuters or other unreliable websites). I also got some information from an NPR article that
was written by a journalist who specializes in energy. NPR is also highly factual and reliable and
as I mentioned, this was written by a journalist with experience in this particular area and isn’t an
opinion piece. While I do mention that the freezing wind turbines did happen and contributed in
some way to the lack of power, this report is much more factual and looks at the bigger picture.

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