Purpose: This assignment aims to expose students to well-written news stories by established journalists on a wide range of topics. Through this assignment, students will learn to:
- Understand the range and scope of Pulitzer Prizes in connection to different genres in news writing;
- Conduct research on news stories;
- Evaluate and appraise good/ bad journalism writing;
- Archive and present learning outcomes and lead class discussions collaboratively.
Instructions: Choose one article from a collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning stories for an in-depth reading, evaluation, critique and reflection on the reporting, interviewing and writing of the story. A discussion session on the stories will follow upon students’ completion of this small writing assignment. The writing portion is about 2-page long and includes an overview of the publisher and the author(s), a summary of the story, a critique of the writing, and a question you’d like to discuss with the class.
: Write a 2-page reflection on what you have learned from the reading that includes:
- Brief introduction (half-page): What is the background on the publication of the article? Where and when was it published? Who are the authors of the article and what are their background? What is the story about? Can you use the 5Ws to explain the main storyline? (Why) is it a significant and/or interesting story? Does it touch upon any important social/ political/ economic issues at the time of its publication?
- Elaboration and appraisal (one-page): What do you think of the article? What are 2-3 specific aspects you think the articles did well (such as interviewing, investigating, writing, etc) that deserve a Pulitzer Prize? How did the reporters cover the story? Is there any interviewing/ investigating skill/ strategy that we could learn from? How was the story written? Identify at least 2 examples (such as well-written sentences/ paragraphs) for appraisal and learning.
- Discussion (half-page): Why, in your opinion, does the article deserve a Pulitzer Prize (or not)? Is there anything you would do differently if you were the reporter? Include one question you have about the article that you’d like to discuss with the class.