Use the documentary film Reporter to explore the changing landscape of journalism and challenge students to consider their roles as creators and consumers of news.
Listening to students’ reactions—noting their interests, questions, and misconceptions—will inform your decisions about how to debrief their viewing of Reporter. What issues that the film raises are relevant to your curriculum? What skills would you like students to practice?
These 2-minute film excerpts from Reporter introduce important themes in the film and highlight provocative moments. After watching them, think about the images, words, and phrases that stand out to you. What do you think the filmmakers were trying to achieve?
In the documentary Reporter, we follow New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof as he works to get his readers to “care about what happens on the other side of the hill.” We see how he uses social science research and the tools of journalism to try to expand his readers’ universe of responsibility—the people whom they feel obligated to care for and protect. We watch him struggle with dilemmas: How can he inform people about the larger context of genocide and other humanitarian disasters without numbing his readers’ sense of compassion? As a print journalist, how can he adapt to the changing landscape of web-based media? What is the relationship between journalism and advocacy?