First National Congress
6-7 December 2004, Cebu City, Philippines

An Inquiry-Based Approach to Teaching Interpretative Reporting
by Eden F. Samadan
San Isidro National High School

Over the years Journalism has evolved from mere recounting of events to analyzing, finding significance, and hypothesizing the possible consequences of these events. The lesson described in this paper is geared towards providing Fourth Year Journalism students with activities that would develop their understanding of Interpretative Reporting and how it differs from the typical news reporting. In the course of the activity, students will find various answers to the essential question: "Why is truth significant?" Other questions to be addressed are: "What does the truth reveal?" and "How does the truth affect human lives?"

This lesson employs the inquiry approach, which will help develop the students' critical thinking and higher order thinking skills. They shall also hone their research skills, as they employ various data gathering strategies and use wise judgment and intuitive ability in giving meaning to the data gathered. Further, the students' writing ability will improve as they transcribe the information gathered into news reports to be published in the World Wide Web.

As students undergo the different phases of investigative reporting, they shall perform different tasks like research, interview and survey. Interviews may be personal or through instant messengers. Surveys may also be personal or on-line. Finally, students will design their own website to showcase their output.

ICT plays a vital role in the conduct of the activities in this lesson. Through ICT, in particular computers and the Internet, students gain a broader perspective of learning. Learners are no longer confined to the classroom. They are given opportunities to learn independently, using a variety of resources. There is more interaction between the text and the students, since the former use their wise judgment in weighing the veracity of the texts found in the Internet. Given these conditions, learners find relevance in learning.

As an evaluation strategy, rubrics are used to assess students' performance of the tasks assigned to them.


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