Colorado Student Media Association

CSMA

State Standards & Journalism Education

Colorado has adopted the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts. We will have much more here as the year progresses, focusing on how school media experience and journalism instruction can help schools and districts reach the standards. But to get started, go here to familiarize yourself with what the Common Core Standards look like. Or you can go to this site for an introduction to Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

A CSMA committee has worked on documents demonstrating how journalism and media education can be the best way to support the Colorado ELA Core Common Core standards. Check out our version of how 9th Grade English, with an emphasis on journalism, media literacy and real world publishing, matches with the ELA standards.

You might also find a CSMA document, called Journalism is the New English, quite interesting. It addresses all 22 skills Colorado high school graduates are to have (to be ready for college or the workplace.

 

CSMA JOURNALISM STANDARDS – developed Oct. 9, 1999,
under original organization name (Colorado High School Press Association)

 


Standard 1 – LAYOUT AND DESIGN

STANDARD
The student demonstrates the ability to design a layout for a publication. This includes the knowledge of design elements, graphic elements, and typography.

CHECKPOINTS/BENCHMARKS

  • The student appropriately uses design elements to create a layout that is visually appealing and effectively communicates ideas to the reader.
  • The student uses various graphic elements (typography, photographs, white space, copy, and elements of art) to enhance the readability and attractiveness of the layout.

Standard 2 – ETHICS AND LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES

STANDARD
The student demonstrates an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of a free press.

CHECKPOINTS/BENCHMARKS

  • The student demonstrates an understanding of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US. Constitution, the Colorado State Constitution, the Colorado state law (Colo. Rev. Stat. 22-1-120), and the school district publication policy.
  • The student demonstrates an understanding of pertinent court cases related to student freedom of expression (e.g., Tinker, Hazelwood, Fraser).
  • The student can distinguish between legal statutes and ethical obligations.
  • The student demonstrates knowledge of ethical behavior in collecting information, interviewing, and writing.
  • The student demonstrates an understanding of a journalists responsibility to be fair, balanced, and accurate in reporting and writing.
  • The student demonstrates an understanding of the delicacy in determining news (e.g., the public’s right to know vs. the individual’s right of privacy.)

Standard 3 – ONLINE PUBLICATION STANDARD

STANDARD
The student demonstrates the ability to publish online. Online publication of student journalistic work will follow the same CSMA standards as for the print and broadcast media.

CHECKPOINTS/BENCHMARKS

  • The student appropriately follows the same journalistic standards for reporting, writing and publishing images that apply to the traditional print and broadcast media.
  • The student appropriately uses design elements to create an online publication that is visually appealing and effectively communicates ideas to the site visitor.
  • The student demonstrates an understanding of the rights and obligations of journalistic ethics and legal responsibilities.
  • The student demonstrates the ability to post to the internet.

Standard 4 – PHOTOJOURNALISM ETHICS AND LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
The student demonstrates an understanding of the ethical and legal rights and responsibilities of taking and preparing photographs for publication and video for broadcast. This includes still photos, video imaging, photo illustrations, and computer imaging. A news photo or broadcast image is an historical record. It is the responsibility of the student press photographer or videographer to depict reality.

CHECKPOINTS/BENCHMARKS

  • The student demonstrates an understanding of the rights of a photojournalist’s guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Colorado State Constitution, the Colorado state law (Colo.Rev. Stat.s 22-1-120), and the school district publication policy.
  • The student demonstrates an understanding of a photojournalist’s responsibility to be fair, balanced, and accurate in taking photographs for publication and video for broadcast.
  • The student demonstrates knowledge of ethical behavior when preparing a photograph for publication.
    • Student will not manipulate news photos beyond what is routinely done in the darkroom to improve image quality: cropping, color           corrections, lightening or darkening.
    • Photo illustrations: when used to support story content should be clearly labeled as such.
  • The student demonstrates an understanding of a journalist’s responsibility to accurately label the action and subjects in any published photograph or broadcast image. Broadcast video images must be accurately labeled and described whether written or spoken. The student will not publish or broadcast a photo or video image out of context.

 


Standard 5 – PHOTOGRAPHY
The student demonstrates the ability to produce photos for a publication.

CHECKPOINTS/BENCHMARKS

  • The student’s photographs show good technical quality. Photographs are sharp and clear. Black and white photographs have good contrast, and color photographs have good color saturation.
  • The content of student photographs has a strong center of interest and emphasizes action, emotion, or faces. Each picture endeavors to tell or illustrate the story.
  • The student effectively uses photographic techniques such as framing, leading lines, back lighting, and technology to enhance the quality and composition of the photographs and draw readers’ attention. Photographs are candid and are shot from interesting perspectives.

Standard 6 – WRITING

STANDARD
The student demonstrates the ability to write for a journalistic publication. This includes the knowledge of appropriate style, interviewing techniques, consideration of potential audience and purposes for writing, researching information from a variety of sources, and using the conventions of writing (e.g. grammar, punctuation, spelling).

CHECKPOINTS/BENCHMARKS

  • The student appropriately uses the principles of fair, balanced, and accurate reporting.
  • The student uses appropriate journalistic writing styles (e.g. news, features, opinions) to write for a variety of purposes.
  • The student conducts interviews and research to obtain accurate information.
  • The student supports the writing with appropriate attribution.
  • The student uses clear, precise language in writing.
  • The student uses style or technical manuals as references to correct and edit copy.

 

Colorado Student Media Association
State Standards & Journalism Education