GE|Adults|Upper-Int|6. Being a journalist

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Answer the questions

  1. How has technology affected the way that we receive news?
  2. Do you think that the media is objective? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think that the media covers too much bad news and not enough good news? What was the last «good news» story you heard?
  4. Are there certain things journalists shouldn’t report on? Why?

Now read the articles by two journalists who write for The Times newspaper and see if your ideas are there. Choose and write the best words to complete the texts


Listen and check

Irving Wardle, theatre critic The positive side of the job is obviously getting to see a lot of plays and shows which I love. But the really great thing about being a theatre critic is that, as theatre is an ongoing thing, something that’s going to be repeated night after night for some time, there’s also the feeling that you may have a positive impact on the work. If the producer or the actors read what you’ve written and agree with you, they might actually change something and improve the performance. That’s not something that film or book critics can do. Some critics also like making friends with the stars and all that — but personally I don’t. For me the worst part of the job is all the travelling. Getting there on time, parking, getting back to the office to write for a nightly deadline. That all gets really stressful. Another awful thing is that editors cut bits from your review without you knowing. You learn as a critic that if you’ve got anything worth saying, say it straight away because it might not got printed. I once wrote a review of a play by Julian Mitchell called Another Country. I didn’t like it much, but there was a new young actor who I thought was great, called Kenneth Branagh. That was in the last paragraph and it got cut, so it looked as if I’d never noticed this great new talent.

Pat Gibson, sports journalist The plus sides — I must have seen some of the most spectacular moments in cricket and football over the past forty years. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to places I wouldn’t have seen otherwise, like India, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, South Africa and Fiji. There are much harder ways to make a living and it’s great to get away from Britain as much as you can during the winter.

One of the main downsides is the unpredictability. You don’t work regular hours — you can spend a couple of days not working, but you can never relax because you’re waiting for the phone to ring. And then, when a story breaks — it might be on your day off, it might be in the middle of the night — you just have to drop everything and go. And you never know what time you’re going to be home. Another thing is the constant travelling. It’s been fantastic visiting the Taj Mahal or spending Christmas Day on the beach in Australia, but it does get lonely and it can also be very monotonous. I’ve spent a large portion of the last forty years driving up and down the motorways of Britain, which I can assure you isn’t much fun.

Listen to Alice, a freelance restaurant critic, and Tim, a war reporter, talking about the good and bad sides of their jobs. Listen and mark the sentences as True or False. Correct the false sentences

  • exquisite food [ɪk’skwɪzɪt] — extremely beautiful or pleasant, especially in a delicate way.
  • posh — smart, fashionable, and expensive.


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The best thing about my job is that I get to go to the best restaurants in England and sometimes abroad, and I don’t get a bill at the end of the evening. I get the chance to eat the most wonderful, exquisite food in restaurants that I wouldn’t normally be able to afford and I can order the most expensive dishes and wines without worrying about what it’s costing me. The other great side of the job is that I can take a friend with me so it’s a good way of catching up with old friends, who I may not have seen for a while. And everyone loves a free meal in a posh restaurant so I rarely have to eat on my own. The downside? Well, there are several. I often have to eat a lot when I’m not really hungry. To do my job properly, I have to try all the courses — you know starter, main course, dessert — and sometimes I don’t feel like eating so much but I have to do it. I also have a problem with my weight now — it’s very easy to put on weight when you eat out several times a week. In fact, most restaurant critics have a weight problem. Another problem is that if I write a bad review of a meal I have, it’s difficult for me to ever go to that restaurant again, because the owner of the restaurant will probably recognize me. Another disadvantage of the job is that because I do it so often, eating out has lost a lot of its attraction for me. When the weekend comes I prefer to eat at home rather than go out for a meal.

The restaurant critic


Now listen to Tim, a war reporter

precisely [prɪ’saɪslɪ] — accurately and exactly

Nearly all foreign correspondents and war reporters that I’ve met are people who were looking for adventure. They’re not the kind of people who would be happy with a nine-to-five job. They are people who got into the job precisely because it has very weird hours and involves going to difficult places. I mean to some extent the things which are difficult and potentially dangerous about the job are also the things that made you want to do the job in the first place and the reason why the job is so exciting.

The war reporter

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Think over this quote and choose a topic to discuss

«Celebrities have to accept that the media publishes stories about their private lives. That is the price they pay for being rich and famous.»


Click on the hotspots to open the cards

Read the information

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We can use «as» in many different ways:

1. to give a reason:
As it was raining, we didn’t go out. (as = because)

2. to compare people or things:
She’s as tall as me.

3. to describe somebody’s job or function of something:
She works as a nurse. We had to use a handkerchief as a bandage.

4. to say that something happened while/when something else was happening:
As they were leaving the postman arrived. (as = when)


Decide how ‘as’ is used in each sentence

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Match the phrasal verbs with the correct particle


  • to lie down — to move into a horizontal position, usually in order to rest or sleep.
  • to catch up on — to get the most recent information about sth.
  • to eat out — to eat away from home, esp in a restaurant.
  • to fall over — to fall to the ground.
  • to fill up — to make a container full by putting liquid in it.
  • put on weight — to become fatter.

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Choose and write the correct form

Ms Beal (defence lawyer) | Judge | Mr Luskin (prosecution lawyer) | Mr Dykes (the accused)

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Complete the dialogue by reporting the phrases

Mr Luskin | Judge | Mr Dykes

Match the sentences to the sections of a newspaper

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Complete the headlines with a word from the box

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Match the halves of the sentences

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Complete the phrasal verbs with the correct particle

Listen to the news programme and write the day of the week the story is from

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And now it’s time for your best news stories of the week. Monday’s story. This happened in Kent in the south of England. A woman went to the supermarket, and she had a bag of old clothes to throw in the recycling bin. But after she’d thrown them in, she decided that she’d made a mistake and she wanted to keep them, but when she tried to rescue the items she got stuck in the bin with only her legs visible from outside. Luckily someone saw her and called the fire brigade, who came and rescued her. So there’s a lesson there, be careful before you throw things into a recycling bin. Tuesday’s story. A bank clerk accidentally gave a customer nearly £2 million on Tuesday when he made a mistake with her deposit. When Jenny Woollvin went to her local bank to pay a fifty-pound cheque into her account, she decided to check her balance at the same time. To her surprise, she found she was a millionaire! When the clerk was filling in the form to pay in the £50 he accidentally put part of her account number into the space where the amount goes — so he had given her £1,761,000. Unfortunately for Jenny the error was discovered and the money instantly disappeared. Our next story happened in Bristol on Wednesday. A postman saw two men who were mugging a woman, and ran to her defence. He managed to hit one of the muggers with his heavy mailbag — but then he discovered that in fact they were actors, and were filming a scene for a TV series. A BBC spokesman said that no one was hurt. Thursday’s story…


Listen again and choose the correct answer

And now it’s time for your best news stories of the week. Monday’s story. This happened in Kent in the south of England. A woman went to the supermarket, and she had a bag of old clothes to throw in the recycling bin. But after she’d thrown them in, she decided that she’d made a mistake and she wanted to keep them, but when she tried to rescue the items she got stuck in the bin with only her legs visible from outside. Luckily someone saw her and called the fire brigade, who came and rescued her. So there’s a lesson there, be careful before you throw things into a recycling bin. Tuesday’s story. A bank clerk accidentally gave a customer nearly £2 million on Tuesday when he made a mistake with her deposit. When Jenny Woollvin went to her local bank to pay a fifty-pound cheque into her account, she decided to check her balance at the same time. To her surprise, she found she was a millionaire! When the clerk was filling in the form to pay in the £50 he accidentally put part of her account number into the space where the amount goes — so he had given her £1,761,000. Unfortunately for Jenny the error was discovered and the money instantly disappeared. Our next story happened in Bristol on Wednesday. A postman saw two men who were mugging a woman, and ran to her defence. He managed to hit one of the muggers with his heavy mailbag — but then he discovered that in fact they were actors, and were filming a scene for a TV series. A BBC spokesman said that no one was hurt. Thursday’s story…

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Match the halves to make the sentences. Look up the highlighted words and phrases in your dictionary

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Use the highlighted words or phrases from More details slide to complete the definitions

Watch or listen to a short film on the Speed of News and mark the statements as True or False

A Short Film on the Speed of News

Hi, my name’s Matt Wilder. I’m a freelance journalist based in Washington DC. At the moment I’m trying to find a good story. I have a six o’clock deadline, but nothing’s going on. I know, I’ll see what topics are trending on Twitter.

Today we live in the era of new media. People can access the news at any time, from any place on all kinds of digital devices. The internet and social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook allow these news consumers to become news producers. If you want to be a journalist, all you have to do is post an article online and it can be read instantly by anyone anywhere in the world.

Journalism has changed a lot during the first days of the newspaper and most of these changes have been driven by technology. There’s no better place to discover this than Washington DC — home of the Newseum. There are over 30,000 newspapers here covering over 500 years of news. This is the Boston News-Letter, thought to be the first continuously published newspaper in North America. This edition, from 1718, reports on the sensational killing of Edward Teach — better known as Blackbeard — believed to be one of the most dangerous pirates at the time.

Reporting in the early days of journalism must have been very difficult. Journalists would ride their horses to the nearest town that had a printing press. Their reports were then published in a newspaper, which was often just a single sheet of paper, and distributed on horseback. The roads were bad, so it was very difficult to send news over long distances. By the time most people read these newspapers, the news was often very out-of-date.

This all changed when the first telegraph line was built in 1844. Suddenly, journalists could send stories quickly. The telegraph is said to have revolutionized news reporting. This new style of journalism came just in time for the American Civil War. For the first time news could be sent at the same time as battles were being fought. War correspondents, and the stories they sent, became very popular. But there were still problems. These war reports were very biased because journalists represented their own side in the war. There was no objectivity and reports were usually censored by the army or the government. So stories were often inaccurate and sometimes completely wrong!

It wasn’t until the invention of radio and television that news could be broadcast live. This completely transformed news and created the age of the mass media, where news could be communicated to a huge audience. Throughout the twentieth century demand for news stories increased and news technology continued to advance. By the end of the century there were hundreds of cable TV channels, lots of 24-hour news channels and the internet had been invented. Suddenly, we were in the Information Age.

This is the HP New Media Gallery. It shows the news as it is today. Visitors to this exhibit are placed right at the centre of the digital news revolution. They are instantly connected to the day’s news by live Twitter feeds showing the day’s trending news stories. They can also check out major news stories which were first reported on social media. These pictures of a plane landing on New York’s Hudson River were taken on a smartphone and uploaded to Twitter seconds after the incident had occurred.

Speaking of smartphones… Ah, fantastic! A tweet from The White House. Oh! There’s a big announcement in 25 minutes. I’d better go! Bye!


Read the instructions

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«The public increasingly depend on citizen journalists to witness and record events objectively, and to hold the mainstream media to account for honesty and authenticity. Citizen journalism is taking over traditional newsrooms.»

Watch the videos 🔗1 and 🔗2 for more information about citizen journalism. Then think over the questions:

  • What is the difference between professional and citizen journalism?
  • Is citizen journalism a phenomenon of recent years, or did some kind of practice, which can be described as citizen journalism, exist before we started using the term?
  • How would you describe a citizen journalist and what is his or her motivation for the task?
  • In your opinion, has citizen journalism somehow changed the norms and practices of professional journalism?
  • Can bloggers replace professional journalists and who do you consider more reliable source of information?

Write your opinion on the role of citizen journalism in the modern society. Answer the questions and use words from the list

Wordlist_L6


Useful language

  • channels of communication
  • broadcasting time
  • digital revolution
  • media content
  • broadband Internet access
  • tweeting
  • participatory media
  • media hype
  • sense of mission
  • nagging doubt
  • to plant sth. firmly in sb.’s mind
  • attention-grabbing
  • to play on smb’s emotions
  • to cover a subject

Instructions

  1. Read the topic and the questions carefully.
  2. Plan what you are going to write about.
  3. Write the text according to your plan.
  4. Check your writing before sending it for evaluation.
  5. Learn the rules and see the sample here.
  6. Please use Grammarly to avoid spelling and some grammar mistakes.

Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • Good and bad sides
  • A restaurant critic
  • Celebrities
  • Mini grammar as
  • Phrasal verbs
  • A trial
  • Reporting the dialogue
  • Newspaper sections
  • As
  • Phrasal verbs
  • News programme
  • More details
  • Words
  • Speed of news
  • Citizen journalism