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Project | 4-6 Weeks

Life after prison: how young people are affected by the criminal justice system


OVERVIEW

lifeafterprison

Returning to life outside prison - called reentry - is challenging for individuals and their families. On average, more than half a million people are released from federal and state correctional facilities in the U.S. each year. Stories produced by teenagers are important to understand the far-reaching consequences of incarceration, how everyone is impacted, and what can be done to help families and communities repair.

Ideas for getting started:

  • Research and reach out to organizations that work with formerly incarcerated people. Ask them about people they work with, who might be interested in discussing their experiences with reentry
  • Talk to organizations working with the juvenile justice system, and ask for names of people who want to share their experiences
  • Seek names of people who are no longer experiencing challenges related to reentry, but want to share their story with a wider audience
  • Gather data and statistics about reentry in your community. Look at ways people and organizations are trying to lower recidivism rates. (Recidivism = a tendency to relapse into criminal behavior)
  • Include the voice of at least one young person (approximately age 25 or younger). For example, it could be a formerly incarcerated young person, or someone who has had a family member or close friend experience reentry.

Formats to consider

  • Video profile: a profile is a story focusing primarily on one person. You want your profile to help the audience understand and see that person clearly.
  • Audio feature story: This might be a two-way interview, a reported piece with multiple interviews and audio scenes. Sometimes people are more comfortable sharing difficult experiences in an audio format rather than appearing on camera.
  • Print story: This should be a written piece of journalism. It could be a report, a feature article, an explainer.

Ethics

A set of moral principles based on standards of right and wrong, usually in terms of obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues.

Source: Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Journalism

Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information.

Source: American Press institute

Journalism Ethics

Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity. Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Source: Society of Professional Journalist Code of Ethics

Trust

Belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.

Source: Merriam Webster

Bias

Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Source: Lexico, Powered by Oxford

Accountability

An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions.

Source: Merriam Webster

Media

Media refers to all electronic or digital means and print or artistic visuals used to transmit messages.

Source: NAMLE

News Media

All forms of media created with the purpose of informing the public and delivering news through specific mediums such as radio and broadcast stations, digital news organizations and others.

Media consumption

The act of consuming any form of media including anything that is text or visual. It can be books, television, papers, flyers, advertisements, newspapers, information on the Internet, etc.

Issue

​​A subject or problem that people are thinking and talking about

Source: Cambridge Dictionary

Community

A group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood). It can also be a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

Source: Merriam Webster

Diversity

The condition of having or being composed of differing elements. Especially in the context of the inclusion of people of different races, cultures, etc. in a group or organization

Source: Merriam Webster

Inclusion

The act or practice of including and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (as because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability)

Source: Merriam Webster

Timeliness

Immediate, current information and events are newsworthy because they have just recently occurred. It’s news because it’s “new.”

Proximity

Local information and events are newsworthy because they affect the people in our community and region. We care more about things that happen “close to home.”

Solutions

Investigating and explaining, in a critical and clear-eyed way, how people try to solve widely shared problems. Solutions journalism focuses on responses to problems.

Source: Solutions Journalism

Perception

Awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation or intuitive cognition. A capacity for comprehension and understanding.

Source: Merriam Webster

Human Interest

People are interested in other people. Everyone has something to celebrate and something to complain about. We like unusual stories of people who accomplish amazing feats or handle a life crisis because we can identify with them.

Relevance

People are attracted to information that helps them make good decisions. If you like music, you find musician interviews relevant. If you’re looking for a job, the business news is relevant. We need to depend on relevant information that helps us make decisions.

Story Angle

In news, it’s a story’s point or theme. It's the lens through which the producer or writer filters the information they have gathered and focuses it to make it meaningful to viewers or readers.

Source: ThoughCo.

Audience

The people who read, watch and consume news. Often, journalists think about audience and newsworthiness in similar ways. How will the news story serve their local or national audience? Who am I writing the story for and why?

Interview

A conversation between two or more people where the purpose is to gather information and facts. The interviewer asks questions and the interviewee provides information based on their knowledge about a specific topic or issue.

Podcast

A digital audio or video file or recording, usually part of a themed series.

Podcast Segment

An audio story within a podcast episode

Audio Scene

A recording of something going on (versus an interview).

Note: Think b-roll but for audio.

Story

An account of past or current events. In journalism, stories are presented with a combination of people, facts, and typically includes a beginning, middle and end.

Character

A person or other physical being in a narrative. Stories are made up of different characters who provide information and help shape the narrative with their knowledge, experience and perspective.

Movement

A group of people with a shared purpose who work to create change together. Movements use power in numbers—be it 5 people or 5,000 people—to bring attention to important issues and create solutions for the future.

Revision

The process of changing and updating your work based on feedback with the goal of making it stronger. To successfully revise your story, listen to other perspectives, be open to reconsidering parts of your story and remember not to take feedback personally - it's about the story, not about you.

Pitch

A description of what your story might be and WHY it’s important. An outline of your story idea and the steps to achieve your goal. A summary of what you hope to accomplish in your story

Script

A document with transcribed (written-out) soundbites and voiceover narration. A VIDEO script is a two-column document with the audio (soundbites and voice over) in the right-hand column and a description of what the audience sees (visuals) in the left-hand column.

Conflict

When violence strikes or when people argue about actions, events, ideas or policies, we care. Conflict and controversy attract our attention by highlighting problems or differences within the community or between groups. Sometimes conflict can be subtle and manifest as tension.

Empathy

The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. A generally definition is the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. In media-making, creators can have empathy for their subjects and the audience can empathize with the characters.

News package

Video stories about newsworthy issues and topics, factual information, balanced reporting, research, voice overs, soundbites, b-roll footage, infographics, reporter standup, nats (natural sound bites).

Video profile

The story of one person, has voiceover (VO), b-roll, pictures, nats (natural sound), interviews of family members or peers of that one person.

Explainer video

Narration and/or voiceover (VO) with a host, commentary, research, personal experiences, explanations, infographics, nats (natural sound), music, entertainment.

Short documentary

Narration and/or voiceover (VO), scene reconstructions, archival footage, nats (natural sound), b-roll, images, research, lengthy interviews, soundbites.

Standup

When a television reporter appears in front of the camera to narrate part of a story – most often at the beginning to set up the story, in the middle as a transition or if there is no good b-roll to cover voiceover, or at the very end.

Source: Berkeley Advanced Media Institute

Voiceover

Narration done by a broadcast reporter, usually reading from a script. The reporter's voice is recorded over a sequence of video clips that tell a story.

Source: Berkeley Advanced Media Institute

Sequence

A sequence is a series of shots of an action or scene. A classic action sequence consists of a combination of at least three shots of an action in sequential order.

Shot List

A document with the details of each shot of the scene or action sequence you plan to record. It contains the Shot Number, Composition/Angle, and Description.

SOT (Sound on Tape)

Generally considered to be audio captured from an individual who is on camera, like an interviewee and may also be referred to as a soundbite.

Extreme Long Shot

Commonly used as an establishing shot.

Long Shot / Wide Shot

Full shot of the person or location. Full body.

Medium Shot

Half body, normally from the waist up.

Close Up

Close Up of the face including neck and shoulders in the shot. Also used for objects.

Extreme Close Up

Shows parts of a person or object in detail.

Over-the-shoulder Shot

Shows a person’s back of head and shoulder looking at someone or something.

Creative shots

These can include low/high angles, dollies, POVs (point-of-view), rack focus, etc.

Soundbite

A short extract or clip from a recorded interview, chosen for its relevance to the story, pungency or appropriateness.

A-Roll

The primary video and audio that drives your story from beginning to end.

Montage

A selection of separate sections of video that form a continuous, edited piece.

Video Portrait

A short video clip that captures the interview subject in their natural state. It involves a person looking into the lens for a few seconds. It’s like a still photo but video!

Evidence

The availability of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid

Expert

A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.

Fact

Something that is known or proved to be true.

Assumption

Something that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.

Research

An investigation into and study of sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.

Source

A source is an individual, company, document or more that can provide information to fuel a new story. In order for a story to be considered verified and to maintain a reputation as a news outlet, it is important to have a credible source.

Natural sound

Sounds produced in their actual setting. Natural sound, commonly known as NAT sound, puts the viewer in the place the story was told by enhancing the scene(s) with video containing rich audio such as a musician singing at a train station, a storm approaching, or the sound of a tractor plowing the field.

Transcription

A word-for-word document of what was said in a conversation or interview

Narrator

A person who gives an account or tells the story of events, experiences, etc. In news, it is the person who adds spoken commentary to the video news story.

Topics
Levels

Advanced

Materials
Estimated Time

4-6 Weeks