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Challenge | 2 Weeks

What's on the ballot?


OVERVIEW

whatsontheballot

“Vote YES!”, “Vote NO!” What does a yes or no vote mean for the ballot measures in your state? Explore the big issues of the 2022 midterm elections. Share what’s on the ballot in your state and community– what do you care about the most?

YOUR CHALLENGE

What’s on the ballot where you live?

Make a short video to explore what voters in your state or community are considering on election day– November 8, 2022. Pick a ballot measure you care about and make a video that’s 60 seconds or less.

Film vertically. Use your phone, and tell an informative story– in your own voice– that educates other people about what’s on the ballot where you live.

You can create a video diary-style story and include yourself on camera if you’d like. Be sure to include b-roll to make your video as visually interesting as possible!

Start by doing research about what issues are on the ballot where you live, and choose one issue that’s important to you.

PRODUCTION GUIDELINES

For vertical short videos: TikToks, IG Reels, YT Shorts

  • Always introduce yourself first (name, grade, school, city and state) and what you’re doing (Example: Hi, I’m SARAH SMITH. I’m in 10th grade and I go to FLOWER HIGH SCHOOL in FLOWER, VIRGINIA and I’m looking into some of the local ballot measures in this midterm elections. For example…
  • Plan your video (write a script or key points)
  • Pick an ideal filming location (make sure you don’t film in front of a plain wall or cluttered background)
  • Prioritize lighting (avoid backlighting or having your back facing the window)
  • Does everything sound okay? Minimize background noise or echo (i.e. turn off the fan, set your phone notifications to silent) Avoid busy or crowded areas like hallways. Consider using a microphone, or headphones with a mic attached
  • Film vertically/portrait mode for TikTok, Instagram Reels, 9:16 aspect ratio (film using your phone camera, NOT the TikTok app camera)
  • Edit TikToks using a third party app or software (NOT the TikTok app studio)
  • Keep each TikTok, IG Reel, YT Short under 90 seconds.
  • Be yourself! Remember to bring your energy and personality.

RESOURCES

SUBMIT TO PBS NEWSHOUR STUDENT REPORTING LABS

UPLOADING VIDEO FILE:

Rename the video file with your information: STATE_School_Name_Ballot.mp4 Example: VA_FlowerHigh_SarahSmith_Ballot.mp4

File type: .mp4, codec: h.264, resolution: 1080x1920 (vertical), 30fps

Exporting .mp4 using Premiere or Final Cut Pro

SUBMIT HERE

Journalism

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

Source: American Press institute

Issue

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

Source: Cambridge Dictionary

Timeliness

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

Explainer video

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

Accuracy

Free from mistake or error. Coverage of topics and facts in appropriate detail.

Fairness

Journalists should strive for accuracy and truth in reporting, and not slant a story so a reader draws the reporter’s desired conclusion.

B-roll

The supplemental footage used to visually support your A-ROLL.

Search: broll.

Civic and Political Institutions

In order to act responsibly and effectively, citizens must understand the important institutions of their society and the principles that these institutions are intended to reflect. That requires mastery of a body of knowledge about law, politics, and government. (NCSS D2.Civ.1.9-12 - D2.Civ.6.9-12)

Gathering and Evaluating Sources

Whether students are constructing opinions, explanation, or arguments, they will gather information from a variety of sources and evaluate the relevance of that information. (NCSS D3.1.9-12 - D3.2.9-12)

Topics

Media Literacy

Civics

Elections

Active Prompts

Levels

Intermediate

Materials

Computers

Camera or Mobile Phone

Camera

Mobile Phone

Internet

Light Kit

Estimated Time

2 Weeks