Boy Scout Merit Badge Requirements


[BADGE] JOURNALISM

  1. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Read a local newspaper, a national newspaper, a newsmagazine, and a computerized online news source. From each of these, clip stories about the same event. Put each item on a separate piece of paper. Write an analysis comparing the different stories, explaining how the stories are objective or subjective and how each publication handled the story differently depending on its purpose or audience.
    2. All on the same day, watch a local television newscast, watch a national network newscast, listen to a radio newscast, and study the computerized online news provided by a national news broadcast source. List the different news items, features, and editorials on the broadcasts, including the time in minutes and seconds devoted to each story, and print out a copy of the online edition's "front page." Write an analysis comparing the different story lists, explaining how the stories are objective or subjective and why different news outlets treated the stories differently.
  2. Do either a OR b:
    1. Print journalism:
      1. Visit a newspaper office and tour the various divisions, including the newsroom, the editorial offices, the business side, and the printing plant. During your tour, talk to an editor or reporter about what it's like to be a newspaper journalist, where they get story ideas, and what makes a good newspaper. If possible, go with a reporter and your buddy to cover a news event. Get your parent's permission first.
      2. With the help of your counselor, prepare a front-page newspaper layout. Edit copy, proofread a story after it has been typeset , and be able to explain the printing process.
    2. Broadcast journalism:
      1. Visit a radio or television station and tour the various divisions, including the newsroom, the studios, the control rooms, and the business side. During your tour, talk to a producer or reporter about what it's like to be a broadcast journalist, where they get story ideas, and what makes a good station. If possible, go with a reporter and your buddy to cover a news event. Get your parent's permission first.
      2. With the help of your counselor, prepare a television or radio news show format. Edit audiotape or videotape, and be able to explain what it takes to broadcast radio or television news.
  3. Attend a news event and do ONE of the following:
    1. Write a newspaper story about the event, a sidebar feature, and either an editorial or a critical review of the event.
    2. Using radio or TV style, write a news story about the event, a color story, and either an editorial or critical review of the event.
    3. Take a series of photographs that would help to tell the story in pictures, including some news photos and some feature photos. Write cutlines for your photos and a brief story of the event.
  4. Answer at least three of five questions about qualifications, educational preparations, training opportunities, wages, and personal satisfaction in a career in journalism.

BSA Advancement ID#: 66
Source: Boy Scout Requirements, #33215E, revised 2002