Students who use Broadcast News learn something about journalism, but that's not the point of the program. The point is to use journalism as a vehicle for teaching about the content of the news. The nightly news touches on a broad range of important topics, but one doesn't necessarily learn much simply by watching the show, because the activity of watching is too passive. Nothing about the task of watching a news show challenges the viewer to acquire background he doesn't already have. Furthermore, it is not easy to get the background material even if one is motivated to do so. Nothing encourages the viewer to question the producer's presentation, or to think about what the important issues are.
However, the task of creating a news show is quite different. When students are actually developing a story, they do have to acquire essential background information. When reviewing a rough draft of a story, students are forced to think about the story in order to do a good job. Are the facts reported in the story accurate? Is the story clear? Is the story biased? Are the issues covered really the most important ones? Is anything important left out? These are the kinds of questions the journalism task requires students to think about and which lead them to want to know news content.
Using Broadcast News
Where am I in the content of the book?