"Journalists at Work"
Journalists at Work is a sequence of four educational units based on findings from the Canadian Worlds of Journalism Study and supported by scenes from the film, AFTER FACT (2020). Each unit includes a suggested lesson plan, a specially selected movie clip, and customizable slides with key findings from the Canadian Worlds of Journalism Study (CWJS). These materials are freely available to teachers and instructors anywhere, by request here:
The slides and other teaching material can be adapted for a wide range of subject areas and educational levels. The four units are described in detail below. Please reach out to for educational licensing of the full documentary film
1. Where are Those Facts? Journalism in the Age of Fake News
This unit helps students reflect on the challenges that disinformation poses to recognizing facts and to practising journalism. Scenes from After Fact show journalists pushing for hidden facts and querying public officials.
2. Oases of Reality: News Poverty and the Crisis in Local News
How journalists’ work has changed through job precarity and the thin financial foundations of news operations. How the threat of “news deserts” impedes access to verified information and accountability of political and business leaders. Scenes from After Fact include a local journalist facing the end of work as she knows it, and an independent reporter covering a municipal election for his crowd-funded website.
3. News on Speed: Journalism and the Scythe of Social Media
What journalists mean by “verification” and how they pursue it in practice. The threat posed to their professional routines and quality work by the minute-to-minute competition to break stories through posts on social platforms. Scenes deleted from the released version of After Fact show journalists wrestling with the challenges of verification and competition while investigating a brutal crime.
4. The Journalism of Tomorrow: What’s Replacing “Newspapers”?
How emerging and innovative publications complement and replace traditional models. Who is producing news today, and how are they changing their routines and assumptions? In scenes deleted from After Fact, journalists reflect on the emerging shape of their working world.
Included in each unit:
Movie clip: scenes from After Fact (2020) especially compiled by director Lindsay Fitzgerald.
Slideshow: supports the suggested lesson with relevant research findings, background information on the media landscape, and discussion questions. The slides include data from our study on journalists’ practices, challenges, and routines, and how journalists in Canada and elsewhere describe their roles and values. Plus, never-published quotes from the journalists we interviewed.
A teacher’s guide including a one-hour suggested lesson plan, learning activities, background facts, resource links, a quiz, and further reading.
The material can be adapted to fit a range of secondary or post-secondary learning outcomes, and may be preceded by screening the full one-hour documentary.
To request Journalists At Work materials, including movie clips, please contact CWJS Here. To screen AFTER FACT in full or for an educational licence, please Email firstname.lastname@example.org