Adviser Update Summer 2016 - Page 14

MICHAEL HERNANDEZ Michael advises the Pacemakerwinning Mustang Morning News in Manhattan Beach, California. He is a speaker, author and advocate for student voices, and he believes that multimedia storytelling is key to making meaningful changes in society. Michael is an Apple Distinguished Educator, PBS Digital Innovator, and the inaugural JEA National Broadcast Adviser of the Year. Follow him on Twitter @cinehead school next year because it’s a great starting point for beginning journalists, and I can reference the characters’ many journalistic challenges in units throughout the year. Fiction is a great way to teach about non-fiction because it is easily digestible and generates emotion in the audience. We know that emotion, particularly empathy, is one of the biggest hurdles when reporting indepth or controversial stories, so these films are a great way to expose our students to emotion in a controlled way and to prepare them for the real thing. Documentaries can be powerful, too, because truth is often stranger than fiction and the best ones often expose a shocking truth. It’s important to distinguish between a documentary, which is often crafted with subjective, narrative elements like a three-act structure, music and visual metaphor, and journalism, which privileges objectivity. Here are some ideas for how to use films to teach journalism in your class: The Insider. Russell Crowe plays whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand, based on the true story of a “60 Minutes” piece about the tobacco industry. Courtesy Touchstone Pictures Set up the film’s historical and political context. I’ve taken for granted my knowledge of a topic because of my age and experience. It’s hard for our students to understand