Starting a Broadcast Journalism program from scratch – where to begin

The beginning of the year is always exciting. But sometimes as teachers we are asked to provide instruction for a subject that we aren’t trained in or fully prepared for. This situation is happening in many journalism programs across the country, where a newspaper or yearbook advisor is also now being asked to teach, or include video, in their curriculum.

Case in point, I receive emails every year from teachers looking for help on how to start a broadcast journalism program. I thought this would be a great time to refresh some ideas I have posted about before, and maybe offer some new ones.

Here is a snippet of an email I just received recently from a new teacher:

Hi Don,

I’m a first-year teacher in Lawson, Mo. (about 35 minutes northeast of Kansas City), making a career change from print journalism. Among my duties is starting a broadcast journalism program from scratch. Sad to say this close to the start of school next week, I’m feeling pretty lost.

I’ve been scouring the web for help. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


I am happy to help Steve. There is a lot out there, and I’m honored you found me. Here are some thoughts and links to get you started.

  • Sign up to become a member of JEA (Journalism Education Association).  With your print background, this is a wonderful start. Plus, many of the print teachers with this fabulous organization are being asked to now do video, and I, along with an incredible team of video teachers, are helping them through this transition. They have a National Convention this November where we have an entire Broadcast & Video Production strand of sessions. You should come!
  • Next, you need to purchase the Video Coach from the Academy of Scholastic Broadcasting. I show this video to my beginning broadcasters each semester and it is invaluable. It even comes with PDF lesson plans on the disc. Awesome for starting from scratch.
  • Create an account with It’s a free service for students and teachers with hundreds of thousands of student and teacher produced videos. is one of the single biggest factors in my programs success. Students can view videos, tutorials, take part in contests, publish their videos to the world, AND it’s not blocked in schools like YouTube and Vimeo.
  • As for a beginning assignment, start with the Short News Package. What I have found is that if students can master the skill of a news story, they can move on to PSA’s, commercials, documentaries, longer news features, sports features, etc. seamlessly.  Visit The Next 26: Great Lesson Plans and check out Lesson #4 to download all the materials you will need to kick this off.
  • I would also recommend you create a Twitter account. Twitter has been the best professional development I have ever had. You can find me @dgoble2001 and follow the hash tags #powerofvideo #medialiteracy #JEADM & #journchat to learn more and to reach out for assistance.

Start with all of that and lets see what else you need. Have a great start to the year!

What other must-have sites should this teacher visit? Please add your insight in the comments section.

Don Goble

Don Goble is an award-winning Broadcast, Technology, Multimedia and Film Instructor at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis. Journalism Education Association's National Broadcast Adviser of the Year in 2015, Don is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, PBS Lead Digital Innovator and author who advocates for media and digital literacy for all learners. Don masterfully engages students to author and craft media messages to build their voice and share their story.

Don Goble has 52 posts and counting. See all posts by Don Goble

2 thoughts on “Starting a Broadcast Journalism program from scratch – where to begin

  • August 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I would recommend you seek our existing lesson plans emanating from the new and emerging field of “news literacy.” The News Literacy Project is one. The Center for News Literacy (Stony Brook University) is another.

  • August 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Great suggestion Frank! Thank you for reading the post and helping our new teachers.

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