Decisions on Deadline

Expand/Collapse Decisions on Deadline


This collection contains two lesson plans and an interactive game that will facilitate discussion and deepen understanding of the complex issues raised in the documentary film, A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at The New York Times. Students will be encouraged to think critically about the daily pressures faced by journalists and media makers in a fast-paced and quickly changing field.

  • The Documentary | A Fragile Trust | Lesson Plan

    This lesson explores the Jayson Blair story and other cases where journalists have breached the code of ethics in their efforts to get the story out. Students will examine the journalism code of ethics and discuss its importance. They will view either the film or selected video clips, and discuss the specifics of the Jayson Blair case and how the code of ethics applies. Students will then examine several real cases of journalism ethics violations and make recommendations on how journalism organizations can protect themselves, their journalists and their audiences from ethical violations.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • The Game | Decisions on Deadline | Lesson Plan

    This lesson explores Decisions On Deadline, a free, fun, and fast-paced browser and tablet-based game where players take on the role of journalists running down stories, working against time and a limited budget while navigating a string of ethical dilemmas similar to what journalists face working in the digital age. The game provides an interactive component for students to explore some of the complex decisions journalists face while getting accurate and substantiated information by ethical means under the pressures of deadlines.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Decisions on Deadline | Interactive Game

    A free, fun, and fast-paced browser and tablet-based game where players take on the role of journalists running down stories, working against time and a limited budget while navigating a string of ethical dilemmas similar to what journalists face working in the digital age. The game provides an interactive component for students to explore some of the complex decisions journalists face while getting accurate and substantiated information by ethical means under the pressures of deadlines.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • A Fragile Trust | Film Trailer

    A Fragile Trust tells the shocking story of Jayson Blair, the most infamous serial plagiarist of our time, and how he unleashed the massive scandal that rocked The New York Times and the entire world of journalism. In 2003, Blair was caught plagiarizing the work of other reporters and supplementing his own reporting with fabricated details in dozens of different stories published in the Times. The Jayson Blair scandal at the most basic level is a character-driven narrative about an important chapter in the history of journalism, but also a complex story about power, ethics, representation, race, and accountability in the mainstream media.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • A Fragile Trust | Film Clip 1

    In this film clip from A Fragile Trust, we learn how technological advances impacted news institutions like The New York Times, as they extended journalism across new platforms, such as the Internet, cable, and television.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • A Fragile Trust | Film Clip 2

    In this film clip from A Fragile Trust, former New York Times reporter, Jayson Blair explains how he used the electronic tools at his disposal to pull archival photos and excerpts from other people’s news articles to file stories from locations where he’d never been. Students will consider how technology has made it easier for people to plagiarize and why Jayson Blair’s actions are unethical.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • A Fragile Trust | Film Clip 3

    After viewing this film clip from A Fragile Trust, students will consider the trust that journalists have with their readers, interview subjects, and the news organizations that employ them. Students will also examine the checks and balances that organizations must implement in order to prevent plagiarism by journalists.

    Grades: 9-13+

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