- What is CNN? What do the letters CNN stand for? When did CNN first go on the air? Who started CNN?
- How do you learn about current events? What types of news programs or networks appeal to you?
- Do you think that it is important to learn about people and events in the news in the United States and around the world? Explain.
- How do you think that the presentation of the news might differ among various media formats, such as television, the Internet, newspaper, newsmagazines, radio or cell phones?
- Why do you think that some news stories make it onto television or the Web while others do not? Who do you think makes those decisions?
- What are some of the stories in the news this week? What information would you like to learn about these stories?
- How do you think that 24-hour global coverage of people and events has affected our world?
- Preparing Questions
- Have students create KWL charts - what they Know about CNN, what they Want to know about CNN, and what they Learned on the tour of CNN. Students may use this chart to create a list of questions to ask on the tour.
- Distribute the Student Handout: Tour Itinerary/Preparing Questions to students. This handout presents the Inside CNN Atlanta Tour itinerary with space for students to write questions or information that they want to learn about on the tour.
- Talk the Talk: To help familiarize students with the media terms they will hear on the CNN tour, distribute the Student Handout: Glossary of Terms and review the terms and phrases used in the news media business. Have students create bingo boards prior to the tour that note the words in the Glossary of Terms, such as router, monitor, bug, TelePrompTer and font. As they hear these terms mentioned on the Inside CNN Atlanta Tour, students can mark them off on their bingo boards with markers or stickers. In order to win, students will need to be able to define or explain the terms in context.
- Control Room Jargon: Print out a copy of the Student Handout: Control Room Jargon. Cut up each of the sayings (without definitions) into separate slips of paper, and distribute one slip of paper to each student. Have students guess the translations for their sayings and share their predictions with the class. Encourage class members to make additional suggestions. Then, distribute the jargon definitions to students. During the tour, have the students listen for these terms in the appropriate context. After the tour, have student groups write scripts that simulate the dialogue that might take place in the CNN control room.
- Background Information: Distribute to students the Student Handout: Ted Turner. Discuss with students what might have motivated Mr. Turner to take the risks that he did. Ask: What contributions did Ted Turner and CNN make to Georgia, the U.S. and the international community? Have students create mind maps or graphic organizers that illustrate the many impacts that CNN and Ted Turner have had on the news and information industry, on the way that we receive and respond to our information and on the global society.
- Planning the Trip Route: Challenge students to map out their trip to CNN Center, noting the mileage, highways, side streets, cross-sections and alternate routes. Have students consult bus and train schedules to help create an itinerary for the field trip.
- What is journalism? Why do you think that journalism is often referred to as a "first rough draft" of history?
- How does broadcast news coverage of events compare with how those events might be covered in textbooks or history books?
- What opportunities and challenges do you think that reporters and producers face when reporting the news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
- How are news stories reported on the various CNN networks, programs and media, such as online, cell phones or PDAs? How might the format or the media affect the message of the story?
- What are some of the changes in technology that have taken place since WWII? How have these changes affected the news media?
- How does the immediacy of news journalism today compare with historical reporting and recording of events?
- In your view, to what extent, if any, has CNN socially, economically or politically impacted the U.S. and the world?
- Do you think that global communication can affect global change? Why or why not? What do you think are some of the possible future effects of global communication?
- What impact do you think 24-hour news coverage has had on the way we interact with the world around us?