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Front Page Talking Points

FOR THE WEEK OF DEC. 21, 2009

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

Media and news consumers pick most important events of 2009

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1.gifLook for year-end wrap-ups that include state and local news. Do you agree with the selections and ranking?

2.gifSome papers invite reader participation in reviews of memorable 2009 stories and photos. See if you still can submit suggestions, or if results appear yet.

3.gifIt's also time to consider key developments of the past 10 years. Check columnists, opinion pages and previews of upcoming special reports for coverage of this decade's highlights.

This year began with a historic turning point -- January's inauguration of our first African-American president -- and was filled with many other memorable events. Listing the most important front-page news of the past 12 months is a December media tradition that's now updated with an interactive twist. For the first time since the Associated Press news service began a top stories poll in 1936, 1,400 members of the public had a say via a Facebook application.
Editors and broadcast news directors put President Obama's inauguration first, followed by U.S. economic news -- while the public poll reversed that order. Both AP Top 10 lists have eight stories in common, including Michael Jackson's death (No. 3 among Facebook voters; seventh on the professional journalists' list).

Some newspapers also invited reader participation through online polls. At Slate, a news and commentary site owned by the Washington Post, more than 23,000 readers voted for five top stores. The leading picks are the inauguration, health care reform, economic recovery, the Afghan war expansion and election protests in Iran.
Prominent choices on other lists also include Michael Jackson, the Iraq war, an airliner's safe river landing in New York, the H1N1 flu virus, Tiger Woods' personal embarrassments, General Motors' bankruptcy filing, a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas and the Tea Party conservative movement.

On Twitter, Iran's election backlash was the year's most engaging topic, according to a review of posting trends at the micro-messaging site. Twitter actually became part of the story when Iranian students used it to describe harsh government crackdowns on protesters during a news media blackout.

Editor says: "This move to expand the AP Top Stories poll is among several efforts to engage consumers in new ways through emerging platforms." -- Michael Oreskes, AP senior managing editor

Person of the Year: "The main reason [Federal Reserve Chairman] Ben Bernanke is Time's Person of the Year for 2009 is that he is the most important player guiding the world's most important economy. His creative leadership helped ensure that 2009 was a period of weak recovery rather than catastrophic depression." -- Michael Grunwald, senior correspondent

YouTube's list: "For the first time we're sharing our official Most Watched lists and some of the fastest-rising search terms on YouTube. Some moments were big (President Obama's inauguration), some small (a Minnesota wedding party erupts into dance), some expected ("New Moon"), some surprising (amateur British singer Susan Boyle) -- but all of them inspired, entertained and connected millions of people around the world." -- Jamie Davidson, YouTube manager


Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2014
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