The Handbook for Economics Lecturers

2.5 What makes a good newsclip?

There are some basic guidelines that you can follow in the search for the ‘ideal’ newsclip. The discussion so far has hinted at some of the properties of a good newsclip. The following is a list of attributes that are desirable in the articles you intend to use.

  • Source. The case study should be drawn from leading business newspapers and magazines or the financial page of good newspapers. This guarantees the quality of the articles and the detailed treatment of the news. Moreover, it is also likely that any development in the case will be followed in future articles. In turn, this helps to accumulate more information that can eventually lead to the creation of an in-depth and more elaborated case study.
  • Freshness. Fresh news is good news! An event that has recently been reported in the news and that is at the centre of general attention can be helpful in motivating students and in stimulating them to follow day-to-day developments.
  • Pedagogical value. It is important that the article has enough ‘content’ to address the pedagogical values that the lecture intends to address.
  • Length. Articles used in the lecture should not be too long, otherwise students will quickly lose track of the main issue and will lose concentration. The article used in the lecture should not be longer than one overhead transparency, while the suggested maximum length for the article used in the seminar is 500 words. Even if a focused newsclip is used, it is important that the original article is not too long, otherwise it becomes difficult to ‘tailor’ the article for the classroom analysis. The length of the article is less important for articles used in seminars. However, it is good practice to avoid long articles, particularly in the early stages of the module, since this can frighten students and deter them from engaging in the analysis.
  • Terminology. It is important that the article contains some of the technical terminology that characterises the theory developed in class. This makes students aware of the fact that the concepts that they are taught are not abstract and that these terms need to become part of their vocabulary if they intend to develop an ability to deal with economic news.
  • Decision making. A good article should contain an element of decision making, where the economic agents involved in the case have to make or have made a decision that needs to be evaluated and analysed. This helps students to identify themselves with these decision-makers and evaluate in a rational and logic way the best course of action to take.