О ACADEMIC LISTENING AND NOTE TAKING: From Event to Story – Making It to the News

In this section you will hear and lake notes on a two-part lecture given by Ms. Sarah Coleman, a journalist. The title of the lecture is From Event to Story – Malting It to the News. Ms. Coleman will explain the steps journalists take and the difficulties they face as they write the stories we read in the newspaper.



People often discuss the role of newspapers in society, and they frequently disagree about what newspapers should and should not do. Discuss the following questions with a partner.

1 What is a newspaper’s role? Should newspapers give us only information, or opinions too?

2 Should journalists write a story even if they do not have all the facts or if they are not sure that all the facts are correct?

3 What do you think is the most difficult thing about a journalist’s job?


1 Read the guidelines for responsible journalism below. Then with a partner, choose an event that happened recently in your community or country. Find two or three articles about the event in different newspapers. Analyze each article using the guidelines.

Do not tell lies – only tell the truth.

Do nol include unnecessary details – only include details that directly affect

the story.

Do not use sensationalism to make the story more interesting.

Be fair and present all sides of the story.

Do not confuse news and entertainment.


One of the issues that the public faces is how to know if the information that appears in newspapers is accurate. Discuss the following questions with your partner in relation to the articles you read for step I. Support your answers.

1 How do you know the journalists wrote the truth?

2 How do you know if they were fair and presented all sides of the story?

When you are reading a text, you can see how it is organized because it is divided into paragraphs. It may also have section headings. You can also read a text slowly, underline parts you do not understand, and come back to them later.

In a lecture, it is more difficult to follow the organization of the speakers ideas. However, signal words can help you. These words act as markers or signposts that indicate what kind of information the speaker will give next. In Chapter 1, you learned signal words for introducing examples and definitions. Signal words can be used for other purposes, too. Here are some examples of commonly used signal words:

To indicate time To reinforce an idea or introduce a contradiction To list ideas

To introduce a new idea To introduce an opposite idea

today, nowadays, sometimes, usually, at that point in fact, actually

first of all, then, after that, finally and, also, in addition, furthermore but, however, on the other hand

1 The signal words in the left column are used by the lecturer. Read them and match each one with a synonym from the column on the right. Fill in each blank with the correct answer.



a These days


First of all

b But


In fact

c Occasionally



d Generally



e To begin with



f Actually


Now listen to some parts of the lecture that include the signal words in step l. As you listen, fill in the blank with the correct word(s). Then compare your answers with a partner.

1 _________________ , more than ever before, we are surrounded by news.

2 _________________ ., so many new stories appear every day that it’s impossible

to keep up with them!

3 _________________ , there are different kinds of journalists.

4 _________________ , journalists are called reporters because they "report”

the news.

5 , unplanned events are more exciting!

6 , it’s important not to report too much personal

information or anything that is scandalous.

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