Alan Rusbridger stepped down as editor of the Guardian newspaper at the end of May this year and wrote a very interesting and insightful “farewell” editorial.
In its entirety, it is probably too long and too detailed for use in the classroom. He does, however, provide an overview of how newspapers have changed over the past 20 years and how this is effecting what major newspapers do. Instead of starting at the beginning of the article, I’d give a short introduction: “When Rusbridger took over as editor of the Guardian in 1995, newspapers were quite different from what we know today.” Then start reading from the paragraph “Stories were told in words” and continue until the end of the paragraph before the “Breaking news” heading. (You could also continue with WikiLeaks and Snowden but this would involve more background knowledge or research on the part of the students.) This extract gives a concise overview of many of the changes that we have seen over the years. The students could collate the information either in a timeline or in table, then decide how best to present it with visuals to show the changing face of the media.
The following video of Rusbridger talking about open journalism “Journalists are not the only experts in the world” would also tie in well (even though it is from 2012) as it highlights another important shift in recent years: citizen journalists.