Student Preparation – Press Corps
Getting ready for the Press Corps requires significant student dedication to accomplish the many necessary tasks.
This background research lays the foundation for the students to understand the context in which they will be operating at the conference, as well as the necessary tools for developing their positions. This work needs to begin 6 months before the conference starts and is estimated to take roughly three months to complete.
Students work as a group to research and understand the context of MMUN, i.e. The United Nations and its role in the world today. Students:
- Draw “Pictures of Peace” where students create pictures of world problems and illustrate possible solutions
- Study the history of the United Nations
- Investigate the role of the United Nations in the world today
- Discuss the limits of the UN
Students work to investigate the context of your news outlet, including:
- the viewership
- “specialties” that your news organization heralds (eg. Finance, politics)
- the global perception of your news organization
- past major stories that have been award-winning or notable
- whether your news organization is a member of a coalition of news sources (eg. Associated Press)
Students work in pairs to research the topics A and B form the committees they have chosen. This work begins with students studying the MMUN background guides to better understand the committee topic, as well as consulting:
- Original references cited in the background guides
- UN website
- Other research sites, including news sources and key international organizations.
This research provides the foundation for the development the editorial, as well as the basis of all their discussions during committee sessions. Significantly, however, you shouldn’t restrict yourself to just sources from your own news outlet or the background guides. Instead, use primary and secondary sources to discover the history, past actions, and context of the topics. Both students of each pair must be familiar with both committee topics, regardless of who authors the final editorial.
MMUN has created a Topic research template to structure the further research process. This work begins with understanding the overall scope of the committee topics to understanding the specific perspective of their delegation country, including:
The research phase creates the basis for the students’ development of their Editorials for submission to the delegation committees.
Editorials are the culmination of the student’s research and must be in the style and with the perspective of the publication (therefore reporters should use the third person when writing). To achieve this the reporter must study the publication, the topics that the news organization normally focus on, and the already established viewers/readers of the news organization. In addition to the in-depth research on the topics, the reporter must also become familiar with the publication and its intended audience. The research should culminate in theses that can provide the base of an article, and prepare them for article proposals. As a reminder, it is imperative that each delegate choose one topic. A team of two delegates will then have a “Topic A” and a “Topic B” and each must have their own editorial, making two editorials per news outlet. (delegates must be knowledgeable about both topics)
- Each pair of students is responsible for both editorials on their delegation committee topics. Unless, a single delegate is the sole representation of their delegation on a committee, in which case they are responsible for both editorials.
- editorials must be formally submitted to the committee bureau for consideration 6 weeks before the conference (during Step 3 of registration). Only delegates who have submitted editorials will be allowed to participate in committee session.
Helpful for an editorial, here is a link to the Positon Paper Checklist .
Committee Procedures – Press Corps
In order to facilitate student engagement during the conference, students should practice the committee procedures for the press corps over the last three months before the conference, including:
- A suspension of the rules of procedures.
- Work on drafting article proposals and articles, becoming familiar with the format of the “reverse triangle.”
- Practice writing skills, note taking, and journalistic integrity.
- Practice public speaking
Some resources for this work include:
- Press Corps Background Guide
- Descriptions of other committee topics: 2018 NYC February and March Conferences Committees, Topics & Background Guides
- Guide to News Outlets
- Sample Editorial
- Committee-in-the-Classroom which includes suggestions on activities for practicing procedures
Final Materials Checklist for the Conference
After all the prep work for the conference, it is important to remember to bring all the important relevant materials students have produced for the conference, including:
- Every Reporter: Research Binder with their research, the UN charter, editorial, and research notes on topics chosen.