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Teacher ROAR
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Homework #2
29.09.13

Rationale: Last time there was a regional strike on 27 June, the broadcast media chose to largely ignore it, treating it as a regional news story, rather than as the start of historic joint action between the NUT and NASUWT.  This time the action is larger and the Tory Party conference is on which may make us more difficult to ignore. But today they ignored an NHS demo of 50,000 people and we want to be sure!

That’s why we’re asking you to bombard the main broadcast news outlets with emails telling them that you expect the strike to be covered, and that you want it covered in a fair and balanced way.  We’re starting this on Sunday night as it will be during the day on Monday that the news broadcast agendas for the next day are set and camera crews allocated.  
Emails

Here’s an example email:

Dear BBC News/ITV News, Sky News, Channel 4 News etc* *delete as appropriate

As you’re aware the largest teacher strike in decades will happen this Tuesday 1 October.

I’m writing to let you know that I expect you to cover the strike, and to do it in a fair and balanced way.  Here are some points I would like to see you make.

·         Teachers’ pensions are not “gold-plated”, they are fair and affordable. £46billion more has been paid in than has ever been paid out!

·         If private sector pensions aren’t as good then they need to be made better – please don’t pit private against public

·         Teachers have had a significant pay cut in real terms over the past few years – will be 15% by April 2014

·         Teachers are being asked to pay more, work longer and get less for their pension – we need you to report this

·         Teachers cannot physically work until 68

·         Working conditions for teachers have deteriorated under this government

·         The working conditions of teachers are the learning conditions of children

·         The new pay structure being introduced by Michael Gove pits teachers against each other. This is not the way teachers want to work

·         Striking is a last resort. We don’t want children to miss a day of school or to inconvenience parents, but we are fighting for a better education system and Michael Gove has refused to negotiate leaving us no other choice

I look forward to seeing a fair and balanced coverage of Tuesday’s teacher strike on your news programme.

With thanks and best wishes,

Name

Please feel free to copy the above email, tweak it, or write your own.

Here are the email addresses of the major broadcast news outlets. Please send your email to all of them if possible. Please also copy in teacherroar@gmail.com

1.       itvplanning@itn.co.uk

2.       news@channel4.com

3.       news@sky.com

4.       emma.westcott@channel5.com 

5.       BBC – annoyingly we can’t find an email address for the BBC. Please email them using the form at the bottom of this page http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10725415

Homework #1

Are you all ready for your first homework assignment? You are? Good!

Tonight Gove will be on BBC Question Time. This is a great opportunity to use social media to get across our message. Strike action starts next week and there will undoubtedly be some negative media coverage. Here's a chance for us to take charge and get our voice heard.

The main way we will be doing this is by using Twitter and trying to create a Twitter storm. Don't worry if you don't have a Twitter account and don't want to open one. There are other ways for you to help get the message across and we'll talk about those in a bit. 

If you use Twitter then tonight (Thursday 26th September) we need you to be online when BBC Question Time starts at 2235. The minute the programme starts we need you to start tweeting. All messages should have two hashtags in them: #teacherROAR & #BBCQT

Each tweet should contain a brief message that will start either "I'm striking because..." or "I support teachers because..."e.g.

I'm striking because I want education policy to be based on evidence and research #teacherROAR #BBCQT
I'm striking because our children are over-tested and stressed #teacherROAR #BBCQT
I'm striking because I want our children to have a 21C education, not a Victorian one #teacherROAR #BBCQT
I'm striking because I want to work with my colleagues not be pitted against them #teacherROAR #BBCQT
I'm striking because I can't teach until I'm 68 #teacherROAR #BBCQT
I'm striking because Gove is destroying education #teacherROAR #BBCQT
I support teachers because I don't want kids told they're in bottom 10% #teacherROAR #BBCQT
I support teachers because I trust them. I don't trust Gove! #teacherROAR #BBCQT
I support teachers because they are professionals and Gove should listen to them  #teacherROAR #BBCQT
I support teacher because they know what's best for kids, not Gove #teacherROAR #BBCQT

You get the general idea right? Make up your own or use the examples above. It's worth preparing a few tweets and saving them as drafts on your phone or computer so you can whack them out one after the other. Retweets don't count. But this is an occasion where it's perfectly acceptable to cut and paste others' tweets without crediting them. It's the number of original tweets that counts towards creating a Twitter storm and getting the #teacherROAR trending.

Please alert others on Twitter who might want to join in.

How can you help if you don't have Twitter?

If you have Facebook you can post your messages about why you're striking, or why you support the teachers on the BBC Question Time Facebook page here 
Don't have a smartphone? You can still use your mobile to text Question Time. Details on how to are here

And remember this all starts DEAD ON 2235 tonight (26/9) when BBC Question Time starts. And we hammer the message home for an hour until Question Time finishes at 2335.

OK teachers and teachers allies, you have your instructions. Let's make that Teacher ROAR good and loud! Let's make the BBC Question Time venue SHAKE! Until tonight!
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