Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF SEP. 27, 2010

Facebook status updates -- in theaters, on Oprah, on richest Americans list

frontpageactionpoints.gif
1.gif
Look for coverage of an ambitious young person pursuing any kind of business, athletic or artistic vision. What traits might she or he share with Mark Zuckerberg?
2.gif
Can you spot an example of social network-style interactivity at the newspaper's site?
3.gif
By the end of this week, find a review of "The Social Network." Does it seem worth seeing?

The biggest buzz about Facebook last week didn't involve a tech glitch that knocked the popular social networking site offline for a while, though some wisecrackers had fun with that. More headlines focused on a $100-million donation from founder Jeffrey Zuckerberg to upgrade schools in Newark, N.J. "Every child deserves a good education," the 26-year-old biz whiz told TV host Oprah Winfrey. "I've had a lot of opportunities in my life, and a lot of that comes from ... having gone to really good schools. And I just want to do what I can to make sure that everyone has those same opportunities."

Facebook's young chief exec also was in the news as the 35th wealthiest American, with a net worth of $6.7 billion, according to an annual list in the Forbes business magazine. He ranks ahead of Apple leader Steve Jobs.
As if that weren't enough, a movie based on Facebook's start six years ago at Harvard University opened at a New York film festival and spreads nationwide this Friday. "The Social Network" portrays Zuckerberg as a socially awkward genius and scheming backstabber hungry for power and prestige. It focuses on two lawsuits over whether Zuckerberg stole the idea for his company from classmates -- cases that Facebook settled out of court with undisclosed payments.

"It's a resonant contemporary story about the new power elite and an older, familiar narrative of ambition," says a film reviewer for The New York Times. Zuckerberg claims it film stretches the truth for dramatic entertainment, and adds that he has grown up since college. Facebook also matured, with more than 1,700 employees and rising ad sales expected to hit $2 billion this year. It's the dominant social networking site for most of the globe, with about 550 million users.

Mark Zuckerberg says: "A lot of [the movie] is fiction, but even the filmmakers will say that. They're trying to build a good story. This is my life, so I know it's not that dramatic."

Blogger says: "Making a huge donation on the eve of the movie coming out, you'd have to think that Facebook was trying in some way to change the public's perception of Zuckerberg." -- Adam Ostrow, editor-in-chief of Mashable, a social media blog

Film producer says: ""I would not want a movie made when I am 26 years old about decisions I made when I was a 19-year-old kid. I am very sympathetic. But I didn't invent Facebook." -- Scott Rudin, producer of "The Social Network"

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2014
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

E-cigarettes spark discussions about health benefits and teen use

Safety campaign combats distracted driving with dramatic ad, new website and #justdrive tag

White House posts climate change details at new website as part of push for action

Even President Obama is caught up in the NCAA basketball tournament’s March Madness

‘Cosmos’ science series on TV aims to show how ‘we’re all connected’

Sweeping changes will make the SAT more relevant and useful, College Board says

‘My Brother’s Keeper’ is Obama’s name for effort to help at-risk young men

This season of wicked weather brings above-normal ice coverage on all Great Lakes

Warm days make the last week of Olympic action in Russia seem like the Spring Games

Major drugstore chain will stop selling tobacco items as improper for a health retailer

Complete archive