Pick and mix: Broadcasting news

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This page contains a collection of videos, activities and quizzes about broadcasting and sharing news.

You can choose which resources are the most appropriate for your pupils and classroom. We've called it a pick and mix - so you can read through and select the materials that best fit in with your plans.

Scroll down the page or click on the links to find the individual resources. Please note that all suggested times for activities are approximate and will depend on class size, age, etc.

We also have a special Teacher Essentials section which includes lots of extra information - including Practical Tips and Guides for some of the key skills of journalism - and you can also use our updated Lesson Plans if you prefer a more structured approach.


Broadcasting basics

Broadcasting is the process of delivering the finished product after the work of finding and making the news has been done.

This is the final stage where you can actually tell your audience what you have discovered.

It's important to make the most of all your work by displaying your story as well as you can.

These resources, including guidance from BBC newsreader Huw Edwards and BBC presenter Sam Naz, will help you to make your final product as professional as possible.


Online broadcasting

We ask that all schools provide a webpage to host their content, whether it's audio or TV bulletins or written articles. But when we talk about "online" content in a School Report context we're mainly referring to written stories and still images.

To get people to pay attention and really read your written reports, you need to make your content as attractive as possible so think about using pictures and other ways of breaking up the text - and this video from BBC journalist Iain Mackenzie explains all the tricks of the trade.


Broadcasting issues

Media organisations and journalists have to take responsibility for the stories they publish. If it is inaccurate and damages somebody's reputation, it could see them getting into trouble and fined.

Part of broadcasting in the modern media world is sharing your content, often via the internet. This needs to be done sensibly and with an awareness of the risks that need to be avoided.

Broadcasting news is not the same as having a gossip in the playground and these resources will help you understand the issues that can arise.


Video: Broadcasting news (2 mins 30 secs + 2-3 mins to recap/discuss)

BBC newsreader Huw Edwards explains the essentials of broadcasting news.

BBC newsreader Huw Edwards explains what's involved in broadcasting the news.

Whether it's standing in front of the camera, talking into the mic or publishing a written story on the web, broadcasting is when you tell everyone your story.

You can recap the key points from video with this accompanying worksheet, or read a transcript of the video:

Key points: Broadcasting news [27.46] Transcript: Broadcasting news [23.28]

A Welsh language version of the video is also available, together with a transcript.


Video: Presenting masterclass (3 mins 30 secs video + 2-3 mins to recap/discuss)


Sam Naz is a regular presenter on BBC Three's news programme 60seconds, and she gives her top tips for learning the tricks of the trade.

Presenting is not as easy as just standing in front of a camera and reading an autocue!

To be a top presenter that viewers want to watch takes some work and preparation.

Practising your script so that you are familiar with any tricky names or difficult words will help you feel more confident.

And don't forget - everybody gets nervous and everybody makes mistakes from time to time, even experienced BBC presenters. Sam advises what to do if you do trip up on a tongue-twister!

Sam Naz is a regular presenter on BBC Three's news programme 60seconds, and she gives her top tips for learning the tricks of the trade.

You can recap the key points from the video in the accompanying worksheet:

Key points: Presenting masterclass [32.28] Transcript: Presenting masterclass [25.48]


And this short clip shows Sam putting her tips into practice as she presents 60seconds.

You can read the script for this episode of 60seconds in the below worksheet to get an insight into how much information Sam can cram into a short bulletin.

If you have time, why not try presenting the script yourselves to see how difficult it is.

Worksheet: Sam's 60seconds script [22.26]


Video: Editing masterclass (7 mins + 2-3 mins to recap/discuss)

Editing masterclass

BBC News correspondent Chris Buckler introduces a masterclass offering tips on editing video for your news reports.

BBC post-production editor Nicky Swinson guides students from The Wallace High School in Country Antrim through the process to help polish their reports up to professional standard!

From jump edits to transitions, Nicky explains some of the key tricks of the trade so watch this guide to take your editing to the next level.


Video: Podcast masterclass (7 mins 30 secs + 2-3 mins to recap/discuss)

Podcast Masterclass

The BBC's Chris Buckler introduces a masterclass on recording podcasts.

BBC producer Vinny Hurrell works with a team of School Reporters from The Wallace High School in County Antrim find out what you need to make a great podcast.

With advice on the best ways to record and edit audio as well as general tips on the sort of equipment you'll need, this guide will have you podcasting in no time.


Video: Web layout masterclass (6 mins + 2-3 mins to recap/discuss)

Web layout masterclass

The BBC's Chris Buckler introduces a BBC Newsline special masterclass on how to write for the web.

Pupils from The Wallace High School in County Antrim work with web expert Dan Hurley to learn some of the simple tricks which help make a story work well online.

Whether it's thinking about the sort of language you use or the layout of the page, these tips will get people clicking on your reports - and then stay there!


Video: Commentary masterclass (4 mins 30 secs video + 2-3 mins to recap/discuss)

Commentating on major news events like the Royal Wedding is a real skill and takes a lot of planning and preparation.

BBC newsreader Huw Edwards led the BBC's coverage of William and Kate's special day in April 2011.

But apart from the first few minutes of the programme, virtually none of the broadcast was scripted. So how did Huw keep his composure and stay on top of events?

He talked to School Reporters from The Grey Coat Hospital School in London about the most important aspects of commentating on events that millions of people are watching.

You can recap the key points from the video in the accompanying worksheet:

Key points: Commentary masterclass [28.13]


Video: Web masterclass (3 mins 30 secs video + 2-3 mins to recap/discuss)

BBC journalist Iain Mackenzie runs the technology section on the BBC News website. He explains the key elements of a good web story and how to engage your readers.

Senior broadcast journalist Iain Mackenzie is in charge of the BBC News Online technology index, and writes and edits stories for the website every day.

But writing for the web is not as simple as typing out a few sentences and then hitting publish.

If you want people to pay attention to your reports - and hopefully come back for more - then there are a few tricks of the trade to think about.

Watch Iain explaining how to make the most of your stories on your special School Report website.

You can recap the key points from the video using the accompanying worksheet or read a transcript of the video:

Key points: website skills [34.27] Transcript: website skills [26.44]


Activity: How many people have read it? (20 mins)

Your teacher has placed a news report somewhere in the classroom. Find it.

Now answer the following questions:

1. How many people do you think have read it?

2. How many people do you think you would have read it without being told it was there?

3. How many people do you think would have read it if you placed it on a notice board in reception?

4. Where could you place it so that the maximum number of people could read it?

Broadcasting is all about getting your news out there putting it in places where your audience can access it. It's also about sharing your news, in other words, letting people know that it's there.

Placing your news on your school website and telling people that is there is a good way to broadcast your news. And you can increase the number of people who read it by placing it elsewhere.

However big your potential audience is, your reports should always be accurate.

Now research and answer the following questions:

5. How many people visit your school website each month?

6. How many people read your local newspaper each month?

7. How many people listen to your local radio station each month?

8. On which of these platforms could you place some of your reports?

9. On which other platforms could you place your reports?


Activity: Using the internet safely (20 mins)

The internet is a really useful tool but it's vital people know how to use it properly.

Your teacher has given you a card with information about someone who needs your help to learn how to use the internet safely. In small groups, read the card carefully and answer the questions.

After 10 minutes, your teacher will ask you to discuss your answers with the rest of the class.

Worksheet: Using the internet safely [27.08]


Guide: Keeping your news safe and legal

Broadcasting news means having to take responsibility for its content - that it doesn't libel anybody, breach copyright or infringe on someone's privacy.

Most newspapers and media organisations have teams of lawyers to help make fine judgements about contentious stories: your school may well not have the same resources!

This guide will help you keep on the right side of the law. Remember that if material is on the school website, the school is the publisher.


Quiz: Broadcasting news (10 mins)

This multiple-choice quiz is designed to test your knowledge of how to write scripts and stories.

It also provides real-life scenarios to prompt discussions about the issues that can arise during writing news.

Pupils can take the above test online, either on this page or on a separate page which is easier to email and distribute at school; a low-tech alternative would be to print out this worksheet:

Quiz: Broadcasting News [28.24]

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