Lesson 3: Gathering news

Advice on conducting good interviews and how to verify sources.

Learning outcomes

  • To identify the difference between open and closed questions.
  • To evaluate the effect of different questioning techniques.
  • To differentiate between fact and opinion.
  • To promote effective interviewing techniques.

BBC newsreader, Huw Edwards, explains the Five Ws of newsgathering: who, what, why, where and when? And don't forget how? Finding the answers to these questions is the basis of all journalism so once you've got a grasp of that you're well on your way.

Key Points
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English version
Welsh version

Activity 1: Summarise Huw's video

Brief outline

Students watch Huw's video and summarise the main points in a paragraph.

The teacher leads a class feedback discussion to evaluate the information and students can read aloud their summaries.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • This activity recalls the information given in the video while also applying the knowledge learnt, covering a fundamental skill in interviewing/gathering news.
  • At KS4 pupils must be able to identify key information from given sources.

Suitable for: KS3/4 or 11 to 16-year-olds

Duration: 15 minutes

Activity 2: To differentiate between fact and opinion

Brief outline

Students are asked to decide on a person they feel they know well - either a celebrity or someone close to them.

  • They must list five things about this person - two that are false
  • The pupils work in pairs - they must decide on which facts are true/false
  • Feedback and share

The teacher elicits responses from the pupils to the following:

  • How did they know it was true/false?
  • How could they check?
  • How can they confirm this? Who could they ask?

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • Pupils are required to identify key information, judging between implicit and explicit meaning.
  • This task can encourage pupils to undertake a research project on their given celebrity.

Suitable for: KS3/4 or 11 to 16-year-olds

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes

Activity 3: Open and closed questions

Brief outline

Huw has told you to remember the five Ws and How when preparing your interview questions.

Questions that begin with who, what, why, where, when and how are called open questions and you should always try to ask open questions in an interview.

Try not to use closed questions which begin with other words like do and is.

Now it’s your turn to find out why by interviewing each other.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • Pupils are encouraged to start practising interviewing skills using questioning techniques.
  • Pupils use problem-solving skills while analysing the effect of language.

Suitable for: KS3/4 and 11 to 16-year-olds

Duration: 15 minutes

Activity 3: Open and closed questions
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Activity 4: Interviewing techniques

Brief outline

To promote effective interviewing techniques.

Pupils pick one celebrity and write down ten things they know about that person.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • This activity encourages the pupils to think imaginatively and creatively regarding information gathering; it recalls and reinforces the ‘want /need to know' concept.

  • This will consolidate the skills practised throughout the lesson and introduce and reinforce the skill of headline writing.

  • Pupils are encourage to examine and analyse their choice of language and its impact when using questioning techniques

Suitable for: KS3/4 or 11 to 16-year-olds

Duration: 15 minutes

Activity 4: Interviewing techniques
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Activity 5: Researching and writing questions

Brief outline

To plan and research relevant questions before interviews.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • This task can encourage independent research skills.
  • Pupils are encouraged to analyse their choice of language and its purpose.
  • At KS4 English language students are often required to write reports using the appropriate style and register.

Suitable for: KS3/4 and 11 to 16-year-olds

Duration: 15 to 20 minutes

Activity 5: Researching and writing questions
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Activity 6: Gathering news quiz

Brief outline

To plan and research relevant questions before interviews.

This multiple-choice quiz is designed to test your knowledge of how newsgathering works. It also provides real-life scenarios to prompt discussions about the issues that can arise during the process of research and interviewing.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • This task consolidates prior learning and enables a summary assessment.

Suitable for: KS3/4 or 11 to 16-year-olds

Duration: 10 minutes

Activity 6: Gathering news quiz
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More from this series:

Lesson 1: What is news?
video
Lesson 2: Finding news
video
Lesson 4: Writing news
video
Lesson 5 - Producing news for different platforms
video
Lesson 6 - Organising and producing news for broadcast
video