Lesson 4: Writing news

This lesson explains how to write news reports. It introduces the three Cs of scripting - being clear, concise and correct - and the key concept of impartiality.

Learning outcomes

Students will be introduced to the three Cs of scripting - being clear, concise and correct - and also the key concept of impartiality.

  • Explore and adopt the key concepts of impartiality and the three Cs.
  • Examine and analyse the typical structure of a news report.
  • Produce a news story.

BBC newsreader, Huw Edwards, explains the three Cs of news writing: being clear, concise and correct. Writing scripts and news stories also means understanding that you need to get straight to the point; there's no point in having an amazing news stroy but leaving the most important fact to the last sentence.

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

Lesson 4: Key points
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English version
Welsh version

Activity 1: Writing concisely

Brief outline

Students are required to use the five Ws to identify, assess and consolidate knowledge which they summarise in a report. This task encourages students to write succinctly and consider their choice of language.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • At KS3/4 in English language, students are required to write for different purposes while adapting and editing their language to suit the given audience.

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

Duration 10 to 15 minutes

Activity 1: Writing concisely
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Activity 2: Impartiality and the three Cs

Brief outline

To explore and adopt the key concepts of impartiality and the three Cs.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • This activity allows students to explore key journalism practice while focusing on language analysis.
  • Students will explore the concepts of bias, impartiality and wider issues such as the role and power of the media.

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

Duration: 15 minutes

Activity 2: Impartiality and the three Cs
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Activity 3: Constructing questions

Brief outline

This activity should be undertaken after watching Huw’s video.

The teacher should display the 3 Cs - clear, concise, and correct. Students then use the five Ws or question words to construct questions relating to news writing.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • This activity introduces a core BBC concept - the three Cs. It allows students to work on their questioning and research skills.

  • This activity allows students to use the questioning techniques learnt in previous lessons and also asks them to engage meaningfully with the video while watching it.

  • This activity covers key concepts such as news writing style and ‘clear, concise and correct’.

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

Duration: 10 minutes

Activity 3: Constructing questions
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Activity 4: Writing for TV, radio and online

Brief outline

This task encourages creativity and independent thinking.

Students should pick the platform they are most interested in to encourage engagement in the task.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • Students can work in teams or independently.

  • Students are expected to analyse their target audience and evaluate the impact of their choices for their chosen platform and audience.

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

Duration: 15 minutes

Activity 4: Writing for TV, radio and online
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Activity 5: BBC core values - Diamond nine

Brief outline

Using the worksheet below, rank the phrases in order of importance. Pupils can work in teams, pairs or individually.

Students must analyse the terms given and identify their importance, while evaluating and justifying their decisions.

The teacher should lead a class discussion to generate alternative views and decisions.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • Students at KS4 would be required to evaluate information and justify their decisions and comments.

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

Duration: 15 to 20 minutes

Activity 5: BBC core values - diamond nine (order of importance activity)
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Activity 6: Writing news quiz

Brief outline

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

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • This task seeks to consolidate information from prior learning and provides a summary assessment.

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

Duration: 10 minutes

Activity 6: Writing news quiz
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More from this series:

Lesson 1: What is news?
video
Lesson 2: Finding news
video
Lesson 3: Gathering news
video
Lesson 5 - Producing news for different platforms
video
Lesson 6 - Organising and producing news for broadcast
video