Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Tuesday, 23 October 2007 14:38 UK

Lesson 6: Broadcasting the news

This lesson has been updated and the new version can be found by following this link:


On air light
Students practise news reading at three words per second - the speed of a presenter.

In role as reporters, and working as a team, they produce a news programme, adhering to a strict deadline and the editor's control.

Activity Preferable resources Low tech alternative
1 Intro video: Broadcasting the news Internet access or DVD Whiteboard/flipchart
2 Online game: Newsreader Internet access Worksheet 3.2 (completed)
3 Class news programme Lined paper, whiteboard/flipchart, BBC running order, winning running order from lesson 5, worksheet 3.2 (clean copy) Lined paper, whiteboard/flipchart, BBC running order, winning running order from lesson 5, worksheet 3.2 (clean copy)
4 Plenary presentation Interactive whiteboard/projector for images None required


These documents outline the key curriculum areas covered in lessons 1-6 for 11 to 14-year-olds.


Huw Edwards
Broadcast: To make sound or images available to lots of people. It has an agricultural origin, meaning to scatter seed widely.
Students watch this clip in which Huw Edwards talks about the buzz he feels when he is about to go on air.

He demonstrates how to tell the news, rather than read it as if from a telephone directory.

He explains the role of the editor and the importance of final checks. He advocates practising reading the news and testing all the equipment to make sure it is working.

Finally, he stresses the importance of meeting the on-air deadline.

While watching, students make a list of his news reading tips.


The class compile a list of news reading DOs and DON'Ts

Individual students come to the front of the class and act out a DON'T, followed by the corresponding DO.

The rest of the class try to identify the news reading DO and compile a class list.

Press Pack Newsreader game graphic

Students play this online game which involves altering the speed of a teleprompter, either using a BBC presenter or having a go themselves.

You can use individual computers or display it on an interactive whiteboard for use with the whole class.


Students practise reading at three words a second - the speed of a presenter - while adhering to the news reading tips they devised in activity 1.

They can read worksheet 3.2 - their completed script from lessons 3 and 4 - while timing themselves.

Alternatively, they can print out a news story from the BBC News or CBBC Newsround websites, see links top left.


Explain to students that having completed lessons 1-5 they are now BBC News School Reporters. They are going to present the news as they would during a live broadcast. They will go "on air" 20 minutes before the end of the lesson. You are their editor.

Explain that the opening titles and music are the first component of a programme running order. Ask students: What comes after the titles? What other ingredients make up a news bulletin?

Give students exactly two minutes to write down the components of a traditional news programme. They may wish to refer to the running order they looked at in lesson 5.

Give students another minute to write down any EXTRA ingredients they would like in THEIR bulletin.

Alarm clock
All the activities in this lesson should be timed to reinforce the idea of deadline. As the editor, keep referring to the time remaining until broadcast to instil a sense of urgency. It might even be an idea to set an alarm clock!

Students feedback their ideas and compile a running order from their suggestions.

If students can't agree and the activity is threatening to take up too much time, take an editorial decision to use the winning running order from lesson 5. As an editor it's your prerogative!

Below is a running order for a traditional news bulletin which students can draw on. Ideally they will devise their own style of programme.

  • What's coming up in the programme/news headlines
  • Welcome from presenters (known as an intro)
  • News story 1
  • News story 2
  • News story 3
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Goodbye (known as an outro)

Pair work

Natasha Kaplinsky
Allocate one component of the running order per pair.

It's their job to prepare a 30 second report which they will read "on air", 20 minutes before the end of the lesson.

This is an opportunity for students to put everything they have learned during lessons 1-5 into practice. Remind them about:

  • Five Ws
  • Three Cs
  • Fact, opinion and being objective
  • Audience

Assign one pair of students to be deputy editors. See teachers' notes below.

Teachers' notes

Here are a few helpful hints on running the activity:

  • As well as reading the news, each pair do all the preparatory work. This means finding, gathering and assembling their report.
  • Finding. Pairs could look at the front pages of the local and national BBC News websites or the Newsround website.
  • Gathering. Students gather facts from the above sources and interview their classmates to gather their opinions.
  • Writing Students practise telling their story to their partner a few times before putting pen to paper.
  • Assembling. Facilities and time permitting, students could gather images to project onto the classroom wall or display on an interactive whiteboard during the broadcast.
  • Deputy editors. This pair's role is to read all the reports, make sure they are correct and "sign them off " by writing their initials on the final draft. Nothing can be changed after this point without their agreement!
  • What's coming up/headlines. The pair working on this component need to communicate with all the other pairs. They can also take responsibility for the intro and outro.


Students presenting their news
Students might also like name:
One thing they did well in the lesson e.g. writing a concise script
One thing they could have improved e.g. keeping to time
One thought they have about the forthcoming News Day
Twenty minutes before the end of the lesson, students stand in a line around the edge of the classroom, in the order dictated by the running order.

Students take it in turns to read their scripts.


Ask students:

  • How long was the bulletin?
  • What would happen if you made it longer/shorter?
  • What is the optimum length for your audience?

Additional resources on broadcasting the news can be accessed from the SEE ALSO and RELATED BBC LINKS at the top right of this page.

Approved rubber stamp graphic
This lesson has been approved by the BBC College of Journalism.

How to put your news on the internet
30 Nov 06 |  School Report
Huw Edwards' day in pix
10 Oct 05 |  Pictures



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