Page last updated at 11:03 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 12:03 UK

How to put your news on the internet

A computer
Once you have found, gathered, written, assembled and ordered your news, the final part of the process is to broadcast or publish it on a website.

This is a guide to putting your TV, radio or news web pages on the internet. It's like riding a bike; once you take off the stabilisers you'll be freewheeling in style.

This guide is broken up into seven chapters. Click on the links below for the section you require.

The first thing you need is somewhere to store your material. This server space can be purchased or may already be available. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will offer a certain amount of free server space for your web pages.

Many schools already have websites hosted on their own (or someone else's) server. If this is the case, then it is quite possible you will be able to put up other pages on this site.

Find out who is responsible for looking after the current site - the administrator. Have a chat with them and see if you can add your material.

The administrator will need to add links from their pages to your pages so that people can find your news.

You may decide that you want to host your content on a separate server - different to the one your school uses. It is a good idea to check with the administrator first.

As well as creating links between pages hosted on the same server, the school administrator can also add hyperlinks between web pages on different servers.

You can create a web page using a number of different programmes.

The news web pages created by pupils from Charters school in Berkshire
The news web pages created by pupils from Charters school in Berkshire
Many people use software such as Microsoft FrontPage or Adobe Dreamweaver. You can become proficient in such programmes in a short space of time and create something that looks professional.

If you are part of a school website, it is probably worth using the same design ideas to create a uniform look.

It is best to avoid a design which relies on big pictures as it will make pages slow to download and put off potential viewers.

If you are creating a website from scratch, remember to give your home page a name. Adding /index.html to a web address is the default setting for a homepage e.g. www.myschoolreport/index.html

(If you typed www.myschoolreport into a search engine, you would have difficulty finding your pages.)

When creating your news, it is important NOT TO USE MUSIC, unless you are certain of the copyright implications. Music licence holders charge for its use by territory, which means you could be in for a very large bill if your website can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

If you are making pre-recorded audio and video available on your website, you will need to upload them to the internet via File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

After uploading, add a link from your web page to these files, so that when someone clicks on the link, the audio or video will play in your selected player on your computer.

Audio and video material can be stored anywhere; there is no requirement to host this media in the same place as the web pages.

Once your video, audio or web pages are created, you need to upload them to the internet. The easiest way, if you are part of a wider school site, is to email the pages to the site administrator and get them to upload the pages to the server.

If it is down to you, the way to get your material to your server is via something called File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

There are a number of different bits of software which will allow you to this.

Essentially, the FTP software makes the directory on your server, where you are sending the web page, look just like a directory on your own machine. Have a look at the example below:

Uploading to the internet using FTP
Uploading to the internet using FTP

In this example, the window on the left is a directory on your local machine and the one on the right is the directory on the remote server.

You simply select the file you want to transfer from left to right (from your local machine to the remote server) and click the green arrow to send.

There are a number of settings you will need before you can access the remote server. The host of your web pages should be able to give you all the information you need. Have a look at the example below:

The connection settings when uploading using FTP
The connection settings when uploading using FTP

Your host name is the address of the server and may be in the form of a domain address or given as an "IP" address (a series of numbers and full stops).

When creating your news, it is important to use your own material and not other people's, unless you have the owner's permission, in writing, to use their material in the way you have stated.

This applies to both video and audio. As a general rule, it is best to avoid using music, unless you have created it yourself or are certain of the copyright implications.

As the music licence holders charge for its use by territory, you could be in for a very large bill if you use music on a medium with world wide coverage!

If you decide to stream live, you need to decide whether you are going to stream 24 hours a day or just broadcast a one-off programme.

If you chose the one-off option, you need to think about what will be there after the programme has finished and how people will find you for the start of a broadcast.

You will need to create links from your web pages to the live stream.

Roshan from Charters school, Berkshire, prepares a news web page
Roshan from Charters school, Berkshire, prepares a news web page
For live audio and video streaming, you need a separate server to which you can send your live stream. Be aware that not all servers offer this facility.

During streaming, you send a single audio stream from your local streaming machine to a server which can send out many streams.

Firewalls may be present which will block media streams (unless http streaming is used). This may mean the school can receive video but not send it (some firewalls allow inbound streams but block outbound streams). Have a chat with the administrator to find if some reconfiguration of the firewall is needed either at school or the Local Authority. This depends on the set up in your region.

Live streaming can become costly using a dial-up connection as it needs to be open for the whole duration of the live stream. Also, bandwidth issues and software licences required for multiple streams can be costly.

A broadband connection will help keep the cost down and avoid tying up the phone line.

Be aware that sound files can be big, video even bigger. They can take a long time to upload to your website and a long time for people to download.

You may also find that your service provider puts a limit on the monthly bandwidth available to you; in other words how much material can be uploaded and downloaded.

A pupil at Grove School in Shropshire making news to put on the school website
A pupil at Grove School in Shropshire making news to put on the school website
For text-based online news, this is not too much of a problem as web pages are quite small in terms of file size.

However, if you have created TV or radio news and too many people listen to or watch it, you may exceed your monthly limit.

This could mean your material stops being accessible, or that you are charged a premium for the extra bandwidth you use, as more people download your material.

Therefore try and keep your audio and video file sizes as small as possible. Use compressed file formats such as .mp3 or .wmv and make your audio mono rather than stereo.

ADDITIONAL HELP

If you need assistance putting your students' news on the internet, your local City Learning Centre (CLC) may be able to help. There are over 100 CLC's operating in urban areas across the country, providing state-of-the art ICT-based learning opportunities for pupils in the vicinity.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Help is also available from your nearest Regional Broadband Consortia (RBC). They provide internet services, broadband infrastructure and content for Local Authorities and schools in their regions.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

A free online publishing tool, called Making The News (MTN), has been created for all ten of England's RBC's. MTN enables schools to publish news online in a variety of formats including text, images, audio, animation and video.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

A free radio channel, Radiowaves Voice It, enables young people to create websites, blogs, podcasts and vodcasts to investigate, report or campaign on issues that matter to them. It is an opportunity for students to get their voices heard by people who can make a difference, such as local councillors, MPs and ministers.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites




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