Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Monday, 24 October 2011 11:32 UK

Reporting Sport Relief

Sport Relief logo
Thursday 15 March 2012 - School Report News Day
Friday 23 to Sunday 25 March 2012 - Sport Relief weekend

Young people across the UK will be taking part in Sport Relief by getting active to raise money for people who lead tough lives.

So why not report on what your school is doing for the event, or how people in your community are taking part?

This page of tips is designed to help students create their own Sport Relief report. There are more useful resources linked to from the right hand side of this page.


Your first task is to find out what is happening near you, both at school and in your community - your "news patch".

School Report's finding news masterclass (duration: 3 mins)

Why not watch our masterclass on finding news from BBC Radio 5 live journalist Karlene Pinnock for some great tips on the essentials of how to spot a good story?

And there is more advice on our Finding News page.

They key is knowing who to ask - your contacts - and where to look for information. Here are some suggestions:

There may be people in your area running for Sport Relief on Sunday 25 March.

Have a look on the Sport Relief website to see if there are any events near you (Enter a postcode or town to find your Mile). Ask your contacts if they know anyone taking part.

Find out what other activities your school and community are doing for Sport Relief.

They include sponsoring staff and students to run a mile course in their playground, doing keepy-uppies, skipping, or dancing for as long as possible, climbing the height of Kilimanjaro using the school stairs, swimming the length of the English Channel in your local pool and holding a non-uniform day.


Now you know who is doing what, you can start to plan your report.

The first thing to decide is the point in time when you be reporting: before, during or after the event. In other words will you be producing a preview, as-it-happens or review piece?

You could of course do more than one type of report.

David Walliams
David Walliams front-crawled his way 140 miles down the Thames

The next step is to find out the key facts. This means answering the following questions:

• What is happening?

• Who is involved?

• Where is it happening?

• When is it happening?

It's also worth asking these questions about what your school or community did for the last Sport Relief event in 2010.

Then, think about who you would like to interview and what questions you would like to ask.

Remember the best questions to ask begin with W or H: Who, what, where, when, why and how.

Ask a range of people too: adults as well as children, spectators as well as participants, organisers as well as those donating.

You should also think about any extra material you would like, for example, photographs or video and audio (in addition to the interview).


Once you've thought about all these ingredients, you are ready to gather them.

The gathering news web page explains some of the key skills when it comes to this part of the process.

Decide how you are going to collect the material. Is it with a notebook and pen? A video camera? A digital (stills) camera, a sound recording device? A mobile phone?

If you are using technology, it's also a good idea to have a notebook and pen to hand. Many journalists have been caught out when the kit doesn't work!

If you do use equipment, make sure you know how to download the information you gather.

For example, if you are using your mobile phone, it's a good idea to test transferring the audio or video onto your computer and importing it into the editing software you will be using. Otherwise, all the material you collect will be wasted.


Once you have gathered the material, you are ready to review it.

Look at the interviews and select the best quotes, making sure you have a balance of opinions if the issue is controversial.


Now it's time to write the report - and you do this whether you are producing a video, audio or text-based report.

School Report's scriptwriting masterclass (duration: 3 mins 30 secs)

Our writing news section is full of top tips, for writing your reports, whether they are video, audio or text-based.

You could also watch BBC Breakfast reporter Tim Muffett's masterclass on how to write a great script:

The beginning should include the most exciting piece of information to grab the audience's attention - which could be your best quote - and the key facts - what, who, where, when.

Chi Chi Izundu at Langdon School
School Report's mentor Radio 1 reporter Chi Chi Izundu helps a group of students with their report

The middle should contain some more facts - why, how - and more quotes.

The end could be a summary or it could point to a related event in the future e.g. an announcement of all the money collected for Sport Relief.

Now you've written you report, ask someone to check your work to make sure the facts are correct by going back to the original source material.

They should also check your piece makes sense and the best way to do this is to read it out loud - even if they read it "out loud in their head".


Most reports contain words and pictures, either moving pictures - video - or still pictures - photographs.

If you are producing a text-based report, you can liven it up with some photographs with captions.

And if you are making a video or audio piece, you will need to record a presenter speaking the lines you have written. Then, edit together the best of the interviews with the presenter's recorded script into a news "package".


Once you are happy with your report, it's time to publish it.

There are several ways you can do this:

• Hand your work to the person who publishes your school newsletter or website.

• Send your report to your local paper or news website.

• And if your school is taking part in BBC News School Report, ask your teacher to send your report to the School Report team who will consider it for publication.

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Tim Samuels' top tips
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Editing tips for TV news
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Using mobile phones to gather news
18 Sep 08 |  School Report
George Alagiah on mobile news
03 Dec 09 |  Contact us
Making a radio report
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Radio news tips
29 Sep 08 |  School Report
How to report online
14 Jul 08 |  School Report
Reporting international news
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