This page contains a collection of videos, guides, activities and quizzes about what makes a story newsworthy and where to find news.
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When it comes to working out what stories to cover, it can help to get right down to basics: what actually makes something "news"?
And once you have a grasp of that, where can you start looking for stories that will be of interest to your audience?
Sources of potential news are everywhere: newspapers, school newsletters, the internet, radio and TV programmes, sporting and cultural events - not to mention your local community, friends, family and personal contacts.
These resources will help you understand what is and isn't a story - and point you in the right direction for where you can look for ideas, inspiration and sources.
We all make decisions about where we are going to find out about the news, often without even thinking about it.
Think of the very different approaches of, say, Radio 4's
and Radio 1's
The Daily Telegraph.
A story about Lady Gaga's new album, for example, might be big news for Newsbeat's audience - but of limited interest to Today listeners.
Understanding your audience and what will appeal to them is an important part of journalism.
These resources will help to explain the different audiences that consume the news and get you thinking about the type of stories that would be appropriate for your School Report audience.
Video: What is news? (2 mins 30 secs video + 2-3 mins to recap/discuss)
What is news? (duration: 2 mins 30 secs)
BBC newsreader Huw Edwards explains what makes news newsworthy and why truth and accuracy matters so much to journalists.
He also points out why you need to think about your audience and how a journalist is never truly off-duty!
This video contains references to using social media - aimed at pupils aged 13 and over - which you should check you are happy with before using in the classroom. For advice on using the internet safely, the BBC's online safety pages provide guidance and links to more advice
Without referring to books or the internet, try to answer some or all of the following questions:
NOTE FOR TEACHERS
You can substitute these questions with others if appropriate. The aim is to have questions people think they know the answer to, but often don't!
how many individual states are there in the United States?
who is the most expensive footballer (in terms of transfer fee) in the history of the Premier League?
name the last three winners of X-Factor
Did everybody agree on the same answers? If not, why do you think there were differences? And how did you decide what the right answer is?
Now double check your answers with your teacher or by researching online. Did you get it right?
As journalists, it's vital that you check your facts.
If two people tell you the same story, it's more likely to be true. And you can compare what they said to check how accurate they are. But you still need to think about how reliable the source is - do you trust the source of information?
Remember - just because something is online doesn't mean it's definitely true. What if the person who produced it made a mistake or had a particular reason for bending the truth?
Use sources you trust and check at least two different sources, no matter what the story. Nothing undermines a story more than an inaccuracy.
"Truth and accuracy" are two of the BBC's most important news values - and you need to think about making sure your journalism follows suit.
The objective of the exercise is to decide which audience different news programmes are aimed at and gain an understanding of what that means for your work with School Report.
A reads out the content of their card.
B listens and then writes down a description - or even a representative drawing - of the typical person who would watch or listen to that programme. How old would they be? What sort of interests might they have? What type of music would they enjoy? What kind of job would they have? etc
A and B can discuss the results and then swap roles, before writing out a similar card for the school's School Report content. Don't worry if you can't fill in every box.
What audience is likely to be reading/watching/listening to your output?
And what does that mean in terms of how you approach stories and which stories you cover?
Think of all the places you can access the news: TV, radio, websites, newspapers and any other sources. Which, if any, do you access or like?
Discuss why it is you get your news from that place.
What is it about the programme or service that appeals to you? Is there anything you would change?
What types of news do you find interesting? Which presenters do you like?
Now, bearing in mind what you've just talked about, think about what topics your "dream" news service or programme would cover. Perhaps it would be sport, music, politics or international news? How would you like it to be laid out or presented?
Would it be a TV or radio programme? Or perhaps a newspaper, magazine or blog?
In addition, there are legal issues to consider: ongoing court cases are extremely tricky and BBC court reporters undergo training to guard against the risk of breaching contempt of court laws. This is a serious offence and
can lead to heavy fines and trials collapsing.
Without hard facts, celebrity gossip can be nothing more than rumour and is usually best avoided.
There is also the potential to damage somebody's reputation unfairly, raising the prospect of a libel action - and repeating somebody else's story is no defence in the eyes of the courts, which can issue large fines.
Look again at your answer to question 2. Having read the information above about reporting regulations, would you add to or change your answers?
Look at the images on the worksheet and circle all the possible news sources - that's where you might find a story that your audience wants and/or needs to know about.
Now answer these questions?
1. Which of these could be sources in your school for your news story?
2. What other sources could you use? Think about outside school too.
Events that go on inside the school and your local community can be just as important to your audience as major global news, so remember not to overlook great sources of information and stories close to home.
And think about journalists who work on your local newspaper or local TV or radio station. Where might they get their stories from? Could you use similar sources for your reports?
Test your knowledge about what news is and the places you can find it.
1.) Journalist's role
Which of these best describes the job of journalist?
Someone who finds and reports newsworthy stories.
Someone who watches the news.
Someone who promotes politicians and businesses.
2.) What is news?
Which of these headlines is NOT news?
US President to visit UK.
Pupil drops pen during lesson.
Usain Bolt breaks 100m record.
People journalists talk to when they are researching stories.
Notebooks which contain a journalist's research.
The big TV screens in the newsroom.
What are "wires"?
A nickname for camera operators.
Another name for headlines.
Reports from journalists all over the world that news organisations pay to access.
5.) News values
The head teacher of a local primary school tells you that she's upset about a proposal to close her school. What headline would you choose for this story?
Head teacher announces school closure
Head teacher upset over school closure plan
Head teacher attacks council over school closure
6.) Types of news
Newsbeat is Radio 1's news programme. There are two bulletins every weekday, plus news summaries throughout the day. How long is each bulletin?
7.) Types of News
Which kind of news does World Have Your Say mainly report?
Which of these audiences is Newsround aimed at?
18 to 25-year-olds
13 to 17-year-olds
6 to 12-year-olds
9.) News platforms
Which of these is NOT a news platform?
A journalist is someone who finds newsworthy stories, creates reports and shares them with the public. Journalists do lots of different things to bring you the news, from taking pictures to doing interviews. But their core job is finding interesting, important and surprising stories that the public should hear about.
Pupil drops pen during lesson is unlikely to be a news story. Different news programmes will often cover different stories but giving your audience something they need or want to know is the starting point for choosing the right stories. Would people be interested in a pupil who dropped a pen in class?
Contacts are people journalists speak to when they are researching stories. Your family, friends, neighbours and teachers can all be great sources for stories.
Wires are reports from journalists all over the world that news organisations pay to access. Wire services operated by media organisations such as Associated Press and the Press Association can be a really useful source for reporters. Journalists try to find two sources when reporting a story, to increase their chances of getting the most accurate information.
Head teacher upset over school closure plan is the best choice. When she spoke to you, the head teacher didn't say the school was definitely closing and she didn't attack the council. Journalists must always tell the truth and report what people say accurately.
Newsbeat has two 15 minute bulletins every weekday. But you'll also hear news summaries throughout the day and the Newsbeat website is regularly updated with the latest stories.
World Have Your Say mainly reports international news, that's stories of interest to a global audience. News about something that's happening in one country can be really interesting to people from all over the world.
Newsround is aimed at 6 to 12-year-olds. The people who make the programme choose stories they think might interest children of this age and try to cover it in a way they will find interesting.
A desk is not a news platform. There are lots of places you can access the news but a desk doesn't really count! The BBC uses lots of different platforms to get news to the public, including TV, radio, websites, mobile phone apps, iPlayer, the Red Button service and social media sites.
0 - 3 : Keep working at it
4 - 7 : Good but could be better
8 - 9 : Well done!
NOTE FOR TEACHERS
The online quiz gives you the answers at the end of each question. If you are using the quiz worksheet, the answers can be found here:
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