BBC News

Page last updated at 08:26 GMT, Monday, 4 July 2011 09:26 UK

This pick and mix section allows teachers to create bespoke lessons by picking activities and resources

School Reporters being filmed


This page contains a collection of videos, guides and quizzes about broadcasting and sharing news.

We would value your feedback on the resources
Email or fill out the form at the foot of this page to get in touch
And if you have any suggestions about how to improve the classroom activities or ideas for new exercises, we'd love to hear from you!

You can choose which resources are the most appropriate for your pupils and classroom. We've called it a pick and mix - so you can read through and select the materials that best fit in with your plans.

Please note that all times for activities are approximate and will depend on class size, age, etc.

We also have a special Teacher Essentials section which includes lots of extra information and advanced resources.

You can also use our updated six lesson plans if you prefer a more structured approach.


Broadcasting basics

Broadcasting is the finished product after the hard work of finding and making the news has been done. This is the final stage where you can actually tell your audience what you have discovered.

It's important to make the most of all your work by displaying your story as well as you can.

These resources, including guidance from BBC newsreader Huw Edwards and BBC presenter Sam Naz, will help you to make your final product as professional as possible.


Online broadcasting

We ask that all schools provide a webpage to host their content, whether it's audio or TV bulletins or written articles. But when we talk about "online" content in a School Report context we're mainly referring to written stories and still images.

To get people to pay attention and really read your written reports, you need to make your content as attractive as possible so think about using pictures and other ways of breaking up the text.

These resources will help to make the most of your stories on your website, and explain how to write dynamic live pages.


Broadcasting issues

Media organisations and journalists have to take responsibility for the stories they publish. If it is inaccurate and damages somebody's reputation, it could see them getting into trouble and fined.

Part of broadcasting in the modern media world is sharing your content, often via the internet. This needs to be done sensibly and with an awareness of the risks that need to be avoided.

Broadcasting news is not the same as having a gossip in the playground and these resources will help you understand the issues that can arise.


Video: Broadcasting news (2 mins 30 secs + 2-3 mins to recap/discuss)

Broadcasting news (duration: 2 mins 30 secs)

BBC newsreader Huw Edwards explains what's involved in broadcasting the news.

Whether it's standing in front of the camera, talking into the mic or publishing a written story on the web, broadcasting is when you tell everyone your story.


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

A Welsh language version of the video is also available, together with a transcript.

Video: Presenting masterclass (3 mins 30 secs video + 2-3 mins to recap/discuss)

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

Presenting is not as easy as just standing in front of a camera and reading an autocue!

To be a top presenter that viewers want to watch takes some work and preparation.

Practising your script so that you are familiar with any tricky names or difficult words will help you feel more confident.

And don't forget - everybody gets nervous and everybody makes mistakes from time to time, even experienced BBC presenters. Sam advises what to do if you do trip up on a tongue-twister!


Sam Naz is a regular presenter on BBC Three's news programme 60seconds, and she gives her top tips for learning the tricks of the trade.

You can recap the key points from the video in the accompanying worksheet:

Watch BBC Three's Sam Naz in action (duration: 1 min)

And this short clip shows Sam putting her tips into practice as she presents 60seconds.

You can read the script for this episode of 60seconds in the below worksheet to get an insight into how much information Sam can cram into a short bulletin.

If you have time, why not try presenting the script yourselves to see how difficult it is.

Guide: Presenting tips from a BBC voice coach

Elspeth Morrison is a voice coach for the BBC College of Journalism and has trained lots of BBC journalists in how to shine in front of the camera or microphone.

Read her top tips and find out how to prepare for a broadcast.

Video: Web masterclass (3 mins 30 secs video + 2-3 mins to recap/discuss)

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

Senior broadcast journalist Iain Mackenzie is in charge of the BBC News Online technology index, and writes and edits stories for the website every day.

But writing for the web is not as simple as typing out a few sentences and then hitting publish.

If you want people to pay attention to your reports - and hopefully come back for more - then there are a few tricks of the trade to think about.


Watch Iain explaining how to make the most of your stories on your special School Report website.

You can recap the key points from the video using the accompanying worksheet or read a transcript of the video:

Guide: How to write for the web Writing stories for a website is very different from writing essays at school or from writing scripts for radio and television - it's even different from writing for a newspaper!

This guide, which draws on some of the guidance given to BBC journalists, has some top tips for making sure your written reports are as good as they can be.

Guide: BBC experts on writing live event pages

Whether it's the latest big football game or a rolling news story like the recent riots in England, a live events page is a great way to get all the latest information to your audience as quickly as possible.

Football specialist Jonathan Stevenson and news reporter Victoria King are both experts in how to bring these pages to life, while always keeping the basics of journalism to the fore.

Activity: How many people have read it? (20 mins)

Your teacher has placed a news report somewhere in the classroom. Find it.

Print off a new story from either the BBC News, BBC Local, Newsbeat or CBBC Newsround website and place it somewhere in the classroom for students to find.

Now answer the following questions:

1. How many people do you think have read it?

2. How many people do you think you would have read it without being told it was there?

3. How many people do you think would have read it if you placed it on a notice board in reception?

4. Where could you place it so that the maximum number of people could read it?

Broadcasting is all about getting your news out there putting it in places where your audience can access it. It's also about sharing your news, in other words, letting people know that it's there.

Placing your news on your school website and telling people that is there is a good way to broadcast your news. And you can increase the number of people who read it by placing it elsewhere.

However big your potential audience is, your reports should always be accurate.

Now research and answer the following questions:

5. How many people visit your school website each month?

6. How many people read your local newspaper each month?

7. How many people listen to your local radio station each month?

8. On which of these platforms could you place some of your reports?

9. On which other platforms could you place your reports?

Activity: Using the internet safely (20 mins)

This version of the worksheet contains answers to the scenarios:

The internet is a really useful tool but it's vital people know how to use it properly.

Your teacher has given you a card with information about someone who needs your help to learn how to use the internet safely. In small groups, read the card carefully and answer the questions.

After 10 minutes, your teacher will ask you to discuss your answers with the rest of the class.

Guide: Keeping your news safe and legal

Broadcasting news means having to take responsibility for its content - that it doesn't libel anybody, breach copyright or infringe on someone's privacy.

Most newspapers and media organisations have teams of lawyers to help make fine judgements about contentious stories: your school may well not have the same resources!

This guide will help you keep on the right side of the law. Remember that if material is on the school website, the school is the publisher.

Quiz: Broadcasting news (10 mins)

Quiz: Broadcasting news

Find out how much you know about broadcasting the news and sharing it with your audience. Are you across all the final checks that are needed before going live?

One of the galleries at BBC Television Centre

1.) Media law

You are the editor. One of the reporters in your team has used a song by a famous band in his report. Is he allowed to do this?

School Reporter wearing headphones
  1. Yes, because he downloaded it legally.
  2. Yes, because he is crediting the band.
  3. No, because he doesn't have permission.

2.) News values

A report contains this sentence: Jake Jones from Year 8 said he was upset that Year 9 pupil Chris Carter hadn't won the race. What's wrong with it?

School Reporters working on a computer
  1. It includes the surnames of people under the age of 18.
  2. It doesn't give their ages.
  3. It shouldn't have given their year group.

3.) Social networking

How old do you have to be to use most social networking sites?

Screen capture of a Twitter page
  1. 11
  2. 13
  3. 14

4.) Checking

It's 1.30pm on News Day and you are putting the finishing touches to your story. Who should check each item one last time before the 2pm deadline?

School Reporters using a computer
  1. Your head teacher
  2. The camera operator
  3. Your teacher or the person they've asked to be the editor

5.) Taste and decency

When sharing content online, you should post...

Two School Reporters using a laptop
  1. Things that would make your friends laugh.
  2. Things that you wouldn't mind your teacher seeing.
  3. Anything that will get people's attention.

6.) Running order

Your reports are done and they are about to be put on your school website. Which story should go first?

School Reporter using computer
  1. The story your teacher likes best.
  2. The story that is most important to your audience.
  3. The longest story.

7.) Media law

Another School Reporter has found a nice picture using an image search engine and asks you if he can use it in his web story. What's your advice?

A laptop showing an image of a boat on a river
  1. Yes, because it's online
  2. No, you can only use pictures you've taken yourself.
  3. Maybe, depending on the source of the picture.

8.) Media law

Someone on your team wants to cover a court case and interview his classmates. He wants to ask whether the defendant is guilty or not. What should you do?

Microphones in a BBC radio studio
  1. Go ahead. If people want to talk about it, let them.
  2. Don't do it. The case isn't over.
  3. Do it, but with some who say he's guilty and others who say he isn't.

9.) Media law

A major news website has this headline on their front page: Footballer paid to throw matches. What type of law should you think about before reporting this story?

A football in the back of the net
  1. Copyright
  2. Defamation
  3. Contempt

10.) Sharing

You've made a great video report but technical problems mean you can't put it online. What should you do?

School Reporters using a computer
  1. Publish your script directly onto the school site.
  2. Adapt your script into a written article.
  3. Wait until the technical problem has been solved, then get the video online.

11.) Sharing

As well as uploading to your school website, you might like to share your news, by placing it on other platforms. Which of these might NOT be a good place to post?

School Reporters from The Grays School Media Arts College
  1. Your school newsletter.
  2. A free video sharing website.
  3. A partner school's website.


  1. He can't use the song because he doesn't have permission - unless that it is, he's written to the band and they've given their permission in writing. Copyright laws protect people's work and you could get in trouble for using something you're not allowed to.
  2. It includes the surnames of people under the age of 18. If you were editing this piece, you should remove the surnames of both boys from the story. One of the BBC's news values is about safeguarding children and that includes protecting the identity of young people.
  3. You have to be at least 13 to use most social networking sites. Remember to be careful about what you say and never post any personal information, like your phone number or address.
  4. Your teacher or the person they've asked to be the editor should check each story before it goes out. Remember, check that you haven’t used surnames and watch out for any spelling mistakes!
  5. You should only post things you wouldn't mind your teacher seeing. Remember, when you put content online, anyone can see it. So something you might think is funny could be extremely offensive to someone else. Think carefully before you publish.
  6. The story that is most important to your audience should go first. Hopefully, you'll be able to grab their attention and they'll stick around to see what else you have to offer!
  7. He might be able to use it depending on the source of the picture. Make sure you have the permission of the person who owns the photo, which is usually the person who took it, before using it. Some photo agencies have already given their permssion for School Reporters to use their images, but only if they are already being used on the BBC News website and have one of the following credits in the bottom right hand corner: AP, PA, AFP or Getty.
  8. You shouldn't do the story as the case isn't over. Legal stories are very difficult to report and should be avoided unless you have been giving proper training. Journalists at the BBC would not report others commenting on an ongoing case as there is a risk it could influence the jury. And that could get a journalist in a lot of trouble.
  9. Defamation is the law you need to think about before you report this story. Defaming someone means publishing or broadcasting something that would make people think less of a person. The fact it has already been reported already doesn't mean you can publish it too. Be sure of your facts before reporting this kind of story.
  10. You should adapt your script into a written article. Even if you've written an amazing script, it might not work without the pictures that went with it. But since you've already done the report, you know the story and should be able to adapt it to make a great written piece! News involves deadlines and if you wait for the technical problem to be solved, your news may no longer be new.
  11. It might not be a good idea to publish your news on a free video sharing website without checking what else is on there. That's because many free video sharing websites contain adverts and recommend other videos that might not be suitable for young people. The good news is there are some video sharing websites that are suitable; ask your teacher.

Your Score

0 - 3 : Keep working at it

4 - 7 : Good but could be better

8 - 11 : Well done!

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

The online test gives you the answers at the end of every question. If you are using the quiz worksheet, the answers can be found here:

It also provides real-life scenarios to prompt discussions about the issues that can arise during writing news.

Pupils can take the above test online, either on this page or on a separate page which is easier to email and distribute at school; a low-tech alternative would be to print out this worksheet:



Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific