Page last updated at 09:54 GMT, Thursday, 28 July 2011 10:54 UK

This section is aimed as background material for teachers or older pupils

A School Reporter does an interview


The resources on these pages are designed to provide you with practical tips to help turn your pupils into journalists, and background reading and material to help you get up to speed with some of the key skills of journalism.

We have picked out some of the key material for you already on this page, but for the extra keen the BBC College of Journalism website has a wealth of guides, videos, quizzes, blogs and other resources to explain everything you ever wanted to know about journalism.

You'll also find resources you can use as extension activities for your class or as advanced options for older students.



The resources in the box on the right provide some basic information to help your newsroom run smoothly and, above all, safely.

There's advice on keeping your newsroom safe and a glossary of common media terms.


Making video

Creating video reports can be a great way for pupils to tell their stories.

The videos and guides on the right show you how BBC journalists make the news you see on television.

You can watch George Alagiah explain how to film interviews on a mobile phone and get some top tips from a video journalist.

Get to grips with the principles of editing and get a behind the scenes look at Newsnight - and if you're technically minded, why not build your own teleprompter with some cardboard, a CD case and some sticky tape, just like Blue Peter!


Making radio

If you have decided to make radio reports, this section is full of practical advice.

There are tips on recording high quality audio and adding atmosphere to your finished pieces.

You can also see how journalists at Radio 1's Newsbeat make packages for their bulletins and the different roles that people do in order to produce the output that the audience hears.

And you can watch BBC Radio 5 live presenter Tony Livesey give you a behind-the-scenes tour of the studios at the brand new BBC buildings in Salford.



Gathering all the information needed for a story is an important skill to have.

The resources in this section give you tips on researching your stories.



Writing is a big part of a journalist's job, whether they work online, on radio or on television. The resources on the right are designed to help professional journalists improve their writing skills.

You can watch Huw Edwards explain the art of writing news headline and find out what makes a good radio cue.

There's also great advice on making your web stories clear and interesting - and a very important section on how to make sure your stories don't fall foul of media law such as libel, copyright and contempt of court.


Reporting skills

The resources in this section are designed to provide top tips about reporting.

There are guides to help your students develop their political reporting skills, including some tips if they're visiting the Houses of Parliament.

They can also get advice on reporting international news and preparing for press conferences.


Broadcasting and sharing

Once you've made the news, it's time to share it with a wider audience.

These resources are designed to help you and your School Reporters prepare for your broadcast on News Day, and to give you a glimpse behind the scenes of one of the BBC's most popular programmes.


Get some top tips on making your newsroom a safe place for your School Reporters.

This handy glossary explains common media terms so you can sound like a pro!

From "donuts" to "discos" and "slugs" to "stings", this guide should clear up some of the mysteries of journalistic lingo!

Learn how to make a great video report with some help from the BBC reporter Sophie Long.

School Reporters show how the news-making process works and break down the components of a good news package.

Newsreaders need to be able to read an autocue - and now School Reporters can follow suit.

But don't worry - your school doesn't have to shell out hundreds of pounds on expensive equipment.

This video explains how, in true Blue Peter style, you can make one yourselves with some cardboard, sticky tape, a CD case and a smartphone!

Using an autocue or teleprompter means the presenter can read their lines while looking directly at the camera and can help to make your reports look even more professional.

Alternatively, you could also use this website which enables you to create an autocue on your computer.

Are your School Reporters planning on making TV packages?

Watch BBC video journalist Mark Egan giving his top tips for making great news reports. From checking you have all the kit, to shooting different angles and coming up with creative ideas, this video will help you get up to speed with making reports.

And for some examples of some off-the-wall and brilliantly creative ideas that make a great impact on the screen, have a look at these suggestions from BBC journalist Brady Haran.

A man uses an early mobile phone
Mobile phones have come a long way since the mid-1980s

For many journalists these days, a mobile phone is not just something to call up their contacts on, or to send a text message from.

The modern smart phone is an increasingly powerful tool for journalists, with simple technology and relatively cheap software meaning some reporters now make whole packages on their mobiles.

Read this guide to discover how your School Reporters can record interviews and other material on their mobiles.

Watch BBC producer Sally Webb and cameraman/director Ian Pritchard work through some of the essential steps of filming an interview.

The video, from the BBC's College of Journalism, has tips and hints on shot sizes, framing and composition, lenses and the importance of your body language while filming the interview.

The BBC's Video Nation network offers a wealth of information and examples of different aspects of video making.

In each section you will find five top tips, short videos from BBC staff and Video Nation contributors and links for each subject to a range of BBC and other websites offering production advice.

Topic areas include subject and story; mobile cameras; what you film; camera and lighting; sound skills; uploading and compression; editing skills; and BBC guidelines.

School Reporters do their 'PTC'
School Reporters from Bath Rugby Education Centre do their 'PTC'

Your audience wants to know the reporter is where the story is happening, so a piece to camera (or PTC as it is often shortened to in the trade) is often used on location to demonstrate this.

BBC environment and science correspondent David Shukman explains some of the key issues to think about and offers his tips in this video on the BBC's College of Journalism's website.

Get some advice on how to edit your TV reports from BBC video editor Jonathan Nex.

From suggestions about editing interviews to using graphics, this will help you understand how TV news reports are put together.

Behind the scenes at Newsnight

Jeremy Paxman gives you a behind-the-scenes look at how Newsnight is put together.

You'll meet the team, find out who does what and discover how they fuel themselves to keep going late into the night!

Want to learn more about making good radio?

Check out these tips to get more information on everything from adding atmosphere to your pieces to perfecting interview technique.

There's also advice on working with large groups and editing.

Teacher Claire McDermott, from the Verbal Arts Centre in Londonderry, has experience of making radio pieces with her School Reporters.

In this guide, she offers tips on how to go about it and discusses the equipment she used.

Discover how the Newsbeat team prepare a story for broadcast. This guide shows you how the story was put together and gives you a chance to listen to the final piece.

Teamwork is the key to making a successful radio news programme.

From the editor to the broadcast assistant, everyone needs to work together to produce a great programme. Find out the different responsibilities of roles like studio managers, presenters and producers.

BBC Radio 5 live presenter Tony Livesey takes you round the brand new studios at MediaCityUK in Salford.

He shows you some of the cutting edge technology and how presenters know what's coming next - not to mention his amazing array of funny noises!

When you are doing any kind of journalistic research on the internet, you almost always get better results and save time if you choose the "Advanced Search" option.

This downloadable guide, from the BBC College of Journalism, shows you how to get the most from search engines.

An OOV is a bit of TV jargon that stands for "out of vision" - and it's pronounced just as you'd think!

Writing an OOV means writing a short script that the newsreader or presenter will read to accompany a sequence of a few video shots.

Simon Waldman, an editor on the BBC News Channel, gives his top tips in this series of short videos on the BBC's College of Journalism's website.

Locate the link which reads: "Click here to launch his video guide to writing OOVs" towards the bottom of the page.

In this video on the BBC's College of Journalism's website, BBC news presenter Huw Edwards introduces the importance of good headline writing to TV news programmes.

Also in this section, you can work through senior TV producer Brian Whelan's video guide to good headlines, Sian Williams' guide to writing TV intros and Neil Churchman's guide to writing radio cues.

Whether your copy is going to be read on air or used in online audio - as a podcast, say - your language has to be crystal clear at first hearing.

With audio you have only words and sounds to engage your audience and keep them listening - so you need to choose the right ones and make sure you're telling your listeners what's significant.

Watch BBC senior broadcast Laura Barrow as she gives her tips in this series of short videos on the BBC's College of Journalism's website.

Locate the link which reads: "Click here to watch her short video guide to Writing Copy" towards the bottom of the page.

The "cue" is the introduction to a radio report.

The BBC's Neil Churchman explains the importance of accuracy, clarity and grabbing your audience's attention just by the power of your words in this series of short videos from the BBC's College of Journalism.

Writing for a website is very different from writing for radio and television - and it's even different from writing for a newspaper.

People don't read web stories in the same way they read newspapers. You need to remember how easy it is for any user to click away from your story to something they're more interested in.

These tips will help you make the most of your reporting online.

One of the key responsibilities that comes with making the news and broadcasting is to ensure you stay the right side of the law. So issues like copyright, libel and contempt of court are important to be aware of when you are writing your stories.

This simple guide tells you what you need to know when it comes to media law.

Prime Minister David Cameron takes questions from School Reporters
David Cameron fields questions from School Reporters at Downing St

If your pupils are planning to speak to a politician, this guide to preparing for political interviews is full of useful tips for thinking up questions for people who are used to dealing with the media.

We've managed to have School Reporters put questions to the Prime Minister and members of the cabinet over the years, not to mention local councillors and MPs.

Is your class going on a trip to the Houses of Parliament?

This resource gives advice on how to prepare your pupils for their visit and suggests some activities that will help them report on it afterwards.

Your School Reporters may want to attend a news conference at some point.

This guide explains how a news conference works and offers tips if your school wants to hold a news conference itself.

If your School Reporters want to cover international news, these tips from BBC journalist Emma Rippon may come in handy.

Emma works on Crossing Continents, Radio 4's foreign affairs documentary series.

There's an old saying that goes "a picture is worth a thousand words" and it could equally be said that "a picture is worth a thousand numbers".

This School Report guide to "data visualisation" explains how journalists can help their audience understand and absorb data quickly.

In this video, from the BBC's College of Journalism, Jon Sopel of the BBC News Channel offers his presenting advice.

As he explains, there are difficult judgements to make - how much and how carefully to plan; how much to script; how much to learn by heart; how often you can just rely on describing what's happening around you. There are other masterclasses in this section of the site, including one on doing pieces to camera.

Twitter logo
Twitter is an important newsgathering and sharing tool

Twitter is essentially a series of short online announcements or "tweets" that are less than 140 characters long.

Find out more about the microblogging site with this guide from the BBC's Webwise team. Journalists use social media platforms to share the content they've created and to find out more about a story or subject they are reporting on.

BBC News has an official Twitter account and lots of correspondents, such as sports editor David Bond, are tweeting the latest news to their followers.

But bear in mind that you should make sure that your use of Twitter fits in with any social media policy in place at your school.

These sites can be fantastic sources of information but need to be used responsibly, especially by young people.

The BBC Webwise team also have some great tips and information about how to use social media safely and responsibly.

This photo gallery takes you behind the scenes of one of the BBC's most popular programmes, showing you how the set operates on the other side of the cameras.



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