Page last updated at 08:45 GMT, Thursday, 4 August 2011 09:45 UK

Quiz: Writing news

This is your chance to see just how much you know about writing a good news story.

School Reporter using computer

1.) Writing news

Journalists use language that is clear, * and correct.

  1. concise
  2. cool
  3. crafty

2.) Writing news

Journalists' language is simple and to the point. Which of the following phrases is the best example?

School Reporters writing scripts
  1. Police hit out as demonstrators make point
  2. Riot police used shields to push demonstrators back
  3. Demonstrators show their emotions as police get involved in clash

3.) Writing news

Which of the following will help make your report more interesting?

School Reporters looking at a computer screen
  1. Made-up facts
  2. Quotes from key interviewees
  3. Exclamation marks!!!

4.) Writing news

Which of these is most likely to annoy readers?

School Reporter writing on a cue card
  1. Jargon
  2. Big chunks of text
  3. Inaccurate spelling and grammar

5.) Writing scripts

After you've written your script, what's the first thing you should do?

An autocue with a script on it
  1. Give it straight to the editor
  2. Read it aloud to make sure it sounds okay
  3. Move on to the next story

6.) Writing headlines

What is the golden rule for writing headlines?

School Reporter sitting in television studio
  1. Be as clever as possible
  2. Keep it short and bright
  3. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story


  1. The answer is concise, which means short. When you're writing the news, it's important to keep your sentences short, so that people can understand what you are trying to tell them. It's also important that your report is not too long, otherwise people will switch off.
  2. Riot police used shields to push demonstrators back is the most clear because it simple and straightforward. No word is wasted. The other examples are vague and unclear.
  3. Quotations will add interest to your report. A quote is a great way to add some colour. Listen out for interesting or amusing quotes when you are interviewing people.
  4. Inaccurate spelling and grammar is most likely to annoy people, so double check before you publish. But long chunks of text and jargon are also irritating!
  5. The first thing you should do is to read it aloud to make sure it sounds OK. It may feel a little weird to read something you've written out loud, especially when the people around you are quiet. But journalists who write for radio and TV are always told to read their scripts aloud to make sure there are no tongue twisters in it!
  6. A headline should be short and simple. It should grab people's attention but mustn't mislead them. Be clear and tell readers what the story is about.

Your Score

0 - 1 : Keep working at it

2 - 4 : Good but could be better

5 - 6 : Well done!

As part of our new updated teacher resources, we have produced a series of quizzes designed to test pupils' knowledge and raise interesting discussion points about different aspects of news and journalism.

This quiz is about how to write news.

The quizzes are also available inside the 'pick and mix' resources section and the lesson plans, but we have reproduced them on individual pages as a way of making it more convenient for distribution in the classroom.

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

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

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

Pupils can take the above quiz 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:


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