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Teachers: Citizenship:

Last Updated: Monday November 15 2004 15:19 GMT

You choose the news

Citizenship PSHE 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Media and society


Lizo working in an edit suite
Learn about the selection process involved in choosing the news.

As "guest editors" students select and order newsworthy stories for the 5.25pm Newsround TV programme.

Learning aims

• News is selected by editors.

• Insight into the making of TV news.

• Scanning for information.


Show students pictures cut from recent newspapers. Ask them:

• Who or what is in the photos?

• Why did it make the news?

Warm up

Researching in the Newsround office

Show the four minute video clip of how Newsround gets made and hand out the photo worksheet

Students use what they can remember of the video clip to decide what is happening in each picture and circle the correct description.

Replay the video or show students the picture gallery.

For each picture, ask students:

• What selections are being made in this picture?

• Who is making the selections?

During the presentation, students mark the correct answers and add up their totals.

Photo worksheet answers: 1b, 2a, 3b, 4a, 5a, 6b, 7a, 8a.

Main activity

Students scan news websites for stories they think would be good on that day's Newsround TV programme. There are links at top right of this page.


They select seven stories from the homepages and transfer the information to the worksheet. For each story, they write one or two outlining sentences.

They must choose two lead stories, three newswraps and two and finally stories.

Terms to define:

• Lead - main story, important, relevant to everyone.

• Package - film clip and audio tape put together in a package.

• Newswrap - shorter report. In newspapers these are called NIBs (News in Brief).

• And finally - final story. Usually quirky/funny/light-hearted.

Students underline one key word in each story description. This is known as the slug.

Students watch the 5.25pm Newsround programme that evening to see if any of their chosen stories match the BBC's running order.

Extension activity

Students select subjects which would make a good picture gallery or guide for the Newsround website.

They also:

• Decide on a comment question and write the first comment.

• Write a vote question.

• Decide on a quiz subject and write the first question.

Students write the presenter's script and storyboard the camera shots for one of their chosen stories.

For examples of pictures and guides, click on the links on the left hand side of this page.

For examples of comments (in chat), votes and quizzes, click on the links at the top of this page.


Students present their programme running order to the class and explain the reasons for their selection.

Recap on the main teaching point: News stories are carefully selected before being broadcast or published.

For hundreds more lessons, click on Teachers, on the left hand side of this page.