Lesson plan: Elements of news

Key points: What makes news, news?

  • News judgement
  • Author’s purpose is to inform, entertain and persuade. Journalism informs and entertains, but does not persuade.
  • Fact vs. Opinion
    • Activity where students decide which point is fact or opinion. I split students up into groups and used mini-whiteboards for students write their answer. We discussed why each point was a fact or opinion.

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Group Activity on news judgement

DISCUSSION: Out of the seven stories listed, which story is most important? Which story is least important? Why? 

News judgement takes the five news values (timeliness, proximity, conflict/controversy, human interest and relevance) into account and helps us decide which story is most and least important.

Factors to include — how many people does the news event impact? How big is the news story? Who is involved?

Just because a story is ranked least important, does not make it less of a story/not newsworthy. It just impacts less people or other stories are more pressing.

PRESENTATION: Elements of News