How does FACT: News Reporting work?

You can choose from ten inspiring topics that fire young people’s imaginations and help them explore and express their voice on a range of relevant issues. With the help of our expert team at Sky, students will learn about how to structure a news report and communicate their ideas to the audience.

FACT: News Reporting supports the English curriculum, helping students to understand the elements of a great news report. The topics are cross-curricular, linking to: PSHE/Health and wellbeing; Science/Sciences; Design & Technology/Technologies; Citizenship/Social Studies. It also develops students’: Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Media Literacy, Writing (non-fiction), Decision-making.

1. We have two locations to choose from:

2. Choose your genre

Do Animals Matter

Do Animals Matter? – explores attitudes to animal rights, the threat of extinction, and what people can do to help. For example, few would argue that deliberate acts of cruelty towards animals are wrong, but there’s more debate around using animals for medical research or killing animals for meat. In addition, far more species are endangered than previously thought, prompting questions about the role of humans in their protection.

Celebrity Culture

Celebrity Culture and its Influence – explores the positive and negative sides of today’s celebrity culture, asking whether certain celebrities encourage young people to value fame and money over success based on skill, talent or effort.

Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Lifestyle: How Can We Make Britain Healthier? – explores the importance of a healthy lifestyle and how our nation’s health affects us physically, mentally and financially. For example, scientific reports show regular participation in sport and physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle can help prevent several chronic diseases. Yet despite continued campaigns promoting healthy living, one in four British adults is obese.

Mission to Mars

Mission to Mars: Why Spend Billions on Space Travel? – explores the challenges around sending spacecraft to explore Mars and whether a manned mission is worth the money and risk to human life. Students should look at previous missions and consider whether space travel is a positive step forward for scientific knowledge or a waste of money.

Disaster Strikes - Natural Disasters

Disaster Strikes: Natural Disasters – explores the science, causes and impact of natural disasters around the world. Could human activities and climate change be influencing specific natural disasters, and what can be done to predict them or reduce their impact?

Your Voice

Your Voice: Stand Up and Be Counted – explores young people’s attitudes and behaviours around voting and politics, and what can be done to encourage more young people to register to vote.

Ocean Rescue

Sky Ocean Rescue – explores how plastics are seriously damaging to the world’s oceans, and the plants and animals that live there. Plastic is thought to make up around 80% of the rubbish in our oceans, and much of this is single-use, such as plastic water bottles, bags, containers and straws. This topic explores the extent of the damage of single-use plastics, as well as how initiatives such as Sky Ocean Rescue are encouraging people to take active steps to protect them.

The Future of Tech

The Future of Tech – explores the challenges and opportunities future technological advances will bring to the world. For example, technological innovations such as artificial intelligence and machine-learning, robotics, nanotechnology, and 3-D printing will disrupt current ways of doing things, but preparing for a more technologically advanced world will require a ‘skills set’ that we can’t yet understand, and which may leave some groups of people behind.

Money and You

Money and You: What Money Means for Young People – explores young people’s attitudes and behaviours around money, and whether better financial education could lead to fewer young people living with debt.

Social Networking

Social Media: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – explores the benefits and disadvantages of social media. For example, news and information is available instantly and we can connect with people all over the world… but there has also been a rise in cyberbullying.

3. Prepare for your day

Your visit to Sky

During your visit, students will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of Sky. We also give students the opportunity to get hands-on and use some cutting-edge technology, working with talented professional studio staff in a bespoke TV studio. All the technology is intuitive, easy-to-use and suitable for ages 8 and up. After working in four studio teams to create their news report, the class will gather for a final screening of their work. Sky Academy Studios is designed to be a springboard for opening students’ minds and unlocking creativity.

Download the FACT: News Reporting Teacher Guide for all the information you need about your visit and how to prepare for it, as well as information about the preparatory lesson plan and other supporting resources.

Download Teacher guide: Fact - News and reporting (PDF)

4. Divide your group into four teams


This team will be responsible for setting the scene for the report. They'll introduce the topic from a studio environment. Studio 1 then hands over to Studio 2.


On location report

This team is on location. Students can choose from a range of video clips and video backgrounds to bring the story to life. Studio 2 hands over to Studio 3.

Eye witness report

This team carry out on location interviews with people linked to the story so they begin to see a wider perspective. This section should end with a link back to Studio 4.

Expert interview

This team carry out on location interviews with people linked to the story so they begin to see a wider perspective. This section should end with a link back to Studio 4.

5. Choose your roles


The Producer oversees the whole experience and is the final decision-maker and time keeper.

This is a management role that requires the individual to be able to lead and make sure the job gets done on time. The Producer is strong team player with good self-management and communication skills. This is the individual who will have overall responsibility of the final news report, keeping to timings on the day and ensuring each studio member is on task.

Key skills - communication & self-management


The Producer oversees the whole project and makes sure that it’s completed on time.


The Scriptwriter creates the words to fit around the pictures to tell the most interesting story.

Scriptwriters are responsible for using the facts available to write the script for the presenters, reporters, eye witnesses and experts. They will have to fit the required format and will need to use the visual stimulus as a base for the story they want to tell. They need to be able to work effectively with the Editor to bring visual elements to life. Scriptwriters should be creative, well organised, and capable of working as part of a team, to strict deadlines. There may be two scriptwriters in a team.

Key skills – teamwork & creativity

Camera Operator

The Camera Operator controls the shot composition and recording of the camera to create the best takes.

The Camera Operator is a vital role in developing the news report. They will learn how to use a professional camera to get the best shot, working closely with the Director and on-camera roles.

Key skills - self-management & problem solving


The Editor reviews and selects green screen backdrops and voiceover videos on the touch screen edit table before recording and then edits all the recorded takes after filming.

This is an individual who can work to solve problems creatively and undertake a range of editing tasks, working quickly to complete jobs within short timeframes. Editors should have strong interpersonal skills to enable strong working relationships with the studio team. There could be two editors in a team.

Key skills - creativity & problem solving.

Presenter / Reporter

The Presenter will collaborate with the Scriptwriter to tell the most natural story in front of the camera.

These are the roles that are required to appear in front of the camera. Anyone doing these roles needs excellent communication skills and attention to detail.

Key skills - communication & self-management


Eye witness / Expert

These roles are required to get into character to answer the reporter / presenter’s questions in front of camera.

The Eyewitness (Studio 3) will make the script as natural as possible and answer the Reporter's questions in front of the camera.

Key skills - communication & creativity

The Expert (Studio 4) will make the script as natural as possible and answer the Reporter's questions in front of the camera.

Key skills - communication & teamwork

6. Behind the Scenes Tour

Our Make, Shape, Share video tour will explain how TV is created at Sky. Students will see behind the scenes clips showing each step of the process from writing the script and filming to how we use the latest broadcast technology to edit programmes and transmit them out to people's homes through satellite signal. We will leave the picture as is for now but will swap out in the future

7. Work with Sky staff

Each group will be supported by a member of our team who'll train them on the studio equipment and make sure they deliver their section of the programme in time for transmission. 

8. Use the latest in technology

We're giving students the opportunity to get hands-on and use some cutting edge technology. All of our studios are kitted out with broadcast quality microphones and cameras that have been specially modified for use in Sky Academy Studios. We've also developed touch screen editing software that can be used to flick through the green screen backdrops available for your topic, drag and drop clips on to the timeline and crop them to size.  All of the technology we've designed is intuitive, easy to use and suitable for ages 8 and up.

Three images of our touchscreen technology

9. Watch your programme

When your teams have finished their section of the report and sent it for transmission, our master controller will edit the pieces together to create the final programme. Your group will see their finished piece in the transmission area and we'll send a secure link to the trip organiser to share with pupils and parents to watch back at school or at home.


Image of a young reporter sat at a news desk