CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: We're on the Air!

Media, Business Studies
3 lessons
To explore the relationship between television and print news, to gain an understanding of media convergence
Students create television news reports based on print news.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

If students have not completed the activity "Introduction to Media Concentration and Convergence" for this topic, have them do so now.

Examine several news articles with the students, noting the format (most important points to least important points), lead (summary, question, quotation, or shocker), content (answers to 5 Ws), and style (short sentences and paragraphs). Ask: How does a news story in print differ from a news story on television? List their responses on the board or chart paper.

Outline the Opportunity

In groups of four, students will role-play that they work for a newspaper that also owns a television station. Groups will select one student to act as the producer to lead the group's coordination of a live news broadcast. Groups will select and discuss four print news stories to include in their broadcast. Each group member will write one story for the air, beginning with the download sheet We're on the Air, then groups will work together to revise the script so that it is suitable for television. The producer will appoint an anchor to begin the broadcast and to introduce all of the stories. Have students practice before taping the final product or performing their broadcast live for the class. Students should be accurate and use short, blunt sentences, active verbs, and interesting leads.

Revisit and Reflect

Have each group present its stories to the class, either live or on tape. Discuss the differences between television and print news coverage. Ask:


Why are print stories more detailed than broadcast stories?

Do you use the same leads for television as you would for print? Why or why not?

Some people claim that television is good at presenting the who, what, when, and where of a news story, but not the why. Do you agree? Why or why not?


Students can follow a current news story that interests them. They will compare how the story is handled by one media conglomerate in print, television, and the internet. In their journals, students can discuss why the story interests them, how each medium portrays the story, and from which medium they learned the most about the story.

Download PDF

Related Content

1902: Hockey broadcaster Foster Hewitt born i...

Remembering Mr. Hockey Night in Canada, Foster Hewitt.

Marshall McLuhan, the Man and his Message

He was a man of idioms and idiosyncrasies, deeply intelligent and a soothsayer. He had prescie...

Bringing the World Home: International Corres...

An international correspondent's life can be exhilarating -- the travel, the adventure, the se...

Stevie Cameron on secret sources

Canadian journalist Stevie Cameron defends an accusation that she's a secret informant for the...

Media Convergence: Examining the state of Can...

Another Royal Commission looks at the state and the future of media in Canada.

Vancouver's Olympic 'bid book'

Vancouver 2010 places its hopes in 460 pages.