Lesson 1: Anatomy of a TV News Show


What are the components of a TV News Show?


Although it looks seamless on air, a TV news show is a complex product that many people work on both before, during, and after airtime. This lesson provides an overview of all that goes into the production of a TV news show, from people to technology to planning documents. As a part of this lesson, students will have opportunities to analyze clips from NewsOne Now to tease out the components and commentary that come together to make a show. Career highlights: Producer, Director.


1. Students will be able to list and describe the basic aspects of a TV news show.
2. Students will be able to complete a rundown sheet.

3. Students will be able to identify fact from opinion in a broadcast.

4. Students will be able to explain the responsibilities of a Producer and Director on a news show.


Play CLIP 1: NewsOne Now August 11 once through for the class.
Have production teams work together to create a list of each segment in CLIP 1: NewsOne Now August 11 (Teacher: Intro, American Red Cross in Baton Rouge, Clinton’s Economic Plan) and every element that had to be produced for it. (Teacher: intro, intro anchor segment, B-Roll video footage, images, lower thirds, credits for video/images, music, graphics: lower thirds and full screen, live interview two locations, in-studio panel discussion.)
Remind them that everything that appears onscreen requires production: someone to arrange and create it. Play CLIP 1: NewsOne Now August 11 again and have students add anything they did not already include.

Fact or Opinion

It is critical for students to be able to distinguish between fact and opinion when consuming media. Sometimes, a subtle difference can change fact to opinion or vice versa. The following challenges were taken from RESOURCE CLIP 2: June 2 and the segment, Rally Against NC Bill 873. While they are watching the clip, or after they watch the clip, invite students to label each statement as fact or opinion.

  • “The key to opportunity in this country is education.”
  • Andrea Harris, Co-Founder & Senior Fellow, The Institute, believes that “the key to opportunity in this country is education.”
  • “Alvin Chambliss argued the HBCU case in Mississippi that went to the Supreme Court that got funding.”
  • “Community Leaders and state legislators should sue the state of North Carolina for not funding these schools from day one.”
  • “The threat of the lawsuit would then force them to step up.”
  • Senator Tom Apodaca is hurt by the things that were said about him in discussions about the bill.
  • Senator Tom Apodaca has an opportunity to lower crime by funding higher education.

Tough Question:

Are there people (celebrities, newscasters, etc.) that you automatically believe?


Distribute the Rundown Sample NewsOne Now, Rundown Template, image of NewsOne Now Studio, image of NewsOne Now Control Room, and the Rundown Rubric to each team. Review the materials and discuss the rubric. Tell students that you will be giving them some class time to discuss and brainstorm topics for their own productions.

Put the following roles on a whiteboard or smart board (Teacher: Class and team size may affect how many roles each team can include; for small teams, students may take on more than one role): Producer, Director, Field Producer, Associate Producer, Line Producer, Booking Producer, Studio Cameraman, Editor, Talent/Anchor. (Teacher: Since this is a TV production unit, the role of on-air talent is de-emphasized. If you have a student that should serve that role, consider assigning the same student to be the on-air talent for all the production teams. This could provide an interesting point of comparison on content. Also, a completed version, Team/Human Resources handout, is provided for students to use to check their work and/or as a reference.)

Have one student from each team watch the career clips in this unit and develop one- to two-sentence descriptions of each. (Teacher: This may be assigned as homework or may be done while the rest of the team is discussing what topics they might be interested in covering in their own production. Also, a completed version, Team/Human Resources handout, is provided for students to use to check their work and/or as a reference.)

Provide team meeting time for the students to learn about all the roles and begin to talk about how they want to divide the responsibilities. Before they finalize their plans, show the next clip.

Play CLIP 2: NewsOne Now June 2. Have students pay extra attention to elements of the clip from the perspectives of various production roles: Who had to do what to create that element and make it work?

Provide time for the teams to discuss both the structure and the content of CLIP 2: NewsOne Now June 2. Explain to students that their own productions must include at least two show segment styles (in-studio interview, panel discussion, Skype interview, narration of B-Roll video footage, etc.)

As a class, watch the CAREER VIDEO: PRODUCER and CAREER VIDEO: DIRECTOR. Have the students discuss the videos and then have each team come to consensus about which students will adopt those roles. (Teacher: Consensus can be difficult to achieve, but provide enough time for a solid team decision. The process of deliberation will help students meet communication and collaboration standards.)

Have the newly assigned producers lead the team in reviewing and analyzing the Rundown Sample NewsOne Now spreadsheet and in developing their teams' Rundowns." This will require students to discuss and agree upon segment topics (at least two) and elements to include (at least music, intro, video, images, graphics, outro). Students should be encouraged to treat this part of the lesson as a professional meeting. Have them find a comfortable place for the group discussion, invite them to have water, take notes, and be professional and polite.


Common Core Standards: W.7.4 | W.8.4 | W.9-10.4 | W.11-12.4 | W.9-10.7 | W.11-12.4 | SL.7.2 | SL.8.2 | SL.9.2 | SL.11-12.2 | SL.7.4 | SL.8.4 | SL.9-10.4 | SL.11-12.4 | SL.7.5 | SL.8.5 | SL.9-10.5 | SL.11-12.5
ISTE Standards: 1.b | 2.d | 3.c | 4.a | 4.b
P21 Framework for 21st Century Learning: 2 | 3 | 4

View the full list of standards here >


Common Core

Production and Distribution of Writing
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.4 | W.8.4 | W.9-10.4 | W.11-12.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.7 | W.11-12.4
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Comprehension and Collaboration
Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.

Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points.
Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentation to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.5 | SL.11-12.5
Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

ISTE Standards for Students

1. Creativity and innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
b. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression
2. Communication and collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
d. Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems
3. Research and information fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information
c. Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
4. Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
a. Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation
b. Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project

P21 Framework for 21st Century Learning

21st Century Student Outcomes

2. Learning and Innovation Skills

Communication & Collaboration
Communicate Clearly
• Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts
• Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade)
• Utilize multiple media and technologies, and know how to judge their effectiveness a priori as well as assess their impact
Collaborate with Others
• Demonstrate ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams
• Exercise flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal
• Assume shared responsibility for collaborative work, and value the individual contributions made by each team member

3. Information, Media and Technology Skills

Media Literacy
Analyze Media
• Understand both how and why media messages are constructed, and for what purposes
Create Media Products
• Understand and utilize the most appropriate media creation tools, characteristics and conventions

4. Life and Career Skills

Flexibility and Adaptability
Be Flexible
• Deal positively with praise, setbacks and criticism
• Understand, negotiate and balance diverse views and beliefs to reach workable solutions, particularly in multi-cultural environments

Social and Cross-Cultural Skills
Interact Effectively with Others
• Conduct themselves in a respectable, professional manner
Work Effectively in Diverse Teams
• Respond open-mindedly to different ideas and values

Productivity and Accountability
Manage Projects
• Set and meet goals, even in the face of obstacles and competing pressure
• Prioritize, plan and manage work to achieve the intended result