Lesson 2: Pre-Production


What must be done before a TV news show goes to air?


Much of the effort that goes into the production of a successful TV news show happens before the studio cameras are turned on. This lesson engages students in the planning process, including the selection of relevant content, the booking process for guests that represent balanced opinions, and authentic vocabulary that drives production. As a part of this lesson, students will analyze short clips related to pre-production activities. Career highlights: Booking Producer, Line Producer


1. Students will be able to explain the pre-production elements of a news show.
2. Students will be able to define production-related, technical vocabulary.

3. Students will be able to define and recognize bias in reporting.
4. Students will identify techniques to ensure a diversity of perspectives is included in a production.

5. Students will be able to explain the responsibilities of a Booking Producer and Line Producer on a news show.


• CLIPS:  CLIP 3: Self Taught Piano Virtuoso, CLIP 4: Black Girls Code,


• TV Production Vocabulary Challenge packet

• Show Binder

• Dividers/Paper/Sticky Notes

• Show Binder Rubric


Hold Team Meetings: With the knowledge the students gained about various production roles in Lesson 1, have the teams meet to establish their own internal roles. Depending on the number of students on each team, some roles may need to be combined. Students should be encouraged to make an honest assessment of their current skills and abilities, their interests, and their areas for growth and learning.

Topics & Diverse Viewpoints

When students are able to recognize the specifics that contribute to bias in news media, they are better able to include deliberate planning against bias in their own work. After learning about bias, students should be encouraged to consider these points as they select topics, guests, and clips to include in their productions.

How to detect Bias in News Media FAIR: Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting

  • Who are the sources?
  • Is there a lack of diversity?
  • From whose point of view is the news reported?
  • Are there double standards?
  • Do stereotypes skew coverage?
  • What are the unchallenged assumptions?
  • Is the language loaded?
  • Is there a lack of context?
  • Do the headlines and stories match?
  • Are stories on important issues featured prominently?


Tough Question:

What important stories were not featured prominently during Election 2016?


Distribute one Show Binder and one TV Production Vocabulary Challenge packet to each team.

Using dividers or sticky notes, have the students create their planning sections: Rundown, Segment Production Plans, Guests, Assignments, Equipment.

Challenge teams to the vocabulary exercise. Teams can split the list however they like and use whatever resources they have access to in order to complete the challenge. The winning team will be first to have every cell in both columns completely filled in to win. (Teacher: answers will vary – and may be incorrect – in the Guess column but must be correct in the Definition column.)

Have students watch CLIP 3: Self Taught Piano Virtuoso and CLIP 4: Black Girls Code, either individually or in teams and make a list of everything they see in the clips that they would be responsible for in their new roles. Students may need to watch the clips more than once. Encourage students to share their thinking with at least one teammate and/or have a whole group discussion to determine whether there is agreement regarding roles. Consider assigning this step as homework. (Teacher: These clips provide examples of an in-studio segment, video footage, a Skype interview, live panel discussion and performance, guests, and graphics.)

Provide time for students to complete their sections of the Show Binder. Students should regularly check in with the Producer to let him or her know where they are in the process and what they need. The Producer should manage all aspects of the completion of the Show Binder.


Show Binder with completed sections (Teacher: A rubric for the Show Binder is included.)

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