News Reporting or News Commentary?

Are your students skilled in recognizing the difference between factual news reporting and news commentary that intermixes facts and opinions? Developing this essential skill will help them distinguish between fact and opinion in journalism when it is not stated.

Create learning experiences  in which they gain skill in recognizing the difference between news reporting, news commentary, and editorial comments. News reporting is substantiated relevant information stated without additional opinions or personal comments.Its goal is to report the facts. Political commentary, based upon substantiated facts, will also include reporter and guest comments and opinions;  reflecting singular or multiple points of view and purpose. In addition, many news programs currently include an entertainment factor that is not driven simply to report information to the public.


Overview: Provide an experience in which your students research, analyze, and create news products to be viewed by others.

Pre-survey your students by viewing a variety of news media.

Project: Engage your students passions through a project-based unit in which they write and produce video news reports and news commentaries.

Host the students’ videos /live show for an audience of their peers and adults. Students lead a discussion about their research and answer questions about the programs’ contents. Pre/post survey the audience. Tabulate the results.

Final reflection: Students self-identify the skills and knowledge gained through this unit. Then review the results of their pre/post surveys and those of their sample audience.  Identify areas of new knowledge and skills demonstrated.

*Students  may also choose to inform their peers and families about the results of their surveys.

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