Reporting and Interviewing Lesson Plans

Other ASNE Lessons

  • Rotation Interviewing Exercise
    By participating in a structured interview of each of their classmates, students will learn to identify types of interview questions that yield better answers, demonstrate a professional approach when meeting an interviewee, recognize how time constraints affect interview questioning, and recognize the difficulty in getting to source for interview.
  • Lesson Plan for the First Day of Class
    A lesson for the first day of class: Don’t give out a syllabus — make ‘em interview you for it!
  • Getting to Know You
    A good lesson plan for the first few weeks. It asks students to interview fellow students and identify the “false fact” through careful listening and cross-checking.
  • Out of Your Comfort Zone
    Students learn to use their innate skills to improve their interviewing and reporting talents.
  • Covering a Presidential Election
    A multi-day lesson that asks students to look at presidential debates for issues of interest to teens then research and write articles about what they heard.
  • Basic Interviewing and Reporting
    Basic skills are the foundation of journalism. Improving writing and reporting will impact the quality of the student newspaper. With a clear understanding of basic interviewing and reporting skills, students will gain confidence in their abilities.
  • Mock (or Shock) Interview
    This lesson plan with help students understand the importance of preparation prior to a difficult interview. They will also recognize the importance of sympathy and empathy. Note-taking, fact-checking and writing leads will also be emphasized.
  • Mall Trip: Interviewing and Reporting Exercise
    A role-playing exercise evolves into a news story. Students play roles of mall denizens and interview each other for individual points of view. A teacher-turned-police chief delivers the press conference.
  • Interviewing basics and profile article practice
    This lesson gives students information and insight on how to research and prepare before an article, what stellar interview questions are, how to create a conversational atmosphere with their interviewee, and how to use material given to write an eccentric profile article.
  • News: Researching, Interviewing, Reporting and Writing
    A lesson that gets at the heart of reporting and writing an article and goes through all the steps of doing so.
  • Interviewing Prep
    This lesson incorporates activities to help students learn the process of interviewing – beginning with preparation.
  • Effective Interviewing
    After having students watch television interviews, they are asked to come up with interviews of their own using open-ended questions and a conversational style.
  • The Locker Exam – Getting the Details and Asking the Right QuestionsThe Locker Exam – Getting the Details and Asking the Right Questions (supplemental 1)
    This multi-faceted lesson plan is designed to help students use details to develop open ended, viable interview questions through observation.
  • Generating Open-Ended Interview Questions
    Open-ended questions force the interviewee to explain and talk more — giving reporters more to quote. This lesson asks students to interview inanimate objects to hone their skills at open-ended questioning.
  • Interview Scenario
    This plan hones your students’ ability to listen and ask the right questions. Seven role-playing scenarios allow them to ask questions about a news event and write stories based on their questions.
  • Oral Histories of World War II
    A unit designed to introduce students to techniques of transcribing and conducting oral interviews. By interviewing people who lived during World War II, students will gain an understanding of this generation.

News Gathering and Reporting Tools

  • “Blottr is a user generated/citizen news service. As citizens upload their (breaking news) stories, journalists can see these stories collected on the Blotter site.”
  • Geofeedia allows a user to search and monitor social media contents by location. A user can mark the location they want to gather crowd contents that are uploaded on Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, Instagram and Picasa, and gather them realtime.” Poynter’s News U hosted a webinar on how to use Geofeedia.
  • Google Alert provides e-mail updates of relevant Google results (through the web, news, etc.) based on queries that are hand-picked by the user. As such, the Alert can be used to monitor the development of a news story or event. The alerts can be provided daily or as they happen and come in different formats.”
  • Knoema offers a vast global database of information and statistics.
  • Mention finds keywords or phrases on social platforms. It also scans blogs, forums, videos and images. You can download it as a program on your computer or as a mobile app. You can select the keywords and have Mention alert you, or you can watch a live feed.
  • Overview is a free tool for journalists that automatically organizes a large set of documents by topic, and displays them in an interactive visualization for exploration, tagging, and reporting.
  • PANDA is a newsroom data solution that can email you when information that’s relevant to your community and your publication becomes available. It also makes it easy to save data and to subscribe to searches. Poynter’s New U held a webinar on how to use PANDA.
  • ProPublica’s Online Data Store sells a wide array of data sets accessed from FOIA requests for a one-time fee. It is invaluable for data journalists.
  • Storyful is a website dedicated to bringing journalists accurate information as it emerges on the Internet in real time.
  • WolframAlpha does dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms and methods and returns referenced answers instead of just searching the web.
  • Any social media platform!

Be sure to check out’s tech tools page for other useful online news gathering and reporting tools.