The aim of this activity is to build communication skills by developing short news bulletins based on a newspaper report. It takes a familiar form of information giving and encourages the girls to develop their own presentation skills.
Gather together a selection of newspaper reports that feature young people. They should include both positive and inspiring stories as well as negative or critical reports.
Ask the girls to choose a partner to work with. Hand each pair a report to look at. (If you have girls who struggle with reading in the group you may want to select the pairs yourself and ask one person to read the report aloud.)
Once they are familiar with the stories ask them to prepare a ‘news bulletin’ to share the information with others. This can be in any style from News at Ten to MTV – it is up to them, the only rule is that they must only offer what is contained in the existing report and not add to it.
Allow around twenty minutes for planning and rehearsing their bulletin, making paper and pencils available for those who prefer to script their work.
Whilst they are doing this, set up the mock studio – a desk with two chairs behind it is fine for a basic set. Place the remainder of the chairs in a half circle around the stage area so that everyone will be able to see the performances.
Invite each pair in turn to perform their news bulletin to the group, asking that no comments be made until after the last one is finished.
Now hold a review session. Which news bulletins really worked well? Discuss what has been learnt and remembered. What made a bulletin memorable? How easy was it to decide which bits of the report should go into the scene to make sure the story was understood? Were there any different presenters that the girls modelled their own scene on? What makes them different and outstanding in their field?
Move on to discuss how young people were portrayed in the newspapers. Was it a fair reflection? Do the girls think that their interpretation was different to how this sort of story is usually reported? How?