CNN News Video Ideas

News Story Assignment


Each group must complete 1 story every week.

Your grade will be based on your videos.

If you fail to complete and turn in videos on the required dates, you will be removed from the class and placed in either the regular tech ed class or art.

YOU are responsible for:

choosing a topic

writing questions or a script

recording video or taking photos

doing research and gathering all the materials and props

securing people and locations for your video (You may not go outside the school building without my permission)

editing video

publishing video to the SMS You Tube Page (see me for the login)

GOOD LUCK! I can't wait to see all the great stories that you come up with!

Ideas for News Stories


School Web Page:

School Facebook Page:

1. Rising costs of school equipment/textbooks/supplies vs budget cuts

2. e-books and tablets- does your school use them in the classroom? How? If not, are there any plans to? What other schools in the county use them?

3. How has technology changed in school over the past decade? Think computers, tablets, e-books, flash drives instead of floppy drives,

4. Compile a list of interesting events happening at your school this year. Send a reporter to them and find an interesting angle.

5. A “big story idea- Find a current news story on or whnt, or waff. Talk to students and teachers about it.

Profile a student each week. Find students with interesting talents, who have won awards, etc. and do an interview and story about them.

8. Devise a method for picking a student at random to tell a story about. Look into Steve Hartman’s and Les Rose’s “Everybody Has A Story” series. The point of their project is that you can pick anybody to talk to and they will have an interesting story to tell- you just have to find it.

9. Also read Brady Dennis’ “300 Words” series for the Tampa Bay Times. Find small, but interesting, topics that will allow you to write 300-word stories with a beginning, middle, and end.

10. Create a video about a nontraditional sport that students enjoy. i.e. hackey sack, skateboarding, etc.

11. Create a video about a traditional sport like football or basketball but from the perspective of a player. Don’t make the stories about which games were won or lost and what the scores were but instead about the players, or a specific player, even the coach.

12. Do a feature on oddball jobs your teachers had before they got into teaching.

13. Write an article on a school employee who is not a teacher or administrator, like a janitor or landscaper, or the school resource officer. You might be surprised what you find out about him or her.

14. Profile a student or teacher with an exotic pet i.e. snakes, skunks, etc.

15. Do a “behind-the-scenes” story on something that happens every year but that people don’t know much about how it comes together, like dances or pep rallies. How is a theme decided? How do you set up a location? Who decorates?

17. Best and worst Valentines gifts.

18. Write a story and create a video about an elective class (tech ed, art, PE, band, essentials, etc.)

19. Profile a teacher with unconventional teaching methods. (Mrs. Reed and her roller skates, etc.)

20. Make a holiday gift list for the Christmas issue (or Valentines, birthday, just-because). Choose presents that are good for students. Have a list of expensive tech like laptops or the iPad, and one more budget-friendly like student-friendly apps.

What are people talking about most at your school?

What are the next big events coming up at your school?

Upcoming sporting events.

Upcoming plays.

Spectacular events at school that people will talk about for a long time.

Differences between big and small schools.

Why do kids transfer to other schools?

What affect do transfers have?

How do rules vary from school to school?

People talking about other people at other schools

Clubs at the schools.( History, Math, CNN, etc.)

Former SMS students: What are they doing now?

Feature on special interests like: cars, fashion, hunting, fishing, hobbies.

Social Networking: things to watch out for, how to sty safe

Teens and Sleep Deprivation

Another excellent school newspaper article idea is to write about the effects of sleep deprivation. Try to find a student who can discuss how sleep deprivation has affected him/her. You also might try to get a quote from the school nurse. For some more insight, please read "Sleep Deprivation Effects on Teenagers."

Facebook/ Instagram Etiquette

Another fantastic high school newspaper article idea is to discuss Facebook etiquette. You can make up your own rules, and compile ideas from students. Read "Facebook Etiquette: Common Courtesy Rules for Facebook Users." You might also check out "Are You a Facebook Snob?"

Jobs that Pay Well

An additional helpful article idea for a high school newspaper is to provide career advice. Write an article about jobs that pay very well. Be sure to include the education needed, and whether or not the job is in demand. If you need some ideas, please read "Jobs that Pay $100,000 a Year" and "High Demand Science Jobs that Pay Over $60,000 a Year." Another article to try is "High Paying No Degree Jobs That Pay $40,000 to Over $50,000 a Year." You also might take a look at "Dangerous Jobs that Pay Well Over $50,000 a Year Without a Degree."

Volunteer Opportunities for Teens

One fantastic article idea is to write about local volunteer opportunities. If your city or town has a volunteer center, give them a call and ask for suggestions to list. Read "Where to Find Volunteer Opportunities for High School Students" for other ideas. List at least five places that need teen volunteers. If possible, interview a student who has volunteered at one of the agencies. You might also discuss the benefits of volunteering. Mention that it looks great on a resume, can help you gain experience and that it offers networking opportunities.

Interview with a School Board Member- David Vess

Board Member: David Vess


A second story idea for a high school or middle school newspaper is to interview a school board member. You might ask them why they serve on the board, what they do and also ask about their background. In addition, you could explain a little bit about the school board and it's responsibilities.

Pet Spotlight

Another story that will interest your readers is to share pictures and details of pets that students have. Interview 5-10 students with pets. Include a picture of each pet, along with some notable information such as tricks they can do, or why the students enjoys their company. You might also try to find some teachers who would be willing to share a picture, and talk about their cat, dog, or other pet.

Reasons Why You Should Not Smoke

Sadly, many teens begin the destructive habit of smoking in high school. It would be great to run an article in your paper about reasons why you should not smoke. You might even do a survey on how many teens would date a smoker, and whether or not they find it attractive. You might try to get a quote from a health or biology teacher.

Be sure to check out "School Newspaper Article Ideas." (Click here for the article.) When you write for your school newspaper, you are making a difference. Good Luck!

• Success tips for incoming 6th graders

• Profiles and stories about 8th graders going to the 9th grade school

• Stories about preparing for and attending dances or special events

• Reenact a scene from a movie or play

• Explanatory stories about new construction or other changes at your school (new gym floor, new video camera system)

• Profiles of new teachers and retiring teachers

Swine flu outbreak
2. Fun places to go
9. Bullying Prevention: Profile a school counselor or administrator
11. Follow a student throughout a week of school
12. Are students washing their hands effectively? (Or just doing a courtesy wash)

Look at fights at your school. How often do they occur? Talk to students involved and find out what the consequences are
10.Tips for keeping your locker clean and organized (your backpack, binder, your room).
11.Analyze the cost of playing a sport , report on where all the money goes, ask parents

Do a package on all the sports injuries at your school over the year. How severe and how long it took to recover?
14.Do a big review of the ten best sandwiches (pizza, burgers, steaks, chicken, mexican, etc) in your town.
15.The effects of caffeine on teenagers’ bodies.
16.Do students get enough sleep? What are the dangers of not?
19.Has middle school experience prepared you for high school? Get advice from high school students on how to be better prepared.
20.Do short features on all the custodians in your school.
22.What types of music do students listen to and why?
10. Pranks gone wrong—the best and worse pranks over the years
Lockdown procedures

a. Review cafeteria, bus duty, class, school, rules, etc.

How to decorate locker, bedroom, etc. effectively and on a budget
18. What I wish I knew 6th grade year —7th & 8th graders give advice to 22. Adopting a pet
a. Finding the right pet for your family
b. Best animal shelters to visit
c. People who take in homeless animals
24. Down on our luck—13 facts about the number 13 (there were three Friday they 13ths this year)
25. Student definitions of various ideas/philosophies
a. Beauty, faith, truth, lies, religion, ect…

14. Would students benefit from starting school later in the day?
15. Profile the team captains of sports teams, presidents/leaders of clubs and organizations.
19. How does depression affect students? Get advice from counselors.
20. What can teenagers do now to prevent future health problems?
21. What affect do headphones have on students hearing?
22. Provide a variety of safety tips for students.
26. Describe students’ various summer activities.
28. Series of How To: change a tire, do laundry, make origami, etc
30. Investigation on how colleges and potential employers examine a students Facebook profile.

14. Custodian procedures
a. What do custodians clean on a daily basis?
b. What only gets cleaned every so often?
b. Tips on items to save $$ on
18. School library story, book feature, battle of the books

Has the budget increased or decreased over the year?
b. How do they choose what books to purchase?
i. Do students have an impact on the books they buy?
19. Iphone apps to organize your life
a. The most common apps used and how they are effective
a. How sometimes not saying anything is worse than telling it all
23. Where did our mascot come from?
a. Has this always been the mascot?
b. Will it ever change?
c. **Sidebar with five most unusual mascot names
6. Teachers using technology in classrooms
14. How do athletes condition over the summer?
15. What is the reputation of SMS athletics?
16. How are coaches and teachers hired?
17. Students who do charity work
18. Origin of sports nicknames
19. How do students balance school and sports?
22. What is the effect of energy drinks on students? Interview Nurse Kandy
11. Youth and extreme sports
12. Updating and justifying the dress code
15. School-sponsored service projects
16. FCA, First Priority clubs at school
20. Keeping hydrated
23. Texting security
24. Lack of exercise

11. Cover the field trips and competitions for band

Scholars Bowl, Spelling Bee winners

A story on addictions: Cell phones, iPods, Instagram, Facebook, caffeine, etc. 16. How much homework is too much? What is the healthy amount? How much time do teachers expect you put in? How much homework can teens really handle? Is too much stress put on us for good grades? Most people do a sport or other after school activities and don’t have enough time to do their homework. What are people giving up for their schoolwork? What are people giving up for their sport?
17. Are warranties worth it? The sales associate always tries to persuade you to buy it, but do people really need it? Is it a marketing ploy? Do people actually use them? Compare people who use it and don’t use it.

. 1) New Coach: What is it like?
2) Required Novels: Why are some of the novels we read so outdated?
3) Computers: What will they look like in the next twenty years?
5) Principal: What is a day with Mr. Blair, Terrell, Jones like?
6) Cafeteria: Where does the extra food go? Are we disposing of it in a way that benefits the environment?
9) iPods: How have they affected the record (CD) industry and the amount of records that are bought each year?
15) Mac vs. PC: What’s your opinion?
18) News Online: How much longer will we be getting the “morning paper?”
19) Figures: Why are some of our school buildings named after people?
20) Politics: How will Obama’s decisions affect us when we are adults?
21) Mixed Emotions: If you were president, how would you handle the situation in the Middle East?
22) TV News: Should it be retitled “The Bad News?”
23) Music: What is your opinion on the music industry as it gets more and more profane?
24) Food: How important is it for you to eat right?
25) Economy: How is the economy affecting purchases you make and how often you go out with your friends?
1. Top Songs in students opinions and genres, compare to the national charts
4. See what is the most popular class, profile the teacher and ask students why they enjoy the class
6. Interview a band student and ask them about the band program, figure out how much some of the instruments cost
7. Ask any new starters in sports how they plan to fill the shoes of the person they are replacing
10. How safe do students feel in school?
11. Why do schools use the text books they do
12. How do some classes become required?
15. Do students cheat? If so when, and how do they justify it in that moment?
18. Ask new teachers if they have any teaching methods they consider unique
20. Have any very successful people come from the school? Profile them and track them down, ask about their high school experience
23. What do students not involved in CNN think about it? Do a survey.
25. Interview and profile a student musician, give them some free press and ask them about their music. Put a link up to their website, videos or material on your website if you have one.