Radio Broadcast / Podcast – Introductory Activities

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The following activities can be used to introduce pupils to the idea of radio broadcasting / journalism and can be used to follow-on from the Journalistic WebQuest as both media share similarities. It is also possible for teachers to by-pass this and jump straight into the broadcast creation element.

Students learn the differences between print and non-print journalism by looking at how news is reported on radio and then comparing it to newspaper and television news. Students begin with an analysis of their radio-listening habits and an introduction to the terms and vocabulary associated with radio and television. As a group, they will analyze, contrast and compare news broadcasts from a variety of radio stations, as well as compare radio journalism to print journalism. As a final task, students will compare the strengths and weakness of both television and radio as sources of news.

Learning Outcomes

Pupils will:

  • an understanding of the terminology associated with radio and television
  • an appreciation of the strengths and the weaknesses of a variety of mediums as sources of information
  • an appreciation of the role that target audience plays in the creation and content of a news broadcast on
  • radio or on television
  • an awareness of the way in which news is “packaged” for a particular target audience
  • an awareness of their radio-listening habits and attitudes
  • an understanding of how different mediums approach news reporting.

Learning Activities

Activity 1: Introduction

Split the class into groups and give them a large sheet of paper and pens to record the main points of their discussion. Pupils should note and discuss the role radio plays in their lives. The following questions can be used to stimulate the conversation.

How much do you know about radio news?

  1. What stations do you listen to?
  2. Why do you listen to the radio?
  3. What stations do other members of your family listen to?
  4. How many hours per day do you listen to the radio?
  5. What are call numbers?
  6. What is the target audience of your station?
  7. Would there be a difference in approach between different stations?
  8. Name some products advertised on the station you listen to during the news broadcast.
  9. In what order is the following information presented?
    – local news
    – national news
    – international news
    – weather – sports
  10. Where would you expect to get the most detailed analysis of the news?
    – radio
    – television
    – newspaper
    – newsmagazine
  11. When would the majority of people listen to the radio news: morning, afternoon, night? Why?


Activity 2:  Radio News Comparison

  • Divide the class into groups of three students.
  • Within each group, each student will listen to a radio news broadcast and, using a column from the Radio News Information Chart, make notes about content, style, length of program, advertisers, etc. (In order to ensure a wide cross-section, students should be encouraged to choose from a variety of stations – am, fm, public radio, easy listening, university-based, etc. – and not just teen-oriented stations.)
  • When students return to their groups the next day, have them share, compare and contrast their findings with group members.
  • Have each group summarize their findings and present them to class.
  • Class Discussion: What are the key similarities and differences between radio news journalism and newspaper journalism? How is a radio news broadcast similar to the front page of a newspaper? Compared to newspapers, what are the limitations of radio when it comes to sharing news? What advantages does radio news broadcasting have over newspapers?


Activity 3:  Comparing Radio News and Television News – Homework

  • Using the criteria from the Radio News Information Chart as a guide, have students listen to and make notes on a radio news program and a television news program from the same night.
  • In class the next day, have students return to their groups to discuss the different ways in which TV and radio each handle the news.
  • As a class, discuss the key differences and similarities between radio news and television news.


Radio News Research Table – MSWord

Radio News Research Table – Pages

Radio News Research Table – PDF

Radio News Research Table German – MSWord

Radio News Research Table German – PDF


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