Sticking to the Facts: Reporting
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Do you love to write? Or maybe you need to improve your writing. Well here’s your chance to be a Young Reporter for Bear!

Room full of kid reportersWhy Follow the News?

News isn’t just about the war in Ukraine or how high gas prices have started to fall. Stories about how students are getting back into the swing of things at school, how families can stay safe when our monsoons hit, or that a fun fall festival or concert is coming up can be news, too!

Our Young Reporters not only write news stories, they also keep up with what’s going on around them. In fact, they are Bear Essential News’ eyes and ears at their school, on their team and at events in their community.

Not only does staying in the know help a reporter GENERATE good story ideas, but as a free society, don’t we want our citizens to be well-informed?

A big part of being a well-informed citizen is knowing how to distinguish fact from opinion, which may be trickier than you think. 

These days, we are inundated by more types of media than ever. So carefully consider the source of the message. When you see a post, video or meme, ask yourself, “Who made this, and what message are they trying to send?” As media consumers, we need to be better, more critical readers, listeners and viewers. 

If something sounds untrue or questionable, see if it’s coming from a repected news service like the Associated Press. Then look to other sources to see if they are also reporting like information independently of that first source. Sometimes the truth takes time to come out, so be patient.

What Is the Media & the Importance of the Press? 

The press, or the media, is a collection of news-gathering organizations that report on NEWSWORTHY events. Newspapers and magazines, broadcast news (TV and radio), social media and websites are some of the ways that people get their news these days.

Just how important is the press to our country? In the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution), the press is protected along with some other fundamental American freedoms. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” reads the First Amendment.

The main job of the press is to inform people about what is going on in their community as well as important happenings outside of their neighborhood. The press can call attention to problems that people should know about and can use that power as a government watchdog—making sure that elected officials and different aspects of the government are doing what they should. In many countries, the government controls the press.

When Writing Your News Story, Think CABOT

Good news stories have these characteristcs:

Clear and Concise—Write in a style that’s easy to understand and is to-the-point. 

Accurate—Newswriting is all about the facts. It’s your job to gather the facts (the Who, What, Why, When, Where and How of your story) and to write them up in an honest and fair way.  

Balanced—If there are two or more points of view to a story, you need to present them.

Objective—Try to leave your opinions out of your news story. Book, movie or restaurant reviews are different, and you need to give your honest opinion.

Timely—News usually covers something that happened recently or is coming up.

Classroom full of kids holding the Bear Essential News newspaper.You Can Be a Young Reporter!

It’s the start of the new school year, so now’s the perfect time to start your adventure and learning as a Young Reporter for Bear Essential News!

The benefits can be life-changing. You get to cover the stories that interest you, meet inspiring people, shake off some of your shyness (if you tend to be on the shy side), and sharpen your writing and communication skills.

You don’t need to be the best writer to write for us. All stories that get printed or published on our website are brought up to the same level by Bear’s team of editors. Every story we publish will have your byline, which includes your name and school.

The Young Reporters Program is for students in grades 3 thru 8 and is provided FREE through our non-profit, Bear Essential Educational Services. To help get you started, you’ll receive a Young Reporters kit—a flip pad for doing interviews, your official press pass and, most importantly, your how-to YR manual, which explains how to gather the facts, conduct interviews and to write them up into a news story.

Go to and under the Young Reporters tab, you can print out the Sign-up Form. Fill it out, have your mom or dad sign the bottom and mail it to us. In a week or two, we’ll send you your YR Kit. Teachers can collect completed forms and mail them together. We’ll send a box of the kits to your school. Questions? Please call toll free: 1-866-NEWS KID (866-639-7543).

Boomer dressed up as a reporter wearing a hat, red jacket and holding a microphone

JOURNALISM—the field of news gathering and reporting

HEADLINE—the big, bold title of a news story or column

NEWSROOM—the main room where reporters, producers and editors work on the news.

ANCHOR—in television, a person who leads a newscast in the studio

REPORTER—a person who covers and presents newsworthy events and issues

DEADLINE—the time when a story must be finished in order to be printed, broadcast or posted

EDITOR—a person who’s in charge of the news that’s covered and who corrects and changes a story

SCOOP—to be the first to report an important story

BYLINE—the type before a story giving the reporter’s name

FRONT PAGE—the first page of a newspaper or section

PRESS—a big machine that puts ink to paper

MEDIA—collectively, newsgathering groups from print, television, radio and online

PHOTO—an image that’s been captured by a camera

LEAD—the opening sentence or paragraph of a news story

SPORTS—a field of reporting that covers athletics

BLOG—a Web site where the blogger posts stories or ideas and visitors sometimes can post their thoughts, too

SCRIPT—a story prepared for radio or television

PRODUCER—a person who picks and writes the stories 

JUMP PAGE—a page that continues a story from a previous page

TELEVISION—a medium that transmits pictures and sound wirelessly

RADIO—a medium that transmits sound wirelessly

PRINT—a medium including newspapers and magazines

INTERNET—a global network for communications and data transfer

MICROPHONE—a device used to record sound

CAMERA—a device for taking still photographs or video and recording them to film or video tape