VO/SOT News Reporting Assignment

Students will practice their news gathering skills by reporting on a mock “news event” and then turn their raw footage into a VOSOT

Content Objectives:

  • Students will practice the news gathering process
  • Students will apply video composition techniques to a broadcast setting
  • Students will understand how to construct a VO and a SOT for a news broadcast
  • Students will learn how to work in an efficient manner to meet a hard deadline


  • Student reporters (and actors) will familiarize themselves with the press release for a mock news event (made up, and written by the teacher) the night before class. They will prepare at least five questions to ask when they arrive on the scene (this will be a two day activity, students will switch roles the next day with a different press release)
  • Students will arrive to class and immediately start preparing for their role. Actors will go out to the scene, reporters will begin getting all of their camera equipment set up and ready to go
  • Reporters will go out to the news event scene and “cover it” like a professional news reporter. They will get video footage for a news VO, and interview people on the scene to get a soundbite for their news SOT
  • Once each student has all of their raw footage, they will go back inside and edit their VO and SOT and have them submitted, with a script, before the show deadline (end of class)
  • VO must be at least 45 seconds long, SOT must be 15 seconds (with padding at the beginning and end)
  • VO should have a variety of different shot types, SOT should be an engaging soundbite that doesn’t parrot the VO script
  • All video should be framed properly, exposed, focused, and white balanced correctly
  • Script must be written in concise and active voice, matching what is seen in the VO. Students may use the press release to get accurate information for the script. SOT must be written verbatim into the script, and there must be a lower third with the person’s name spelled correctly


  • If school camera or editing equipment are unavailable for any reason, this project can be completed with a cell phone and phone editing application
  • This project can be done inside or outside of class

Necessary Knowledge:

  • Understand what a VOSOT is and how they are used in a broadcast news context
  • Shot composition, camera technique/operation, editing techniques
  • Understand the news gathering process, preparing questions, and mentally brainstorming and visualizing before arriving on scene
  • Ability to focus and work efficiently to meet a hard deadline

Possible Materials:

  • School camera / cell phone
  • Editing software / video editing app
  • Tripod
  • Microphone


  • Grading according to the attached rubric - this project will be evaluated for both technical knowledge and creative output


  • This assignment can be done either inside or outside of class