Reporting essentially involves recognising what is news and then finding the relevant facts related to it. For the first few classes my aim was to make the students aware of how to filter news from non-news.
While interacting with the students, I realised most of them were not in the habit of reading the newspaper. I tried to ask them relevant questions, which would make them go back and explore those issues such as the on-going inflated power bill issue, Arvind Kejrwal's hunger strike or the recent earthquake. Classes were divided into print, broadcast and Web media so that students could distinguish between the different mediums and how our writing has to change depending on the medium.
Right from teaching them the nuances of writing for the print media, which involved teaching them the technical aspects of writing such as the headline, sub-head, the lead (introduction to the story), the way a news story is written in an inverted pyramid format (wherein the most important point is stated first), students were taught the difference between hard news and soft news (feature writing).
To find out whether students had understood the theoretical part, activities were assigned to them wherein they were asked to write stories in a time-bound manner and on the spot. It is essentially while writing these stories that students were able to understand the technical aspects of news-writing such as writing for a targeted audience, the importance of interviewing people and how to quote them in a story.