BeMED 18. Young journalists in action!

Young journalists in action!
Audrey Gauci
Age Guide
Year 7-10
Subject Area
English Language (but can be adapted to other languages)
Preparation Time Preparation of interview / questionnaires to conduct an investigation in a coastal village/town.
Estimated Duration 20 mins – reporting skills

20 mins – information session on marine litter

40 mins – discussion and creation of interview questions

40 mins – investigation outside school / online

40 mins – evaluation and reporting of investigation

Site Any site related to the theme chosen – preferably a coastal area where marine litter is most prominent.
Educational objectives –   Adhere to the requirements of the English syllabus in relation to report writing

–   Learn how to investigate, be critical and assess comments and opinions expressed by others

–   Express themselves in journalistic-style writing

–   Work in teams

Report Writing

Report writing involves the production of a formal, informative and systematically presented text concerning a situation, person, place or plan. Report writing needs to evidence three clear characteristics:

(a) adherence to the original request or brief;

(b) a sustained perspective of who the report is supposedly being written by; and

(c) an awareness of intended audience.

Candidates should be able to:

–    Select which type of report to write in response to a question.

–    Employ a formal style of writing.

–    State the purpose of the report in the introductory paragraph.

–    Organise content by means of separate paragraphs clearly marked with subheadings.

– Demonstrate an awareness of intended audience.

Learning Outcomes Creative learning:

–    I can participate in writing for a wide range of purposes and genres.

Expressive language:

– I can report, both in speech and in writing, what others have said or written.

Managing learning

– I can edit and revise my own writing.

– I can write appropriately for an audience and with a purpose.

– I can vary what I write according to the intended reader

Learning to know:

– I can justify the importance of identifying problems, reflecting critically, thinking creatively and having a wider vision in order to plan for the future and become an effective agent of change.

Learning to do:

–   I can use the natural, social and built environment that surrounds me, as a context and source of learning.

Learning to be:

–   I am a critically reflective person and am able to evaluate decisions, choices and actions.

Learning to live together:

–    I will challenge unsustainable practices across educational systems, including at the institutional level.

Link to SDGs SDG 4: Quality education

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Community*

SDG 13: Climate Change

SDG 14: Life below water*

SDG 15: Life on land*

*depends on the theme students select

Educational resources required Video tutorials on reporting, in particular to report writing:

Interview guide:

Appendix 18.1 – Optional PowerPoint (Kindly send email on [email protected] if you wish to obtain this Powerpoint)

Internet connection

Remote preparation Since both investigation and reporting are required, a session on appropriate reporting skills is carried out before the students actually go outside the school. Informative tutorials can be accessed online – Video tutorials on reporting, in particular to report writing:, but a face to face/online workshop can be requested on [email protected], as part of the Young Reporters for the Environment programme (for schools participating in YRE in Malta).

Planning Considerations Students need to be aware that when taking photos / interviews they need to get consent before publishing anything on the media.

Pre-visit contacts need to be made to ensure that interviewees are willing and available.

Consider transport issues to arrive on site.

Some interviews / investigations can be done online.

Students are introduced to report writing – tips and hints on how to be a good reporter: avoid essay-style writing, conducting research and investigation beforehand and compiling a good article. A tutorial highlighting hints and tips is available online


Main points to be highlighted:

– Think of a catchy title that will attract attention

– Include the where, when, who, why and how in the first paragraph

– Quote facts and get quotes

– Do not give your personal opinion

– Write in the third person

– Finish with the least necessary information

– Include photos or pictures

Method Theme: Reporting on marine litter


Students are introduced to the issue of marine litter (one or more resources can be used). They will thus be more aware of the problem of marine litter around us, and how it can be tackled. The video tutorial is shown in class, followed by a discussion on the issues presented and the solutions proposed.

–        Video tutorial: –

–        PowerPoint related to marine litter: – see note after Appendix 18.1 in educational resources required.

Step 1

Students discuss how activities in Malta and our behaviour contribute to the problem of marine litter. They may focus on one type of litter (e.g. cigarette butts) or litter in general.

Step 2

Students investigate – through online research – what the reality is in Malta, and what solutions have already been proposed to reduce the amount of litter. (Refer to the following articles, together with any additional information that they may find)

Step 3

Students discuss how to go about their personal investigation. The following are some ideas, but students should be left free to come up with their own investigation: –

–      Visit a beach and take a sample area of sand. Explore the amount of litter by sifting the sand, and calculate the amount that would be found on the same beach.

–      Interview divers who conduct regular underwater clean-ups and ask them for data on trash collected.


–      Send queries to Cleansing Malta

( ) asking for data on the amount of waste collected weekly from beaches.

–      Interview / send queries to WasteServ Malta asking for data on recycled waste collected weekly, as compared to the target amount. ( ).

–        Students contact a sample of local councils, in particular those in beach areas, and ask the mayors what action the council is taking to reduce the amount of litter in the locality. (see  Interview guide: for a guide on how to conduct interviews).

Step 4

Students visit a local area and interview people / shop owners on the reality of marine litter:

Sample questions:

1.     How would you define marine litter?

2.     Do you think that marine litter is a serious problem? Why?

3.     Do you think that your actions are contributing to the problem?

4.     What is the most common type of plastic you use in your daily life? Can it be reduced?

5.     Have you ever heard of micro-plastics? If yes – what can we do to reduce them?

6.     What action can /do you take to reduce the amount of plastic around us?

7.     Is the government / local council doing enough to reduce marine litter?

8.     What do you propose can be done to target the problem?



Step 5

Students work individually or in groups to compile a journalistic article on their investigation, quoting sources of online research and quotes from their interviews and surveys.


Articles are sent to local newspapers for publication, thus raising awareness on the problem of marine litter and quoting proposals that will help reduce the problem.

Follow-up activities Students contact authorities / local councils to follow up any action that was proposed and write a follow-up article on any achievements.
Background information for educators Sample articles by young reporters:-
Adaptations Students can opt to focus on reporting through photography, with a title and a short description as a caption.
Extensions Students can opt to participate in the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) programme with multiple articles / photos / videos, focusing on various aspects of the problems and proposed solutions

More information about the YRE programme:

YRE also offers the possibility for collaboration with a foreign country where articles are compared and contrasted. Contacts of foreign schools can be obtained from the YRE National coordinator ([email protected]).