Student Reporting Labs Curriculum

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs is a project-based learning program that supports teachers and young people to report on important issues in their community, creating impactful video reports for local media outlets and the national PBS NewsHour.

Along with technical instruction on the use of cameras and editing equipment, Student Reporting Labs lesson plans focus on understanding the role of journalism in society and developing broader communication skills, including listening, asking questions, teamwork and public speaking.

2020-2021 Projects

Every year, Student Reporting Labs (SRL) creates different projects for students in our network to create video stories about topics tied to national and newsworthy issues. Labs in SRL’s community use the project instructions and guidelines to submit work to our team of youth media producers for publication.

Now, any school, teacher, and student can use our newest projects and curriculum to practice essential video journalism and production skills. The projects include deadlines, but educators can create their own timelines and deadlines. You may submit student work that you would like for SRL and the PBS NewsHour to consider for publication by following the submission instructions in each project. SRL chooses your story for publication, a producer will be in touch with you.

Special Unit: Making Sense of Coronavirus Through Storytelling and Media Making

With many schools closing and teaching moving online, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs has created a special unit that covers the basics of local community journalism, storytelling, scripting and video editing. These are tough times for everyone, and your stories will add a uniquely critical perspective to coronavirus coverage.

This resource packet is broken up into different pathways that lead you through the steps necessary to tell stories about the coronavirus’ impact on you, your family and community. The different options were created to accommodate different levels of difficulty, time-considerations, interest and available resources. Educators can create their own deadlines and timelines.


The full curriculum is available to teachers who have been accepted to the Student Reporting Lab program, but we have posted 10 flexible lessons that can be used in the context of courses in English, social studies, or video production classes and include critical thinking, analysis and production activities.

Each lesson is designed for a 50-minute class with engaging high-interest activities to nurture a sense of purpose and accomplishment. We’ve also taken a deep dive into the Common Core State Standards, ELA and ISTE to make sure that your students’ involvement in the program helps prepare them for college and career and builds life-long learning skills that translate to other areas of their lives, both academic and personal growth.


Independent research from the Temple University Media Education Lab and New Knowledge Organization show that students who participate in Student Reporting Labs have significant increases in media literacy, news literacy, STEM and information literacies, as well as critical thinking skills. After producing video news stories and experiencing public recognition for their work, students are more civically engaged, meaning that they are more likely to discuss current events, seek out different types of news, share stories and volunteer in their community.