The Be a Reporter Game

Course Overview

The Be a Reporter Game
Self-Directed Course
Time Estimate:
The Be a Reporter game takes about 15 minutes to play.

About Self-Directed Courses

In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.

In the United States, where anyone can write about the news, it’s important to understand how and why journalists do what they do. "Be A Reporter," a game developed for an audience of all ages, helps you understand some of the basics of how journalists probe, clarify, verify and race against a deadline. Though the city and the situation are fictional, what the characters say and do is based on experiences of journalists in the field.

Are you a teacher? The game can be used to help teach the editorial process, critical thinking and journalism history, among other things.

"Be a Reporter" was made possible by the Newseum, which generously agreed to allow students everywhere to benefit from the game.

What Will I Learn:

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Probe for, clarify and verify facts while reporting a story
  • Race against a deadline
Who should take this course:

Anyone who wants to understand how reporters do what they do. The game is for students, teachers and even veteran journalists who want to have some fun. Play the game alone or play in groups.

Course Instructor:

Eric Newton

Eric Newton is senior adviser to the president at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. As program director and vice president, during the past decade he helped build the journalism and media innovation program from a department of one into a team of seven, overseeing the development of more than $300 million in grants. Previously, Newton was founding managing editor of the Newseum, leading the content team at the world's first museum of news.

Newton is the originator of the "Be a Reporter" game, who conceived, wrote and edited the game’s journalism elements. He also wrote the teacher's guide that accompanies the game.

Training Partners:

Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote community engagement and lead to transformational change.


The Newseum educates the public about the value of a free press in a free society and tells the stories of the world's important events in unique and engaging ways. In its prominent location on historic Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., the Newseum blends 500 years of news history, up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits for a one-of-a-kind museum experience. The Newseum is funded by the Freedom Forum and, while independent of any media companies, receives additional support from individuals, corporations and foundations.

Technical Requirements:

For this course you will need to have at least version 8.0 of the Flash plugin installed. For the best experience, we suggest that:

  • PC users use Internet Explorer or Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox
  • Mac users use Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox or Safari
  • you set your monitor resolution to 1024 x 768 or higher
  • you use a high speed connection