School level

Welcome to Press Pass, an Initiative from NewsBrands Ireland

Press Pass is designed specifically to enable students and teachers alike to learn all about newspapers and the writing, analysis, preparation and photography that’s involved in putting one together.

Lesson Plans created by Fiona Kirwan

By using these resources, students become familiar with the five language types which form the basis of study for Leaving Certificate English paper one in a very practical way; the languages of Information, Argument, Narration, Persuasion as well as the Aesthetic Use of Language. Press Pass also introduces students to a variety of texts – among them interviews, news reports, feature articles, sports commentary etc. By reading these texts students will become alert to different language registers and styles and will gain an awareness of language in context.

Whilst Press Pass is aimed at TY students, some schools run the programme for all strands of secondary education from 1st year right up to Leaving Cert. The reason for this is the programme seeks to improve literacy and critical thinking skills while helping students to develop a deeper understanding of news media and how it communicates about the world around them.

Lesson One

This lesson introduces teachers and students to the workbook and competition.

Lesson Two

A lesson looking at why news and news literacy is so important in today’s world.

Lesson Three & Four

A lesson on the importance of facts, accuracy and balance within the news.

Lesson Five & Six

A lesson on the different news writing styles from news, feature, comment, colour and analysis.

Lesson Seven

A lesson on how to conduct an interview by asking the right questions.

Lesson Eight

A lesson on how journalists use social media and digital journalism.

Lesson Nine

A brainstorming session to generate news story ideas for the Press Pass competition.

Lesson Ten & Eleven

A features tutorial where students analyse a feature article and identify the topic of the article.

Lesson Twelve

A brainstorming session to generate feature article ideas for the Press Pass competition.

Lesson Thirteen

A photojournalism tutorial where students analyse a photograph of their choice.

Lesson Fifteen

Compare and contrast how broadsheet and tabloid papers handle comment pieces.

Lesson Seventeen

A brainstorming session to generate comment pieces for the Press Pass competition.

Lesson Eighteen

A lesson where students analyse a piece of sports writing and identify whether it is a match report, interview or sports feature.

Lesson Twenty

A brainstorming session to generate sports articles for the sports category of the Press Pass competition.

Download All

Teachers can download the entire student workbook, teacher lesson plans, and the tips for teachers article as a zipped file.

Note: The workbooks are designed to be used in conjunction with newspapers to facilitate students’ understanding of the newspaper format. Schools can register their interest on the Press Pass website and nominate a local newsagent.


Press Pass Competition

A key element of Press Pass is the national writing and photojournalism competition. Schools are asked to select a maximum of three pieces in each of five categories (news, sport, features, comment and photo journalism) for entry to the national competition.  The winners are selected by a panel of eminent editors and journalists.

The 2018-2019 Press Pass Competition is now closed for entries. The following categories were included in the competition: News, Features, Comment/Opinion, Photojournalism and Sport.

Advice from the Judges   |   Winners 2018 - 2019


NewsBrands Ireland Press Pass awards honor the very best in student journalism.


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