StoryMaker FAQs

Ongoing FAQs for StoryMaker

Have StoryMaker feedback? Fill out this form

How do I get started?

Our Getting Started Video should answer many of your questions. First register and then use the Get Started page to identify your goals and find resources matching your program. If you are ready to jump into video journalism, we suggest starting with the Find Your Story lesson. Still don’t see what you are looking for? Let us know! Send an email describing your program, goals and questions to admin@story-maker.org.

What is the difference between StoryMaker and Student Reporting Labs?

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (SRL) has been supporting teachers and students to produce unique video stories since 2009. The program creates transformative educational experiences through video and audio journalism that inspire students to find their voice and engage in their communities. We built StoryMaker to bring SRL opportunities to as many students, educators, schools, and communities as possible.

Student stories produced through StoryMaker have the opportunity to be broadcast on the nightly PBS NewsHour, published on NewsHour digital platforms, Student Reporting Labs website, social media, local news outlets, national PBS Specials, podcasts and more.

The Student Reporting Labs educator community is here to support all teachers interested in media creation, media literacy, local journalism and student voice. You can connect to fellow educators through the StoryMaker Directory and schedule office hours with a Youth Media Producer once you have logged in. Also join the SRL Connected Educators Facebook group to ask questions and learn more.

Once you have completed a StoryMaker challenge or project and feel ready to take it to the next level with a Student Reporting Labs track or class, apply here.

Do students need releases to participate?

If you submit your stories to StoryMaker for possible publication, all participants must sign a release form.

What happens to my students’ videos?

When you submit your video, all participants must sign a release form. If you submit a singular student voice, PBS NewsHour and PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs may use it in a montage - we will be in touch and let you know. If you submit a full story that is compelling and well-produced, Student Reporting Labs will be in contact if we plan to work with you and your students to incorporate your story into a collection or publish it on national or local, broadcast or digital platforms.

What if my goal is for my students' work to be published?

Every year, Student Reporting Labs creates themes and prompts to contribute to SRL special programming, initiatives and social media campaigns. Producing videos for these projects and responding to our Rapid Responses in a timely manner gives your students the best chance of being published. We suggest that you do an internal round of feedback and revision before submitting your videos. Ask yourself: is this the video story I would want to watch? If not, redo it. You can keep track of the open projects and deadlines through the calendar on your StoryMaker dashboard.

How can I connect to my local PBS station?

Many public television stations work with Student Reporting Labs to showcase student stories to the community. After you have produced a story, check your local station website and reach out to the station education and/or community engagement departments. For further information, contact us admin@story-maker.org.

How can I arrange a coaching session for a teacher? For a student?

Educators who have registered in StoryMaker and created an educator profile can schedule office hours with a Student Reporting Labs Youth Media Producer.

What internship and career opportunities exist with StoryMaker and Student Reporting Labs?

The Student Reporting Labs program creates paid opportunities for students as hosts and producers, internships at local stations and micro-gigs. Every summer we host a Student Academy for students who have produced stories through StoryMaker and SRL. Sign into your Educator Dashboard regularly for notifications about these opportunities. We will also make all announcements through Twitter, Instagram and the Connected Educators Facebook Group.