This is the story assignment and story plan form that I created, perfected, and used during my 25+ years advising high school newspapers, websites, and broadcast programs. As my editorial board assigned stories, they would complete the gray section at the top of the first page, and then they would hand the form to the reporters. After reporters received this official assignment, they would complete the rest of the form. It requires students to find at least three sources (including one "expert" source) for interviewing and to write their interview questions, do background research to find at least one written source or to attend a meeting, event, etc. to observe, and to think of the visual and multi-platform possibilities of the story and to plan for the eventual publication of it.
On my staff, students would a have a class day or two to complete the plan, and then the editors would meet with the reporters in their section, review their plans, and give them advice or direction before they even began interviewing for a story.
If you like this resource, be sure to see my other journalism resources, including the “5 Essential Rubrics Bundle,” which includes this form and other grading forms I used during the production process.