Herts Ad editor hosts journalism workshop for St Albans students

Journalism workshop at Marlborough Science Academy

Journalism workshop at Marlborough Science Academy - Credit: Archant

The reporters of tomorrow recently found out what it takes to write a good news story from Herts Advertiser editor Matt Adams.

Journalism workshop at Marlborough Science Academy

Journalism workshop at Marlborough Science Academy - Credit: Archant

Year 7 and Year 8 Gifted and Talented students from Marlborough Science Academy were invited to a journalism workshop as part of an ongoing learning initiative aimed at promoting a love of English.

Matt talked about his 22 year career in journalism, the daily tasks a journalist undertakes, how his team chooses newsworthy stories, the impact of privacy laws and the design and layout of a newspaper.

Pupils were then tasked with writing a lead story and designing their own front pages, with topics featured ranging from killer clowns to the use of technology in schools.

Teacher Louise McCarthy said: “By the end of the workshop, the students grasped the importance of how to structure a newspaper article and how to appeal to their audience. Equally, the students appreciated the significance of team work and team building skills. “

Journalism workshop at Marlborough Science Academy

Journalism workshop at Marlborough Science Academy - Credit: Archant

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Feedback received from the students included: “It gave me a great idea of how real news reporters think and how to get your audience interested in your piece. I am sure I will be much better at writing articles if the subject ever comes up in English”, “I enjoyed writing my own newspaper article and learning what jobs there are in journalism”, and “It will help our English by showing us how to write in a persuasive manner”.

Matt joined Louise and fellow teacher Hayley Redfern to select the two best stories for publication in the Herts Ad.

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Virtual vive by Daniel Howell

Journalism workshop at Marlborough Science Academy

Journalism workshop at Marlborough Science Academy - Credit: Archant

Imagine walking in space, without a suit. Imagine playing retro games, in first person. Imagine swimming with sharks without getting wet. Well imagine no more as major advancements in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been creeping up on the world for nearly a hundred years now, and you can now afford it with products being made from cardboard to high quality plastics and with software running on PC systems to mobile apps.

The first-ever VR creation was invented by Edwin Link as a virtual flight simulator to help train novice pilots. But new software is being developed such as PlayStation VR, which allows people to play a wide range of HD games and travel through incredible experiences.

Currently, VR has a wide range of uses including training, gaming, media, therapy, exercise and much, much more. VR equipment is becoming accessible in many retailers, both “virtually” and in “reality”, with products ranging from £5 (Google cardboard) that is used with a mobile device, to nearly £760 (NTC Vive) that works on a computer.

Now lots of big companies are competing for the best VR rigs, some of the best include: HTC Vive, Occulus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google cardboard and Carl Zeiss.

Keeran Richardson, 12, says: “It’s a cool and immersive way to view video games. It’s amazing that VR has been around for so long.”

Social media takes lives by Amy Persaud

Suicidal acts and attempts have recently increased. Teenagers in our day are being pressured by social media, and as a result many more youth suffer from mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

Parents also have said that more arguments have been caused in the household due to their children’s stress. This increasingly worrying issue has to be addressed. These problems have affected many people lives and continue to on a regular basis.

“As a society we should work together to find a solution,” a member of the local government said to our reporters.

Psychologists say that therapy just isn’t enough to help children who suffer from anxiety anymore and should tackle it from the source. In a recent act of suicide close family want to educate young teens on the effects of cyberbulling and pressures of social media.

Parents believe this would be extremely beneficial. Reporters spoke to relatives of the recent suicide act.

“On some days I feel angry at the young people who were involved in his life, why would his friends and fellow classmates who all go through the same situations not stop?”

More action will be taken going forward to prevent these heart breaking acts and stop social media’s effect on so many lives in a negative way.

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