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Shine hits the road

We held our first Shine Roadshow event on 4th November, which was kindly hosted by George Barrett at Ermysted’s Grammar School in Skipton who won Best Newspaper in 2019 for their first publication, created from scratch by pupils using Microsoft Publisher and a lot of creative talent.

The roadshow team were:

  • Liz Hunt, Consulting Editor (Features and Comment) for the Daily Mail;
  • Katherine Whitbourn, freelance journalist and sub-editor for The Guardian, The Observer and The Spectator;
  • Andrew Gregory, Night Editor for the Daily Mail;
  • Anneliese Cooper-Blake, Event Administrator for Shine;
  • Alison Strachan, Shine Chair (me)

In attendance were teachers from Dickson Academy, South Craven School, Ilkley Grammar School and Nidderdale School who brought six Year 9 pupils with them, who expressed how keen they were to start a school magazine: We were also joined by the student editors of The Reason, Ermysted’s winning newspaper.

Liz started things off by speaking about how she came to be a journalist, looking back to how ‘strange’ she was as a child, citing her fascination with newspapers from a young age, her love for reading them and looking at them. She turned every journey to school into a news report and her passion for the reported word led her into a career working for many broadsheets. Liz has done much outreach work in schools over her career and described her visit to a Birkenhead school to talk about journalism and all the many pieces of the ‘jigsaw’ that make up a newspaper.

Andrew spoke about what a fantastic job being a reporter is, for those who are inquisitive and who want to know what other people don’t. He talked about what his job involves, how much fun it is, the ever-changing nature of each day, and the privilege of seeing what he has seen. After working as a journalist for six years he decided that he would prefer to be a sub-editor, because he is obsessed with getting things right, correcting mistakes and most importantly clarifying ambiguities, ( such as the sign on the hotel door he had noticed the night before ‘ This door is alarmed’). As a night editor, Andrew starts his work each night with a blank page and has to decide how it will be filled, making quick decisions every moment as more news comes in through the shift. His job is to put the newspaper together, prioritising news stories, choosing pictures and ensuring that each page holds ‘light and shade’.

Katherine spoke further about sub-editing which she described as having three strands: checking accuracy and facts, ensuring house style is consistent, and ensuring clarity. The sub-editor takes on the role of the reader and their job is to help the reader navigate the page. They create headlines and subdecks to draw the reader in, and focus on how to engage the reader in the story. They proofread and make checks on captions, that copy hasn’t fallen off the edge of the page, and that spellings are correct. It is an extremely important job as if the engagement of the reader is lost, the paper is not doing its job.

These incredibly interesting, inspiring and entertaining talks will presently be available to you on our website in a video which we are putting together. We’ll let you know when it’s uploaded and would ask that you share it with fellow teachers and other schools to encourage them to think about starting a school mag.

That’s a long report but I am so excited about the roadshow and what we are hoping to achieve by it, I hope you will be too!

As ever, get in touch on email via shine@stationers.org

Alison Strachan
Chair of Shine

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