Shine news

How to get creative with your Shine entries

In January I accepted an invitation from Antony Barton, the Head of English at Putney High, in west London. Putney’s school magazine, ‘A Study in Purple’, has been a consistent entrant in the Shine Awards and the team behind the project wanted to talk about a subject dear to my heart: design.

As Chair, fairness is something that’s really important to me. So, just as we published Liz’s top tips for great journalism a few weeks ago, so I’ve written up the central points I made to the team at Putney High for all Shine Award entrants in the hope this is useful and inspires great design in magazine (print or e-publication) or newspaper entries.

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One giant leap to your students’ future career 🏄🏽

When we’re asked as teenagers, ‘what would you like to be?’ the answers used to be firefighter, spaceman or rocket scientist. These days our heroes are different: when we see reporters at the frontline in war zones, telling us what’s really happening in the most dangerous parts of the world, the answer just might be, ‘journalist’.

But not every journalist wears a hard hat and flack jacket, and this week I’ve been talking to a reporters who’s beat focuses on sports. Uche Amako works on the digital sports desk at The Daily Telegraph and I asked him how he got into his line of work and what was the pivotal moment when he decided to go for it.

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Podcasting is easy. Your students can start one today🎙️

This week we’re talking podcasts. It’s a media I am passionate about promoting as (assuming you can borrow someone’s smartphone) it’s totally cost neutral. It’s also the most community-oriented and easily distributed of all the categories we cover at the Shine Awards.

Podcasting may seem daunting at first, but with podcasts taking over the world we’re here to show you how easy they can be. Not only are they simple, they’re a great way to encourage your students to diversify their ideas and create something exciting.

This week we are offering a set of fantastic tips for young podcasters from Luke Chapman, our resident social media expert who judges the category for us each summer. Luke covers all aspects of podcasting from figuring out where to begin, to how to edit… and even ensure it’s something that can be continued by students next year.

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How to channel personality into writing your stories

Invariably students know what they want to write about – and it’s fiercely important to them. Yet, when it comes to a school newspaper or magazine, what may be less clear is how they write about it.

Some advice from a contemporary might be helpful. George Thornicroft, who won a Shine School Media Award for his writing back in 2017, recently told me how writing a truly personal story changed his life. I thought it would be great for students to read what he said, chiefly that expressing yourself with real honesty can be the key to truly captivating writing.

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Join our school media project masterclasses for teachers

We know that in many cases, school media projects are driven solely by students themselves. However we also know that teacher guidance is key to help students, particularly when beginning a project and pulling together a team. Then, inevitably their learning on the job can run out of steam and some encouragement and top-down, big-picture perspective is needed.

So with this in mind, we would like to offer teachers their own masterclass in guiding students putting together a newspaper, magazine or digital edition.

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Ten ways to make your school magazine or newspaper shine 🗒️

Last month I told you about our (actual) roving reporter Liz Hunt’s visit to Strood Academy in Rochester. Many teachers might remember Senior Editor Liz from our teacher forums we hold on Shine Award days every year.

The purpose of Liz’s visit was to help students keen to put together a great Shine entry. We like to be as fair as possible, so Liz has kindly written up her talk into ten invaluable ideas and guidelines to follow to create a better publication. We’re publishing them here for the benefit of everyone keen to get involved in Shine 2024…

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