Secondary school pupils were given an insight into the buzz of a busy British regional newsroom when their local reporters dropped in to carry out a special employment workshop.
Western Gazette reporters Claire Smyth and Jonathon Taylor, who both cover the Yeovil patch, took part in Stanchester Academy’s Work Wise event – and instead of giving a straight presentation, decided to get the students involved.
Together, they concocted a story about a stabbing at the Glastonbury Festival and, throughout the session, updated pupils with new information and comments from a range of sources from the emergency services to festival-goers.
It was left to the pupils to decide what snippets of information were trustworthy and which were most newsworthy.
Jonathan said: “We constructed a Western Gazette front page and made the groups write their six-paragraph stories onto their own front page, before presenting them to the rest of the class.
“At the end of the lesson we showed them the story we put together based on the same information, and gave them a chance to ask questions about the profession generally and ways to get into it.”
Editor Emma Slee said the workshop had gone down well with the students.
“Teachers said Jonathon and Claire’s sessions were among the most popular of the day and engaged even the most difficult pupils,” she said.
“They could so easily have just conducted a dull presentation – but instead put a lot of thought and effort into making the experience a true reflection of the breaking news buzz of a newsroom.”