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BBC News Interactive School ReportBBC News Interactive School Report
Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 13:32 GMT
Tips from young international reporters
Carol, 15, from Kampala, joined forces with students in the UK to produce a news magazine.
I want UK students to know that Uganda is not only poor but that it also has culture and extraordinary nature."
Carol, 15, Kampala
Students in Uganda are passing on their journalistic tips after joining forces with UK students to produce a news magazine.

The Bridge, which gives an insight into students' lives 4,020 miles (6,469 km) apart, was produced by five schools in London and 11 schools in Kampala.

Ann Margaret, 14, from Kampala, said: "If you are reporting international news, you have to be cool, calm, composed and patient.

"When we were running out of time, everything was hectic and people were in action. It was just so wonderful because I felt as though we were in a real newsroom."

The six participating secondary schools and five primary schools in Kampala wrote about life in the Ugandan capital.

Gifted and talented students from The Good Shepherd Primary School, John Betts Primary School, Lena Gardens Primary School, Sacred Heart High School and Fulham Cross School, wrote articles about their school, their homes, music and sport.

They also included crosswords and horoscopes and an agony aunt-style column about issues concerning them in west London.

Having researched life in Uganda, 50 students from the London schools met at Kingwood City Learning Centre on 13 July 2006 to design the magazine.

The result was a 52-page news magazine made of two halves, allowing students to read about Uganda in the first half before flipping it over to read about London.

The two front covers were designed by students at the Bridge Academy in Fulham.

Amanda Bates, Gifted and Talented advisory teacher for the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, said: "The students were able to understand how important it is to work together to produce a newspaper in a short space of time. They also learnt a lot about how children's lives differ, not only across continents but across London boroughs."

She added: "We want the project to grow. Once the children have read the magazine we hope they can start exchanging Emails about what they have read and their lives in London and Kampala."

STUDENTS ADVICE AND COMMENTS

Having produced their own news, the students from Kampala, were keen to pass on their journalistic tips:

Lemi, 16, from Kampala
"Never let the fear of failure keep you from trying," said Lemi, 16.

"Be confident, organised and co-operative," said Carol, 15.

"If one is reporting international news, one has to be cool, calm, composed and patient because, it is imperative to control one's emotions under certain circumstances," said Ann Margaret, 14.

"Work together. It's easier for every one if you aren't alone. Study hard, make time for research to back up your story and meet deadlines without problems and excuses," said Roy, 16.

The collaborative nature of the project was welcomed by the students.

Lemi: "My favourite part of the project was when many schools worked together on different topics to make the magazine look great. I enjoyed this the most because I knew the magazine was going to the UK students."

Carol, 15, from Kampala
Carol: "Being one of the heads of the editorial board, my time with the committee was superb! I enjoyed helping various groups share ideas and solve problems as a team. The entire project was interesting and I enjoyed it because of the co-operation shared among ourselves."

Ann Margaret: "My favourite part of the project was putting the magazine together. At this point, we were running out of time so everything was hectic and people were in action. It was just so wonderful because I felt as though we were in a real newsroom."

Roy: "My favourite part of the project was when we all interacted enthusiastically during the making of The Bridge. We all had a good time under the leadership of the teachers and editorial board."

Having communicated with students from London, many students from Kampala had a deeper insight into British culture and geography.

Lemi: "I had thought that some people in the UK were racist but I later found out that there were many black people who were being helped and this showed me that the people from UK are friendly."

Carol: "I learnt that the UK is made up of four countries: Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England."

Ann Margaret, 14, from Kampala
Ann Margaret: "I learnt that some children in UK have been misinformed about Africa. This magazine project has enabled us to know each other better."

Roy: "I learnt a lot of things about the UK and a great deal about European History as well, for example, the Bordeaux Assembly of 1871."

It was also important for these students to share aspects of their lives with the UK students.

Lemi: "I wanted students in UK to know about the challenges and problems an African child faces so that maybe they could offer help in the future."

Carol: "I want students in the UK to know that Uganda is not only poor with wars and hunger but that it also has culture and extraordinary nature such as the River Nile and the Murchison Falls."

Ann Margaret: "Though most African countries like Uganda are in the Third World, there are actually many good things about Africa. It was important for me to share this so students don't only perceive the bad side of Africa."

Roy, 16, from Kampala
Roy: "I would like to share the development of African countries, for example, how East Africa is doing something to cope with challenges such as the misuse of government funds, famine and civil wars."



SEE ALSO
Current school journalism projects
30 Aug 06 |  School Report
Reporting international news
29 Sep 06 |  School Report
Newspaper journalism
10 Oct 06 |  School Report



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