Johnstown Journal branches out with a school edition

Johnstown Journal1

Article 1:

The content of this article is accredited to Mr. Ian Lewis of the Carmarthen Journal :

BUDDING journalists at a Carmarthen primary school have been given tips of the trade and interview advice from the Journal team.

Chief reporter Ian Lewis visited Johnstown Primary School and spoke to children who are about to launch their own Johnstown Journal online newspaper blog.

Ian spent time with the Year 6 pupils explaining his day-to-day work as a reporter and what is expected of him.

He said: "The Johnstown Journal is a great idea that seems to have captured their imagination and it was good to be there coming up with ideas for stories and giving them tips on how to interview and talk to people."

"Also, as a former pupil, it was nice to go back after all these years.

"Asking the right questions and knowing the importance of actually listening to what people are telling you is crucial and can often give a completely different angle on a story once you start digging deeper.

"From something that may seem mundane can emerge a fantastic story."

"They immediately grasped that who, what, where, when, how and why, are the basic starting blocks for all news stories, whether that's a report in the paper or a video or audio piece."

The pupils will be gathering stories from classes in the school and uploading video, audio and photos.

Deputy head teacher Kevin McComas and teacher Darrell Cousins were also helping the youngsters with ideas and to set the wheels in motion.

Mr McComas said: "We asked Ian to come down and spend the afternoon with the children and it was very useful.

"Very often children will ask questions but then stop short of exploring the answers they are given, so it was good to have a journalist like Ian to talk to the pupils and have them come up with ideas and ways of approaching topics"

The pupils will be talking to classmates about activities in school, along with sporting and extra curricular successes, school trips and events.

Together with their stories from outside school and their weekends.

Once they have their stories and photos, video and audio footage the children will be using the computer application J2E.

This allows them to upload text, video, photos and audio and place them on the blog, which will have a flip-page approach like a real newspaper.

Ian said he was impressed with the online blogging process.

"The technology the school has is astounding and to be honest I would love the Journal's website to be as easy to do," he laughed.

"It will be interesting to see what stories they find and I'm looking forward to seeing the Johnstown Journal start.

"I hope to visit again in the new year to catch up on the progress."


Johnstown Juniors ready to take on Carmarthen Journal

Johnstown Journal2

Article 2:

The content of this article is accredited to Mr. Ian Lewis of the Carmarthen Journal :

WATCH out, the Journal has competition!

Budding reporters at a Carmarthen primary school have launched the first edition of a regular online News Blog, the Johnstown Journal.

After starting the ball rolling in December 2014, following a visit from Journal chief reporter Ian Lewis, who spoke to them about life as reporter and skills needed — pupils set about gathering stories from classes in the school and uploading video, audio and photos.

The blog started to take shape and it was evident when Ian popped back this week for visit and the pupils were really rolling their sleeves up and getting stuck in.

Ian said: "It was amazing to hear that they experienced much of the same issues as our newsroom up at Journal HQ in King Street.

"I spoke to them about how the news gathering week works, the structure of editor, news editor and reporters.

"Along with balancing our print title with online coverage on the Journal website."

He added: "The way in which they planned the blog pages with text boxes and photos is not too far away from how newspapers do it.

"So it's certainly not a bad start to a career in news for them.

"It was also great to see the way they wrote articles being examined, the use of language and words for example, and cutting down stories that were perhaps too long."

Speaking about the Johnstown Journal project, teacher Darrel Cousins said: "I think one of the toughest aspects was trying to get everything done in time for the deadline.

"They found themselves under a bit of pressure to get things in shape and written , but they got there and we are very proud of their first edition."

Deputy head Kevin McComas said: "Pupils were also all able to work on the same page of the blog at one time by filling different text boxes or inserting videos and photos.

"So they could see the blog coming together as a team, they all realised how teamwork was essential in getting the Johnstown Journal together."

The pupils used a computer application called J2E to create the twice monthly blog using Macbook Pros and iPads.

The J2E program allows them to upload text, video, photos and audio and place them on the blog, which has a flip-page approach like a real newspaper.

Their online newspaper — complete with a pencil masthead with the Johnstown Journal logo emblazoned across it, and the school badge and motto 'Be All You Can Be' to the side — includes reports from different classes in terms of the curriculum being followed.

Together with reports on sporting success and other achievements.

Films are also reviewed and recommended, along with weather reports and listings of forthcoming events around the town and county.


Click on the link below to view the First Edition:

Johnstown Journal