Swiss student wins contest with video on fight against drugs

Swiss student wins contest with video on fight against drugs

Kai Lengwiler of Realgymnasium Rämibühl Zürich examined Switzerland’s fight against drugs, winning News Decoder’s 11th Storytelling Contest. Winners of the 11th News Decoder Storytelling Contest A video report by a high school student in Zurich examining...

Listen: How can we curb misinformation & defend free speech?

Listen: How can we curb misinformation & defend free speech?

The world is awash in misinformation. But can we rein it in without eroding free speech? Our podcast explores this thorny issue facing our societies. News Decoder · Let's Talk About It We are all flooded with misinformation. But what can we do about it? We turned...

Many young people find it difficult to write. They can struggle to convey their thoughts and can get bogged down in convoluted sentences. Our recommendation is to write as though you are explaining an issue to your family over dinner – to keep it simple. That’s one reason a podcast can offer a more natural way to examine an issue, even one as thorny as free speech. In their engaging podcast, Chloe Patricof and Anabella Paige of The Hewitt School speak naturally about a tough topic – misinformation – and turn to the managing editor of a U.S. media company to explore whether government regulation is an answer. Such a conversation can be an alluring way to delve into a knotty issue.

Exercise: Have your students pair up and record a conversation about a polarizing issue in their community, making sure to try to convey the views of all legitimate sides.

War in Ukraine stirs empathy & angst in neighboring Romania

War in Ukraine stirs empathy & angst in neighboring Romania

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent millions of refugees into neighboring nations. I live in Romania, where the war has stirred compassion and fear. A Ukrainian refugee on a bus at the Romanian-Ukrainian border in Siret, Romania, 8 March 2022 (AP Photo/Andreea...

War in Europe has awakened an entire generation in the West to the horrible realities of armed conflict. Octavian-Anton Ghisa lives in Romania, which borders Ukraine, and so he naturally takes a keen interest in the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have poured over the border since Russia invaded Ukraine. Ghisa, a student at Transylvania College, combines that interest with a knack for listening to others and produces a piece that captures a powerful mix of emotions: “fear, stress, compassion, panic and even ambivalence.” Listening carefully is a skill that does not come naturally to many young people but which underpins any solid reporting.

Exercise: Ask each student to interview a parent about a difficult moment in their youth and to write a short article based on quotes from the interview.

My relatives in Poland welcome Ukrainians with open arms

My relatives in Poland welcome Ukrainians with open arms

More Ukrainians have fled to Poland than any other country. Like so many Poles, my relatives are doing what they can to help. Displaced Ukrainians on a Poland-bound train bid farewell in Lviv, western Ukraine, 22 March 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) Here’s how...

The best journalists are good listeners. They hear the words of those worth listening to, and they offer the best quotes to their audience to give voice to the protagonists of the story. Many young writers have difficulty hearing and passing along those quotes. But Nela Piwonska of Realgymnasium Rämibühl Zurich is an exception to the rule and proves it with captivating quotes from relatives in Poland who are on the front lines of Europe’s latest refugee crisis. Against a heartbreaking backdrop of families fleeing war, Piwonska manages to offer an uplifting final quote: “The only positive change in my life is the realisation of how much good is left in people.”

Exercise: Divide your students into teams of two and have them interview each other and then write stories that are based primarily on quotes.

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