In 2012, A.B. Paterson College launched the inaugural TXT4U Gold Coast Bulletin Journalism Club for Year 9 students. It is now in its third year. The club allows students with an interest and passion in journalism to experience a real-life scenario where, ultimately, they see their writing published in the Gold Coast Bulletin in a weekly supplement.
Through this programme, students are given the opportunity to write in various genres from sport, art, politics, to lifestyle and travel. This variety allows participants to explore areas of interest and possibly discover a hidden talent. For students who are avid readers or movie watchers, there are many review opportunities and these are always highly sought after. All of these experiences are real world and often come with the responsibility of meeting deadlines, and turn-around conditions, as if in the industry.
Whether the story centres on a House, sporting or personal story, whether it is their first or fifteenth article, there is each time a sense of pride in seeing their names in print, helping to ensure their continued participation in the programme.
At the end of each year, the Gold Coast Bulletin TXT4U team holds an award ceremony. Currently, one of our Year 11 students is the holder of the ‘Student Reporter of the Year’ award for 2013 and, as a Year 10 student in 2012, was the youngest ever student reporter to win the Outstanding Reporter title. This is an incredible achievement. From a Year 9 student reporter learning her craft, this student has discovered a passion for writing that will see her pursue a career in journalism in the future.
In 2014, two of the College’s students were also offered the opportunity to front the camera for a television advertisement created annually for TXT4U. This is an exciting project, if a little nerve-wracking!
These real world experiences, including the photo-journalism opportunities, certainly cement career choices for some of our students and confirm their desire to become fully fledged ‘journos.’