By DENIELLE LEONG
OVER the years at BRATs, we’ve received loads of opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We’ve had backstage access to musical events, exclusive interviews with celebrities, a tour of a British warship and even the chance to operate a flight simulator – all in the name of journalism.
But nothing tops winning an all-expense-paid trip by British Council Malaysia to Scotland for the Aye Write! Future News International Young Journalists’ Conference. For three days, one lucky BRAT (pun intended) will join 300 other young journalists from across the Commonwealth at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow to learn tricks of the trade from internationally acclaimed journalists.
In an email interview, British Council Scotland Director Lloyd Anderson told us that Future News participants can look forward to “a mixture of interesting, engaging talks and hands-on training sessions” that will expose them to a wide spectrum of issues related to journalism.
Basic journalistic skills aside, these teens will also learn about press freedom and ethical reporting, and the core values upheld by the Commonwealth.
“There will also be two excursions: to media outlets including BBC Scotland, STV, Herald & Times printing plant, and Capital FM; and to two sporting venues for the Commonwealth Games (starting July 23) – Celtic Park and the Velodrome,” he added.
If things go as planned, the teens will also meet and interview celebrity athletes at the Velodrome as part of their training.
Speaking of the upcoming Games, guess who gets to cover it? Yup, they do!
Only 40 local young journalists will report directly from Glasgow, while the other Future News participants will do so from their respective home countries.
“They will be able to contribute their own news reports about local athletes and how the Games are experienced within their own national contexts and identities. As such, people will be more aware of the Commonwealth and have a better understanding of each country,” British Council Malaysia Director Gavin Anderson explained.
The stories will be uploaded onto an online newsroom (www.futurenews.org.uk). According to Lloyd, the newsroom is “an essential part of Future News” which will enable these journalists to share their articles and gain feedback from experienced online editors.
“This is currently under development, but it has a scrolling news feed that can be ﬁltered by event, country and theme, articles of the day, and related Commonwealth topics.
“It also includes useful links, key events and a registered area called ‘article builder’, where participants of the conference can write and submit articles to the online newsroom’s editors for uploading. And they can very easily attach image, video or sound ﬁles to their articles,” he added.
On top of that, organisers hope that participants will become youth ambassadors to foster better relations across the Commonwealth, and above all, inspire their peers back home with the knowledge and experience gained from Future News.