We have great pleasure to write about very inspiring competition. It is citizen journalism competition among Brisbane schools, which is indeed wonderful way to include students in today media flows and maybe help them in their future occupation. Also, this is very good way to integrate citizen journalism in education system so that younger generations can use their gagdets not only for fun, but also for some intelectual, more useful purpose. About the whole competition will tell you more representative of The University of Queensland.

This is our interview with Professor Michael Bromley, Head of School and Professor of Journalism :

Q: Fairfax Schools Citizen Journalism Competition is very interesting idea. When and how did you come to it?

A: Fairfax Media and The University of Queensland’s School of Journalism and Communication (SJC) staged the inaugural Citizen Journalism competition in 2010.  The SJC’s mandate is to empower global communicators and we see this competition as one very concrete way in which we can do this.

Q: Citizen Journalism Competition includes Brisbane schools. What do you expect from the contestants?

A: The emphasis of this year’s competition is bullying in its many forms. 

Q: What the participants have to submit to enter the competition?

A: Registered teams have to produce a 3 minute ‘report’ in a broadcast news style (video) along with a short press article (not exceeding 250 words) to support the broadcast news story and a selection of photographs to accompany the article.

Q: What are the terms and rules and of course what is the prize?

A: The competition is open to registered teams of 6-8 participants. Each team will have two weeks to write, report and shoot its news story and upload its video to YouTube.  At the end of March a judging panel from Fairfax and The University of Queensland’s School of Journalism and Communication will judge the entries, and five finalists will be uploaded to brisbanetimes.com.au for a people’s choice vote.

In May a prize ceremony will be held for winning entrants. Prizes to a total value of $2000 are on offer this year. The winning news report will also be considered for publication on Brisbane Times.

Q: Which institutions are involved in this competition?

A: Registrations are currently open to secondary school students (Years 11 and 12) in Brisbane; with a maximum of 20 schools to be selected to participate in the challenge. Competition registrations will be taken on a first come, first serve basis. The closing date for registrations is Friday 17 February.

Q: Since you are organizing an unique project which will promote citizen journalism among younger generation, how do you see citizen journalism in general?

A: Citizen journalists are now a vital part of the fabric of daily news. We wanted to highlight the fact that everyone, everywhere has a story to tell and has the potential to be a citizen journalist.

Q: From your point of view – is cooperation between traditional and citizen journalists possible?

A: There have been many recent examples from around the globe where Citizen Journalists have worked in collaboration with traditional journalists.  The BBC alone receives an average of 10,000 pieces of Citizen Journalism everyday, which is analysed and edited by a team of online journalists.

Q: As an official educational institution, do you find social media and citizen journalism impact on educational values and system as an improvement?

A: Social Media is yet another form of communication that is available for us to be used as educators, but we do so judiciously.  Students have a distinct set of values when it comes to the use of social media, for example twitter is less popular with students than Facebook.  Students regard Facebook as a social space and twitter is regarded as a work or learning space.   

Q: Considering all this, what are your final aims, do you expect increased student interest in media and journalism as a result?

A: Fairfax Media and The University of Queensland’s School of Journalism and Communication have a commitment to producing journalists for the digital age.  The Schools Challenge aims to promote citizen journalism and to get secondary school students reporting, shooting and sharing news with their peers. Ultimately, we want to see more engagement with news and current affairs.  

Q: Today media and information system change constantly so in your opinion is there a place, in the future, to introduce citizen journalism as a subject in schools?

A: Some schools are already teaching Citizen Journalism as a subject area and we suspect that many others will see the benefits of teaching this area.

NewsMeBack wishes good luck and success to all participants in this Citizen Journalism Competition.

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