S2 pupils at Stromness Academy have created their own virtual newspaper – Lockdown Lowdown – documenting the biggest news story of the century so far.
The pupils were studying news and journalism when the coronavirus pandemic was declared and a national lockdown was announced in March.
The youngsters were encouraged to engage with the news and current affairs and the online newspaper gave them an opportunity to share their stories and have their voices heard during this unique time.
According to their teacher Catriona McCulloch the articles form a “fascinating collection” revealing the impact of the virus locally and personally, while also reflecting on national concerns.
Miss McCulloch explained that the pupils learned about the characteristics of news articles and the process of reporting the news, using this understanding to create their own reports, reflecting on the language and information they encountered in the news.
The pupils have been careful to consider the type of stories featured nationally and the vocabulary used at a time when media reporting can lead to increased anxiety.
Pupils have worked on the paper’s name and visual content as well as on writing articles, paying heed to increased audience awareness and gaining a closer insight into just what is involved in pulling together a publication.
Miss McCulloch said: “It has been a privilege to receive the pupils’ stories. I have been overwhelmed by their dedication, and their willingness to rise to a challenge despite the difficult and uncertain times we currently find ourselves in. We hope it may have encouraged these pupils, now in S3, to think about future careers in the industry.”
The newspaper can be viewed on this link.