Young journalists gain real world experience

This year has seen the launch of the Circuit Journalism Club at Nayland College. Its current team – Year 11s Maya Jayasena, Josh Carter and Victoria Cockerell, and Year 10 Aleisha Smith – can be seen regularly tracking down stories around the school.

Two of the stories featured in this newsletter – The Positivity Project and the Astronomy Club – have been written by members of the Circuit team.

The club meets every few weeks to focus on a particular aspect of journalism. The last meeting was about learning how to take effective journalistic photos to accompany stories. Other than that, communications are all online with emails being sent back and forth to organise stories and get them through to publication.

The club’s members give up their own time to pursue stories. This involves interviewing people, drafting and editing, and taking photos. Once finished, they upload their stories to the programme the school uses to generate newsletters and other online content.

For most of the reporters, an enjoyment of writing and a desire to improve their writing skills was a motivating factor in joining the club.  Interviewing has since become a favourite part of the story-writing process for both Josh and Maya.

“I really enjoy talking to people who I wouldn’t have any interaction with otherwise. It’s strange to think that there’s so much behind ordinary people, and being able to share those people’s achievements and stories with others is really cool,” Maya said.

Josh also singles out last term’s visit to the touring AM Show and interview with Duncan Garner and Amanda Gillies as a highlight.

Aleisha has found that she is developing many skills from taking on the role. “I have begun to learn the base skills of being a journalist – interviewing, taking effective photos, transcribing, writing articles. Beyond that, being a part of the journalism club has helped me to be more confident and assertive, which is also helpful when interviewing someone.”

Photography is the passion of new club member Victoria Cockerell. She says a good photo can add a lot of value to an article.

The journalism club follows in a long-established tradition of student journalism at Nayland. For many years the school was well-known for its student newspaper, Circuit.

In its heyday the paper was circulated to thousands of households in the wider Nelson area. As part of a worldwide trend, the school made the shift to digital reporting in 2015.

Principal Daniel Wilson says the student reporters are a valuable asset to the school. “Stories told by students add another element of diversity to our media posts.  Students often have a much better understanding of issues and events that are important to them.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the club and how to join can contact facilitator Sera King on


By Sera King – Media & Publicity