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CLiC celebrates 5 years of online news

Posted: 22 April, 2016

Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT, with Cillian O’Sullivan, St. Paul’s Brunswick Street, and Jenna Cox, 2nd Year Journalism student and CLiC News Sub-editor

Senior primary school pupils from Scoil Mhuire GNS,Lucan, Ringsend Girls National School, St. Paul’s Brunswick Street, St. Audoen’s National School, and Scoil Phádraig Naofa Tullow visited DIT Aungier Street today with their teachers to celebrate the 5th birthday of the digital newspaper CLiC News.  For the past five years pupils have been reading news stories online, written and edited by 2nd Year journalism students at DIT, and today the readers and the journalists got to meet one another to talk about the news that interests them.

The idea for CLiC News was developed by the DIT Access and Civic engagement office and is run by Ian Roller, working closely with the School of Media.  The site provides a safe and secure place for primary school children to improve their literacy skills and media awareness through engaging with real, though age appropriate, news stories, supplied by journalism students.

Pupils representing each of the schools spoke about what they enjoy about CLiC News in their classrooms, what their favourite stories have been, and what they like to comment on.

Killian Dowling, 2nd Year journalism student and editor of CLiC News, with online readers from celebrating 5 years of digital news.

Describing the benefits of the concept for both the pupils and the journalism students, Dr. Michael Foley, DIT School of Media, said:

"Pupils get to read news and current affairs, comment on stories and receive feedback while journalism students learn to produce news for a specific audience, employ their writing and editing skills, along with audio and video. The students also apply their understanding of news values, journalism ethics and media law by producing news for a real audience who can comment on what is published."

CLiC News has a daily audience of 800 children in 4th, 5th and 6th class.   The news stories they have been reading have ranged from new animals born in Dublin Zoo, to the general election and the attempts to form a government to winners of major television contests, such the Voice of Ireland and what Saoirse Ronan wore to the Oscars.  Students also posted videos about how to prepare tasty but healthy snacks for schools, beauty hints and book reviews, as well as the weekly sports podcast for sports fans.

Head of Journalism, Kate Shanahan said that working on CLiC News - along with other publications, both print and digital - is central to journalism education at DIT:  “The comments from the children have been really instructive for us in the School of Media because they have made us realise that we can’t just tell them information – they expect us to follow up stories and explain what’s happening.” 

Following the speeches and refreshments, the students and pupils broke into smaller groups to record interviews, win prizes and discuss the next news cycle!

LtoR, David Smyth, Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Tullow Co. Carlow; Dr. Michael Foley, DIT lecturer; Jenna Cox, 2nd Year Journalism student and CLiC News sub-editor; Ian Roller, DIT Access & Civic Engagement; Ellie Rose Cawley, Scoil Mhuire GNS Lucan; and Kate Shanahan, Head of Journalism, DIT.