Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Five people from community write for The News

You Write The News competition winners have researched and written stories for the December 5 edition of The News.

December 5, 2012 4:44am

You Write The News community journalists Ruth McLeod, Christian Dow, Raquel Barolli, Karen Parker and Alan English at The News yesterday.

Today, The News is handing its reins to the community.

As part of the You Write The News competition, five Goulburn Valley people spent yesterday researching and writing stories for today’s paper.

News editor Kristin Favaloro said the initiative aimed to give local people an insight into the newsroom and an opportunity to be a journalist for a day.

‘‘We wanted the community to know how important their input is to The News,’’ Ms Favaloro said.

‘‘It was an opportunity for our community journalists to pitch and write stories that are important to them.

‘‘It’s about listening to our community and making sure we’re covering the issues they think are important.’’

She said on top of researching and writing stories, the community journalists participated in all of the newsroom acclivities.

‘‘They were able to take part in our morning news meeting and give their input on stories we’re covering,’’ she said.

‘‘They were there when news broke and, sadly yesterday, we lost a life on our region’s roads.’’

Community journalist Christian Dow, 23, spent yesterday tackling a tough issue.

He spoke to police, a tourism organisation and took to the Shepparton streets to ask people if they thought City of Greater Shepparton had a bad reputation and if it was a valid reputation.

‘‘I wanted to find out what it is about Shepparton that causes its own community, mostly its youth, to lash out against it,’’ Mr Dow said.

‘‘There’s a whole lot going on behind the scenes for the better, but I guess it’s human nature to be pessimistic and focus mostly on the bad.’’

Raquel Barolli, 17, wanted to address youth issues.

‘‘I wanted to get a view across about youth that doesn’t involve drama, but is genuine,’’ Ms Barolli said.

‘‘I have read many articles about youth, but the people in our town want to know the truth.’’

The issue for Alan English, 83, was education.

As a former agriculture teacher he wanted to find out if the subject was still a difficult one.

‘‘Along with the trade teachers we were given the poorest learners who saw no value in geometry or algebra,’’ Mr English said.

Karen Parker, 48, set about investigating 19th century bushranger Ned Kelly and his links to Shepparton.

‘‘Ned supposedly came through Shepparton, but didn’t rob the bank as was expected because the bank manager had done him a favour,’’ Ms Parker said.

‘‘Consequently, he supposedly just left a note to say he’d been here, but continued.’’

Finally, Ruth McLeod, 20, tackled a topic close to her heart.

‘‘I am a second-year medical student with a keen interest in public health,’’ Ms McLeod said.

‘‘I wanted to investigate immunisation rates in the Goulburn Valley and find out how people feel about the topic.’’

Read their stories inside today’s News.

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