Junior journos dig for covenant connections

By Jordan Grantham, 22 August 2018
Students at Santa Sophia College, Schofields, had the chance to learn about Catholic journalism. Photo: Diocese of Parramatta


Students at Santa Sophia Catholic College, Box Hill became junior journalists and learned the value of Catholic journalism in a workshop from Catholic Outlook on 31 July 2018.

As part of Project Based Learning for their Religious Education class, the students are writing articles and creating newsletters for their peers about the connections between the Old Testament and the New Testament, especially Moses and Christ.

It’s a task that builds teamwork, research, analysis and writing skills, imparting important knowledge about God’s covenants with humanity. They gained essential skills in identifying the key forms and structures of different types of articles.

Students learned the crucial element of how to engage audiences by composing interesting articles. The advanced content of identifying news values was explored with students. Prioritising a story’s primary news value with a strong opening hook is one method.

The Exodus and the life of Christ have enormous consequences for all people today, giving their stories immediate impact.

The students also learned about recent trends in online media, with an emphasis on visual communication and the brief ‘listicle’ format articles. The cultural heritage of the Catholic Church includes many amazing artworks relevant to their current topic of Moses and Christ.

Moses raising up the brass serpent in Exodus, a prefigurement of the Crucifixion. Image: Flemish, Wikipedia Commons

Students read a range of Australian Catholic publications for inspiration, including Catholic Outlook, The Catholic Weekly, Diocese of Bathurst’s Catholic Observer, Catholic Viewpoint from the Diocese of Armidale, Together from the Diocese of Wagga Wagga and Kimberley Community Profile from the Diocese of Broome.

Student Brianna Cignarella commented on the value of what she learned.

“I have learnt many new things about writing articles. This includes the basic structure and how to engage the audience,” she said.

Brianna said that she now understands that with the right intention and purpose, writing can be considered a work of love.

Brianna also now considers journalism a potential vocation.

“Personally, I love writing. I love to write stories and to use my imagination,” she said. “Being a journalist would be fun, especially since writing is one of my passions.”


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