From August to December on every second and fourth Saturday, 30 middle school students took part in the JDC-Jeju Weekly junior reporters program. Each class consisted of a journalism field trip with five English-speaking teachers. The last field trip, which included the closing ceremony, was held in the Jeju Free International City Development Center (JDC) on the day before Christmas.
Selected through a rigorous English application process, the junior reporters completed, with the assistance of teachers, a total of nine journalism field trips to selected Jeju sites covering an array of newspaper categories like the environment, history, culture and others.
▲ A certificate of completion for the junior reporter program. Photo by Kim Jung Lim
Every field trip started with a short lecture on journalism by The Jeju Weekly’s Assistant Editor Darryl Coote. Students would then learn to do various journalism activities like conducting interviews and making unbiased observations.
Divided into five teams, each would meet after the outings to organize their materials, with the purpose of collectively writing an article.
Students were assigned homework, tasks such as composing their assigned part of the article online, and would revise their work following teachers’ comments. Three articles written by students were published within the print edition of The Jeju Weekly newspaper.
The field trips included going to Manjang lava tube, Samseonghyeol, Jeju Stone Park, Tamna Cultural Festival, Jeju City Traditional Five-Day Market, Jeju Olle Course No. 9, Bukchon village (a site connected to the Jeju April 3rd Massacre), cooking Jeju traditional food with an expert, and interviewing a friend.
In a survey following the class, of the journalistic topics a majority of students chose Jeju food as the most impressive outing because they could experience making Jeju food for themselves. They also said the Tamna Cultural Festival and Bukchon village were memorable. Bukchon made an impression on the youngsters because they met and interviewed many kinds of people and learned the intimate and deep sorrow the island still feels because of the Jeju April 3rd Massacre.
Student Kim Hyun Sol said during her closing ceremony speech, “Actually, [at first,] I was very nervous and afraid of being a student reporter. [But] I think I learned a lot from this program. I believe that this program helped me change my outlook. I became active after this program!”
Another student Lim Young Jae said, “I feel really proud [of having completed this program]. During this program I did lots of interviews and wrote articles. I was able to experience [the] reporter's mind. This program gave me a chance to experience many different things and it [will] help me to find a better job. I feel kind of sad because today is the last day of this program.”
▲ JDC officer Oh Hyeung Se addresses students during the closing ceremony held at the JDC building on Dec. 24. Photo by Jung Jung Hun
▲ Students make their way to the stage for their team's presentation at the closing ceremony. Photo by Jung Jung Hun
▲ This junior reporter has his certificate of completion and a gift hoody complete with the JDC and Jeju Weekly logos. Photo by Jung Jung Hun
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