Journalism is not just the art of reporting but also the art of storytelling, something which kids absolutely love to do. If you do have children who love to tell stories and write then why not think about helping them to get more involved, and more interested in journalism? I spoke to my good friend James DeVellis, a journalist who has worked for both local and national publications, including contributions to Fox news, about what parents can do to inspire their children to become interested in the field of journalism.
James suggests that a great way to get your kids into the groove when it comes to journalism is to ask them to re-write stories which have already taken place. Using a newspaper you can sit with your child and pick out a juicy story which has been reported on. Ask your child to then go away and write a short report in the same way, yet obviously using different words. This will not only help your child to understand how to paraphrase and summarize, but it will also give them some help in terms of writing about stories.
A great game to play with your child is to invent a story and have two people in the family tell different sides of it. You can even include your other children here if you so wish. It will then be your child’s responsibility to speak with all of the major stakeholders in the story and then put together what they believe to be the truth. Not only will this test your child in terms of formulating an opinion, it will also encourage them to seek the truth and how they can go about getting it. Try to add some fun to the story by making it relatable or making allegations or tales of misconduct ’who stole the last cookie from the jar’ for example would get them interested and give them the desire to seek out the truth.
A journalist is not just about reporting on stories that have taken place, it is also about being a great writer and this is something which you should certainly work on with your child. A brilliant way to help them learn is to ask them to write out a story like we mentioned before, and then sit down with them afterwards with the piece that they have written. Using a thesaurus you should then ask your child to go through his or her article and tweak words for better sounding synonyms. This will really help your child to gain a further grasp on the English language and it will also greatly help to boost their vocabulary, something which is essential in the world of a writer and a journalist.
If you follow these tips and ensure that you are pushing your child to keep writing stories and reports, you may find that you have a budding journalist on your hands.