By: Press Release | WAN-IFRA
Two student teams working with La Nacion of Argentina have won WAN-IFRA’s first My Dream Interview contest, in which students get to interview the people they would most like to meet.
The My Dream Interview Prize – the culmination of a student journalism festival organized by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), in cooperation with the World Editors Forum and newspapers around the world – calls for student teams to choose a prominent person to interview and propose questions to ask them. The questions are submitted to local participating newspapers, which select the best questions and arrange the interviews.
More than 2,000 students worldwide participated in this first festival, working with newspapers in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. WAN-IFRA provided a teacher’s guide for helping students learn how to conduct productive interviews.
The winning interviews, to be published in La Nacion later this month, were conducted by 7th graders (12- to 13-year olds) from two schools in Santa Fe Province in Argentina. They spoke with Estela de Carlotto, the mother of a young woman assassinated during Argentina’s dictatorship and head of “The Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo”, and with Susana Trimarco, whose Foundation of Maria of the Angels has rescued more than 900 Argentine women from sexual slavery.
Jury commendations went to teams working with Diario de Navarra of Spain and Diario do Nordeste of Brazil. A special mention went to the Fundacion para el Periodismo of Bolivia, which persuaded the country’s 12 leading newspapers to participate and helped a group of children get an interview with the country’s president.
“We wanted to do two things with this project,” said Aralynn McMane, Executive Director of Young Readership Development at WAN-IFRA. “Most important was to offer a fun way to introduce youth to the practice of professional journalism, as only newspapers can provide. But it was also a way to encourage newspapers to work closely with, and listen to, young people. From the reactions of teachers, students and newspaper people worldwide, we know that both missions were accomplished.”
The festival, which was supported by Fundación Acindar, featured an international jury of prominent journalists from Ireland, South Africa, France and Germany. It will conclude with a prize ceremony that will open WAN-IFRA’s World Publishing Expo and Conferences set for 29-31 October in Frankfurt, Germany. The winning interviews will be made available to publications worldwide by The Interview People, another partner in the project, with all proceeds going to the winning schools.
“I have to say that I was very impressed with the topics the kids chose,” said Uli Karg, editorial director for The Interview People. “They mainly focused on strong, impressive individuals who dedicated their lives to make this world a better place – hardly any pop stars and sportsmen who are widely regarded as idols of youth. Also, they wanted to learn from their interviewees, which is a very important approach for journalists in general. Only if journalists themselves constantly learn will they have the chance to continue to reach their readers.”
WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Spain, France and Sweden, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.