Port Stephens Examiner journalist speaks to Irrawang High School students about role of newspapers

YOUNG CADETS: Irrawang High Year 9 students Ruqyya, Shannon, Mabel, Ryan, Temika and Holly.
YOUNG CADETS: Irrawang High Year 9 students Ruqyya, Shannon, Mabel, Ryan, Temika and Holly.

Print media may be on the decline but it was refreshing to learn that newspapers, one of the oldest forms of communication, can remain relevant in today's high-tech world of digital and electronic mediums.

And while a journalist's toolbox may have shifted dramatically from pen, pad and typewriter to computer and mobile phone in a single generation, the essence of vigorous, independent journalism can never be replaced.

The evolution of newspapers and the role of reporters were just some of the topics covered by Examiner journalist Charlie Elias when he addressed Year 9 English students from Irrawang High School last Thursday.

Other areas the students took an interest in included the marked contrasts between print and online platforms, the major issues in the Port Stephens area, guides on how to write a news and feature articles, research and interview techniques, tips and advice on writing, and media law.

"For the most part the students were very engaging and it was pleasing to see that some of our younger generation have an interest in what is required to publish a newspaper in today's digital-dominated environment," Mr Elias said.

"It was also pleasing to see that a standard of the English language, including grammar and spelling, is being maintained in schools.

"Not many younger people today aspire to write for a newspaper, but with so many other forms of communication it is important that language skills remain a priority."

Some of the major issues affecting Raymond Terrace teens included the Naplan tests, school curriculum and the upcoming federal election.