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High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education

High School reporter Journalism and civic education.


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education

High School reporter Journalism and civic education

Coordinator Ecaterina Stănescu


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

Dobrogea Publishing House Constanţa, 2010


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

Ecaterina Stănescu (coordinator)

High School reporter Journalism and civic education

Authors: Ecaterina Stănescu (coordinator) Carmen Mocanu

Liviu Iolu

Alexandra Mihaela David

Radu Nicolae

Aurelia Hîruţa

Elena Coman

Adrian Simion

Denisa Ionescu

Maria Sturzu

Ana Maria Sucuiu

Ovidiu Albert

Andrei Pârvan

Mihaela Munteanu

Oana Vieru

Mariana Boşneac

Miruna Troncotă

Călin Cosmanciuc

CIP Description of National Library of Romania “High School reporter” Guide – Constanţa; Dobrogea Publishing House, 2010 References ISBN 978-606-565-012-1 070

ISBN 978-606-565-012-1


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

Contents Introduction FOREWORD ............................................................................................................................... 7 Ovidiu Voicu ............................................................................................................................... 7 Presentation of High School reporter project .............................................................................. 9 Denisa Ionescu ............................................................................................................................. 9 Schools involved............................................................................................................................ 13 Local coordinators and the teams involved in the project ............................................................. 13 ALBA IULIA ............................................................................................................................ 13 BISTRIŢA ................................................................................................................................. 17 CARANSEBES ......................................................................................................................... 31 CRAIOVA ................................................................................................................................. 34 MIERCUREA CIUC ................................................................................................................. 40 ROMAN .................................................................................................................................... 44 TIMISOARA ............................................................................................................................. 49 TANDAREI ............................................................................................................................... 55 CITIZEN IN A DEMOCRATIC WORLD ............................................................................... 60 JOURNALISTIC GUIDE.......................................................................................................... 69 ELEMENTS OF PROFESSIONAL DEONTOLOGY FOR CIVIC JOURNALISTIC PROJECTS IN SCHOOLS........................................................................................................ 81 Elena Coman.............................................................................................................................. 81 COMMUNICATION AND PROMOTION OF SCHOOL NEWSPAPERS ............................ 92 Elena Coman.............................................................................................................................. 92 DIDACTIC CONSIDERATIONS ............................................................................................ 94 By Ecaterina Stănescu ............................................................................................................... 94 EXAMPLES OF GOOD PRACTICE: ........................................................................................ 110 FREE SUBJECTS ....................................................................................................................... 110 ALBA IULIA .......................................................................................................................... 110 INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL “TRÈS COURTS”........................................... 110 BISTRITA ............................................................................................................................... 112 ROUND TABLE: .................................................................................................................... 112 CARANSEBES ....................................................................................................................... 117 MY SCHOOL .......................................................................................................................... 117 CRAIOVA ............................................................................................................................... 121 SUMMER SCHOOL – QUOTA 1400 .................................................................................... 121 MIERCUREA CIUC ............................................................................................................... 126 THE SCHOOL IS IN RENOVATION, THE BOARDING SCHOOL MOVES OUT .......... 126 ROMAN .................................................................................................................................. 133 ROUND TABLE ..................................................................................................................... 133 TIMISOARA ........................................................................................................................... 136 FREE TIME ............................................................................................................................. 136 ŢĂNDĂREI ............................................................................................................................. 142 AGRICULTURAL SCHOOL GROUP................................................................................... 142


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education VOX POPULI.......................................................................................................................... 142 CASE STUDIES: OBLIGATORY SUBJECTS ......................................................................... 147 COMMON SUBJECT: RECYCLING ........................................................................................ 147 ALBA IULIA .......................................................................................................................... 147 BISTRITA ............................................................................................................................... 151 CARANSEBES ....................................................................................................................... 158 CRAIOVA ............................................................................................................................... 159 MIERCUREA CIUC ............................................................................................................... 161 ROMAN .................................................................................................................................. 166 TIMISOARA ........................................................................................................................... 169 ŢĂNDĂREI ............................................................................................................................. 175 ALBA IULIA .......................................................................................................................... 178 BISTRITA ............................................................................................................................... 180 HEALTH ................................................................................................................................. 180 CARANSEBEŞ ...................................................................................................................... 189 CRAIOVA .............................................................................................................................. 192 LAW 350 OR THE LAW ON GRANTS ............................................................................. 192 Miercurea Ciuc ...................................................................................................................... 194 ROMAN .................................................................................................................................. 197 TIMIŞOARA .......................................................................................................................... 199 ŢĂNDĂREI ............................................................................................................................ 205 PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS.................................................................................................. 210 COUNSELING CLASS .............................................................................................................. 210 CHAPTER TO THE TAUGHT SUBJECT............................................................................. 213 ACTIVITY IN YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS ........................................................................ 219 CIVIC JOURNALISM CLUB ................................................................................................ 222 CDŞ ......................................................................................................................................... 226 CONCLUSIONS ..................................................................................................................... 230 BIBLIOGRAFIE ........................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

FOREWORD Ovidiu Voicu

The “High School Reporter. Journalism and civic education” guide was born from the tenmonth work experience of the pilot project with the same name which took place from March to December 2010 organized by Soros Romania Foundation and with the participation of eight secondary schools in as many cities in the country. The project’s main goal is to identify how to use journalism methods and the many internet opportunities (with an emphasis of WEB 2.0 technologies) to encourage High School students to get involved in the life of the community. Our studies pointed out an alarming lack of young people participation in civic and political activities and also that too often the young people who choose to get involved in the political life are attracted by radical views (both left or right-wing). We have also found out that the separation between school and community is deepening and most often school (it should be understood as teachers and its students) prefer not to get involved in what community issues mean. Against this background which does not provide young people with too many opportunities to get involved in civic and political activities, we tried to see if the methods coming from the area of journalism may help to raise young people’s interest in community life. The answer we got is encouraging: yes, it is possible with just a little help and encouragement. This volume tells the story of the project and, at the same time, it comes to the encounter of High School teachers who would like to use the same methods in the future. The guide comprises theoretical and practical notions of journalism and communication, a few technical landmarks and most of all, a number of actual examples taken out from the direct experience within the project. The project also addresses those who want to start “a High School newspaper”, the on-line variant as well as those who are planning to use, for instance, the report in one of the subjects they teach. The project was successful and this guide truly certifies it. For the success of the project and for the existence of the volume we must say thank you to all those who took part in the activities and wrote the chapters to come. The main heroes of the project – as well as of the volume – are the 32 students from eight secondary schools who participated with enthusiasm in project implementation. Each team made of four students was coordinated by a teacher and these became the main actors of the guide: Carmen Mocanu (“Traian Vuia” Group of Schools of Craiova), Alexandra Mihaela David (The Agricultural Group of Schools of Tăndărei), Aurelia Hîruţa (Colegiul Naţional “Andrei Mureşeanu” High School of Bistriţa), Adrian Simion (Colegiul Economic “D. P. Marţian” -High School of Economics of Alba-Iulia), Maria Sturtzu (“Marton Aron” Theoretical High School of Miercurea-Ciuc), Ovidiu Albert (Colegiul Naţional “Roman-Vodă” High School of Roman), Mihaela Munteanu (Forrest Group of schools of Caransebeş) and Mariana Boşneac (Colegiul Naţional Banatean- Banat Region High School of Timişoara). Teams of mentors which have permanently supervised the activity of young reporters were made up of two extraordinary journalists, Călin Cosmanciuc and Liviu Iolu, an experienced activist of the civil society, Radu Nicolae and a valuable specialist in ethics and professional deontology, Elena Coman. All these have contributed to founding the guide with theoretical notions which are essential for the good understanding of the suggested methods.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The whole project – the complexity of which can be just partially understood from the description comprised in this volume - was coordinated by Denisa Ionescu from the part of the Soros Foundation. It was also possible to establish the relation with each team of High School reporters due to the work of four local coordinators: Ana Maria Suciu (Alba-Iulia, MiercureaCiuc), Andrei Pârvan (Ţăndărei, Craiova), Oana Vieru (Caransebeş, Timişoara) and Miruna Troncotă (Bistriţa, Roman). Last but not the least, writing the guide was possible due to the energy and art of volume coordinator, Ecaterina Stănescu, who, at her turn, is an experienced and a dedicated teacher to an educational career. During the whole project, the support of the Ministry of Education was a real help.


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education

Presentation of High School reporter project Denisa Ionescu Soros Foundation of Romania carries out starting from 2010, the High School Reporter pilot project intended for the use of citizen journalism as a civic education method for the youth. The project is at the border of several programmes and concerns of the Foundation in the last years: Romanian Electoral Studies, School and Community and Open Society Fellows – a programme dedicated to students who have graduated abroad. The project focus, either by their purpose or by one of their sections, on the interest in children and young people, their progress, their role in society, their degree of involvement in community. Project stages Immediately after the project was put down on paper, we set to work, the first stage we went through was that of making the team which was about to support the good progress of the project. The team of High School Reporter was made up by: two project coordinators, a communication coordinator, 2 experts in journalism, 1 expert in the field of NGOs (focused on projects for the benefit of community), 1 expert in accomplishing teaching materials, 4 area coordinators, 8 local coordinators. The role of area coordinators was very similar to that of o community facilitator as each of them was in charge with two secondary schools involved in the project. Local coordinators were teachers in the 8 secondary schools participating in the project whose main role was to monitor and coordinate the team made of 4 students. During the same period of time, the Soros Foundation of Romania has got the support from the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports to carry out the project by entering a cooperation protocol. Following the logical line of the project, we stepped forward to choosing the beneficiary secondary schools, the stage for the recruitment and the selection of the teams benefiting from the project indicated that Romanian secondary-school have a high interest in civic education projects. One of the project basic requirements was that local teams should be made up of 4 students in the 11th grade and a coordinating teacher (local coordinator). Recruitment advertising has been spread as much as possible at the national level by posting it on the foundation site, on the Facebook page, by means of School Inspectorates, by means of 2000+ Education centre, of discussion groups. We received applications from 38 counties and Bucharest municipality: secondary schools from 77 cities have applied for it (45 large cities and 32 small cities) and 3 country towns. Teams of students from 121 national secondary schools and theoretical secondary schools, 28 groups of schools, 15 secondary schools and technical secondary schools and 9 vocational secondary schools registered for the competition. Given the great number of applications, we decided to involve 8 teams instead of 6. The decision was not easy at all as the assessment board has debated for endless hours on the topic of the teams to be included in the project. Eventually, the winning teams were the following:


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education •

Colegiul Economic “Dionisie Pop Marţian” High School of Economics – of Alba Iulia (Alba County)

Colegiul National “Andrei Muresanu” High School – of Bistriţa (Bistriţa- Nasaud County)

Forestry Group of schools – Caransebeş (Caraş-Severin County)

“Traian Vuia” Group of schools – of Craiova (Dolj County)

“Márton Áron” Theoretical High School – of Miercurea Ciuc (Harghita County)

Agricultural Group of Schools – of Tăndărei (Ialomiţa County)

Colegiul National “Roman Vodă” Secondary school” – of Roman (Neamţ County)

Colegiul national Banatean – Banat region High School – of Timişoara (Timiş County)

You shall find the complete teams all throughout the material. Preparation of teams. The process of team preparation and training was a continuous one as it developed all throughout the project. It was divided into: -

training provided through workshop organization, with all the teams;

-

mentoring supplied online by means of a special forum created for the project.

Training by means of participation in workshops was achieved through the organization of a seminar of 3 days and a half and of a 5-day work camp. The seminar took place immediately after the recruitment period, being also the first occasion to meet the teams, to get acquainted ones with others. The seminar was organized at Sibiu, between April 8th and 11th 2010. Workshops, both practical and theoretical, have been organized on several domains: journalism, ethics in media, civic involvement (for instance, they learnt how to make an application for public information based on Law 544 / 2001), creative writing, communication (basic information to help them when working with public authorities, with other institutions in their place, organizations). As a result of the seminar, we have also created the 8 online newspapers, as the teams chose a name and a slogan to represent them the best: •

http://alba-iulia.reporterdeliceu.ro/

http://bistrita.reporterdeliceu.ro/

http://caransebes.reporterdeliceu.ro/

http://craiova.reporterdeliceu.ro/

http://miercurea-ciuc.reporterdeliceu.ro/

http://roman.reporterdeliceu.ro/

http://timisoara.reporterdeliceu.ro/

http://tandarei.reporterdeliceu.ro/

Work camp took place in the period July 19th – 24th, 2010 at an altitude of 1400 m where activities focused on the same seminar topics, but this time the emphasis was put more on the practical side of the topics, first of all to check and consolidate the knowledge acquired during the first months of the project. Feedback sessions directly on the articles written by each reporter were very important and appreciated as this way each had the chance to realize where he / she must make


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education improvements to own writing style, to approach a subject and so on. The sessions carried out on the field were very efficient and well received when young reporters had to go to different places in Sinaia and had to write an article about the place they visited (for instance the royal railway station of Sinaia). You may find enclosed to this guide the agendas of the two events, at the section Annexes. The special forum created for this project was the place where they achieved to a great extent online mentoring. Though communication in this area was rather difficult at the beginning, as our reporters were less acquainted with this type of communication, there was an increase in the frequency of its use during the project. Online mentoring brought about many improvements in the reporters’ writing style. The forum served not only as a mentoring space but also for the communication of the most important administrative information, advertisements of interest for the project or relating to the project. Topics tackled. After the former training session, young journalists were let to find topics on their own; most of them oriented to social or society life events or to news about what is going on in schools. In the second stage, they received several topics, topics related to the life of school and community (for instance: Law of grants; Recycling: selective gathering of trash, ecological landfills; Activity of the members of the Parliament; Students’ Council; Educational and Vocational Orienteering and Counselling; Development of the non-governmental sector in the city; Migration and its effects in the city; the Meetings of the Local Council). The topics given were received with reticence at the beginning by some of the teams while others received them as a great support in their activity (the size of the place from where the team would come, complexity of topics mattered a lot). Project transfer to the next generations of students in the secondary school. Another important stage of the project consisted of passing on to the next generation of 11th grades as it was a requirement established from the beginning of the project for the journalists who were originally involved in the project, who after getting in the 12th grade, must focus on their preparation for the High School leaving examination and for the entrance exam for faculty. At the beginning of the new school year, from September and almost up to the month of October, there took place the selection of the new High School Reporters; this time their selection was made by each team, along with area coordinators. The number of new members varies from 4 to 8 according to the success registered by the newspaper in the secondary school, according to the students’ interest in this method, to the support granted to the High School Reporter teams by the management board of the school etc. Project’s promotion at the local level. Local teams, with the support of area coordinators and that of Soros Foundation of Romania have organized or are about to organize (up to the end of 2010) debates with the representatives of local authorities, students, parents, local press, the representatives of local NGO’s, promotion campaigns (either on the occasion of other greater events organized in the High School – for instance freshman dance or the circle of Romanian language and literature – either organized on a special purpose), project presentation during the classes, distribution of questionnaires. The topics of debates were about using this method in civic education, educational guide, project’s impact on the local level, the way in which the project would progress, community’s opinion on such an initiative and its degree of support. Some of the teams have also benefited from the support of the local press while promoting the newspaper. You may find information on the organized debates as well as on other promoting actions on the 8 on-line newspapers. Accomplishment of the educational guide. One of the major objectives of the project was that to achieve an educational package for the classes of civic education. Project co-operators (mentors, area coordinators, local coordinators and project coordinators) have worked , during the year, to drawing up the guide for civic journalism of the High School reporter, more precisely this guide, which shall be put at the disposal of all those interested in taking over the pattern.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Accomplishment of the pilot project. Project’s running stage coincides with the end of the year when the launch of this educational guide will take place as well as the prize-award ceremony for the best team, the best newspaper article and the best author. Instead of a conclusion The project High School reporter began as an experiment of Soros Foundation of Romania and got to the moment where there’s an answer, one of the solutions for encouraging civic involvement of the youth. Young people, by their nature, are active, are willing to change the world, to know more. Yet, in many cases the method by means of which they could be active and at the same time to bring about a benefit to their own development, but also to the development of people around them is missing. High School reporter tells not only about the young people in the secondary schools but also about all the young people who want to work by a pattern, to stay in touch with reality, to learn how to feel the pulse of the things surrounding them and to express their point of view as citizens of Romanian society.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

Schools involved Local coordinators and the teams involved in the project ALBA IULIA COLEGIUL ECONOMIC “DIONISIE POP MARŢIAN”- HIGH SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS Known as one of the secondary schools with a long tradition in Alba County as far as High School educational units of economics are concerned, Colegiul Economic “Dionisie Pop Marţian” High School of Economics of Alba Iulia is a High School where its more than 800 pupils are involved in many extracurricular activities and educational projects. One of these projects is also “High School Reporter” a project where the team of Alba-Iulia High School has intensively got itself involved from the very beginning. Made up as a united group of four students: Cornel Bumb, Răzvan Florea, Marius Maxa and Cristina Onu, coordinated by the teacher Adrian Simion, the team of Alba Iulia has proposed to get itself involved in community life by means of citizen journalism. The team was rapidly set up as the four students have also been colleagues and very good friends. Attracted by a strong desire to explore this new realm, High School reporters of Alba Iulia focused on monitoring the important activities and impact events in the High School and community, in an attempt to put under a magnifying glass everything that means public interest information. In this important approach, a very important support for the five students of Alba Iulia granted by the local coordinator proposed by the Soros Foundation, Miss Ana Suciu while the type of High School (vocational) did not influence the writing of articles. “DPM Online”, the online newspaper made by Cornel, Răzvan, Marius and Cristina appeared as a natural outcome of their involvement within the project “High School reporter”, as the four of them became aware of the importance of this approach by means of which they are trying to develop the relation between the High School and the community and to encourage the young people interested in aspects concerning the development of civics and citizenship education in Romanian society. Another important issue for “DPM Online” editors was the fact that this project provides the participants with the chance to improve in a non-formal learning environment, by means of citizen journalism and new media specific tools (WEB 2.0) under the conditions in which the Soros Foundation puts at the disposal of each team the technical support and provides with online consulting. The first important stage of the project in which the team of Alba-Iulia participated after it was selected took place in Sibiu in April 2010 and it supposed getting the High School reporters familiarized with the work of a journalist and with elements of online citizen journalism. Subsequently, the five members of the team have realized the online newspaper (“DPM Online”) where they published materials on important events in which they took part, on school activities, on various community issues, actions of the institutions of local public administration and so on and so forth. The articles published between April 2010 and July 2011 had topics both on subjects proposed by the Soros Foundation as well as other topics at the free choice of the team. You may refer to all these topics at the newspaper’s address: http://alba-iulia.reporterdeliceu.ro. Another significant step in the progress of the project was represented by the moment of July 2010 when, at Sinaia, a summer school was organized where participated the eight team involved. At that respective summer school, the Alba-Iulia team benefited from an intensive


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education training programme consisting of trainings and workshops, on various topics, and almost of all were followed by practical applications: students were sent on the field to write articles on various topics. At the same time, coordinators took part in a special debate programme with the purpose of preparing an important end product of the project – the methodological guide. Starting with August 2010, besides the activity of journalists, the members of the team began to be more and more concerned about project management, so that “DPM Online” should be a publication as famous as possible and which should have continuity and after that Cornel, Răzvan, Marius and Cristina are to complete the High School learning cycle. That is why, we gradually passed to a selection of some new High School reporters, the students from Colegiul Economic “Dionisie Pop Marţian” High School of Economics, their main task is to give continuity to the project in the next years. Certainly, each of the four pupils had their own experience concerning the activity within the project. Cristina Onu: “I get acquainted with the project “High School Reporter” by means of current team-mate, Marius, who presented me as a contest which was held at the national level, a competition which is about to bring in the foreground several teams of High School students, with the purpose of promoting the secondary schools to which they belong, by means of journalism. Of course that I accepted, though it was not very clear to me what this “journalism” is all about. I decided to join the three boys in the team, due to my passion for writing, doubled by the passion for work team and my curiosity for journalism. Last but not least it was also important the structure of the team, individual features characterizing the members of the team; I think we make up a joint whole which succeeded in coping successfully with project requirements. Gradually, as I got “deeper” in this trade, I realized that citizen journalism needs a deep involvement in the project from the professional and personal point of view. What succeeded in raising our enthusiasm to get more and more involved in community issues was the fact that we participated in preparatory seminars organized by the Foundation and the fact that we had a constant support from the local coordinators but also from the part of our guiding teacher.” Cornel Bumb: “I learnt about this project from my colleagues, who are currently High School reporters who described the project to me as a contest where we were about to create an online newspaper and we were to get, should we were very good, a significant award. It sounded extraordinarily. Gradually, a team was born where each member would be specialized in something: either in IT, either in writing and creation. It was a team which thus would make up, if I could say so, a whole, so that there was no reason for us not to continue in this formula. During the progress of the project, I learnt about citizen journalism, the way of informing and keeping the inhabitants of the city abreast with community life-related issues. In other words, we must be a “mirror” of important information for community, for our involvement (consisting of work made for information gathering, treatment and publication besides the interest for presenting to the citizens the things which they are entitled to know), as 11th grade students. Yet, the work as a journalist was not simple, as it meant much communication with citizens, first of all, and with authorities, NGO’s ad other parties involved in supplying services for the citizen, work on the field. An important asset I could say is the ability to communicate very easily. One should know exactly what he / she really wants when interviewing somebody, whether public or not, especially to avoid trite and inconvenient questions. Yet, this work has its satisfaction when your articles are read and appreciated by the citizens, namely by those for whom you get yourself involved to inform.” Răzvan Florea: “One evening, my current coordinating teacher called me to stay the following day after the classes as he had to discuss with me something very important. When we met, he handed me some papers and asked me to have a look and tell him if we could make together the project he presented. The material would contain some rather vague information on “High School Reporter” project and some forms. After I read between the lines, the materials before my eyes, I looked at my coordinating teacher and told him we could make the project. It was now that


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education everything began, and gradually a team of 3 boys and a girl was made up, a team where each of us has its own talent, where everyone knows to work as a whole. I was not scared from the very beginning of what was going to happen within the project, I simply trusted myself and the team that was created. When I entered this project, I was thinking only of the opportunities opening before me, more precisely, an opportunity to learn new and interesting things, to develop some competences both on the professional and the social level.” Marius Maxa: ”I enrolled myself in this project urged by my desire to learn new things on citizen journalism and to make new friends. If at the beginning, when I got the news, things were not clearly understood, the situation changed after the first seminar was held in Sibiu. Just like in any activity, the activity of a High School reporter has both pleasant and unpleasant situations. To me, the pleasure of this “trade” is given by the fact that one can travel, get in contact with various social environments in the community, it is not an indoor job where one should spend 8 hours a day sitting on a chair in front of a computer. You have the chance to meet new people, to learn about their problems or community-related issues, to visit some places. The work of a High School reporter also means various obstacles such as cooperation with local authorities which is sometimes difficult. There are situations when, in the case of some public institutions, it is necessary to wait more than it should or than set forth by law to get the answers to the questions you make. Another issue would be the status of a student as people do not always take you seriously. Yet, maybe, the biggest problem is the citizen’s fear to be interviewed. Citizen journalism is important for students first of all to keep you informed and then to keep the others informed.” Adrian Simion, teacher Ana Maria Suciu, coordinator General views

The first meeting with the High School reporters occurred online, when I read the applications for taking part in the project. What it came out from the first reading of the two applications was the fact that students have no idea about web 2.0 though there are cases when they say they are acquainted with web 2.0 tools. Certainly, I do not doubt internet navigation knowledge, but at a level of contents generated by the user, I think that none of 8 student with whom I worked did not know, before participating in the project, what web 2.0 means, what web interaction means and did not generate their own contents on specific platforms, they did not have any basic knowledge of text editing and did not know how to insert audio / video contents in a blog. Moreover, during the entire project, I found out that students would not read other blogs, online or printed newspapers, magazines etc., as their interaction with online environment consisted mainly of searching engines for various information. After several months of project implementation, the results are all the more remarkable as these students started from 0 in drawing up web contents. Today, their newspapers have pages on Facebook and Twitter, they learned what a blogroll means, they created audio and / or video contents inserted in the blog, they learned to attach pictures which are relevant for the articles, their writing style has visibly changed and their progress is obvious should we read their blogs from the beginning to this day. COLEGIUL ECONOMIC “DIONISIE POP MARŢIAN” HIGH SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS of Alba Iulia


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education From the application of the High School reporters of Alba Iulia, one could feel from the very beginning the competitive spirit and the desire to learn new things. Team members are active in schools they take part in extracurricular activities (for instance, exercise companies in the secondary school) and in school Olympiads. After the first meeting at Sibiu, the online DPM newspaper was created where the reporters began to post their materials. At Sibiu a small planning session was held and it was a crucial moment as now they established the topics on which each reporter would work. The team continues to meet every week according to the initial planning, except for summer holidays when meetings were rare. Their articles are on various topics and have a rather high frequency. To a great extent, the tasks established at Sibiu did not change, as the students continue to be in charge with the domains the initially chose, though there are cases when they are writing other columns (which seems to be beneficial for the team, but also to the individual level, as they are writing on topics in which they are interested). As the local coordinator, I received articles from reporters to express my opinion concerning the approach and the style and in most cases; my suggestions were understood and comprised in materials. The coordinating teacher has initially played a crucial part in the contents of articles, providing the students with certain sources and press releases to which he / she had access. As a result of the discussions with the team, we agreed that is more convenient for the students to choose by themselves topics of interest for the community to which they belong. This happened as a result of some compulsory topics which need a detailed documentation of some topics which are less known to them. Therefore, reporters made applications pursuant to Law 544/ 2001 on topics of community interest, they took part in a meeting at the Local Council and they learnt they can handle without their teacher’s help. As far as the relation local coordinator – reporter is concerned, things went rather well, I had a constant communication with each individual reporter which has greatly contributed to identifying the dynamics of the group. If originally one of the students took over the leadership of the group, things have changed during the project, and the team has eventually reached the balance concerning the tasks and responsibilities of each of them. A key moment in the evolution of the team was the summer camp organized within the project. The reporters from DPM online have a very competitive spirit and it was only in camp that they realized that the other teams are also good, the competition tighter than they thought and they should do more than taking over press releases if they really wanted to evolve. After the camp, the team from Alba Iulia became a little bit more organized, though they did not post too many articles during summer time. However, they were the first who mobilized to work for the materials for this guide which shows the fact that they really want to be part of this project. Moreover, they created an audio press review which none of the teams have realized. During the stage for the recruitment of the new reporters, they oriented themselves to the students in the 9th through 11th grades and they have precisely four applications, just what was necessary. Currently they are working in teams made of two, one new and old reporter, they have topics established to the month of December and they decided that each of the four teams should post an article per week at the least. The evolution of the team during the project was upward as the students have finally succeeded in understanding the spirit of the project and the idea of civic journalism. The team from Alba Iulia has significantly evolved from one stage of the project to another both concerning their abilities as reporters (identification of some interesting topics and text writing) and their attitude to the limitations imposed within the project.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

BISTRIŢA

Colegiul Naţional “Andrei Mureşanu” High School Colegiul Naţional “Andrei Mureşanu” High School of the municipality of Bistriţa is one of the most prestigious educational units in the Bistriţa-Nasaud County. Set up as an educational institution at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20 and it was subject to changes in time concerning its name, structure and the training level, the current Colegiul Naţional “Andrei Muresanu” High School has gradually improved its status. th

The old building (building A) within Colegiul Naţional ”Andrei Mureşanu” High School was built between 1911 and 1912 and it was meant to be a school from the very beginning. The building was designed by the architect Lajos Ybl of Budapest and it’s a combination of art deco and functionalist styles. The building is nowadays one of the most imposing buildings in BistriţaNăsăud County with an unfolded building area of 4,752.72 sq.m., and belongs to the list of historical monuments published in 2004. To this, there should be added the building of the School with grades 1st through 8th , with a measured area of 105, 63 sq.m., hosting the 1st through the 4th grades and where more than 300 students enter every year who are willing to receive the knowledge of the teachers in this school. Elementary school, theoretical secondary school, industrial High School and again theoretical secondary school, our institution receives the name of the tribune-poet in the autumn of 1971 – 1972 in a festive environment according to the importance of the event. Until 1999, the unit was known under the name “Andrei Mureşanu” Theoretical High School and it was this year when its name was changed into Colegiul Naţional ”Andrei Mureşanu” Secondary school. Within the institution there are two teaching languages, Romanian and Hungarian, with 5 specific departments and there are more than 1.000 students enrolled in grades 1 through 12th. Educational supply in the High School is rather diverse: natural sciences, French – intensive courses, Mathematics – Computer Science, History, Social Sciences, services. Excellence grades have got remarkable results at the national Olympiads, especially in Chemistry and Biology. In the field of cultural and educational activities, the Department of Modern Languages (international school exchanges), THE EDITORIAL OFFICE STAFF OF THE HIGH SCHOOL MAGAZINE (“First steps” – http://primiipasi.ath.cx), THE THEATRE COMPANY (“Corint” – aargument@yahoo.com) stand out through permanent activities. On October 9th 2008, there was revealed the PLATE GRANTED TO THE HIGH SCHOOL COMPRISED IN THE HIGH SCHOOL LEAVING EXAMINATION PROGRAMME WITH THE REMARK BILINGUAL, FRENCH SPEAKING. In a festive environment of the GALA OF EUROPEAN INFORMATION MULTIPLIERS OF NORTHERN TRANSYLVANIA, the 3rd edition which was held on May 14th 2010 at the “Matei Corvin” Memorial House of Cluj-Napoca, the Colegiul Naţional ”Andrei Mureşanu” High School of Bistriţa was awarded two prizes: the 1st Prize for The most active multiplier of European information in the civil society and the 2nd Prize for The most efficient Partnership in the field of


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education European communication. The prizes were awarded for the project “Romanian students at the school of European citizenship”. Projects carried out: In the period from September 2007 – September 2009 they developed the Project “Backpack Library” – a multicultural competition on inter-county teams from the National Stage of the Olympiad of Modern German. In the period May 2009 – December 2009 – the project: “Romanian students at the School of European citizenship” – an educational Project made in association with the City Hall of Bistriţa and the Europe Direct Centre, Victor Hugo High School of Besançon, a project co-financed by the Local Council of the Municipality of Bistriţa. The Target group of the project was the Council of Students of CNAM and the Local Council of the Youth. Project undergoing development: Comenius multilateral educational project “Welcoming Present and Yesterday Europe”, the period 2009 – 2011, countries which were partners in the project: France, Romania, Italy. The Project “High School Reporter” – initiated by the Soros Foundation of Romania in which 8 secondary schools in the country took part, among which CNAM, a project which ended in an online newspaper for the High School “CNAM online” and the students have experienced as they made TV shows and inquiries, petitions ad dialogues with the people responsible in the local community, exercises to get the citizens involved (the first stage: April – December 2010). The project Comenius Regio, Bistriţa – Besançon, the period 2010 – 2012, partners: the city halls of the 2 twin towns, CNAM Bistriţa - “Victor Hugo” High School and the School with grades 1st through 8th “Diderot” of Besançon, the school inspectorates of the 2 cities involved in the partnership, Arfa – Franchesylvania, Europe Direct Bistriţa – La Maison de l’Europe of Besançon, the Associations Proado of Bistriţa and Recidev of Besançon. ANDREI RAI At the beginning of the project My name is Rai Andrei, I am 18, I am a student in the 11th grade A at the Colegiul Naţional ”Andrei Mureşanu” High School of Bistriţa, Major of Biology – Chemistry, Sciences, English intensive courses. I want to be part of the project ‘High School reporter” as I am fond of this type of extracurricular actions and I like to be permanently in the middle of current problems. As for my career as a volunteer, I am acting in the school as a photo reporter for the school magazine “ Primii paşi “ [The first steps] and I am also a member of the photo club “Photo club


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education AXXA Bistriţa” where I have been acting for 2 years. I took part in first aid actions within the Red Cross and also in various other competitions on ecological or environmental issues. Last year, our school was involved in an experience exchange with students from Belgium and I took part in this experience and thus I had the chance to visit Brussels and, implicitly the European Parliament. Thus, I got an image of the European area where we live and I intended to get more and more involved in issues related to my generation. I practice basketball in my spare time as I am a member of the junior team “For You Bistriţa-Năsăud” while within the school I am a member of its basketball team, where I am a title holder. Another hobby is practicing motocross and I own a Yamaha 125 X motorcycle since I was 16. My decision to take part in this project was based on the fact of encouraging the degree of involvement of other young people in civic actions. Moreover, I want to convince through my participation that to be a High School reporter is not such a difficult thing and that this type of journalism could be practiced by any citizen monitoring the community where he lives. I want to know more things related to specific new media tools WEB 2.0, but also concerning the concept of a blog. The thing that prevailed in my motivation to be a High School reporter was that of having the opportunity to cooperate with professional journalists but also with other professionals in the NGO environment. I want, by means of these things, to promote Colegiul Naţional ”Andrei Mureşanu” High School as one of the best secondary schools in the county What worries me nevertheless is the reticence of those who are not acquainted with this type of actions, but eventually, from my point of view, the role of this project is to draw the attention on information potential and the importance of citizen journalism. During the first six months I entered this project as it looked to me as an excellent opportunity to write certain things which other people would then read as well, would comment on them, to take part in certain events to which I could have never had access unless as a reporter Regional stage of the national basketball championship – secondary schools I took part not only in drawing this article, but also in the games that were played. First article, a new experience. There are values, equipments are those missing! There are things I went by every day, but which I got to found their mostly bad and good parts only by investigating them. Rached, a phenomenon of poetry and of medicine I had the chance to meet a wonderful, valuable man from whom I had many things to learn and I introduced him to my colleagues. A healthier way of living! An article for the accomplishment of which I travelled a lot as I learned about the event in the last moments. I think that maybe it is here the glamour, I mean if you want to do something you shall do it no matter how difficult circumstances are. Promotion ‘65


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education I was a pleasure to meet the first CNAM generation and to listen to some of their stories since they were students in the High School where I now study. Who are and what the parliamentarians in my city do It was a topic suggested by the organizers, it was not necessarily of my taste, but I accepted and I think it was good for me in the sense that I came to know a more personal side of some public personalities. Bucegi: The Mountain of people …or of bears An article made at Sinaia, again, many interviews, documentaries, stress and deadlines. Conclusions: I had the opportunity to get myself involved in all the articles and learn about various very good actions for young people and not only, I met people who are fond of what they do. This approach helped me to develop some of my abilities, such as writing, to get myself involved and not to stay passive. The organization of a round table was another experience with which I like to identify myself as it gave me the chance to communicate openly expressing my opinions. I took part in 3 live television broadcasts, in one of them I was a producer myself, another thing that helped me was the fact that I learned how to master myself and control my language. From the beginning of this project I intended to get over the reticence I had before to take an interview or simply, to ask for an information. These are common things, someone would say, but I acquired it only in this project. I learned that each of us has rights which, unfortunately, we do not know and this is the reason why many take advantage of it. I met people who are fond of journalism and who, as they do their job with passion, came to get performances as well. For me it was a step forward, even if I would not follow this career, I learned many things which will be good for me in the future and I thing that nobody in this project could deny it. I would like to thank to all organizers and participants “High School reporter” is a good idea. This is the good part of things. The bad part consists of the fact that this pilot project was erroneously addressed to the students in the 11th grade and no one considered the fact that these students will continue to be involved when they are in the 12th grade too when those who want to pass an entrance examination have to prepare, even from the beginning of the year, much materials for study. I am preparing myself for medicine and there is a tremendous amount to study in this period. I knew from the very beginning that it was going to be like that but I could not give up to project temptation. My dissatisfaction is that I cannot materialize as I would what I learned during the months preceding this period. I suggest keeping this aspect in mind in the future. Assessment of team coordinator: Andrei is a highly disciplined student, discreet and very organized. He has a well defined value system from which he would not deviate and he always puts civilized attitude in the first place. He thinks that a journalist must be, above all,” a man of honour”. Though journalism is not the career he would dream about, he accepted the challenge to enter this project with the feeling that he lacks great knowledge in the sphere of communication. I appreciate his working capacity, seriousness, team spirit and the delicacy in approaching any issues. Andrei knows how to reconcile conflicts, knows how to approach people, learned how to look for the essential in events and he could get himself involved in community life which he learned to know by means of the project “High School Reporter”. He has got the sense of humour and a fine taste. He is very sociable. He is ambitious and should he see that he has made some mistakes somewhere he just won’t give up but he will strive to get what he wants. DANCIU DANIEL


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education At the beginning of the project The idea of this project was a real challenge to me. I want to be part of this project to learn more things about citizen journalism, to help this county get out of the rut and to make people see that there are young people in Bistrita able to make quality journalism. What is there to expect from this project? I expect to learn from those who are better than I am, to be useful by what I do and to work in a Romanian television in the future. Through this project I would like to change the idea that our city has of this type of activities. The only obstacle which could appear in the course of this project could be laziness for, if one really likes what he / she does, there’s no obstacle at all. During the first six months April: I created the site; it seemed it was too difficult with wordpress platform, everything seems to be in a tangle and I got tangled up. I succeed in doing something yet it is not what I wanted. I had to make the first article on a project. I was at the meeting, but I did not know what was good to take from there and what was not good to take. It was very hard for me but eventually I succeeded in doing something. May: In the course of this month I wrote an article on the Bistrita ring road. I took part at the meeting of the Local Council where I learned what they wanted to make in Bistrita as far as the ring road was concerned. The second article was easier. June: The article on dog show created problems again for me as I found it very difficult to summarize al the interviews taken but eventually I succeed in carrying it off well. July: the seminar at Sinaia was wonderful, I learned that journalism is not a game. Conclusion: through this project I succeeded in getting myself involved more and more in the life of the community, to make a broadcast where I was no longer behind the camera but on the shooting stage. Most of the articles I wrote were real challenges which raised my self-confidence. Assessment of team coordinator: Daniel is a quiet student, he is attracted to anything that belongs to video and video processing. His long desire is to meet an expert in this field to learn more than he already knows in this field. He like taking a walk in nature, he likes very much working in team as he noticed that when he tries to do something all by himself he rarely succeeds as he wanted. He likes to make other activities, at the end of classes, which could broaden his views and to experience new things. He is the technician of the team and any time we have electronicsrelated problems, Daniel will always find a solution. POP EMIMA LIGIA At the beginning of the project In March, when I heard about this project, I was highly excited. I made my CV, character references and I waited. Honesty, I did not think that we would be chosen. Why? Because I thought that there are students who are better than I am or than we are. It was a big surprise when we found out. Therefore, we packed our bags for Sibiu. There, we were better explained what we had to do, so to say, we met the organizers, the trainers. We were reserved, of course ‌ as we did not really know how to relate. I realized, in the course of time, that these people, besides the fact that they are professional, they are super-open, which was and still is very comforting for me. I returned to Sibiu, to all the others, with great thoughts. We had the first editorial meeting, we distributed our tasks. During the first six months


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education My first article was “High School students of Bistriţa on the occasion of the Day of Open Gates of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Cluj”. First article, first mistake. I started with the date which is totally wrong. I put it right eventually. Afterwards, we decided, during a meeting, that it would be better, at the beginning at the least, to work for articles by twos. Therefore, 2 articles were born: “I am” together with Andrei and “High School students can set up a business too” with Mihaela. These were beginners’ articles, with mistakes and disparities but they were also made with the enthusiasm of a beginner. Then it followed the article with the interview taken from Radu Nicolae at Sibiu. Radu is a model of civil involvement ad an extremely open person…it was a great pleasure to talk to him, to write the article and to post it. Then it followed the article on the Day of Youth. I loved to be there and to see so many young people involved in the organization of such an event. In fact, one of the things I discovered on the occasion of this project is that though one might say that Bistriţa is a rather small city, it has young people who are more and more responsible, who are willing to get involved and who are actually getting involved. Afterwards I took part in events organized on the occasion of the Day of Heroes. I got a little bit nervous on the occasion of discourses and I had a few moments of intense patriotism. CLT invited to the opening of the campaign “SLOVE [WORDS]” from the Synagogue. I and Andrei gave an interview for Radio Romania News. As for the article, it did not skip from Miruna’s remarks. I forgot, it seems, of my role of informer and I wrote the name of some poets without saying anything on their activity. Miruna and Mrs. Teacher are of great use… They have an overview and they succeed in regarding (also) from the perspective of a consumer of journalism, which many time I lack. To write on the campaign “WORDS” it was a great pleasure for me for the same reasons: I saw people getting involved and, this time, they also did something for the young. Afterwards, the interview with the poet Claudiu Komartin, a representative of 2000-ism. It was very beautiful. What could I say, before meeting him, I did not even know on the Generation 2000 of poetry. Claudiu made me curious and I start reading more and more on contemporary poets, after 2000. And I like them tremendously! On May 21st Miruna came and we had a round table. We gathered colleagues, journalists, students from the Local Council and we discussed on the topic “Impact of citizen journalism”. Miruna suggested us about 25 individuals … there are more, which is good. I was beautiful what we organized and I think we reached our goal. We promoted us, we found new things. About 50 people staying at the same table and talking on the same thing. I was more than glad to see the support they provided to all of us. The people who were present were interested and gave us all the support. Then there followed the topics imposed. We spread 2 subjects to each out of the 8 subjects proposed by the coordinators. I have Students’ Council and the Development of the nongovernmental sector. The interview with Adi Solcan was a pleasure for me. Adi is an old friend and acquaintance and to write about him was very pleasant. Adi is a true model for the young people living nowadays. Then, there followed the article dedicated to Students’ Council which took me more than I expected. The interview with Mrs. Principal, the President, the former President, students and teachers … It was stressful that it was very hard to get to them (we tried to find the President of Students’ Council about 2 weeks until we finished). Amending and choosing the title was a long process in which I was especially helped by Călin Cosmanciuc. Every time I would say something, organizers and trainers would help us, which was again very comforting.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education To write about NGOs was again very pleasant. Because there are and make a good job! Then it was Sinaia. Very different as compared to Sibiu. Within the good meaning of the word. We spent much time with each other, we got to know each other, we had fun, we played, we made friends. During the sessions, we were much more open and more talkative than in Sibiu. The topics given at Sinaia for the articles were super; tourists and people were very cooperative. Though I worked in an alert rhythm – information gathering, writing- I think that their outcome was very satisfying. At Sinaia I “refilled” myself with good thoughts and will. When I came back home, things have changed. I did not write at all during the summer time and not even during the month of September. Why? There were events which were beyond my control, but it was also the fact that enthusiasm diminished. At Sinaia I learned that, in fact, the competitive part of the subject begins only with the month of September and lasts until December, when we will also have the prize award ceremony. The news was bad as we are students in the 12th grade and we have to pass the High School leaving examination, the entrance examination and so on. Maybe, the project should have started a little bit earlier. Selection should have been made at the end of the 10th grade, during the summer holidays between the 10th and the 11th grades and to have some days of training while the project should have been carried out during the 11th grade. Just one idea, and I would like to apologize if it’s not relevant. Why did I not write? I went through some very bad events. I was ill for 2 weeks and afterwards we had a very sad event in our family which made me eat for some days on end, and I could not stop and which still affects me and I am still in a state of lethargy and hardly could I motivate myself to go to school and learn. I cannot believe I am saying this to excuse myself! My lack of cooperation continued and, by the end of September, when I was proposed to be the moderator of a broadcast, I refused. Should I have been put in this situation again, I would turn it down again. I have also learned from this project to be open and not to be so nervous when I speak in public. I got a little bit rid of it but I never got to the level to be able to moderate a broadcast and maybe I will never get to that point. I am terrified of speaking in public and, honestly, I do not even know if I should correct this fault of mine. I do not really think I will be put in the situation to deliver discourses before a large audience. However, as compared to how nervous I was before, now, since the RDL, I learned to control myself a little. Conclusions: I would like to apologize if I was misunderstood. The project was more than beautiful, the timing was not very good. Organizers, trainers are fantastic. ‘High School reporter” made me realized that there are so many good students! The students in the project really impressed me and I realized that there are so many people who know how to make things which you also know how to do and the only thing that makes you different is maybe the work you do. “High School reporter” gave me lifetime memories, new friends, experiences so beautiful and I am very sorry I throw it away for a period of time. Assessment from team coordinator: Emima is a very shy student, introverted and highly sensitive, fragile both literally and figuratively. What is really surprising about her is the clarity of her writing, the force of her ideas which clearly run regardless of the topic, when she is really motivated. She has an inner world which perfectly organizes according to the situation and allows her to make surprising connections, to summarize and to find the right logic of things. To make an article, as short as possible she works with meticulousness for hours on end and she could gather full pages of small notes just to shape an idea, and give them up afterwards. She has a writing discipline which helps her to evolve rapidly in approaching the subjects and she has a precise


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education intuition, which are the expectations from her text. This project made Emima a different person, it gave her confidence in the usefulness and the value of written ideas and made her overcome millions of her complexes. I think it is her chance. She still has to struggles with the attempt of speaking and it will be extremely difficult as long as her inner voice is stronger. One thing is sure: Emima will write. Moreover, she is highly gifted in the art of photography. She has a good eye for snaps and she succeeds in surprising moments of everyday life as compared to the rest of people who are careless. Without a minimum attention from the part of somebody such Emima, a number of important issues around us remained unobserved… Besides all these, Emima has a great quality – that of a person who keeps silent and makes things. CIOCAN TEODORA MIHAELA At the beginning of the project I decided to enroll in this programme first of all because it represents a challenge and I want to know my limits. Though it is a pleasant activity I do not want to make of citizen journalism a trade, I would like to be informed on the changes through which community in which I live goes through, to create a relation between the High School where I study and community within the meaning not to make the young people perceive the school as a prison but as a mentor with the purpose to make them aware of their skills and not to waste their gifts , but to invest them in civic actions, in arts, in things which are really worthy. I perceive my involvement in this project as an opportunity to learn from real professionals, I see it as a means to educate myself as an impartial spirit, critical thinking to be a real active member who is interested and trained of the community to be a model for other people. Moreover, I am convinced that I will learn many new things, I will improve my working with WEB 2.0 thus combing the useful with the pleasant. I got involved in this project following the proposal of Mrs. Teacher Aurelia Hîruţa. At first, I didn’t know what it was all about, just like my colleagues as this became clearer in part only after the Sinaia Camp. During the first six months After the Sibiu session I was quite enthusiastic about the project and I started writing articles. It is true I did not write a lot and it took me quite a lot of time to write one, given the fact that it was the first time when I was doing such a thing. My first article “The first steps for civic journalism” … was hard to write. The beginning is always more difficult. The second article was one on Greenpeace and is one of the articles which caused me much pleasure, from which I learnt something of it as I didn’t know what Greenpeace is in fact. I don’t know if this article was better than the first one, but I certainly tried harder. To be honest I didn’t like my third article “High School students can also set up a business”. I did not like the topic at all and I had the feeling… which still persists, that nobody was interested in it. Research was toilsome just like in the case of every article as open persons, eager to communicate and to share something are little. My next article was “The fair of educational offers” which though it was a very brief one, I had miss some classes to be present at the opening and to be able to describe the event credibly, and teachers did not agree to my missing at all. This time I succeeded in writing it faster as it is something topical.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education There followed one of the articles I really enjoyed working at: the interview with Mr. Radu Nicolae. The reason for which it was issued so late was the fact that my schedule and the schedule of Emima, the colleague with whom I wrote (I really wanted to write it together as Radu’s sessions seemed the most useful for us) was quite busy and I don’t live in Bistriţa. It was many times an obstacle for me and my team. There followed an interview carried out together with Emima (the one with the poet Claudiu Komartin). We were both present at the meeting between him and the students of Colegiul National “Andrei Mureşanu” High School and we both enjoyed it and we decided to write the article together. I have to mention here that although me and Emima were quite different, our ideas complemented one another, and although there were moments when we argued in contradiction I knew to choose the best idea (I learnt to work in team due to the RDL project). I enjoyed very much the next article, the articles about the teachers’ strike. I was present with Andrei at the event. It was for the first time in my life when I took part in such an event and I was very enthusiastic. I succeeded in talking to the union leader and one more important thing: I was recognized by the journalists present there (as I met them at some events, including a round table organized by CNAM team). I wrote it very quickly (one day) as it was indeed a problem of concern and I was convinced that many people were interested in it. The article “The first 9 steps on Child’s Day” took me some time to write and to make the research. Again the launching of the magazine was an event in I enjoyed taking part and I didn’t attend it just because I had to write about it. “Migration” is one of the topics suggested by the foundation. It was the topic we worked the most although I don’t know that one could have noticed or appreciated it. I “wandered” all around Bistriţa, I made several trips between the City Hall and the Social Services where I found almost all doors closed for me, I met reticent people and I admit that I succeeded in gathering some information due to a “door opening person” = “connections”. The fact that as a citizen I couldn’t get the information to which I should have normally had access, made me feel very bitter. Only as a relative of a “highly positioned” staff member of the City Hall I could get what I needed and suddenly all doors were open and people smiled to me (this is the sad truth). “Law on grants“ was the other topic provided by the foundation. I had to cope with the same problem of closed doors, clerks who have no time to talk to you and are quick tempered. Eventually I succeeded in getting what I wanted, but it was a long way. Again, it was an article for which I made a lot of research and it was issued very late. It was also during the holidays when I could not go so often to Bistriţa. I intended “Young people and healthy food” to be released before the summer holidays, but it wasn’t meant to be. I usually cannot succeed in doing anything I planned. It was a lot of work for questionnaires, but the team helped me to distribute them. I enjoyed listening to Doctor Rai and I can say that I learned new things. In fact I learned something from every article I wrote. As for the fact that I wrote so rarely, I would like to name a few reasons: -

first of all the project started during examination time, and my major is not an easy one. Journalism is not by far the target for the students studying Chemistry and Biology and therefore, teachers, although apparently thrilled about the project didn’t go easy on us and obviously they shouldn’t have done so.

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The project became more and more demanding and parents started to be disapproving. I barely convinced them to allow me to take part in Sibiu camp given the fact that I was supposed to travel from Bacau to Sibiu all by myself. During the holidays I was not allowed to go to Bistriţa as I was supposed to help them. Although everybody believes that during holidays students are lazy, it was not at all my case.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education -

There were moments when I wanted to give it up as there were too many closed doors, I wasted a lot of my time wandering around and my parents didn’t approve it.

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in Sibiu camp I realized how much investment was made in this project. On my opinion, it shouldn’t have been structured the way it was. Considering the fact that we are in the 12th grade and we are not very productive any more. I think it is appropriate that students in the 10th grade should have been involved in it or the project should have started earlier.

Conclusions: I for one have learnt a lot of new things from the SOROS team and I think that all people involved have learnt a lot, we had a lot to gain from this point of view. I don’t believe that there will be introduced a course in journalism in the curricula, but civic involvement will be certainly welcomed. I say it as I noticed that few people know their rights and the questionnaires I conducted made me realize that students don’t even know what “civic involvement” means. I guess in Romania we need information, not on events, but on our role in society, on our rights and the prerogatives we have, but we don’t know anything about it. I believe it is important that the students should also be CITIZENS. As for me, the project brought about just benefits. Appreciation from the part of team coordinator: Teodora is an extremely voluble person, hard working, ambitious, without prejudices, perfectionist. She can manage in any situation, she makes efforts but she is successful, tiredness resistant and she is avid for knowing as much as possible and therefore she gets involved in anything. She is a sociable person. She likes to talk a lot, regardless the topic to whatever person. She reads a lot. Sometimes she brings her books at school and she reads during breaks. She reads everything she lays her hands on, from slushy books to SF books. She is calculated and calm in almost every situation. She is very serious and mature in all she does, she has initiatives, she works very well as part of a team as she accepts the opinions of other people and admits when she is wrong. She wants to accomplish many things, to change a lot around her. Teodora has an extraordinary potential, she is determined, perseverant and just. I am Aurelia Hîruta, a teacher of Romanian language and literature at Colegiul Naţional “A. Mureşanu” National High School of Bistriţa and I wish to participate with my students in everything which involves contemporary life. I consider that it is my duty to inspire them to be determined, to stimulate their creativity, work capacity, responsibility and commitment in relation to developing an involved civic attitude and express their opinions freely. I consider myself a very energetic person and I want to initiate my students decently and in a motivating manner to make various actions which should cultivate their team spirit, a just view of themselves, of the other and of the society where they live, self esteem. I am open to new, I show an interest in challenges and I wish to overpass my performances permanently. I believe in own resources and I consider I have a calling for teaching, and that I have to share my professional experience, cultivate students’ interest for Romanian language, for national culture which should be understood as a unique means to shape one’s identity. I show a permanent concern for developing some real and efficient communication abilities, which allow my students to express themselves coherently, clearly and to the point, to acquire the techniques of written and oral communication by phrases they built and not taken from various medias, developing ideas where they should use the rich resources of the vocabulary, to develop a critical thinking, a sharp observation spirit of civic phenomenon in their town, to document themselves from the very source and not to take materials which are already processed. I appreciate punctuality and fair play and I am a sociable person; I enjoy making long-term friendships and I consider that people around me represent me. I enjoy discussions on philology,


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education philosophy and social topics and I always express my opinion only when with full knowledge of the facts. I like traveling, going outside in the middle of the nature, making sports and watching theater shows, films, concerts and get to know new places and new people, the culture of other states in Europe and around the world. I am interested in everything that could give me the chance to improve myself. Recently I have been involved in a Comenius project of individual training, as I attended training courses on the topic “Language, culture and innovation” at CLA of Besançon, France. The initiative of this project is worth praising considering the fact that I have been for 9 years now the chief editor of the school magazines “Primii paşi” [The first steps], the winning magazine in the National Competition of School Magazines. I am thrilled about the opportunity to cooperate with professional journalists but also with professionals specialized in achieving joint projects of school and local authorities and I am glad that there is the possibility to provide young High School peoples with such opportunities. MIRUNA TRONCOTĂ, coordinator Colegiul Naţional “Andrei Mureşanu” National High School (CNAM online newspaper), Bistriţa, Bistriţa-Năsăud county, http://bistrita.reporterdeliceu.ro In the case of CNAM online the tasks that were undertaken initially were just partially accomplished. Editorial staff meetings were held every week on the scheduled date, without any postponements. The coordinating teacher Aurelia Hîtuţa and the four students proved to be a real team, as they are involved in this project and overcame all the difficulties like a real team. Task assignment between the members was made naturally and should one of the members fail to comply with such assignments, the others would compensate it through more efforts. Small tensions due to failing to comply with liabilities undertaken were quickly defused. We saw much seriousness, enthusiasm and involvement. They proved to be very attentive with respect to feedback and they were eager to improve their activities. After writing each article, there followed a consulting with the entire team and afterwards they operated the necessary changes. I notice the special attention that this team paid to the tidy style of writing articles, this also due to the fact that Aurelia Hîruţa teaches Romanian language and literature. Moreover, I consider it an advantage the fact that the teacher has already coordinated the school magazine as she knows very well the activity of a journalist for students. Nevertheless, she never intervened directly on their texts and thus, we acknowledged a greater responsibility of students about what they are writing. An advantage of team cohesion was also the fact that all four were colleagues in the same grade, which facilitated their interactions, and team cohesion was clear since the very beginning, immediately after the project started, they started working. Their journalistic approach strategy proved to be efficient. First of all, they wrote articles in teams of 2 even of 3 members, to be more confident when drafting the news. The first topics approached were the presentation of some important events inside the secondary school, standard news (basketball championship) and a few weeks later it extended to more generous topics (Day of open doors at the university of Medicine of Cluj) where they could have already formulate own points of view, to the point. It was also interesting to remark the immediate evolution of their journalist interest as they wrote articles. A topic approached very broadly in the beginning (basketball championship and participation of the team of CNAM secondary school) was afterwards resumed by one of the journalists and turned into an opinion article in a virulent tone (criticize the lack of team equipments due to poor results obtained at a national level, discouraging basketball to the detriment of football, sport in which more funds are invested wrongfully). Although the tone exceeded the allowed borders of subjectivism (the journalist as part of the basketball team, which represented also an advantage to approach the topic with full knowledge of the facts), the article represented an important lesson for


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education team members with respect to tackling with some sensitive points and signaling dysfunctions within their community. The fact that they relied on a very personal experience rather helped them to learn the lesson of the well-documented journalism and did not represent a disadvantage. Some of the broadest and well documented articles published in the first stage of the project are in fact the very ones which rely on direct knowledge of topics. Each of the four students explored journalistically these areas with which they have already been acquainted yet they did not explore them deeply up to that moment, which have eventually provided them with many satisfactions. Andrei, for instance, as the son of a doctor and he himself wishing to become a doctor explored mainly the topic of health and lack of information at the students’ level, unhealthy food and its effects, alternative therapies about which his colleagues did not know very much. Teodora also wishes to get admitted at the Faculty of Medicine, which pushed her to make a very well-documented enquiry about vegetarianism as an alternative to fast food, outlining both benefits as well as the dangers involved. Daniel worked during summer time at a local television, which provided the team with the opportunity to take part in a few broadcasts dedicated to young people. The experience they have in television not only determined Daniel to be interested in a future career in this field but made him be more open to community problems. He assumed responsibility within the team to send a petition to the Town hall with respect to selective recycling and its dysfunction in Bistriţa, a successful initiative given the answer received from the part of the Mayor and the measures taken following this notice. Emima had also experience in non-governmental field, due to her direct contact with certain active NGOs in Bistriţa which led to her writing some very well documented articles on this topic. Team seriousness when writing articles has also convinced a local television to take over their information and this event made things more dynamic. Not only their initiative had more impact, but students developed much more their abilities to communicate in public places, and this became very obvious in time for each of them. Being shy is no longer a problem for any of them as they replaced it with boldness and journalistic seriousness. Another feature which provided the team with more dynamism is diversity. The fact that each student had a specific set of abilities which he or she turned to good account within the team by taking over topics of personal interest was the main factor which provided the team with good coordination, but also with very good results. Another factor which helped students a lot was the direct and kind involvement of school headship. This not only gave them much more confidence and determination when writing articles, but also facilitated their communication with certain institutions, personalities, organizations as they were recommended by school headship. The organization of round table within the High School where the project was promoted to the general public and students presented their intentions publicly was a crucial moment to built team cohesion, increasing their motivation and building an open relation with the people in charge with High School management. During the project development, these elements turned to be very helpful and many obstacles could be easily overcome. At the beginning my communication with them, as a coordinator from the part of the Soros Foundation was a little hindered by virtual media. Students were not used to communicate to each other by e-mail on a regular basis, to reply within clear deadlines and at the beginning they perceived me as an outsider to their team. Everything changed after my monitoring visit at Bistriţa. Not only that the direct meeting and the discussion of specific issues brought us closer and the fact that we organized together a round table on citizen journalism with the participation of more than 30 students, teachers and journalists brought us closer. After this episode, our virtual communication became natural, the students began to show interest in my advice and answered to emails conscientiously. They proved to be very open even when the team had little coordination problems. They informed me on this openly and we tried openly to solve these internal communication related issues.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education One recommendation I would like to make to the future teams of High School journalists is to make a good team with the coordinating teacher, yet the latter should not intervene too much in their journalist activity. It is vital that both topics and the methods of journalist approach should belong to students as teachers’ “recommendations” though good, they can make students to be less motivated and feel that their creativity is hindered. Coordinating teacher’s authority over the team of journalists should not be just the one transferred from school. This relation should be a closer one giving more freedom to students and respecting their individuality when approaching community topics. This way, as we noticed from the experience of CNAM Online team, students shall fear less of criticism, without being discouraged of them, and shall be more motivated to build their own well documented opinion on a certain topic of interest. When a coordinating teacher uses his/her “school” authority, his/her team will suffer and the articles will bear his / her marks much more than the free critical conscience of students. A balance between experience-based based and school authority shall turn the coordinating teacher into a trustful co-member of the team involved in this project. Bistriţa is not a big town, but its status of a county seat is of a greater importance and it also reflects on team evolution. The fact that they could have an easier access to information, the fact that the main local authorities at the county level are located in the town but also the great number of events and public initiatives which were carried out here were certainly helpful for the topics approached by High School reporters to become large-scale topics. Colegiul National “Andrei Mureşanu” High School is one of the most outstanding in the whole county, a direct competitor of Colegiul “Liviu Rebreanu” Secondary School, which represents an additional incentive for the direct involvement of students in community. Most articles reflect specific features of Bistriţa community which indicates the fact that students became interested in some local issues by means of citizenship journalism of which they showed a total lack of interest before and ignored the effects of their implication. Selection of a new team of journalists The process of recruiting new journalists and “handing over to one's team-mate” was difficult at the beginning. A first issue was the restoration works within the secondary school, which affected students’ schedule and it fully compromised project promotion. At first, just a few students were interested in taking over journalist responsibilities, which should draw our attention on objective factors in every High School which might disrupt project development. As a solution, the method “people to people” seems to have functioned here the best to break the deadlock in the team. After about one week the recruitment advertisement was posted, a large number of students showed interest in joining our initiative. An explanation would be the recommendation received by students either from the coordinating teacher or directly from journalist students who could describe in lavish detail the activity itself in their own words, which seemed to be more convincing that an advertisement on the notice board. During the first week after recruitment, the new journalists who were selected by the entire team (this responsibility grew even more the former team’ awareness of its role of an example for the others) proved to be very active, took part enthusiastically in the editorial staff meeting and have already written the first articles. The use of the basic team of High School journalists in the activity of mentoring and guiding the new team was, in my opinion, a success for project dynamics. As a consequence, the enthusiasm of the new comers (outnumbering the existing 4) combined with the experience of the older ones led to the revival of the newspaper searching for new topics and experiencing new journalist formulas. Although it is hard to assess as only two weeks elapsed from the selection process, a first impression would be the high motivation of all the students involved, giving them a sense of responsibility and knowledge transfer raising in students self-confidence and more determination in their activity to get civically involved in Bistriţa


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education Community. The power of example, especially coming from young people of the same age, functions as a stimulus stronger than any other elements non-related elements.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

CARANSEBES FORESTRY GROUP OF SCHOOLS OF CARANSEBEŞ The beginnings of training of the manpower in the field of wood processing are attested by documents at the end of the 19th century (1881-1889) when there was a school in Caransebeş for apprentices where students were trained as: carpenters, wheelwrights, joiners, tailors, shoemakers, foresters, carvers etc. thus ensuring skilled personnel for the first factory of decorative veneer in the country set up in 1873 at Balta Sarată, a district of the town. Our school (under various names – Vocational school for apprentices, technical school of foremen, Industrial High School with a duration of five years, having two majors: wood processing and wood exploitation (1971), Industrial school with a duration of four years (1974), having several majors: wood processing, forestry, commercial forest, mechanics, electromechanical engineering, horticultural secondary school, Forestry Group of Schools) operates at the current premises immediately after 1948 and it is the only school having a forestry major in the CarasSeverin county. At present, with a total number of more than 1,000 students, the Forestry Group of Schools of Caransebeş has two buildings; building A hosting full-time and part-time High School classes, as well as the post-secondary school, while building B hosts primary and middle school classes. Mainly involved in environment projects, school students accepted the challenge launched by the Soros Foundation of Romania, that is the pilot project “High School Reporter”, by sending a form to take part in the competition, a self character reference and a character reference of another member of the team, thus joining the 170 schools in the country taking part in the competition. According to the regulations, the team was supposed to be made up of four students in the 9th grade and of a coordinating teacher and therefore the following subscribed: Munteanu Mihaela Augustina, English and German teacher, and at the same time, a coordinator of projects and educational programmes in secondary school, Băilă Rusalin Florin, Condurache Alexandra Gabriela, Muntean Mihai Alin and Partenie Alexandra Silvia, all students in the 11th grade A, major of natural resources and environmental protection. Muntean Mihai Alin about Munteanu Mihaela Augustina :” Mrs. Teacher made us a good impression from her very first class as she is communicative, open and her English classes are very pleasant. Soon, she became the teacher who was most loved by class members. Here are some of her prevailing personality features: intelligence, sincerity and ambition.” Munteanu Mihaela Augustina about Partenie Alexandra Silvia: “Alexandra is my student ever since the 9th grade and she is a special person, ambitious and hard working. She is the representative of the students in our school, and therefore a person who can undertake certain responsibilities and adopt a standpoint when situations require it. She is sociable, always surrounded by friends, modest and thirsty for knowledge. Partenie Alexandra Silvia about Condurache Alexandra Gabriela: “She is an energetic, kind, understanding person, who can easily makes friends. One could always rely on her as she is sincere and loyal. She likes influencing people about the decisions they take. She always listens carefully to the advice from the people around her, but this doesn’t mean she would follow them. To her, relaxing means sleeping, reading, listening to music and dreaming with eyes wide open. Condurache Alexandra Gabriela about Băilă Rusalin Florin: “I would characterize him as a brown-eyed, brown-haired boy, of an average height, but with a great heart, as he never hesitates to help you when you’re in trouble. He is rather a person quite, with remarkable general knowledge.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education One can learn something from him every day. I admire his perseverance, his desire to improve oneself, to exceed oneself, his confidence in own forces and his calculating spirit which are all well developed.” Băilă Rusalin Florin about Muntean Mihai Alin: “ Mihai is my colleague and my best friend. We met at the school year opening ceremony in 2007. Ever since, during school years we had the opportunity to know each other better, and a strong friendship was thus established. The prevailing features of his personality are intelligence, perseverance, self-confidence, responsibility and a developed sense of humor”. As they come from a group of schools with students less involved in far-reaching national projects, the final decision concerning team taking part in “High School reporter” brought about a lot of confidence and enthusiasm among its members. On the occasion of the first meeting which took place in Sibiu and where all the eight winning teams took part, we established that the name of the newspaper should be G.S.F. online – Gazeta Verde din Caransebes [the Green Gazette of Caransebes ]. Once returned home, after three days of training and information sessions in Sibiu, they started working and organizing editorial offices: they established the day of the editorial staff meetings, the template of the blog http://caransebes.reporterdeliceu.ro/ and topics at free choice. They decided jointly for the variant including the topics: Caras lands, interview of the week, my school, Did you know that…? News from the citadel, spare time, and We recommend you, and they also decided who will write about what. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm from the beginning lost its intensity and soon they had to cope with issues related to group unity due to the lack of physical time to accomplish their tasks, but also to the type of town. Caransebes is a municipality counting about 30,000 inhabitants, and there are few really important things which actually happen as reporters noticed. And they also had to face the mentality of people who would refuse to take part in an interview or a report, nevertheless we succeeded in breaking through, even if limping along. Teacher Mihaela Augustina Munteanu Caransebeş Coordinator, Oana Vieru Caransebeş is a small town, a small community slightly reticent to changes and shattering events. The features of the community are mirrored in the behavior of the people belonging to that community. The Forestry Group of schools is not an exception. It has a history in Caransebes which relay on the old values of the educational system. It is a closed secondary school, where students and teachers mind their own daily business, classes and school curricula, without searching for too many extracurricular opportunities. It was only by chance that the Forestry Group of schools of Caransebes took part in the project “High School Reporter”. Not only the chance, but also the desire of some people to get involved and without being satisfied with the current status of the secondary school. It is true, the four students taking part in the project didn’t know very well what would follow their selection. But the enthusiasm to be the only ones in the High School doing something beside school activities and the fact they could get in touch with other secondary schools in the country helped them to get motivated very fast and start working. They practically succeeded in starting from scratch again. Technical skills were not on the top of students’ skills. But they succeeded in developing a blog representing them and showing their


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education articles to everybody. More than that, they succeeded in maintaining this blog and improving it, only through their contribution. The first articles illustrate the note of the region, while the events in which they took part were few. Assisted by the coordinating teacher, they succeeded to go for it and dare more. And one of the outstanding points of the Green Gazette was the interview with the mayor of the town, this interview was completely planned by them! This was the impetus they needed to realize that they can do more. The feedback received on written articles by them, made them subsequently more consistent and led to a slight change in their tone. The students of Caransebeş had to work harder than usual as Caransebes and surrounding areas do not provide many spectacular events to write an article. That is why the recommended topics were welcomed by the team. They knew where and what to look for, although it was not the easiest thing to do. They got in touch with the local authorities for the first time and probably they became the most informed citizens in the community. And their gazette changed its appearance – from a calendar of the World Days (as they were a forestry High School they focused more on environmental events) into a gazette tackling with topics of a general interest. As any team, they had to cope with certain issues. There was a tough moment for the team, as it unbalanced the work relations for each member. The role of the coordinating professor was quite significant in this case, to motivate and keep the team united and focused on topics. But this moment strengthened the relation between the coordinating teacher – local coordinator as there was required much more communication and a tighter relation between the two parties. A good moment was also the summer camp at Cota 1400 (Sinaia) from July 19th to 24th where all team members took part and where they met all the other teams involved in the project. They exchanged opinions and recharged their batteries for the second part of the project. In addition, it was a moment when all group members connected to each other, as well as to coordinating teacher and to the local coordinator! After the summer camp they felt much closer and they could speak at a different level, more friendly as they understood the role of each of them within the group. Problems did not vanish completely, but the fact that they admitted they exist was a step forward. Moreover, the next project level (the recruitment of the new reporters) involved team members in the same way as all were working for the same purpose (unlike when they were supposed to write individual articles). On a whole, Caransebes is a growing team. For team members, the participation in the project was of a significant importance, at the personal level (to improve the way they express themselves, both in writing and orally, to be more responsible and to work as part of a team). They succeeded in writing better and better articles, they got in touch with everything happening around them and got informed for the community to which they belonged.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

CRAIOVA “TRAIAN VUIA” GROUP OF SCHOOLS “Traian Vuia” Group of Schools was set up in 1966 by means of Law no. 2, Order 145/1966 by Electroputere Enterprise, having the name of Industrial High School of Machine Building . It was the first Industrial High School of the former region Walachia. The first year the schooling plan included 2 full-time classes with the major: electrical engineering and mechanics and an evening class with the major: electrical engineering and operated in the building of “Electroputere” Secondary School. Ever since its foundation, the school operated under various names: Industrial High School of Machine Building, Electrical Engineering High School no. 1, “Traian Vuia” Industrial Secondary School, “Traian Vuia” Group of schools. In 1977 our institution was designated to prepare the manpower necessary for a top branch in Romanian industry of machine building –aeronautics industry – and the High School was affiliated to the Aircraft Enterprise of Craiova. After 1989, the social and economic change has also affected the education field, and therefore trying to meet the various requirements of the labor market, the “Traian Vuia” Group of schools of Craiova adapted its schooling plan, providing with a wide ranges of specialties: High School education, theoretical studies (sciences and arts) , technical studies (electronics, electrical engineering, mechanics), post-High School and lower secondary education. A modern school, with exceptional facilities, where more than 1,200 students learn to acquire the necessary skills for the trade they chose. The “Traian Vuia” Group of schools of Craiova carried out several projects , in partnership with other schools and nongovernmental associations ”\High School Europe”, “NO to white death!”, “environment – explained!”, “Europe - on the dividing line between dream and reality “, “Opportunities on the labor market – professional and technical education), “You could be the next victim!”, etc. The European projects Comenius “ “Which game do we play?” and “A healthy food for our future” or Leonardo Da Vinci “EUROFOLIES, les jeunes enseignent les sciences aux jeunes!” had the most various objectives that participating students have achieved. Answering a new challenge “High School Reporter”, the project launched by the Soros Foundation, the students of the “Traian Vuia” Group of schools were about to become fearsome competitors in a national competition. We found out from the local press about the “High School reporter” contest, and the desire to take part in this project urged me to access the online presentation page of the Soros Foundation. We presented the project at the counseling class of the 9th grade, where I am a master. Thrilled about the suggested activities, the very next day I received from students their résumés and their covering letter. Four students were chosen from the same class: Cosmin Ciocioi, Cosmin Filişan, Loredana Cârstoiu and Loredana Ionescu, considering that their friendship and the common timetable would help them in their journalist activity. The selection was made based on the assessment of their résumé and covering letter. The coordinator of reporter teams – the teacher Carmen Mocanu, the master of the class in which the students are enrolled. The way in which the team members described each other was the most inspiring challenge as it decided the selection of the four students.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Mocanu Carmen about Cîrstoiu Loredana. A diligent, scrupulous student, punctual and responsible. She got herself involved in curricular and extracurricular activities, proving initiative and team spirit. Her school performances and her conduct are very good, and for the profession she intends to practice she studies additionally to acquire the necessary knowledge and information. A romantic nature, with leadership abilities, she surprises by her involvement and her dedication. Communicative, conscious, she is the traditional student, frequently attending school library as she is thirsty for knowledge. She loves challenges and her involvement in the project will help her with her personal development and also to acquire the skills necessary for her professional career. Ciocioi Cosmin about Filişan Cosmin. Cosmin is my desk colleague, has a good head on his shoulders and hair streaming in the wind reminding us of the Beatles time. He is very creative and talented turning the boredom or the moments of inactivity into caricatures worthy of any magazine. An energetic and impulsive person, he turns any situation of conflict into a joke or a game as he has a good sense of humor. Aware of what he desires to achieve during his life, Cosmin is a very good colleague and a true friend, with vast knowledge about his hobbies: computer, music, history. He gets involved in curricular and extracurricular activities, proving to be serious and hard working, he knows to work as part of the team, to listen, but also to be listened to. Cîrstoiu Loredana about Ionescu Maria Loredana. Cheerful, full of life, a heart of gold, sometimes stubborn and mean when the arguments of other people are stronger. Creative, communicative, entertaining, she likes very much to dance, to walk, to go on trips. Energetic, with sense of humor, Mariana knows to cheer up and to entertain when we are awarded low grades. Sincere and spontaneous when making appreciations, she made first of all enemies and only afterwards friends . She is conciliatory, tidy and loves to be in collectivity. She likes to socialize and spend lots of time talking on messenger. Filişan Cosmin about Mocanu Carmen Gabriela. Mrs. Carmen Mocanu is not only my teacher, but also my master. I can consider myself lucky as I have the best master and the most understanding teacher teaching technical subjects. With a broad smile on her face and in the most tender voice I have ever heard of any teacher, she knows how to capture our attention and to stir our curiosity not only when she teaches the “secrets” of electrical measurements or the “beauty” of automation systems, but also when she makes brief announcements about curricular activities. Calm, cheerful and closed to us, she knows how to say a good word at any moment, and when we’re wrong, when we’re sad, she’s sad too. Reliable and passionate, she got us involved in various activities and competitions, trying to develop our talents and our hidden qualities and we won many times. Ionescu Maria Loredana about Ciocioi Cosmin. Cosmin is the head of grade, it is impossible not to remark him in a crowd: too mature physically and in his thinking, too correct and well-behaved, a good student, polite, tidy, friendly, a good colleague, modest, conciliatory and has a passion for computers. He is intelligent and is attentive during classes and to teacher’s explanations, he learns almost everything during classes and does not write anything without thinking. Reliable, you can trust his word and his seriousness when dealing with every problem makes you confident in his success. Annoyingly punctual, nothing prevents him from arriving where or to do what he promised. He is a good colleague and friend, you can rely on his help when in disarray. Enthusiastic and eager to mediate school, community events and to supply general interest information, the reporter team of the Gazette of “Traian Vuia” GSTV-online – was supervised and assisted by the local coordinator proposed by the Soros Foundation, Mr. Andrei Pârvan.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The area contest on topics of protection in emergency situations, in which took part two members of the reporter team and the qualification of the “Traian Vuia” team for the county stage brought about not only a prize, but also the first article in the online newspaper “Defending life with my life” The fear to “mingle” with the community to catch what is most representative at a certain point was justified by the lack of experience when selecting information. Information activity, the editorial staff meeting went on normally and naturally according to an established schedule as agreed upon by the entire team, and articles were “posted” obediently on the blog, prompting for comments. The introduction of the editorial staff and of “High School reporter” project in an article published in the local written press, publicity inside and outside the school, increased the number of visitors of “GSTV-online” newspaper and number of posted comments. The topics imposed by project coordinators, posted at a certain point, came as a surprise considering the variety of topics and had unexpected results. The following caused a rift in the editorial staff: the time to gather information was too long and unequal for the various topics, the failure to approach authorities for an interview, but also problems in school activity led to the change of a team member who gave up too easily when facing failures. With only three members and a coordinating teacher, the “GSTV-online” team kept the pace and posted articles on free topics, but also articles on suggested topics: Migration and its effects, Student’s Counselor, activity of the members of Parliament, Law on grants, Students’ counseling and Guidance. All these materials can be accessed at the following address of the newspaper: http://craiova.reporterdeliceu.ro And for a plenary experience, reality showed that we are an editorial team which had to cope with any challenge: “recruitment” of a new member. When making the team complete once again, all steps of a selection were complied with: advertisement posted on “GSTV-online”, résumé, letter of intent, writing an article. The winner – Mirela Trancă. Team unit, attracting new colleagues in the activity of a reporter so that the gazette continues also to issue after project completion is the next challenge with which we hope to cope successfully. Coordinator’s point of view Andrei Parvan I. Immediately after initial training (Sibiu, April 2010), for the good functioning of the team, there was: a. set up a communication channel (discussion lists @ yahoogroups.com) to relate to other people more easily: direct communication with all team members, resource sharing, group discussions, virtual agenda etc. b. delivered a series of electronic resources or informational online links / documentary film on journalism (citizenship) issues, administration or blog optimization etc. c. carried out a preliminary visit (to get acquainted with the school unit, proximity and social context) on the occasion of which: 1. they went deeper into the autochthonous blog phenomenon


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education 2. there was provided assistance (guidance, answers and replies, practical “tricks” when using and optimizing Wordpress platform etc.) for online editing and publishing 3. there was simulated /conducted writing of texts of various publicist genres and styles 4. topic identification, script elaboration, choosing the headline for a potential topic etc.) 5. there were carried out creative exercises to identify topics by means of observation, raising of issues, role–playing game, etc; 6. there was discussed the editorial policy (topics of articles, editorial strategies, etc.); 7. there was undertaken some deadlines and work tasks: choosing the template for the blog, potential assignment of responsibilities and specialization, editing the contents for static pages (technical information : on the project, on the team, policy concerning comments etc.) and timing of articles for their publishing (time range, frequency, specificity) 8. there were negotiated the rules of cooperation and system of establishing relationships II. Therefore, there was agreed that: A. each of the texts written by reporters should be posted on the discussion list for a full interaction, transparency and rapid improvements; B. within 48 hours at the most, each of the team members and local coordinator should supply suggestions, remarks, criticism, and afterwards the author shall finish the final version in order to be published on the blog. III. At the level of editorial staff, based on the information forwarded //conveyed to local coordinator on the occasion of one of the first meetings of the editorial staff: a. there were assigned responsibilities concerning each of the members b. there was set up a team diary, where there are written down remarks at the end of each meeting c. there was agreed upon to make final editorial policy (types of topics and topic areas: school life and events of interest for students, community and civic issues, opportunities to spend leisure time etc.) d. there were set up cooperation relations with local press institutions. IV. according to the joint decision, the responsibilities of local coordinator consisted of: A. supply of significant resources and relevant for the areas of interest tangential to the project; B. reminder of own deadlines chosen and remind editors about project schedule C. suggest possible topics /themes, correlated to age segment and specificity of reading audience D. on line assistance about various matters of interest for editors, at their request E. critical reading of the texts proposed for publishing, as a recommendation, which are not compulsory for their authors V. A particular element of project engineering was the proposal of local coordinator was to print some possible topics of interest for authors of the same age. Those respective topics would allow a more creative adequacy, style practicing and would try to explore common


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education affective resonances. Last but not the least, they made accessible the passage to common topics, investigation themes considered as indigestible and less approachable by High School reporters. VI. Strong points of the team: A. Good performances at school, getting involved in extracurricular activities B. Prior good knowledge and amiable relations between the members (class colleagues); C. Good performances at school, getting involved in extracurricular activities D. Diversity and particularities of individual styles E. An excellent formal relation with the guiding teacher F. Enthusiasm of guiding teacher G. Cosmin Ciocioi VII. Team limits: A. absence of a constant concern about project success, about involvement B. participation in a serious of other extracurricular activities C. absence of specific or non specific skills (writing a text, mastering the lexicon, controlling the rules of written communication, word-processor operating skills and experience of other informational means.) D. Involvement of guiding teacher; VIII. The Coordinator teacher, as far as communication, task undertaking and (excessive) involvement seems to be less congruent with reporters. In fact, the coordinator recommends that, in the future, when selecting guiding teachers one should consider the criteria as ability to express oneself, leadership style, etc. IX. Sensitive issues: A. With just one remarkable exception, involvement of young editors in the project. Maybe due to some expectations which did not match project reality (a) maybe due to the lack of affinity with the contents (b) , maybe due to excessive involvement in other extracurricular projects (c) , to the lack of skills (d) or simply due to individual motivation (e)! B. withdrawal of one of the team members. In fact, the very discrete presence and the absence of interactions suggested a problematic state, extended to almost 2 months until the moment the guiding teacher explicitly communicated the coordinates of the situation, requested the identification of a solution‌ After the local coordinator discussed with that respective student, there was drawn up a selection advertisement which was posted on the blog, and by the deadline, 2 potential candidates sent their CV, a letter of intent and an illustrative text. The


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education decision to integrate one of them in the team was taken, and such decision was about to materialize in the coming period. X. As far as the coordinator is concerned, Cosmin Ciocioi is outlined as editorial staff heart and brains. It is the person who was probably in charge with 99% of blog contents (topic choice, moderating comments, text writing and publishing, administration, internal and external communication). And as he was very dedicated to the project and because of the lack of involvement of other team members, he had to undertake their responsibilities. He complies with the deadlines, he is very strict and serious, he makes efforts to find additional documentation and his evolution in the past 6 months (as written expression and work style) is obvious….That is why , the local coordinator considers that he fully accomplished his tasks and that his positioning in the background is necessary and beneficial. And he would also like A. less sadness (see previous paragraph) about numerous opportunities which were not taken to good account (possible press topics suggested by local coordinator) B. that young reporters preserve their wish to evolve, even under these circumstances. The coherence of the written phrase, the sound structuring of investigational approach, idea cohesion and text coherence are obvious lately. Real support from the part of the guiding teacher whom he would like to be not only the organizer of editorial staff meetings but a group “engine” (see supply of topics and themes in the absence of negotiation), but more motivated and more motivating, more supporting and somewhat more responsible in respect to journalistic products of editors.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

MIERCUREA CIUC MARTON ARON THEORETICAL HIGH SCHOOL Márton Áron Theoretical High School from Miercurea Ciuc is an educational unit that is almost four centuries old: the first documentary certification goes back to 1629. its current name goes back to 1990 and in the period before 1989 it was called Mathematical-Physics High School of Miercurea Ciuc. Its current name evokes the personality of the Roman-Catholic bishop Marton Aron (1896-1980), former student of the High School and symbol of faith and Anti-Communist resistance. In May 2010, we commemorated the 20-year anniversary from the attribution of the current name. The present building of the High School goes back to 1913 (foundation year). Márton Áron Theoretical High School is one of the most prestigious high schools in the county and in the country, with very good results obtained at the national tests and at the high school graduation exams and at the school contests (Olympics): in 1990-2010 it had no less than 452 participants in the national contests in a total number of 19 subjects among which Romanian language and literature (12 participants). In the year in progress, Márton Áron Theoretical High School has a number of 689 students allotted in 240 classes. Now, Márton Áron Theoretical High School from Miercurea Ciuc is an educational unit of relatively high sizes, comprising 24 classes with 680 students and with a teaching staff made of 45 teachers. Being a representative school of the county, this high school accumulated a rich experience in the field of education for the students capable of performance, obtaining remarkable results. The high school has a teaching staff with an average age of 30-35 years, dynamic, open, preoccupied with perfection, pedagogic innovation and assimilation of modern pedagogic methods and practices. Among the programs and the projects of Márton Áron Theoretical High School from Miercurea Ciuc we recall in importance order: ECDL Program Romania (made in collaboration with the M.Ed.C., European Computer Driving Licence and CEPiS (Council of European Professional Informatics Societies), in 2009 and 2010, being among the top 10 high schools in the country; the Project Agenda EU/Ro made in collaboration with M.Ed.C., The European Commission and the Europe Generation Foundation (Brussels) which aims at activities related to European citizenship, environmental protection and human rights, health, safety; Euroscola Contest Project 2008-2009, 1st and 2nd edition, program created by the European Parliament in order to inform the youth about the European integration process, by giving them the opportunity to get to know each other, to learn about lifestyle, to participate in the construction of EU, where in 2009 we were 16th in the country; the activities that are in the National Strategy of Community Action (SNAC) which sums up many charitable activities, educational programs, sports competitions, recreational activities, ecology actions focused on the integration of persons in difficulty or with special needs; participations in actions in the national campaigns addressed to the youth: “Discover a healthy world”, “Violence does not make you big”, “Alcohol does not make you big”, “Drugs – an illusion with one way”, “Diversity – an extra chance for the future, etc.; drawing up and editing of school publications, especially the school year, which has been published for 20 years without interruption; projects and contests in German: the high school is partner school with R.F.G. having the right to organize DSD exams (Deutsches Sprachdiplom); the GTP program (Global Teenager Project), international project started in 1999 by the Dutch organization IICD with the office in Hague (the International Institute for Communication and Development), in collaboration with School Net Africa from the South-Africa Republic, with the program “Understanding Diversity” supported by Anne Frank Foundation and enjoying the support and recommendation of M.Ed.C from Romania, manifested on the occasion of GTP Open Day organized in Bucharest in 2007. among other, our high school won the Best GTP School 2007 prize, program achieved in collaboration with M.Ed.C., EALTA (European Association for Language Testing and Assessment) and “National Examination Centre” ECL from Romania. Our high school


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education became Regional Centre of Examination ECL (CRE code RO-040005) at 03.11.2005, with right of instruction and examination in ECL system supported by EU, based on the Common Framework of European Reference and with the recommendation of M.Ed.C. The high school was accredited, the infrastructure was assured, the 7 teachers were trained and accredited as ECL examiners for English and German. The program opens large perspectives in the teaching of foreign languages and the certification of linguistic competences. Starting from 2003, in our high school the Memorial Foundation of Dr. Molnár Árpád program is in operation, and its statutes and regulation are meant to stimulate pedagogic and didactic innovation, especially to encourage the realization of textbooks or auxiliary books. Since then numberless auxiliary teaching staff appeared with the financing of this program coordinated by the director of the high school. Among the last projects won and applied by our high school there is the “Map of Green Schools”, a project initiated by Henkel Romania in collaboration with the Centre of Ecologic Consultancy of Galati, 2009 edition, where we had the honour to receive the Special Prize, 2009. we are also proud to be since 2010 organizers and host of the National Contest of linguistic competences in Romanian for minorities “Beautiful Book, honor the person who wrote you!” and of the Communication Camp in Romanian for the students of minorities, Băile Tuşnad – Friendship Resort. The project “High School Reporter”, April 2010 was and still is a special challenge. How it started: we promoted the project in the high school and agreed between the students and the coordinator teacher if they want and can handle the challenge. How we built the relationship with the team: collegially and friendly, after we met and enlightened each other, but stayed the same, observing our principles and place. The particularity of the team (with emphasis on the encountered obstacles, on positive aspects, the differences given by the type of town, the type of educational unit): the hardest obstacle encountered all this time, the application of projection, the creation of online newspaper and the learning of what civic journalism means was the low degree of communication and socialization, the fear that it is not right what or how to ask, what or how to write or ask in Romanian or Hungarian what we heard from the interlocutor? Now we know each other well, all five members of the team, students and teacher, but have we managed to understand each other?:) That remains to be seen… It’s all an unwritten page in a log …of each one of us. But the hardest thing was to start the webpage http://miercureaciuc.reporterdeliceu.ro/... Teacher Maria Sturzu

PRESENTATION OF THE MAG ONLINE TEAM, MIERCUREA CIUC About us… It all began with a question “Do you want to participate in a project?” and we answered “Yes, why not!”. Then we were explained what it is all about: Soros Foundation Romania conceived this project under the name of “High School Reporter” in which can participate eight high schools at national level. Four students enrolled in this contest: Szabó Zsolt, Dumitru Alexandru (humanities profile) and Matieş Cristina, Veress Nóemi (bio-chemistry profile). Our team is run by a coordinator, teacher Sturziu Maria (who teaches Romanian language). For start we wrote a selfcharacterization, a CV and a characterization of another member of the team. All these texts were sent to the abovementioned foundation and after a deliberation they selected us from one hundred seventy-three high schools.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education We can say that we were lucky and that we made a dream come true. Later we found out that our team as the other participants must create a blog/online newspaper in which to present what we consider significant about the community of Miercurea Ciuc and about the high school where we study, being the oldest in the area, Márton Áron Theoretical High School and also other educational units from Harghita county. At first we did not know what a blog means, but Soros Foundation offers us four days of seminar in Sibiu to find out all the necessary information about an online newspaper and about civic journalism. In the four days spent in Sibiu, between 8th-11th April, we managed to learn important things from reputed journalists and from the members of Soros Foundation, coordinators and collaborators of the project: Denisa Ionescu – main coordinator, writer and journalist Radu Paraschivescu, doctoral student Radu Nicolae (civic involvement), Călin Casmaciuc and Liviu Iolu (journalism) and in the end we had a course with Elena Coman about what means “Fundamental Principles of the Journalist Profession”. In brief, we will deal with these issues; we hope to get us serious because we will commit to our work. And what is the most important: read our blog and comment any news! Written by Dumitru Alexandru The newspaper…that you read here http://miercurea-ciuc.reporterdeliceu.ro/ on blog is the most important part of the project “High School Reporter” (RDL) carried out by Soros Foundation Romania since 2010. RDL is carried out in 8 towns in Romania: Alba-Iulia, Bistrita, Caransebes, Craiova, Miercurea Ciuc, Roman, Timisoara and Tandarei, being dedicated to using the civic journalism as a method civic education of the youth. The objectives of the project consist of: stimulation of the involvement of high school students in the final years in the life of the community, by using the methods of journalism and the multiple opportunities offered by Internet (with emphasis on WEB 2.0 technologies); development of an educational package that can be used at different classes from the high school curricula. After this first stage in Sibiu followed RDL camp from quota 1400, Sinaia, in July 2010. And for what we learned there we are lost for words of praise for the organizers and the lecturers! Coordinator, Ana Maria Suciu Márton Áron Miercurea Ciuc

Theoretical

High

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The application of the students from Miercurea Ciuc was one of the most honest and innocent things I read. These students and their teacher told us who they are, what they like and do not like and why they want to be high school reporters: to change something in their high school (Alex), to write about issues that annoys them (Zsolt), to find out people’s wishes and send them forward to the people who can help them come true (Cristina) or represent the point of view of the


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education students (Noemi). They did not approach in their application the dimension referring to their web 2.0 knowledge, and then it turned out that it is limited to Internet navigation. After the meeting in Sibiu and after the creation of the blog, those from Miercurea Ciuc were not very active. Their initial articles, free subjects, were documented only from internet or taken from press releases, with a few notable exceptions such as the article regarding the renovation of the boarding school. All this changed with the occurrence of compulsory subjects that were beneficial for the evolution of the team because it gave them the reference they needed. The team from Miercurea Ciuc reported naturally to writing, did not impose high journalistic standards and did not look to impress. They did not have fears related to the subjects they approach, did not attempt to look something else than they are, were natural and their writing, although many times perverted as form because they did not write in their mother tongue, proved the interest of the teenager today: the events and the competitions from high school, the problem of drugs, the boarding school – problem that affects many students in the high school. From the point of view of organization, the team managed to function without meeting in full formula many times. The tasks set out in Sibiu were taken. The coordinator teacher did not intervene in the selection of subjects, the students had full freedom. However, the coordinator teacher contributed substantially to the identification of sources and contacts, but also the correction of articles, given the language issues. As for the communication of the team with the local coordinator, in the first part of the project, the contact was kept only with the coordinator teacher, in spite of the many emails we sent to all and in which we encourage them to tell me how the things go, if they like the project or not, what problems they have, etc. with reporters I began to communicate better only after the monitoring visit from June, when we saw each other and started to get to know each other better. After that, the communication was not unilateral and their input came constant, so that we could see what happens during the elaboration of the articles on the obligatory subjects. After the summer camp, the reporters from Miercurea Ciuc took holiday, but they came back in force in October. The recruitment process of the new reporters went without a hitch, MAG Online has now six new reporters that are very active on the blog. Among those from the initial team, a single person withdrew, for objective reasons and without causing great problems in the carrying out of the activities. The team from Miercurea Ciuc was not a team in the true spirit of the word. Even the meetings with the coordinator teacher took place in two or three, seldom five. The reporters had individual approaches of subjects. This made the withdrawal of a member of the old team not become an obstacle difficult to overcome. The new reporters seem to be individualistic and do not need help from the adults. For them this is how thing worked, I do not think there should be a standard in this respect that necessarily involves team work. I think that MAG Online team did very well during the project, managing to observe deadlines and posting interesting articles, in spite of the language difficulties. It is to appreciate that in some cases they post articles both in Romanian and in Hungarian. From the point of view of the sustainability of the project, I think that the new recruited reporter will continue their activity on the blog.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

ROMAN “ROMAN-VODA” NATIONAL COLLEGE « Roman Voda » National College, founded on 30th September 1872 is a part of the history rich in events of the Musatin city. The culture dwelling had the chance of vocational teachers, and graduates that are part of the Romanian intellectual elite. In the museum of the prestigious college numberless fields are represented such as literature, painting, music, sciences. In science, “RomanVoda” has ambassadors such as Vitalie Belousov, President of the Romanian Inventics Society, Mihai Florescu, Silberg Alexandru – chemists, authors of major works such as I.C. Istrate. In music, Richard Stein (author of the well-known song “Sledge with bells”), D.D. Botez, Mihail Jora and Al. Zirra, Danielescu, author of the well-known “Will of the people”, Burado. Actors such as Ludovic Antal, Nae Roman, Sandu Sticlaru, were the students of the school just as cinema and television people Jean Mihail – pioneer of cinema and Virgil Petrovici, international expert in television, a winner of the Romanian Academy Prize. Literature was the passion of Roman-Voda students that became famous: Max Blecher, Virgil Gheorghiu, Ioan Iliescu, author of bibliophile volumes from Eminescu’s creation. The painting was represented by Adrian Secosanu, Tache Soroceanu, Constantin Isachie. Now the school unit is involved in various educational projects aiming to compensate the excessive theoretization of the curriculum by developing communication skills, competitiveness and initiative spirit. The 1,280 students can choose one of the projects carried out in the college such as: music, dance, photography, cinema, painting, theatre (“Arts&Crafts”); civic involvement (“Active Youth Participation”, “Say Yes to Life!”, “Learning democracy – student self-government”, “Involved”, “We care! Get yourself involved!”); environmental protection (“Ecojunior”); culture and education (“Urban anthropology”, “Cultural and Intercultural aspects of creativity in school mathematics”, “Creation and Innovation in Culture and Education”), etc. Developed in recent years, citizen journalism aims to change the de factor condition, by signaling deficiencies of the system. The “High School Reporter” Project, an initiative of Soros Foundation, proposes the students an original way of intervening in the local community by online press. Thus, the editions of logs from the virtual space create connections between the immediate, tangible reality and the virtual reality in which more and more teenagers can be found. “High School Reporter” Project enjoyed a special impact in “Roman-Voda” National College, with five teams enrolled in competition. After the selection process, the group made of the following students was selected: Alexandra Novacov, Anca Vieru, Marina Cotovanu, Ionut Damian, coordinated by the history teacher Ovidiu Albert. The involvement in voluntary, extracurricular activities was the decisive factor in the formation of the team. We also placed emphasis on the cohesion of the group given by the belonging of the members to the same specialization, philology. A part of the members were already familiar with the “wordpress” or “blogspot” platforms, which later facilitated the fast placing of ideas in the virtual environment. Between 8th and 11th April 2010 took place in Sibiu the first reunion of the participants in the project “High School Reporter”. The 8 selected teams got familiar with the techniques of creative writing, journalistic writing techniques and good journalistic practices. The importance of civic involvement represented the lead of the seminaries carried out in Sibiu. In the next stage the members RDL Roman created their own log with the title “Ziarul Musatinilor” (http://roman.reporterdeliceu.ro), a direct reference to a secular historical tradition, but also to a group of civic initiative from the “Roman-Voda” National College. The collective effort


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education focused on finding topical subjects that raise the interest of online readers. The creation and maintenance of an online community of readers represent the goals of any journalistic initiative from the virtual environment. The promotion of articles was carried out by the most various methods from the most unconventional methods “person to person” to appearances in local mass media or the organization of a round table dedicated to citizen journalism. The subjects promoted in “Ziarul Musatinilor” covered a wide spectrum of problems of the local community: environmental protection, work market, social services, education, sports activities, recreational activities, etc. The town at the confluence of Siret and Moldova rivers is a real ethnical and religious “melting pot”. The diversity was celebrated in interviews with representatives of the local communities. Last but not least, we paid attention to local personalities that marked the evolution of the locality in the last decades: martyrs of communist prisons, clerics, teachers, poets, artists. Apart from the subjects at choice, the “Musatini” reporters had to prove journalistic maturity in the approach of subjects proposed by the coordinators of the project. The incursion in fields such as “non-governmental sector”, “the elect of the people”, “legislation of grants” or “environmental protection” implied a consistent effort of documentation. Moreover, the analysis of the risk factors proved to be incomplete and required later rectifications. The more than generous deadlines were not always respected. The tension accumulated in time, the treatment in different rhythms of the subjects in discussion, the communication lacunae inside the group, the psychological particularities of the members led in the end to the occurrence of divergences of opinions on the future of the newspaper. The cohesion of the group was redone by the replacement of a member of the team with the consent of the project coordinators. In a slightly amended formula, “Musatinii” participated in the summer camp from quota 1400 in Sinaia. The journalistic approach was evaluated with the experts in the relationship between mass-media and the civil company. The later coordinates of the project were stated, as well as the competition stage. New subjects will be approached with the support of selected members based on a competition with well defined rules and with a transparent evaluation system. The project will this enjoy continuity and will keep the interest of students for active involvement in the objective presentation of the local realities. Coordinator Miruna Troncota Roman Voda National College (Ziarul Musatinilor), Roman, Neamt county http://roman.reporterdeliceu.ro/ The tasks initially taken were only partially fulfilled by the members of this team, mainly due to a coordination problem (one student gave up getting involved in the project, being dissatisfied with the team). However, the effort and determination of the other three members of the team grew exponentially along the project. I can say that he lack of involvement and the abandon of the team by one member led to the increase in cohesion and motivation in the other members. Although a fourth member joined the team, the main activities were carried out by the three students: Alexandra, Anca and Ionut. They had a lot of freedom from the coordinator teacher, which made them more responsible on one hand, but also exposed them to communication problems and taking roles in the team on the other hand. The fact that he lived in another town (Piatra Neamt) commuting to the high school to Roman and communicated with them more virtually was a partially destabilizing element. The editorial staff meetings did not take place with a well established frequency, which did not influence the involvement of the students and the drawing up of a consistent number of articles. All the three members of the team are excellent students involved in many extracurricular activities. This was also an advantage (reflected in the variety and scope of the subjects approached), but also a setback (lack of time, overwork, de-motivation).


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education Ziarul Musatinilor had the auspices of the previous existence of a professional magazine of the high school, from where it took its name (Musatinii and it was exclusively focused on history). This also affected partially the interest of other students in this project (the existence of many magazines in a high school making neutralize each other as impact, especially a tradition before a completely new one). The students also benefited from the prestige of the old magazine and experience in the drawing up of articles. Each member of the team had been actively civic before the project, but the journalistic showing of involvement in the problems of Roman community was new to the students. The fact that the coordinator teacher Ovidiu Albert is involved in many school projects, which represented an opportunity (facilitation of communication with many institutions and personalities) made the students more responsible for their actions. The students proved to be used to the actions of public scope, exceeding the scope of their own high school, which brought a lot of dynamism to the newspaper, and the realization of a round table of promotion of the project in the conference room of the TownHall with a wide participation of the audience emphasized their organization skills. The compulsory subjects were regarded by them with hostility because they were already interested in certain subjects they wanted to explore in depth and felt this stage as a fencing-in. The legislative aspect of getting access to European funds at local level raised a lot of issues, due to the difficulty and the lack of available information. However, as they documented themselves, and persevered in requiring information from public institutions, the students became more and more interested in these subjects and made very vast informative articles. An important moment was when an article regarding the irregularities of the high school graduation exam was taken over by the local press from Roman from Ziarul Musatinilor. At that moment the students became aware of the importance of the journalistic act and its impact on the community. The articles that followed this moment became of very good quality. What individualized the team from Roman in the whole project at national level was the way of taking very varied and very good quality interviews. I think this journalistic genre considered by the students the most original and exciting of all attracted the most the members of the team, by developing in them their social interaction and communication skills. The reader of their newspaper discovers that the non-governmental field about which the students and the ordinary citizens of Roman town do not know much is very varied and very well developed. Their articles focused on the presentation of NGOs from very varied fields (from environment to humanity activities) and an original aspect was the exploration of the ethnic and religious richness of the city, being interviewed representatives of all the minority communities. The special interest in the history of some places and in the life experiences of certain forgotten personalities of the town was inculcated to students by the coordinator teacher who has the specialty of history. Each of the three members of the team was opened to the articles of opinion, by developing a special critical conscience that often made the articles either too virulent or too ample as extent. The increase in the quality of articles during the deployment of the project is still visible. In their case, we must signal the opening to the overall journalistic phenomenon by the participation of students in a few shows in the local television. This led to a better promotion of the project, to the development of the public communication skills and to the high interest of the students in professional journalism. Another element that brought satisfactions to the students was the drawing up of a petition to the TownHall for the lack of garbage cans for recycling. They collected many signatures of support from the students of Roman Voda High School and forwarded the petition. The answer was disappointing: garbage can were promised to be brought in the near future, but they invoked the lack of funds. However, their action made public in the online newspaper caused the reaction of a local environmental NGO which donated three garbage cans to the high school for selected collection. This civic success about which the students wrote on the site with enthusiasm was an important lesson not only to them, but also to all the citizens of Roman city, where such initiatives are very rare: when the public authorities do not help you, the non-


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education governmental environment can be co-opted to solve the problem because the responsibility for the best interest of the community is not only the responsibility of the authorities, but also the nonprofit organizations that represent the interests of citizens, and the public authorities are thus given a lesson of involvement, civility and respect for the public interest. My communication with the team was at first difficult for the well-known reasons: irregular access to email, distance, lack of confidence. After the monitoring visit, “miracles” took place: they became more communicative and took into account my punctual suggestions, by reformulating certain articles that were drawn up with flaws. Cooperation in the organization of the local round table was another factor that facilitated the opening of the team and the good collaboration with me. My recommendation based on my experience with this team is that the coordinator teacher should be involved in the project, he must take on himself all the weights of team functioning because his lack of interest can produce imbalances, especially on teenagers for whom the team work is still novelty. The involvement of students and teacher in many extracurricular projects can affect the course of the citizen journalism, by overworking each of them. The team from Roman was a positive example of work under stress as both the students and the teacher had the capacity of successfully handling several tasks at the same time, dedicating both to the online log and to many other community projects. However, I would recommend this case as an exception because the students must not feel the method of citizen journalism as an irksome task, something difficult and without direct results that bring them personal satisfactions. The enthusiasm of a new activity, the cultivation of creativity and the freedom of thinking should be the ingredients that make the citizen journalism a true challenge to the high school students, motivating them to get involved in the community for a long time. The overwork can have as consequence the negative evaluation of this activity, the objectives are lost from view and the whole activity is looked as an irksome task. Roman town is not a county centre, being one of small sizes and with a poor economic development. However, the journalists had an easier access to information by opening the authorities (citizen involvement was of poor intensity in these areas) and a wider area of coverage of their journalistic investigations. Although the number of local events and initiatives is not very high, the Roman journalists managed to reflect the central characteristics of their community, by focusing not only on the dysfunctional aspects, but also promoting the values and opportunities present here. Roman Voda College is the most prestigious in town, which brought many benefits to the activity of the high school students and the scope their approach had. Selection of the new team of journalists In this case the beginning was difficult, although the students enjoyed already a certain prestige in their high school and the promotion of the recruitment session was done intensely (colored displays, playful slogans, dissemination of information to a high number of students, etc.). The applications were numerous and finally 6 new journalists were selected instead of four (in Bistrita 7 were selected). And for them the start of the journalistic activity was done in force, the cooperation with the old team made enthusiastic both parties and gave dynamism to the whole newspaper. The articles of the new team were to pass before publication through the filter of “dedicated” journalists, which made them responsible, proving more initiative and that they were ready to effectively transfer the knowledge accumulated during the project. The interest thing is that the changing of the team brought change of vision, which shows exactly the trust in the new team. The appearance was optimized, they came with new “technical” ideas that were enthusiastically accepted by the initial team of high school journalists. Even the coordinator teacher became more directly involved, giving them precise tasks regarding documentation and guiding them in the coordination of editorial activities. The new work recipe seems to be at start a more effective and good collaboration between the new students involved in the project and the students from the


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education initial team seems a success, the online log has more personality, more individualized style and more prominent opinions. I think that this transfer made the team from Roman more dynamic especially because of the internal problems the students dealt with being forced to substitute the lack of a member by more effort of writing and documentation. When they saw themselves “helpedâ€? by other 6 students the editing of the newspaper became a pleasure and they could focus more on the content problems without feeling the overwork and frustration of an incomplete team.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

TIMISOARA C.N.B. INGREDIENTS: Colegiul National Banatean Council of Students from C.N.B. Two students of sciences – 9th grade Mathematics – Informatics Two students of humanities – 9th grade Philology An English teacher CATALIZER: A project logistically supported by Soros Foundation DESCRIPTION OF INGREDIENTS: 1. COLEGIUL NATIONAL BANATEAN •

Representative school from Timis county with over 2,000 students in the three cycles of education (elementary, gymnasium, high school);

The first educational unit from Western country that received the title of European School;

The high school classes have as profile Mathematics Informatics, Philology, Social Sciences, Nature Sciences, Natura Sciences bilingual profile German language.

Factors of facilitation: •

By the methodic cabinet, unique in the Romanian elementary and secondary educational system there are continuous perfection activities going on for the teaching staff;

As a result of the project management modules and T.O.T., the teaching staff initiated and carried out projects and partnerships with local, national and international financing;

The Parents’ Association is organized as NGO and supports the activities organized in the school, including by donating 2% of tax by the parents;

In school there is an NGO with cultural profile of students and teachers; AT4T Association carries out projects proposed and implemented by the students, among which the International Festival of Theatre in English language for Teenagers T4T,12th edition and the National Festival of Visual Arts ManyFest, 4th edition;

There are several magazines in the school, by specialties and education cycles. 2. COUNCIL OF STUDENTS from C.N.B. •

Active since 2000;

Designs (including by collection of funds) and implements cultural, sports, entertaining, charitable, community action activities.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

Factors of facilitation: •

Coordinates the radio station of the school;

Makes the stand of presentation of the educational offer of the school in the annual manifestation High Schools Fair and coordinates the celebration of the anniversary of C.N.B. under the form of C.N.B.Fest, annual manifestation financially and logistically supported by the local authorities after financing projects made by the students;

The activity is carried out as a competition between the Houses of College: each House define by a certain colour has students from all the high school classes; White House of which the President and Vice-President of the Students’ Council are a part, arbitrates and coordinates the competitions;

All the proposals of projects designed for students are directed by the school management to the Students’ Council which decides the involvement of C.N.B. in these projects. 3. STUDENTS •

Components of two classes from C.N.B., one with sciences profile, the other one humanities;

Without work experience in projects, but participants in training courses and different school competitions.

Factors of facilitation: •

Ideal distribution by genders (one boy, three girls);

Educated in C.N.B., school that lays emphasis on the extracurricular activities;

Community of social experiences, interests, passions;

Non-conformism, enthusiasm, sociability, team spirit, combativeness, talent. 4. TEACHER •

Former graduate of C.N.B., English teacher at C.N.B. for 16 years.

Factors of facilitation: •

Coordinator for educational projects and programs for 3 years;

Founding member of AT4T and of Heavenly Hell, theatre troupe in English of C.N.B. since 1997;

Connecting teacher between the Students’ Council and the Board of Directors;

Non-conformism, enthusiasm, desire of involvement in the initiation of projects.

Preparation method: Step 1: INFORMATION


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The announcement regarding the project of Soros Foundation is sent by the Director of the High School of Students’ Council by the connecting teacher. The President of the Students’ Council convenes the Student’s Council meeting and at the end the interested students complete the application form. They make announcements at the radio station at the same time with the presentation of project in class and the handing out of forms. Step 2: SELECTION Since only four students of the 900 students of the High School completed the form until the deadline, the four of them were declared accepted. Step 3: APPLICATION Since the students and the teacher do not know each other, and the application involves the description of each member of the team by another member, they exchange CVs and an autobiographical meeting takes place. Each member of the team tells about himself/herself and answers the questions. They draw pairs portrait model – portraitist An intense exchange of emails takes place. Each member of the team makes observations on the written facts. A day ahead of the deadline the application was sent. Step 4: WAITING The confirmation of enrolment is received. They wait with excitement. They wait. They wait with somber feelings. They wait. The check their email a few times a day. Step 5: VICTORY AND ANXIETY Hurray! We were accepted out of 173 teams from the country! They celebrate by emails with many exclamation marks. Emails follow with many question marks – what we must do, how, when. Step 6: HOW DID WE GET N.O.I.? They do brainstorming for finding the title of the newspaper. The first magazine of the school was called NOI. The teacher now was then the first editor in chief of the publication. N = non-conformism O = objectivity I = innovation Step 7: UMBILICAL CORD They go in training camp to Sibiu without the coordinator teacher. They write intense emails of summary of activities and suggestions. They exchange tens of text messages and phones.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education They come back to Timisoara. The first editorial meeting – we want a vintage blog. We want to write about what happens in Timisoara. We want to be present all over the place! Step 8: FIRST ARTICLES Sources of inspiration: what we like to read, to do. We write about movies and books, about a Catalan evening and about the Fair of exercise companies, about the introduction of cricket in NOI and about live books. We write a lot. Method of work: a) I announce that I want to write about the subject. b) I write the article. c) I post it on the discussion group, I preferred after the vote googlegroups for the possibility of archiving the subjects. d) The other members of the team make observations of formulation and content. Teacher corrects punctuation and writes academic mails about the spaces after each punctuation mark. e) I receive ok from the team. f) I post it on the blog. *numerical observation: we have on average 100 emails a day. Step 9: WE HAVE EDITORIAL TEAM! •

The Students’ Council gives us an office (we share the space of the School Museum with those from the Students’ Council and with the Radio Station) and the school director gives us computers provided that we share them with the Resources Centre.

Parents’ Association promises funds in order to have access to Internet.

IN THE MEANTIME… •

We put stickers all over the place – N.O.I. write about YOU (by misguided zeal we put stickers in the Mall toilets and woke up with a warning.. we cured ourselves of making us illegal advertising)

We were the object of a press conference of ISJ Timiş and we promised that we would be better, more incisive and more professional journalists in behavior than those from the local press!

We are on Facebook and Twitter.

We made ourselves tags and bags with Cenebela, a vintage and cool guy, our mascot.

TO AVOID: •

Lack of time – it is solved by strict planning and monitoring.

Lack of communication between the members of team – is solved by a discussion group (we recommend googlegroups for the archiving possibilities and sending of large files).

Conflicts between editors – you can choose between one of the solutions: periodical fights or open discussions mediated by the teacher (we pick the second version…)

Best of luck, enjoy the meal!


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Mariana Boşneac – N.O.I. Coordinator, Oana Vieru Colegiul National Banatean is one of those schools that have a lot of attention from the teachers, parents, authorities, those from outside and implicitly the students of the college get the same attention, maybe even more. Why? It is a college that has a very Western style – the students have a word to say; they have freedom; they are encouraged to express themselves in any way (artistic or non-artistic); they are enrolled in all kinds of extracurricular activities; the teachers are “in vogue”; among the studied subjects there are those that do not take place in any kind of school. It is no wonder that it is the tot of high schools in Timisoara! It is no wonder that the students who participate in the “High School Reporter” project have a special style. Because it is from Banat, the college imposes a more relaxed style to its students. It is not a continuous running after grades. And it is not running after events – because events happen, take place and are everywhere. The only inconvenient is that they are very many and as a high school reporter you need a thorough filter in order to let any of these events make the object of written articles. That is why the first part of the blog of students from Timisoara was rich in events of larger or smaller scope. Which must not be considered neither good nor bad. It is a good start and especially a good practice in writing! But let us go back to the beginning. Not just to the start, because we missed it. That is why it was quite odd, let’s say, that I should appear in the landscape of Timisoara team. The Western and licentious style of the team made more difficult the entrance of a coordinator (from outside) in the team. First of all it was the absence from the first meeting with all the participants in the project (Sibiu). Then it was the appearance of the coordinator while the team was writing article after article. After the visit made in Timisoara, in April, things went better regarding communication. Communication existed even before, but because it was necessary, not in order to make a permanent exchange of information and experience. After the visit and after the exchange of communication addresses and phone numbers, the whole process of exchange of information went easier. Anyway, it was more work to do on keeping in touch the coordinator with the team. Because it was not clear for either party not necessary the role of the coordinator, but the degree of involvement of coordinator in the team work. Anyway, after the necessary clarification, the 4 students continued to write. And this clarification came to the summer camp from quota 1400 (Sinaia) in July when we spent more time together both in the work sessions and in the free time and the sessions of planning the evenings organized by the teams. After a camp week and many discussions, all went much better. And why not admit it, Facebook helps a lot at strengthening relationships! More than that, all the characteristics of the college I am a part of, of the generation I am a part of and of 2010 directed Timisoara team to another road of their evolution as High School Reporters. The blog must not look in a way, but must be in a way. To characterize them first of all, spiritual young and slightly complicated. So for a while, their attention focused on the aspect of the blog, on the way in which they appear when you click their link. To be in vogue, alternative and vintage at the same time. Apart from the way the page looks, they needed an image so CNBella appeared, the cool guy that appears on the blog of Timisoara and accompanies any product of the Banat team.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Apart from their appearance in the world of virtual gazettes, the team from Timisoara managed to make itself visible in the real community by various methods and promotional articles: invitations to local events, stickers, bags, etc. Behind them there is the help and “protection” of the coordinator teacher. Mrs. Teacher is the mature part and handles the administrative details of the team. Being used to and encouraged to be creative and express themselves freely, Mrs. Teacher does not interfere with the writing of the text or in the selection of subjects for articles. So the four high school reporters are encouraged to explore any journalistic field. They have free hand in everything, are encouraged to go to as more events as possible that take place in the community, to express how they want to. One of the reasons that make this collaboration easy is that the coordinator teacher is not a class teacher for the students from Timisoara. This reason makes the communication easier and more relaxed and the relationship student – teacher during the classes does not affect the relationship student – coordinator teacher. The Timisoara team also has the support of the school – has the former museum of the college for the editorial meetings. There also take place the meetings of the Students’ Council – source of the subjects written in the online gazette. One of the difficult moments of the team was the occurrence of the imposed subjects. The freedom of their style had to suffer. Just because they were used to full freedom, the imposition of a direction for the writing of articles and especially the approach of more profound subjects reduced the enthusiasm of the four students. They still managed to motivate themselves and approach the subjects successfully, getting to write very good articles that cover the interest of a much larger community than their high school community. The moment of occurrence of the imposed subjects “facilitated” the communication with the coordinator teacher. After several exchanges of emails the relationship between the coordinator teacher and the local coordinator improved and made more fluid the communication. Seen in private, Timisoara team is a very beautiful and lively team; all, including the coordinator teacher are creative, cheerful and ready at any moment to write the next article. Seen with the other teams, Timisoara looks like a singular team: it may be the town they come from, town full of events and opportunities and for this reason they can be much more relaxed in front of the others; maybe because they were encouraged to try anything, the coordinator is not involved in the selection or writing of the subjects. That is why, the friendship relationship between them looks different in the landscape of Romanian schools and implicitly, the schools from the project.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

TANDAREI GRUPUL SCOLAR AGRICOL (AGRICULTURAL SCHOOL GROUP) •

A little history, a little geography

The existence of GRUPUL SCOLAR AGRICOL TANDAREI goes back 40 years ago, when the Theoretical High School was founded and in 1977 it turned into Agricultural Industrial High School and since 1991 it became Grupul Scolar Agricol. Since it was founded, the unit functions in a place given to use in 1963. The building of the high school was renovated in 2007 by a Phare project that allowed the proper equipping of the laboratories of the high school. Grupul Scolar Agricol is in the central area of Tandarei town, a town with 12,956 inhabitants. Tandarei town forms with the municipalities Slobozia, Feteşti and Urziceni the network of towns of Ialomita county. The town is less developed economically, and also regarding the industrial park or the possibilities of providing jobs to the inhabitants than the other three towns, but it has a key position in the North-Eastern area of the county. The important territorial role of the town is determined by its position in the transport and communication network. It is crossed by two important roads, National Road 2A Bucharest – Constanta and National Road 21A from Brăila. •

Students of Grupul Scolar Agricol

In Tandarei there are two high schools: “Paul Georgescu” Theoretical High School and Grupul Scolar Agricol. Taking into account that the town is important by the functions of serving the rural population from the neighboring areas, in these two high schools study both the students from the General Schools from Tandarei (in number of two) and the students residing in the villages from around the town of Tandarei: Săveni, Sudiţi, Giurgeni, Platoneşti, Movila, Mihail Kogalniceanu, Gura Ialomiţei, Luciu. Thus, the students of Grupul Scolar Agricol are mostly from the rural area. The problems the high school faces are the school abandon and the class absentees, all based on the social condition of the students of the high school. Being a high school with a technological profile, the specialties that compose the educational offer of Grupul Scolar Agricol are numerous: services, natural resources and environmental protection, technique, mechanics, food industry. The students are considered of average level and it is proven by their results in learning (in the school year 2009-2010 a high number of the students of the high school had average grades between 6 and 7). •

Work experience in the project

We did not have students that are humanistic in specialty or students that have impressive editing skills. We benefited from their enthusiasm and their experience of participating in projects. Before High School Reporter, in 2007, the high school had participated in the project “We launch the challenge. Widen the circle!” from the Program of Grants for School Development, project that had as objectives the increase in the degree of autonomy and the capacity of elaboration and management of projects at the level of High School units. After this project in which had participated all the four students that were included in the team that applied for High School Reporter, we could see the skills the students had of getting involved in the extracurricular activities deployed in debating societies. Apart from this project, the students had also participated in projects such as “Wastes Management, information and training of students – a safe investment for the future of the environment”, project financed by the Environmental Fund Administration.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The projects in which the students had participated were projects that did not require their creativity or involvement in the community life. That is why we appreciated the proposal of Soros Foundation: it was something else than the comfort area of the students of a school group. It was a challenge to motivate the students to get involved in activities they would have normally rejected for various reasons: “I do not know”, “I do not have time”, “I cannot”, “It’s too much work.” Of course these lines appeared during the project, were the moments of neglect and of the “reporters” and disorientation of the coordinator, but these moments passed. •

Team

The students who participated in the project “High School Reporter” were selected “by brow”. Being an educational counselor, I selected the first two students from the Students’ Council, Daniel Gabriel Apostol and Dani Nicoleta State. I knew them from discussions and their involvement in extracurricular activities and volunteering. The third member was recommended by Dani. I liked the idea because in the selection, we had to characterize each other. This is how Gabriela Rădiţa Ioniţă added to the team. The fourth member was recommended by a colleague teacher. He had participated in a poem contest, and his name is Florin Aurel Vlad. They were the students with whom I started. None of them was a student in my class, so I did not know their writing skills. But they liked my eye and handled the debates. I considered that a strength in the “journalistic” activities. The first time when I brought them all together I liked the fact that they seemed different: pragmatic, dreamer, sensitive, playful (I labeled them). But I saw then that it also reflected in their writing and their writing styles were different. They also seemed to know one another pretty well: Daniel: My classmate, State Dani Nicoleta, is a nice, talkative person with a very good sense of humour and serious when necessary, that is why it is very easy for her to get used to and integrate in a team and when she is asked an opinion, she does not hesitate to express it! She is a sensitive girl. Because she likes very much to help people she gets involved in volunteering activities. For instance, she collected gifts for the students from the minor care center around Christmas and she collected funds for helping a sick child. Dani: My colleague, Ioniţă Rădiţa Gabriela is 17 years old. I’ve known her ever since we started high school together. She has the sense of humour. She is a nice, talkative and very communicative person. In spite of the apparent exteriorization…she hides a lot. When she cares about someone, she gets totally involved, not for an interest. She has dreams and she tries to fulfill them regardless of circumstances, …so she is ambitious. She is creative and a little dreamer. She likes to take pictures. She is romantic. She is original in the way she dresses, without caring what the other think of her. She is sensitive and has a kind heart, she participated as volunteer to help a child with cancer. Gabriela: About my colleague Vlad Florin I can say that I met him at the beginning of the ninth grade when we became classmates. During high school we got friends and we became very good friends. He is a communicative, sociable and playful person anytime. He is the type of person you have what to talk about and who can give advice. He is not easy to intimidate. I can say he loves: he knows how to care about the person next to him and to appreciate the person next to him, but he sometimes shows too much that he cares and he gets hurt from relationships. You can never get bored with Florin, he is very energetic and he likes to try any adventure, more or less dangerous because he likes adrenalin. As a colleague, he is the boy who gets well with all the girls, he is polite and very courteous… Florin: I know him from the Students’ Council. At the first meeting I was impressed with the easiness he proves when he expresses his opinions. He arguments his point of view, he convinces, imposes himself. He is not a dreamer, he is well anchored in reality, he has an amazing pragmatism for his age. Probably because of the experiences he had: the family background, the


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education disappointments from adults. He likes the rules to be respected, he likes good organization, the adults did not always give him that. As for me, the coordinator teacher, at the start of the project, I was a debutant teacher of Romanian language and literature, with an experience of just two years of teaching, educational counselor and master’s degree student in the program “Didactics of philological subjects” of the University of Bucharest. Out of idealism maybe I refused to accept the idea that the students of a school group should not be involved in projects of this scope. And I was not wrong! Alexandra Mihaela David Coordinator’s perspective, Andrei Parvan I.

Right after the initial formation (Sibiu, April 2010) for the good functioning of the team,

A. a communication channel was created (liste de discutii @ yahoogroups.com) for an easier relation: direct communication with all the members of the team, sharing resources, group debates, virtual agenda, etc. B. I delivered a series of electronic resources or online links with informative/documentary role in journalism issues (civic), administration and optimization of blogs, etc. C. I carried out a preliminary visit (knowing the educational unit, the proximity and social context) in which: 1. we elaborated the phenomenon of local blogging; 2. we provided assistance (orientation, questions and answers, practical “tricks” in the use and optimization of Wordpress platform, etc.) in online editing and publication; 3. we simulated/piloted the conception of texts in various publicity genres and styles 4. we identified the subject, elaborated the script, chose the title for a potential subject, etc.); 5. we did creative exercises of identification of the subjects by observation, raising of issues, role play, etc. 6. we discussed the editorial policy (themes of articles, editorial strategies, etc.); 7. we took a few work deadlines and tasks: chose the template for the blog, delegation of responsibilities and specialization, drawing up the content for static pages (technical information: about the project, about the team, policy regarding comments, etc.) and temporization of articles in view of publication (interval of time, frequency, specificity); 8. negotiated the rules of collaboration and the relational system. II.

Therefore, it was settled that if they wanted, the authors should send on the list of discussions the proposed texts for a fast and deeper feedback. Thus, the matters regarding the drawing up and the editing are the responsibility of the local team (including the guiding teacher).

III.

At editorial level from the information that came to the local coordinator in one of the first meetings, we chose the graphical theme of the blog and detailed editorial matters (types of subjects and thematic areas: school life and events of interest for


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education the students, community and civic matters, opportunities of spending the free time, etc.). IV.

As we agreed, the responsibilities of the local coordinator consisted of:

a) the delivery of significant and relevant resources for the areas of interest relating to the project; b) reminding of the freely chosen deadlines and reactivation of editors compared to the project calendar; c) suggestion of possible subjects/themes, correlated to the age segment and the specificity of the reader public; d) online assistance in various matters of interest for the editors, at their request; V. A special element in the project’s engineering was the proposal of the local coordinator of enumerating a few potential subjects of interest for the contemporaries of the authors. The themes were to allow a more creative approach, allow the exercise of the style and try to explore common affective resonances. Last but not least, they made more accessible the passage to common subjects, investigative themes considered indigestible and hardly approachable by the high school reporters. VI. The strengths of the team: a) good school performances, involvement in extracurricular activities; b) seriousness and taking the responsibility of work tasks by editors; c) competences of written communication, conception of text and handling ideas; d) the guiding teacher and his excellent relationship with the students; VII. Limits of the team: a) school program and lack of mobility (domicile in province for two of the team members); b) up to a certain point, not taking responsibilities of management of the online content (publication of articles, moderation of comments, blog administration, promotion); c) lack of self-confidence, of the horizon of knowledge and development, poor determination; d) dissensions caused by the absence/non-involvement of one of the students; VIII. The coordinator teacher is the secret of success for the project of Ţăndărei. She manages excellently her relationship with the students and her colleagues, she is very available and open to requests and has a very healthy communicational style. IX. The neuralgic matter is the mobilization/stimulation of editors. The town is a small one, the specificity is almost rural, the society lives in a traditional environment (see access to technologies, determination for communication, exploitation of online media). The young editors deal with many obstacles (not necessarily large ones) and the relevance of a similar approach in such a context s dissipated up to suppression. X. As for the coordinator, he is delighted with the capacity of effort, the endeavors and sparks of the team members. The way he rediscovers them: more responsible and more rigorous, bolder, more curious and more scrutinizing. More open to communication, to interaction at team and community level and more concerned about the public interest and more involved in the project of their own becoming.


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

CITIZEN IN A DEMOCRATIC WORLD Radu Nicolae Civic journalism is an exercise by which we can develop many professional skills such as analytical, synthesis, correct use of Romanian, etc. Civic journalism is also a very good exercise by which we learn to be good citizens. One of the objectives we aim at by this exercise is the development of competences regarding the exercise of civic rights and responsibilities in a democratic society. Civic journalism is that the citizens without a special training collect, analyze and send news, information, comments and opinions by using the new technologies and the Internet. There is no clear distinction between the author and the reader because both of them create a text, react to one another in an uncoordinated group action by which public opinion is formed. By the exercise of civic journalism, the students learn and practice their constitutional rights, such as the access to information or petitioning. Thus, they develop a good appreciation of what a good citizen means and what a democratic society means. We will present below a few theoretical considerations about what the active citizenship means in a democratic society. Citizenship and democracy Democracy is a governing system by which the power belongs to the citizens and the rules and laws are resulted from a political process in which the citizens play the most important role. The relationship between the citizen and the state in a democratic society is based on rights and obligations. The democratic state represents a sum of rules and organizations that are in a hierarchy of importance. The most important and general rules are the constitutional rules, then follow the laws, judgments, decisions, etc. the lower rules cannot contradict the higher rules (for instance, a law cannot violate a constitutional norm). The rules by which the state functions are the expression of the citizens’ will. The individual rights and freedoms are before the state, that is why the state must recognize and observe these rights. In the exercise of the civic journalism, the most important rights are the rights of citizens of involvements in the social and political life: the freedom of expression, the right to association and meeting, the right to petition, the right to consultation and participation in decision making process, the right to referendum, the right to legislative initiative, etc. In order to become real and increase the quality of democracy, these rights must be exerted. The quality of democracy depends on the positive relations established between the members of a community – relations of communication, trust, cooperation, reciprocal help – and the involvement of citizens in the resolution of public problems. This involvement of citizens in the public problems in a democratic society is not reduced to the right to vote. Democratic citizenship implies obtaining information about the problems that affect you and affect the others and the collaboration with the others in order to influence the way in which society will solve these problems. Democratic citizenship implies the realization of actins for the improvement of citizens’ life in the community/society in which you live by participation in public life, volunteering, communication, information, etc. Civic journalism by debating subjects that do not attract traditional mass media can play an important role in the awareness of social problems and can trigger institutional mechanism of resolution of these problems.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Communication and access to information and various or opposed points of view contribute to the reasoned debate and the formation of appropriate individual perceptions and attitudes. The freedom of expression is an essential part of a free society. The characteristics of a responsible citizen: •

Adheres to the democratic values and tries to live according to these values (my freedom stops where the freedom of the other one starts, nondiscrimination);

Takes responsibility for the personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of the family and community. He is interested in the wellbeing of the community and the improvement of the life of all citizens;

Knows the people and traditions that outlined his community, his nation, the world;

Knows the human and citizen rights, the civic institutions and political processes;

Is aware of the local, national or international problems and events that have an impact on people;

Seeks information from different sources and perspectives to develop informed opinions and creative solutions;

Asks pertinent questions and is capable of analyzing the evaluating information and ideas;

Effectively uses decision-making skills and problem solving skills in the public and private life;

Has cooperation skills as a member of a group;

Actively participates in the civic life and in community life.

Description of a situation of lack of information in a mining exploitation project: It is hard to understand the poverty of the people who live in beautiful and rich places. […] If the project is implemented, we are saved!” most inhabitants from Rosia Montana honestly believe. “Many tourists will come, a lot of boarding houses will be made because they must spend the night somewhere, no?”. The person in front of me is very naïve and thinks that the tourists will burst in “to see how the exploitation is made, they are curious”. The fact that mountains will be moved with the truck (23 tipper trucks of 150 tons will circulate through the town 365 days per year, nonstop!) is just a detail – what do tourists care about noise and dust? They are “curious”. And then? “They will come to see how the ore was made environmentally-friendly.”….People know what they are told.[…] This kind of mass tourism seems plausible to the inhabitants of Rosia Montana; to them, any promise however whopping it is, is better than what they do not have now. Călin Hera – Evenimentul Zilei Barriers to responsible citizenship Being an active citizen means a whole series of actions for public interest, time investments and attention to more general problems than our own immediate wellbeing. Many citizens cannot or do not want to take such responsibilities. Some citizens are too busy, too absorbed by themselves (job, entertainment, personal or family problems, etc.) others are too busy just to survive (have several jobs, upkeep many members of the family). Some other citizens do not have access to education and information. Some citizens are afraid to get involved (“it is not my business”) – are inhibited by


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education having to speak in public or their neighbors or their superiors get to know their points of view, which will disturb certain persons. Such causes and many others make the people not participate in the realization of rules by which the community functions or the selection of the way in which the problems of the community are solved. The citizens expect from the others the resolution of their own problems or passively accept what the management does – directors, chairmen, mayors, clerks. Thus, the citizens can be subject to manipulation and/or abuses. Justification of the freedom of expression “Even if the whole world, with a single exception, had the same opinion and only one person were of contrary opinion, the mankind would not have the right to reduce to silence the whole mankind. The evil done by the prevention of expression of an opinion is something special: by it, the whole human species is plundered, the posterity and the present generation and those who do not agree to that opinion are even more plundered than those who support it. If that opinion is correct, they were taken the opportunity of passing from error to the truth; if it is wrong, they lose something profitable, which is the clearer image and livelier feeling of the truth, produced by its cohesion with the error.” J.S. Mill – About freedom What can we do? In the second part of the chapter we will present the way by which these rights can be exerted in the practice of civic journalism. We shall detail three steps by which the journalist student or any citizen can go through in order to contribute to the improvement of the community in which the student lives. Step 1: Information The access to information is essential for someone who wants to have an opinion about the problems of the community in which he/she lives. A competent opinion must be based on data and information. The freedom of expression and the freedom of the press need access to information. The high school reporters cannot make comments, suggestions and proposals or cannot correctly inform the citizens/students if they do not have access to information about what decisions are made in the board of directors of the high school, who is in the board of directors, when the meetings are scheduled and with the agenda of meetings is. What is the freedom of the press for when the reporters cannot find out what the governmental agencies do? What is the freedom of expression for if the expression is not based on the knowing of actions of government or public institutions? Many articles of the high school reporters are based on information communicated by public or private organizations. The free exchange of information and ideas contributes to the development of creativity, values and vocabulary. The right of access to information is the right of each citizen to have access to public interest information. This right is recognized by Law no. 544/2001. By public interest information we understand any information concerning the activities or resulting from the activities of a public authority or a public institution, regardless of the support or form or the method of expression of information/ By public authority or institution we understand any public authority or institution that uses or administers public financial resources, any government business enterprise, national company and


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education any company that is under the authority of a central or local public authority and in which the Romanian state or an administrative territorial unit is sole or major shareholder. Justification of the need of access to information “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects something that never existed and will never exist… People cannot be safe without access to information” Thomas Jefferson “The Power tends to corrupt… a management is legitimate only if it is limited in a real way.” “A democratic government without public information or other means of obtaining it is only a Preamble of a practical joke or a tragedy or maybe both. The knowledge will always master the ignorance and the people who want to be their own managers must arm themselves with the power of knowledge.” James Medison In what conditions is the access to information exempt? The following information is exempt from the free access of citizens: a)

the information from the field of national defense, public safety and order, if it is part of classified information, according to the law;

b)

information regarding the deliberations of authorities and the information on the economic and political interests of Romania if they are part of the category of classified information, according to the law;

c)

information regarding the commercial or financial activities if their publicity prejudices the intellectual or industrial property right and the principle of fair competition, according to the law;

d)

information regarding personal data, according to the law;

e)

information regarding the procedure during the penal or disciplinary investigation if it jeopardizes the result of investigation, confidential sources are disclosed or the life, bodily integrity and the health of a person are in danger after the investigation done or in progress;

f)

information regarding judicial procedures if their publicity prejudices the assurance of an fair process or the legitimate interest of any of the parties involved in the process;

g)

information that by publication prejudices the youth protection measures.

How do we require public interest information? The public authorities and institutions provide access to public interest information ex officio or at request. The information ex officio is published on the webpage or on the information board of the public authority or institution, in its own publications or in the Official Gazette. You can consult this information at the office of the public authority or institution (Art. 4, para. 4, letter b of Law).


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education The information available ex officio is: a) normative acts that regulate the organization and functioning of the public authority or institution; b) the organizational structure, the assignments of departments, the working hours, the audience program of the public authority or institution; c) names of the persons from the management of the public authority or institution and of the clerk in charge with the dissemination of public information; d) contact coordinates of the public authority or institution, respectively: name, office, phone numbers, fax, email address and webpage address; e) financial sources, budget and balance sheet; f) own programs and strategies; g) list of the public interest documents; h) list of the categories of documents produced and/or managed according to the law; i) the methods of contestation of the decision of public authority or institution if the person considers that it is prejudiced in the right of access to the public interest information required. The information at request is the public interest information that can be required by any person (the model of the application for information can be found on the CD that accompanies this manual). The public interest information can be required in writing or verbally. The verbal request for public interest information is made at the office of the departments of information and public relations. The request in writing for public interest information has the following elements: a) the public authority or institution to which the request is addressed; b) the required information so that it allows the public authority or institution to identify the public interest information; c) the last name, first name and signature of the applicant and the address at which the answer is communicated. The request in writing can be sent by email, by post (registered letter with acknowledgment of reception) or submission to the registry of the public authority or institution. What are the deadlines by which we must receive an answer? You have to receive an answer to your request within 10 business days (10 days calculated starting from the day that follows the registrations of the request). The public institution or authority can extend this deadline by 30 business days at most, but only if they inform you in writing about it within 10 business days. If you do not receive answer within the legal deadline or the received answer is unsatisfactory (for instance, a refusal), you can go to a public authority or institution with an administrative complaint. If your request is not the competence of the public authority or institution within 5 days from reception, the structures or persons in charge with direct public information have the obligation to send forward your request to the competent institutions or authorities and inform you about it (Art. 24 from the methodological norms of the law).


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

What should you do before sending a request for information? -

clearly understand and define the information you need; how can it help you?

-

Identify what public authority has the information (consult their web pages, see if the information you need can be found on the list of categories of documents produced and/or managed by the public authority, ask the public information office, ask your teachers, parents or other persons with experience in this field).

-

Formulate as clearly as possible the request for information.

-

Send the request for information.

Another method of information regarding the problems and the initiatives from the community is the participation of citizens in the meetings of the local council. According to Law no.215/2001 of the local public administration, art. 42, para. (1): the meetings of the Local Council are public. In order to participate in the meeting you must contact by phone, email or in person the person in charge with the organization of the meeting (or public relations office) and require in writing your access to the room at meeting date. The information regarding the problems of the community is an obligatory condition, but not sufficient to become a good citizen. A good citizen analyzes the received information and evaluates by for and against arguments possible solutions for the improvement of the quality of life of fellow citizens. Step 2. Analysis – a space of facts, arguments and counter-arguments After we identify a problem or an initiative and inform ourselves about the causes, effects and context of that problem/initiative, we must start to discuss in the community about that problem/initiative. All the stakeholders must be involved, asked and consulted. For instance, if a problem regarding the school, you must inform, consult and get involved the students and the teaching staff, the parents, local public authorities and the school inspectorate, etc. In some school problems it would be necessary to inform and consult the economic operators and/or nongovernmental organizations acting in the community. The debate of problems, initiatives and solutions must take into account the for and against arguments and the various perspectives of the participants in discussions. By the debate: -

The citizens understand and get aware of all the aspects of the problem – causes, effects, context;

-

The citizens understand the alternatives of resolution of problems, the for and against arguments of each alternative;

-

The citizens identify the best solutions to the community problems;

-

The citizens get motivated, activate and promise to participate in the implementation of the chosen solutions.

Thus, we crate the mechanisms by which that problem shall be solved. Election of the Chairman of the Students’ Council – example of good practice The elections for the management positions of the Students’ Council from the high schools from Alba Iulia, Roman, Timisoara became more opened since 2010. For the election of the Chairman all


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education the students could vote, not just those from the Council. This change in the rule involved the public presentation of the programs of applicants, the organization of small electoral campaigns and the organization of debates between the applicants. The students had access to information and could find out what each applicant proposes, could ask questions, got aware of the rights they have and what they can do together for their high school, in order to increase the quality of education. The elected students formulated concrete projects for which they sought support from the classmates and on the basis of their fulfillment they will evaluate: -

The decommissioning of the high http://roman.reporterdeliceu.ro/?p=1216);

school

radio;

(Roman

-

A box where the students can express their problems, what they want to change; (Alba Iulia – http://alba-iulia.reporterdeliceu.ro/?p=1070);

-

Wardrobes on the school hall, food ATM and a wider range of uniforms (T shirts, hoodies, etc.); (Timisoara – http://timisoara.reporterdeliceu.ro/?p=740)

Another way by which the citizens can contribute to the analysis of the community problems is the participation in the consultation processes organized by the local public and central authorities. In the procedures of elaboration of the drafts of normative acts the public administration authority has the obligation to publish an announcement regarding this action on its website, to display it at its office, in a space accessible to the public and send it to the central or local mass media, as the case may be. The public administration authority if obliged to send the drafts of normative acts to all the persons that filed a request for the reception of this information (Art. 6 of Law no.52/2003). In the publication of the announcement, the public administration authority will determine a 10-day period to receive in writing proposals, suggestions and opinions regarding the normative act draft subject to public debate. The public authorities can organize public debates when the simple formulation of proposals in writing is insufficient. The public authorities are obliged to organize public debates based on the project of the local budget. Step 3: Civic action The civic action is the most important and visible stage in which the citizens participate in decision-making process or in the promotion of beneficial changes in a democratic society. The change by civic action can start from a relatively small group of citizens who promote certain values (for instance, the care for the natural environment) that were not until then accepted or considered important in the community. Their persistence and perseverance produce a snowball effect, more and more citizens get aware and accept that value or problem. Such initiatives by which the citizens manage to change for the better the community are presented in the CD of this manual (for instance, the initiative “I do not block the intersection”, “Paper tree” initiative). Another method by which the citizens can participate in decision-making is the petitioning of public organizations. By petition we understand the request, complaint, report or proposal formulated in writing or by electronic post, which a citizen or a legally founded organization can address to the local and central public authorities and institutions, the decentralized public services of the ministries and of the other central bodies, companies and national companies, companies of county or local interest and the Government Business Enterprises hereinafter called public authorities and institutions. In each public institution there is a department of resolution of petitions. The public institutions are obliged to send the wrongly addressed petitions within 5 days from registration to


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education the public authorities and institutions that have as assignments the resolution of problems reported in the petition and the petitioner shall be informed about it. The public authorities and institutions have the obligation to send the answer to the petitioner within 30 days from the date of registration of the petition, whether the solution is favorable or not. The right to petitioning is recognized by the GEO no.27/2002 approved by Law no.233/2002. Petition of students from Roman municipality – good practice example A number of 402 students of “Roman Voda” National College signed a petition addressed to the mayor of Roman in which they required the location of the garbage cans for the selective collection of wastes in high school. Although the answer was negative, motivated by the lack of funds, the students did not lose heart and the solution did not occur late. “Pentru o Viaţă Demnă” Foundation offered its support in the resolution of this problem by the conclusion of a partnership with the school institution. Concretely: three environmentally-friendly garbage cans for the collection of waste sheets will be located in the precinct of “Roman Voda” National College at the beginning of the school year 2010-2011. You can find a petition model and an example in the CD of this manual. The citizens can get involved in the community life or the society in which they live by starting a referendum or by initiating a draft law. These initiatives require the participation of a large number of persons and suppose a campaign of collection of signatures in favor of organization of a referendum or in favor of a certain draft law. These collective actions are difficult to be implemented because of the organization costs they imply, but their impact in the community is a significant one. The citizens communicate between them, associate for reaching a joint goal – collection of signatures for the initiative in which they believe and thus they build the civic spirit, the trust in others and in democratic rules. Local referendum The local referendum represents a legal procedure (regulated by Law no. 3/2000 regarding the organization and deployment of referendum) by which the community casts a vote on local interest matters. It is an instrument of direct participation of citizens in the decision-making process at the level of local public administration. In general only the administration (mayor or a third of the members of the Local Council) can propose local interest issues and can convene the local referendum, and the citizens have the possibility to do this only in case of the referendum for the dismissal of the mayor, of the Local Council or the County Council (according to the Law no.215/2001) regarding the local public administration, the referendum must be required in writing by at least 25% of the inhabitants with voting rights). Initiation of a draft law Article 74, para.1 of the Constitution of Romania sets forth that the legislative initiative belongs to the Government, deputies, senators or a number of at least 100,000 citizens with voting rights. The citizens that manifest their right to legislative initiative must come from at least one fourth of the counties of the country and in each of these counties, in Bucharest municipality, at least 5,000 signatures must be recorded for the support of this initiative. The civic action is not limited to the methods described in this chapter, but can have various forms of association of citizens (for instance, clubs, meetings, protests, public hearings, deliberation


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education forums – some of these forms are presented in the CD that accompanies this manual). The high school reporters can disseminate information about the actions of citizens/students, but can also start processes of association of citizens/students for reaching positive objectives of general interest (for instance, selective collection of wastes in school, as we learned from the example of colleagues from Roman). Conclusions Civic journalism is an exercise by which the students learn to be active and responsible citizens, they learn how to use the laws and the rights they have to improve their own lives and the lives of the others in the fields of health, education, green spaces, entertainment, etc. The exercise of civic journalism mainly develops the sills of students to require, receive, analyze, synthesize and transmit information regarding the community. The students practice the freedom of expression and the right of access to information.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

JOURNALISTIC GUIDE Călin Cosmaciuc, Liviu Iolu TABLE OF CONTENTS: HOW THE PRESS APPEARED AND WHERE IT IS TODAY HOW AN EDITORIAL OFFICE LOOKS LIKE PUBLICIST GENRES SEGMENTS OF AN ARTICLE SOURCES AND DOCUMENTATION ONLINE JOURNALISM ONLINE NEWSPAPER – FIRST STEPS TEN PIECES OF ADVICE TO FOLLOW TEN MISTAKES EASY TO AVOID How did the press appear and where it is today The easiness by which information circulates today – especially thanks to the Internet, makes us forget how difficult it circulated a few hundreds of years ago. Today, with insignificant costs, any person can have his/her own online newspaper by which he/she can distribute information all over the globe and it is hard to imagine a world in which it took weeks or even months to learn that a war had started on the planet. Script, ancestor of newspaper A long time before the discovery of the printing press we can find equivalents of the press just as scripts were in Antiquity. In Egypt, under the reign of Tutmes the 3rd (1750 before our era), there was an official journal in which political and economic information was published. In Rome there were the so-called Acta Diurna, the true publications of news and echoes of the Roman life, recopied and disseminated to the rich. The Imperial Court of China made king-boo publications on silk or pergament by which it informed the people on the emperor’s decisions. At the Court of Beijing, at the end of the 9th century, a journal called Kin Pau was edited monthly, then weekly, since 1361 and every day since 1830. By the end of the fifteenth century printed occasional sheets appear under the form of small notebooks of 4-16 pages that comprised stories about important events: battles, princely funerals, celebrations, etc. These sheets (“relations” – Latin, “occasionnels” in France, “zeitungen” in Germany, “gazzetas” or “corantas” in Italy) were sold in bookshops or by itinerant trade. Printed papers


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The first periodical printed papers were the almanacs. The first known French almanac dates back to 1486. In Germany the first accurate chronologies, annual or semestrial reviews of the main events (Messrelationen) appear, then in France, “Chronologies novennaires” (1589-1598). In February 1597, Samuel Dilbaum edited in Augsburg (on the territory of the present Germany) a monthly newspaper and in Anvers, in 1605, a fortnight newspaper appeared, called “Novelties from Anvers”. In London the first periodical newspaper appeared thanks to Thomas Archer, in 1622 and was called “Weekly News from Italy, Germany, Hungary, Bohemia, the Palatinate, France and the Low Countries. In Italy, the first publications with periodical nature appeared in 1636 in Florence and in 1640 in Rome, and in Russia the first publication was created by Peter the Great Tzar in 1703. In France, the first weekly newspaper was “La Gazette” (1631) of Théophraste Renaudot. The publication was printed with the support of Richelieu cardinal who needed a gazette with limited periodicity and with a content corresponding to his policy. La Gazette was an officious newspaper of the Royal Court, and the king himself was a collaborator of the publication. In 1635, in “La Gazette” it wrote that the publication was a “collection of all texts, usual news or extraordinary news and other stories. It contains the narrative of remarkable facts spent in this kingdom and in the foreign countries from where they came to us during the whole year dedicated to the king by Teophrast Renaudot, usual counselor and doctor of His Majesty, master and general intendant of the French offices of addresses”. The first daily newspaper in the world In 1702 appeared in England the first daily newspaper in the world called “Daily Courant”. It was constantly edited until 1735. Mass phenomenon The newspapers because a social mass phenomenon in a short time. They began to influence the decisions of authorities because they reach millions of people. After 1885 a very cheap newspaper (only 1 penny) appeared in England and it revolutionized the press. With the development of the printing press, the number of newspapers increased a lot. For instance, in 1910, in Paris, there were already 60 newspapers. In the meantime, they began to diversify and more and more local newspapers appear, then magazines or niche magazines (for certain guilds or social categories): for children, scientific, for women, etc. Consequences of appearance of Internet Nowadays there are still newspapers with impressive circulation (for instance, “Bild” in Germany which prints almost four million copies), but most publications are in bad financial situations, a lot of them being closed. The appearance of Internet gives the possibility of publication of information faster and cheaper and more and more newspapers and magazines remain only in online form. The competition between newspapers by the number of printed and sold copies transferred to the online medium and the battle is for the number of “sole visitors” or “displays by article”. But any publication that tries to resist and increase the number of readers binds the classical journalistic rules to the new rules of online medium, rules that must be taken into account in the realization of an online magazine of the high school. How does an editorial office look like?


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Each newspaper, magazine or online publication has a different structure adjusted to the financial possibilities, number of pages and its specificity. For instance, photos can be missing from a small editorial office, but that does not mean that the illustration is missing from that publication. The tasks of photos are taken over by reporters that have a photo camera and take the photos themselves for their articles. A reduced school editorial office can be made of a single editorial coordinator and reporters, but must take into account all the “uncovered” functions such as the reviser, which is very important in reaching an honorable capacity for a publication. We tried below to describe an average editorial office of daily newspaper and make the “job description” for each position in order to have an overview. Editor in chief He is the leader of a team of newspaper, magazine, publication (either printed or which appears on the Internet). He organizes the editorial office, appoints the field reporters, runs the summary meetings in which the subjects are discussed, has the final word regarding the form, content and publication of articles. Deputy editor in chief The “right hand” of the editor in chief. He shares the abovementioned responsibilities with the head of the editorial office. Editors/ Head of Departments (political, economic, social, education, feature report, investigations, culture, gossip, sport, comments, interviews) They are in charge with a team that handles precise subjects from a certain field of public interest. They send reporters to events, supervises them, discusses with each of them the approach of subjects, are responsible for the form of the final articles, make sure when the reporters make mistakes to find the fastest and best solutions to remedy the mistakes. Reporters/editors/special correspondents They are the “engine” of an editorial office. They collect information, document themselves, discuss the approach of a subject with the editors or heads of department and write the materials. Photographers/caricaturists They are in charge with the correct illustration of articles. They go to events, most of the time with reporters where they try to find the best image that “helps” the texts that will be published. Documentarists They look for relevant information (historical or recent) about an event or a character, at the request of reporters, editors or the editor in chief. The sources are newspaper archives, libraries, databases from the Internet, etc. Editorial secretary He/she is the “drive belt” between journalists and the “technical block” of the newspaper (people that draw the form of a printed newspaper or online newspaper made of layouters, image editors, art


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education designers). He/she liaises with the printing press and assures the observance of the deadlines of articles. Layouters They “draw up” the final form of the newspaper or the magazine. Revisers They assure the final correct form of texts from the grammatical point of view. Publicist genres The articles of newspaper, magazine or online publication must be able to be integrated in an exact publicist genre. The reader does not make distinction between a narrative and an editorial, but “feels” and disapproves when the journalist’s comment mixes with a piece of news. The classic publicist genres are: the news, the narrative, the feature report, the interview, the investigation (journalist investigation) and the comment (or opinion). The news The best definition of the news is: “something that we found out just now”. It is the most spread publicist genre and the most important one in daily press or online press. It is the information “packed” in its shortest form and which answers a few essential questions: who?, what?, when?, where?, why? and how?. The novelty is the most important quality of a piece of news. The most important information is written in the first phrase, then the rest in order of relevance. The indication of sources of information is vital and the journalist’s opinion must not appear in the news. The value of a piece of news is given by: novelty (it happened today), notoriety (it is about some important, known), rarity (it does not happen every day), proximity (it takes place in our town or high school), scope (it affects a lot of people, students, undergraduates, etc.). The narrative The chronological story of an event by a journalist to which he is a witness. It is the summary of the significant stages of the event, which must be of interest to the public. Apart from informative details, the reporter also presents a note of authenticity by atmosphere details (it was hot, cold, etc.). The feature report Article or a series of articles written by a journalist, having as starting point information collected on the spot, but written in an expressive way, almost literary. The reader must be made to “see”, “feel” and “live” what the reporter saw, felt and lived on the spot. It is a “story” based on a detailed investigation of the subject and a considerable documentation. The style, the form, the rhythm and a special attention paid to the language are essential. The methods of fiction are used (narrative text, scenes, dialogue, characters, action), but all the facts must be real. The feature report is not a monologue or an exclusive speech of the reporter, a description “dead nature” type or a moral lesson illustrated by a few examples.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Interview It is a dialogue between the reporter and a character. This dialogue meets a few minimal conditions: the dialogue takes place between a journalist and a person that presents interest for the public, it is a consent of publication given to the journalist by the interlocutor and the discussion is recorded and published under the form of question-answer. The interview is the transcription of that discussion. The text must be edited so that in the end there should remain only the noteworthy passages with important, shocking or entertaining information. The interview can be taken face to face, on the phone, on messenger (only if the interlocutor is hard to find or a high physical distance and after a rigorous check of the exact identity of the messenger address). For any interview the documentation is essential. If the character is not known, and the information about him/her are missing from the fast documentation sources, it is necessary that the documentation should comprise visits to relatives, friends, acquaintances. Investigation The most complex publicist genre in which can be found elements from all the previous genres. It is also called disclosure or investigation. The investigation brings to the knowledge of the public illegal facts that are hidden by the authorities or by persons with notoriety. The documentation, placing the facts in context, the interview of many characters and a clear and logical writing are essential. The reporter must talk to all the characters involved and rely on documents. Comment It is the publicist genre in which the journalist’s opinion is allowed on any subject (in general of public and immediate interest). It has no fixed rules, but the style is essential. Segments of an article Headline. With the photo, the headline is the first contact of the reader with the text. Its importance in the economy of an article is overwhelming, that is why it must be carefully selected and only after the article was read again a few times. The deadline must have a very clear message, taken from the main information of the text, be easy to understand and unequivocal. It does not contain abbreviations (apart from the well-known ones such as IMF) and does not start with an indecisive article. It is ideal to be short, informative and exciting. Chapeau (Intro). It is an introductory paragraph that reformulates and summarizes the content of the article in a phrase. It has the role of saving the reader’s time and make him understand if the content of the article interests him. Inter-headline. Because some articles require a larger space, reporters resort to exciting interheadlines in order to facilitate the reading and “break” the text. The inter-headlines are also called paragraph headlines and as the name says, they are made of words taken from the paragraph they introduce. Text. The first paragraph also called the “attack” gives the tone to the whole article and creates certain expectations from the reader. Sometimes the follow-up of the text depends on the first phrase. The texts must be clear, concise, to the point and we recommend using the verbs of movement in active diathesis. Final. Attention, the final of articles (apart from the comment/editorial) must not contain conclusions, sentences or value judgments and in any way moralizing sentences. The reader must be left to draw his own conclusions after the information was delivered to him. An ending of articles with a question mark is unprofessional. The reader wants information, not questions.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Caption (photo explanation). The caption must be clear and bring an extra value to the image. If we have a character in the photo, in the caption we will explain who the character is, with his full name and the position he has. Moreover, we can also add the place in which the photo was taken. Sources and documentation How do we get to write a piece of news or a more complex article? It is not so complicated as it seems at first. The subjects are everywhere around us. At press conferences, at local council meetings, in the press, on websites and forums of any kind. Ideas of subjects we received them from the readers by phone or email, from the persons we met or we just notice something interesting in the street. The sources that must not be neglected are the classified ads columns or the information board in the block of flats. Thus, we have a lead, an idea or a tip for a subject. How do we continue? Step 1. The first thing when we start to document an article is to have the answer to the question “Who could give us the exact information?” The potential sources are: Administration (Town Hall, Local Council, County Council), persons from the management of the high school and the County Inspectorate, members of parliament, business men, trade union leaders, NGOs, emergency services (Police, Ambulance, etc.), students, parents. Step 2. After we determined the best potential source for our subject, we try to obtain an interview with that person. The interview must be prepared by a pre-documentation on websites, press archives, discussions with persons that are familiar with the subject. The ideal thing is to take a face to face interview, but most of the times, it is not possible; with some exceptions (for instance, if we work on a profile or want to publish a vast interview, question-answer), we can discuss over the phone with our source, and the meeting is not necessary. Other situations: •

The person with whom we want to discuss will delegate a spokesperson that provides us the information.

The source will send the answers by email.

Bad luck: the source does not want to talk. We continue to search until we find another source.

Step 3. Finally we obtained the information. Do we start writing? Only if we have the most complete and correct information. If we have a piece of news that announces a concert in town, we have no reasons to doubt, so we start writing. But if we have a student that accuses a teacher of asking him money to pass him, we try to see how credible the information is – we have to discuss with other students, with the accused and the school management. It is not the type of article you will write every day, but even for the most frequent analyses we still need 1-2 persons to interview. Step 4. If the subject is vast and/or conflicting, all the information obtained by interviews can be doubled by documentation from other sources: websites of organizations (town hall, high school), Official Gazette, the online archives of news websites, a “control” search on Google.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Illustration. In parallel with the documentation of the text, we also think of illustration. In general, we select the most appropriate photo or photos after we intuit how the news or article will look like; very rarely, we write the text depending on the photo (for instance, we receive a gorgeous photo with trees in bloom and then the text is secondary as importance). We can take the photos ourselves, we can take them from our own archive, from other archives, from websites, blogs, photographic bases. The golden rule: quotation of the source. Where it is possible, we also add video, with the same rules. Online journalism The internet is the influent media, used most of the times to have the information necessary for making a decision. We have an infinite space to publish news and methods of self-promotion, and the information can be presented in complete formats: text, audio, video plus enclosed documents and links to other websites. New media also has disadvantages that can be avoided: abundance of information (which can lead to saturation), the presence of wrong information, the fact that, according to experts, the web reader avoids long texts. All this can be avoided. The newspapers, the televisions and the radio stations made websites, especially in the last years, even certain publications gave up printing in favor of online publications. The website is a necessity because the information circulates much faster. For the press businesses, Internet is cheaper than the printed material, but the problem is that the incomes are lower in Romania, so from this point of view the future sounds better online. When the Internet was almost weird in the 1990s, professor Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of “World Wide Web” wrote that WWW, the first web browser, “will allow the users to annotate the existing information”. An absolute novelty: the reader could also be a “writer”. The story rolled on and today the result is called “user-generated-content”. Apart from the work of hired journalists, we have on websites texts, photos and videos done by users/readers. They are directly sent to the editorial offices or the editorial offices take them from blogs and other sites. The classical examples of news are mostly made by professional journalists, but the counterexample can be YouTube, exclusively supplied by the users. “Citizen journalism” The concept also received a name: citizen journalism, which means the involvement of ordinary people without training in journalism and who are not hired and not even collaborators of editorial offices, in the creation of news, photos, video feature reports. They are posted on forums, blogs, websites, social networks, from where they can be taken free of charge by full-time journalists. Citizen journalism must not be mistaken for civic journalism. The difference is that those who handle the first form do it irregularly, they are occasional journalists unlike the other journalists that handle civic problems. Landmarks •

2001 – the first moment of glory of blogs: the September 11th Attacks, when a part of the large website (BBC, for instance) were impossible to access because of the high number of users, so the information started to circulate on alternative channels, such as the blogs.

2009 – Twitter Revolution from the Republic of Moldova: news about the protests of Chisinau circulated fast on this network of socialization.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Sources and documentation on Internet The Internet is an amazing source for the reporters; the speed of documentation of an article is huge compared to what was before online. Official information such as the press releases, does not come by fax or by the flows of press agencies, but is posted on official websites or circulate by email. There are online legislative databases, online news, online reports, online town halls, online local councils, online companies. The unofficial information circulates on forums, blogs, social networks (Facebook, Twitter), in the sections of comments of news websites. The readers will post not only comments, but also information that can improve the article. In this case, the information must be comprised after check in a new version of the article that will be reloaded on the website. Not long ago, you could find an address or a phone number by calling information or taking in hand a thousand pages book – the phone book. Today, the phone book for natural persons is on the internet, at the address www.paginialbe.ro and the phone book for companies is www.paginiaurii.ro. Even the sources are interviews by internet, when the meeting or the discussion over the phone is not possible. We have the free phone service Skype, Yahoo messenger and in the worst case for an interview, the email. “Google it” The famous search engine seems to be a miracle, especially for those who made press before its appearance. First of all, it helps us contact persons with whom we want to discuss. We type “Cristian Popescu Piedone” and will probably find links to his webpage, to his Facebook or Linkedin account or to his personal blog. If we search for a subject, let’s say “Law of grants”, we will probably find links to the law text, to press articles or to a debate forum. All this contains useful information for the subject we are working on. “Net” Source If we find a piece of information on the internet, it is not necessarily accurate. You can find plenty of information on forums, but it is best to check it. “The Internet” is not a source in itself. Among Google facilities, apart from the classic “search”, we have the search in news archives (on http://news.google.com) and free translation service (http://translate.google.com). A tip: If we make a search for an expression or a last name plus first name, we will write them between quotation marks to have the exact results. Online editing rules The reporters of news websites can move freely when it comes to writing. The technology helps them make the texts easier to read and find on the Internet. Here are a few special rules valid online, apart from the classic writing rules. Title It can be longer than the printed newspaper, which is limited as space. We recommend the clear and attractive titles because they appear on the homepage of the website. If they are not


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education interesting, the readers will not click on the whole news. More rarely, the title is double by a subtitle or both. Intro (lead) The first paragraph of the news must contain the essence of the news for the reason explained above, in the title. It can be less precise and more creative in case of feature reports. In intro and in the title there should be key words that the news author estimates the readers will use when they search on search engines like Google. For instance, it is obvious that in a piece of news about the high school graduation session, among the words from the title and the lead there will be “high school”. The size There are no tailor-made sizes, but a standard can be: “soft” news of low importance, around 300 words, more or less: “hard” news – the news of the day, important – about 600 words; the feature report, investigation, interview – over 600 words. Updating Online allows the improvement of an already published article, when new information appears. For instance, in case of a “breaking-news” information, after the information appeared very briefly or only the title and intro, with the label “The news is updated”/”We will return”, we return with the whole story with the label “Updated news”. Even if we have news that does not narrate an event in progress, we may be necessary to complete it or change it; we use the label “Updated news”. Microcontent It means the segmentation of the text in order to make it easier to read. For instance, if we have a river-text (over 1,000 words), after the lead we present a synthesis of the text, with hyphen or with bullets. For enumerations bullets are recommended. Words, phrases or names can be written in italics or with bold or with italic bold in order to be highlighted. Quotation and links You can make direct reference to another website, to an article (from another site or from your own site). The link is placed on a name, on a word, on a part of the phrase or even (more rarely) on the whole phrase. Photo & video Online allows the creation of multimedia subjects that contain apart from the text, photos, documents, audio and video files (they can be downloaded from YouTube, the best source). You must always state the source. Tags (key-words) The author of the news or the editor (who supervises the news) must write tags (key words or expression between inverted comas) at the end of the news. The purpose is that the users that look


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education for a piece of information on Google or other search engines by typing the key words to find the news. Online newspaper – the first steps The site itself is the simplest part of the process, so, although there is the temptation to focus on name and graphics, they are the secondary elements in the conception of a newspaper or online magazines. Editorial strategy The team has to set its objectives: what type of subjects it wants to publish, who the potential readers are, what is the frequency by which the materials will be published and to settle a weekly editorial meeting. Team structure An editorial office, even a small one, must have a coordinator and people in charge of sections. Each reporter will “cover” one or more sections that the team establishes depending on the editorial tactics. Do not forget the contact section that should contain at least a phone number and an email address. Name and logo The site (newspaper) needs a name. It is ideal that the newspaper’s name should coincide with the web address. The name must be clear and short. A newspaper also needs a logo and optionally a slogan. Template The graphics of the newspaper can be chosen from the hundreds of free themes wordpress type and can be changed depending on the team strategy, the high school colors, etc. Training Before publishing the journalistic materials, it is recommended that each member of the team knows how the site functions: how to post an article, how to put a photo or a video material, how to put a link, how to write the key words. Promotion The newspaper must be promoted by all possible channels, from local online newspapers (with which one can exchange links) to blogs and Facebook account. Start the promotion in high school, by announcing as many students as possible about the launch of the newspaper. When you publish local interest subjects, announce the local press by telling them to quote you and put a link to your article. Ten pieces of advice to follow


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education •

In the job description of a reporter, it says “sociable”. A good reporter is able to discuss convincingly with a minister, but also with a criminal that is prosecuted.

Add phone numbers even if you do not need them for the moment; you may use them some other time. Do the same with the documents you do not use at the moment. In a discussion, write down everything the interlocutor tells you, maybe the news will appear from where you least expect.

A good reporter also reads other newspapers than the one on which he works and other blogs than himself and even if he despises the tabloids he looks into them once in a while to better understand another world than the world in which he moves.

The press conference or the local council meeting is a good opportunity to discuss with the officials and obtain other subjects than those announced, which all the journalists will have. In other words, to follow your own agenda.

The documentation of a subject is done depending on its stake: a piece of news about the organization of a concert comes from a simple advertisement, but an analysis of migration is the result of an elaborated documentation plan.

Use the recorder when you take an interview you will publish integrally or when you have a controversial subject. Thus, the transcription of the interviews will take a lot of your time, so you’d better take the notes.

There are no bad questions, but there can be questions that were not asked. Even if you fear the interlocutor will consider you ignorant, you should still ask the question you are afraid of. When you do not obtain the wanted answer, try to go back by reformulating the question.

A reporter must be cautious with the one that promises him “sensational disclosures” and try to identify the interest of that person. Still, if the facts are correct and of public interest, most of the times the news must be published, even if it serves the interest of the source.

“Translate” the official bureaucratic language: most of your readers do not work for the town hall or the Ministry of Education, so they need news with an ordinary language, but not commonplace.

Each piece of news or article has a story behind it. Even if it is a short or long text, only precise or creative, it is important that you write the relevant details in logical order.

Ten mistakes easy to avoid •

The expression of the author’s opinion in an information article is the most common mistake of the beginner journalists. “The Prom was a successful show” is an opinion and it has no place in news. “Students from other high schools in town came to the Prom” is a piece of information that can show that the show was successful and attracted a lot of world. “Mr. Ion Ionescu, the director of “Mihai Eminescu High School” said at the end of the show that the Prom was more interesting this year than the last year” is an opinion that can be inserted in the article because we attribute it to a character.

Using the first person singular (except for the opinion articles) is prohibited. “I saw how two students fought at the Prom and my classmate Adrian Marin got to hospital” is a situation that can be easily described as follows: “During the Prom a fight took place between two students and one of them, Adrian Marin, needed medical care at the Municipal Hospital”.

The publication of information without writing the source makes the article less credible and leaves room to interpretations. In order to avoid the additional questions that the reader could ask, always indicate the source of information: “According to a report made by the


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education high school teachers…”, “According to the proximity policeman…” or “From the declarations of the guardian it results that…” •

The abundant use of neologisms, regionalisms, slang can make it difficult to read your article. That is why, you have to use simple words that anyone can understand without opening the dictionary.

The use of specialized terms without their explanation being made clear to the readers must be avoided as much as possible so that they do not confuse the terms. Never assume that the reader knows what “tachycardia” means if you do.

The publication of an accusing declaration without requesting the opinion of the accused is prohibited. If you manage to contact the accused person during the time you allotted for the drawing up of the article, postpone the publication until you manage to contact the character.

Avoid to write even at the beginning of articles the date when it happened or will happen so that your news does not look like the posters from the entrance in the block of flats: “Tomorrow, 20th January, the Prom takes place in X High School. The special guest of the evening will be Stefan Banica Jr.”. It is correct: “Stefan Banica Jr. will sing at the Prom of X High School. The event takes place tomorrow, 20th January and we expect…”

The full takeover of articles from other publications – “copy-paste” – is prohibited. If there is information you want to use in your article and you cannot access it from another place, quote the author and the publication from where you take the information.

Do not “look down” on your readers. Try to treat any comment, letter or claim with the due respect of those who allotted time to read an article you wrote. Answer with a respectful language to any claim, either it is a comment posted below your online article or verbal in the school courtyard.

Do not make free references to ethnicity or sexual orientation of a person.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Pierre Albert, Press History, Editura Institutul European, 2002 Philippe Gaillard, Technique of Journalism, Bucharest, Editura Stiintifica, 2000 Richard Keeble, “Written Press – a Critical Introduction”, Editura Polirom, 2009 John Wilson, “Let us understand Journalism”, Editura “Institutul European”, 2004 http://www.highschooljournalism.org/ http://www.media-awareness.ca http://radio-weblogs.com http://ezinearticles.com http://www.netlingo.com


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

ELEMENTS OF PROFESSIONAL DEONTOLOGY FOR CIVIC JOURNALISTIC PROJECTS IN SCHOOLS Elena Coman Introduction: The notion of journalism is inseparable from the idea of professional deontology – a professional journalistic project cannot exist outside the ethic journalistic rules – it is a fundamental sentence of the profession, a truth nobody contests. Civic journalism does not make a distinctive note from this rule, being first a journalistic projects, different from the professional journalism by the fact that it is done by persons that are not paid for their activity as journalists. This is a very complicated way of saying that you cannot do journalism if you do not observe rules, and the quality of journalism you do is given mainly by the extent to which this journalism observes professional rules. This truth is extremely intuitive: any consumer of newspapers, radio or television feels when a journalistic material is correct or not, even if it does not have the slightest idea about the rules of journalist profession. This is the best quality of journalistic deontology – you can naturally intuit its violation when you encounter this situation and recognize its observance from afar. That is why, although there is a theoretical component of journalistic activity, the practice is its most important part. In the simplest terms, journalistic deontology is a set of professional rules that are found under the form of a “code” – a document-instrument that contains concepts, general rules and exceptions from rules. The fundamental characteristic of deontological code is intuitiveness – they are instruments built on the moral intuition of the subject that applies them. Rather than being rules that must be learned by heart, they are instruments of capability of the person that applies them – make you ask yourself ethical problems, help you permanently improve your moral intuition – it a very complicated way of saying that it makes you a better person or at least more capable of making the distinction between correct and incorrect. The main learning instrument is the example – real or imaginary – and the raising of issues around this example. The fundamental perspective by which these examples are analyzed is the perspective of consequences: what consequences a certain gesture/journalistic material causes for the different parts involved. Most of the deontological situations can be analyzed as follows: -

identification of the parts affected by a certain journalistic material;

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identification of consequences the material causes at the level of these affected parts;

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quantification of these consequences – by following, at the same time, two principles; 81


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education -

maximization of the good that the journalistic act causes by the principle “as good as possible for as many persons as possible”.

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Minimization of the evil that the journalistic can create – examples are the protection rules for the persons that are in vulnerable situations, who could be affected by the journalistic act if only the first principle had been applied.

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Finding the balance between these consequences and the resolution of the deontological problem.

It seems to be a very complicated formula, but its implementation is extremely simple: any material produced has consequences in the life of readers, in the life of person/s about which you write, in the journalist’s life and these consequences must be taken into consideration. A journalistic material has to aim at obtaining benefits for the most part of its public, and by benefits we understand things such as: a better understanding of the world in which they live, a different version on the community in which they live, a piece of information that helps them to act more informed or more involved in the community life. Central concepts in journalistic professional deontology The presentation text is accompanied once in a while by a few examples that can be discussed any time, but especially in the editorial meetings, in order to underline the strongly applicative nature of the problems of journalistic ethics. Public interest The public interest is the most important concept of journalistic activities, regardless of the form in which they are carried out. There is no complete and final definition of the public interest, but it does not make it impossible to be recognized. The public interest is usually defined by the resort to three fundamental concepts from democracies, around which mass media activity is constructed in general: -

freedom of expression;

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access to information;

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making the governing act fully responsible.

Easier said: mass media is a democratic institution by which the citizens of a state express themselves, are informed about public interest matters and manifest their control over the state institutions. The public interest is the expression/reflection of these citizen rights. The general subjects, without being singular, which correspond to this definition are:

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cases of corruption or injustice;

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cases of incompetence or negligence of the institutions;


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education -

subjects related to health and public safety;

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information regarding the functioning of certain institutions of the country/community;

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information that facilitates the participation of citizens in social, economic or political life of the country or the community in which they live;

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information that helps the citizens not to be misled by persons or groups;

Examples of subjects: -

indicators of economic performance of a country or community;

-

social unrest: strikes, protests, civic manifestations;

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epidemics, medical prevention, rare diseases, correct medical information;

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the budget of a town hall, the carrying out of national or local elections, information on candidates in elections which could prevent them from exercising their position correctly;

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the condition of roads, the functioning of the railways;

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the condition of vulnerable communities or groups, unemployment, work migration, crime rate in a community;

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organization and functioning of thesis or other national exams.

Demonstrative exercise: An article about the situation of unemployment in Vaslui contains information about: the number of the unemployed, their social and economic status (what age they are, what education they have), the number of positions available in the town and information about the religion of the head of territorial work inspectorate. You must determine that information is of public interest and what information is not. Resolution: -

the number of the unemployed, their social and economic status, the number of available positions in town help the public realize what is the general economic condition of the community – it is public interest information;

-

the religion of the head of territorial work inspectorate is irrelevant regarding the exercise of the public position he fills – it is not public interest information.

Other proposals of exercises: An article about X, candidate at the town hall, contains information about: the businesses in which the candidate is shareholder, data about his political route, his son’s school

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High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education grades, the declarations of assets for the last 5 years while it had public positions and the photos of owned houses. You are asked to establish what information is of public interest. An article about an influenza epidemics contains information about: the number of cases in town, the number of closed schools, medical advice from a general practitioner physician, medical advice from the reporter’s grandmother and the musical preferences of the patients of the infectious disease department of the hospital in town. You are asked to establish what information is of public interest. Good faith Any journalistic project starts from good faith – it is the equivalent of “innocence presumption” in journalism. Any journalist, whether a professional or a citizen, must start from good faith in the realization of a material and must act based on it. It is by far the most difficult to define notion from journalism, but an image of what its legal definition means, with which the Romanian law works: it is the intimate faith of a person that everything he/she does is good, according to the law. In journalism, it is the intimate conviction of the journalist that what he/she does is good and according to the rules of profession. The good faith is generally defined by the opposition in bad faith: what is the violation of professional rules for obtaining personal benefits or for a group. Example of bad faith: A journalist publishes an article about the director of a high school in town, in which he/she publishes personal data (photos of family, house, information about his/her childhood) in which the journalist accuses the director of corruption acts without giving him the right to reply. The material appears after the high school refused to transfer the journalist’s child to that high school. Example of good faith: A journalist publishes a material about the director of a high school in town in which he publishes public data about the school performances of the high school students and about the use of high school budget for the realization of works for which there is no approval of the management board of the school. In the material he also published the director’s point of view to these accusations. The material was done after the reception of a letter signed by several parents that complained about the unjustified increase in the contributions of parents required by the school. In the material, the journalist does not express any kind of personal opinions about the competence of the actors involved, but only exposes the facts, without interpretations. Protection of sources

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High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education For the realization of his materials, a journalist works with official or confidential documents and/or persons that give official or confidential declarations. All these are sources for the material. A good journalistic material must state the sources used for information: an official report, public information from the web pages of institutions quoted by an official representative of an institution, etc. In some cases, the sources of information from a material cannot be disclosed, when their disclosure jeopardizes the integrity of that source – when it is a person. The journalist has the obligation to keep anonymous these sources – he can be an employee of the town hall that gives the journalist information about the deduction of personal expenses by the mayor from the local budget; this employee could lose his job. So much more if the source is , let’s say, a member of the United States Army that gives details about the treatment applied to the war prisoners. Not just the ethical codes, but also the European legislation recognizes the journalist’s right not to disclose the source. On the other hand, it is the journalist’s responsibility, according to professional rules, to critically treat the information given by a source – to check them, to take into consideration the potential reasons of the source for not giving that information: why a certain student gives you negative information about the activity of the Student’s Council – it is a legitimate question to which you need an answer before publishing a material based on his statements. Why does a parent give you negative information about a teacher? All the information given by an anonymous source is checked by resorting to public information, by requiring official points of view. For instance, a famous case of critical check of sources of the daily newspaper Los Angeles Times which withdrew a material done by involving Puff Diddy in the death of Tupak Shakur, after checking more carefully the documents and the anonymous declarations that relied on the realization of the initial article1. A journalistic material must rely to a very small extent on “information from sources”, which means anonymous, and a lot is based on checked information, facts, documents and assumed declarations – a material about the Student’s Council budget cannot rely on anonymous declarations, which is a subject that allows without problem to obtain official documents or information. Whenever possible, the person that gives information must be identified as accurately as possible in the article: - position, exact name – in case of representatives of public institutions (directors, mayors, school inspectors, etc.) or companies or organizations – when they give official declarations or are interviewed or you make materials from a press conference or another official event, for example. The most famous case of protection of sources is the reporters from Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein who, by using information offered by a source called Deep Throat made an investigation that ended by the resignation of the American

1

LA Times retracts the material about Shakur, http://www.latimes.com/la-nawquad17mar17,0,7227999.story

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High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education President Richard Nixon. The identity of Deep Throat became public 30 years after the resignation of Nixon2. The protection of sources is the best well-known journalistic rule known by the general public mostly due to many screenings of famous cases. Most times, it helps you more to see the movie than to read the book so it is no harm to be part of the ethical qualification movies in which the subject of the sources of journalistic activities was treated: “All the President’s Men” is such a movie. Conscience clause The codes of journalistic practice recognize the journalist’s right to this conscience clause which means that the journalist must be loyal to professional principles. The principle applies especially in the relation with the publication/television/radio to which he/she belongs: a journalist has the right and the obligation not to make materials that do not observe the professional rules. A journalist, for instance, can refuse to put his signature on an article that he did not write or on a plagiarized article. Conflict of interests The conflict of interests is very special case of ethical codes, which generally appears when the journalist also fulfils other positions than the journalistic ones. So much more, such cases can be frequent in case of civic journalism. A very frequent case is when you write a material about the charitable activities of a company where relatives or friends are shareholders or managers. Sometimes, whatever you do, you cannot escape the situation of conflict of interests: you want to write about the Students’ Council, but you are a member of its management; you want to write about a local recycling initiative, but your best friends are the initiators. Most of the times, the solution at hand is the transparency of publication of a note regarding the involvement in that subject. Apart from the fact that the written article must not contain opinions of the journalist, it can end with a note that must state the relation of journalist with the subject matter: “For our readers: X, who did the material “Chess club – the best project of Students’ Council is the vice-president of the Chess Club.” Transparency As mentioned above, transparency is the principle on which relies the whole journalistic activity: the journalist relies on the truth, although he also practices the truth. Obtaining information by misleading the people is not a practice accepted by the journalistic practices: the recording with hidden camera or with hidden recorder, taking another identity are not practices we recommend as basis for the realization of materials. 2

Watergate business, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/watergate/

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High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Such an action must be very well justified: there is information you could not obtain otherwise, for instance: a journalist who wants to write about how youth engages in electoral campaigns, who writes comments on forums, could not have made the material by another way than pretending to be such a young person. In no case we recommend such a procedure with persons that are in vulnerable situations (victims of crimes or accidents, of natural disasters): you cannot claim to be a friend of a victim in order to obtain declarations from relatives; such a gesture is not just deeply unethical, but also deeply immoral. Principles in the presentation of information Checking – the information is checked, any information from the historical or scientific information to the information about traffic. A journalist does not believe anyone’s word. Accuracy – the quotations shall be presented accurately, the facts will be presented accurately. The quotations or the presented actions must belong to the persons who made them, and their names and positions must be stated as accurately as possible. If the persons that make statements are persons in vulnerable situations (minors, victims of natural disasters or of accidents or belonging to religious minorities, for instance), an acceptable option is stating of the first name of the person and a few elements that clarify, but not identify the person. Here is such an example, which presents a few elements from the life of a Rroma community: “We stopped to speak in the courtyard of Călin’s house, a 14-year old young man who smiles a lot and speaks English patiently, stuttering with emotion. It is an example for all the Rroma children in the commune who want to go to school.” Here is the difference to the mention of an official person: “The mayor of the commune, Radu Ion, declared that he would try to attract recycling companies in order to give the Rroma a chance to get hired.” Rectification – any wrong information or declaration is corrected as soon as the error was found, whether it is found by a journalist or is reported by a reader. Attribution – the materials used for the realization of the article are attributed to the person who made them. Photos are used – the source of photos is given, reports are used – it is stated who made them, quotations from different sources are used – books, articles, etc. – the authors are stated. Not everything that is on the internet is public and can be used, and in journalistic activity this is valid especially regarding the photos: we will look for photos who have creative commons license3, the license of which gives the right of reusing the photo.

3

http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons

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High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education Attribution means that we cannot assume the content that is not made by us: the press releases, for instance, must be attributed to the organization/institution that made them. Principles in the relationship with the subjects of articles Protection of private life The persons that are the subject of a journalistic material have the right to the protection of private life: no details will be given about their family, their address will not be made public and no irrelevant information will be given about their religious options. A journalistic material that presents photos of a teacher of the school who goes to the park with his family or goes shopping is not a correct material. A material in which appears the home phone number of the director of the school is an incorrect material just like any material in which details are given about his childhood or his belonging to a certain religion. In the same category there are the photos from the personal life of stars, even local starts, obtained without their consent. You cannot use in the illustration of materials photos from the personal web pages of a person (Facebook, Hi5), even if the profile is public. -

public persons

This very strict rule does not apply to persons who fill public positions (mayor, deputies, senators, ministers, etc.) where the permissiveness is larger, but this information must be treated with a lot of care: a photo of the house built while he filled a public position is justified; photos of his children without consent, while they are at swimming courses are not allowed. Protection of minors and victims It is a duty of principle to protect the identity of minors and of victims (accidents, natural disasters, crimes). Sometimes their presence with their exact identification data can have unfortunate consequences: offering information regarding the identity of witnesses to a crime – a break-in, a car accident that has victims – can put them in danger. The materials that treat subjects of this kind must be treated with a lot of attention and must be presented so that there are no prejudices to the persons presented in the article. In case of minors, as I mentioned above, the first name and the presentation of characteristics that do not identify the person (partial address, school and class they attend are details that identify the person), but which give context to the article, contribute to the credibility of the story are the solution to avoid unethical situations. For instance:

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High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education No: “Cristina, the only student with blue eyes from the 3rd grade of the school from Maracineni commune, Buzau county, will abandon school next year because of the financial situation of her parents, both unemployed.” Yes: “Cristina, being among the students who have been awarded a prize from 1st grade to 3rd grade, became, because of the economic crisis, just a number in the statistics of school abandon in Buzau county. Next year she will abandon school because of the financial situation of her parents, both unemployed.” Harassment It is prohibited to harass the persons that are in vulnerable situations in order to obtain their presence in a material. A journalist will not follow or abusively call a person in this situation in order to obtain a declaration. There are other ways of obtaining the information necessary for the article, which can be published just as well without the declaration of grieving relatives. Non-discrimination The religious or ethnic belonging will not be stated in contexts in which it has no place, especially when crimes or other negative situations are narrated. In general, these notes can hardly find their justified place in a material, except for the case when it is not an article that speaks about tolerance or about discrimination or treats the problems of minority, in which case the note brings more force of persuasion to the material. Example: No: “We identified two suspects of break-in in the chemistry laboratory. The first one is Laurentiu Popescu, of Rroma origin, 10th grade student. The second is Adrian Ionescu, Rroma origin, 8th grade student.” Yes: “With over 50% of the students belonging to Rroma population, we wanted to find out what our Rroma classmates think about the expulsions that took place in France. We talked first to Laurentiu, whom we found in the informatics laboratory. Laurentiu has more relatives away in Spain and keeps contact with them through the Internet…”. As a rule, the fair journalist is a person that has to open the horizons of tolerance of his readers, to cultivate the diversity of opinion and ethnic, religious or any kind of belonging. Use of special investigation techniques I also wrote above. They are justified in extremely special cases. These situations must be determined in an editorial meeting or by consultation of several opinions on this subject. These techniques are reserved to professional journalists, a citizen journalist can put himself in extremely dangerous situations. It is not an allowed journalistic practice to record with hidden camera or with recorder a teacher in class, except when abuses or aggressions are documented. In this 89


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education kind of situations, before being printed in the school newspaper, the situation must be presented to the school management board and/or school inspectorate if the abuses are done by the school management. Institution of the right to reply Any person that considers prejudiced by a journalistic material has the right to reply. The right to reply is published in the same conditions and format as the material to which it refers. A right to reply must be substantiated and clearly present the problem it tackles: the inaccuracy of data, name, etc., errors in the attribution of quotation or the omission of facts. A right to reply cannot concern an opinion article: - if I state in an opinion material: “the decision of giving right to a fast-food to sell products in the school courtyard was a bad decision”, the right to reply will be given to all those who say that it was a good decision. - if I state in a material about “The presence of fast-foods in school” that the fastfood from the courtyard is frozen and imported, I tried to speak to the representatives of fast-food, but they did not reply in due course and I receive from the representatives of fast food a right to reply in which they me documents with data on the origin of the food, which is Romanian and fresh, then this right to reply is published. Facts and opinions There are factual materials which present facts, events, news, analyses, feature reports and opinion materials – comments, editorials. The opinions are expressed in opinion materials and must be substantiated, be expressed in a civilized way and not offend the person – express opinions regarding ideas, not persons. We will not say, most of the time, it seems to me that the Head of the National Company of Motorways from our town is an idiot”, but we will be able to say “most of the times, it seems to me that the decisions of the National Company of Motorways regarding the rehabilitation of streets in our town are based on the immortal fairy tales of Petre Ispirescu, not on studies on the spot.” It is the same in any civilized polemics: the decision is criticized, not the person. There is a smooth line between opinion and the presentation of some opinions as facts, as is the case of stereotypes or the biases under the form of statements: “we all know that students cheat at the high school graduation exams”, “the civil servants from the Financial Administration all take bribe”, “all the political people got rich illegally”, “we are already convinced that all the football supporters are bullies”. These statements do not take place in a journalistic material. Public interest or public’s interest

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High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education A very frequently encountered confusion is the confusion between the public interest or the public’s interest. The public can be interested in things that are not always for the benefit of the public – especially details from the private life of stars. The interest in such subjects can be noticed especially in the success of publications that deal with fashionable people and/or stars. The public’s interest in details relating to private lives does not justify the invoking of a public interest: just because 10 students are interested in the favorite clothes marks of the physics teacher or the signs of the zodiac of teachers from the school, it does not justify the realization of a material on this subject. On the other hand, it is not a solution to do subjects that are not in the least interesting for the large mass of his readers such as: a feature report about the implications of quantum mechanics theory in the university activity that appears in a magazine of 12-year old students. The most important rule is the most intuitive rule: we do not invent subjects, persons and quotations. One of the most read and quoted stories of this kind is the story of Stephen Glass, American reporter of a very respected magazine, who invented subjects for 3 years4. The loss of the public’s trust whether the public is 16 or 60 years old is irretrievable. Resources: http://organizatiimedia.ro/index.php?p=3 http://pressclub.ro/publicatii/cod.html http://www.pcc.org.uk/cop/practice.html http://ethicnet.uta.fi/codes_by_country http://www.journalism.org/resources/ethics_codes http://www.journalism.org/resources/principles http://ethicaljournalisminitiative.org/en http://www.concernedjournalists.org/tools/filter/64 http://www.concernedjournalists.org/tools/principles/elements http://www.nytco.com/press/ethics.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/edguide/editorialvalues/ http://www.concernedjournalists.org/tools/principles/rights

4

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Glass_(reporter)

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High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

COMMUNICATION AND PROMOTION OF SCHOOL NEWSPAPERS Elena Coman

The children are the greatest experts in communication when it comes to materials made by them for them, they are experts in promotion methods used by their generation and the most capable to communicate accurately in the language of those for whom they write. There is a great naturalness in the organization of such campaigns by the students and the adults learn from them rather than teach them lessons about communication and promotion. In the project “High School Reporter” we approached all the classic and non-classic types of promotion, we enumerated most of them below – there are situations when only certain methods function, there are other where all are worth being investigated. What is very clear is that if they are thought and made by the students, they have higher chances of success among the students than if they are thought and made by adults for the students. A very important step in the project was the selection of a name and a visual identity for each online newspaper – all the participants in the project felt the need to improve all the time the visual presence of the newspaper and it is good to be as flexible as possible up to the point when they feel comfortable with their choice. Contests can take place in schools for the development of visual materials that will help to promote the newspaper. The freedom they had in the selection of communication methods made each of them go to what was more suitable for the context in which they were. In the inventory of promotion and communication methods used by the students, it is worth mentioning: Classic promotion and communication - realization and dissemination of promotional materials: The students made and disseminated flyers, stickers and other promotional materials at the public events of the school, but also of the community (picnic days, town anniversaries). They can also make T-shirts or bags, pens, pencils or sightseeing cards to promote. -

organization of promotional events – launch of newspaper, thematic debates, etc.

They initiated and organized debates in the school or in the community about their activity or what means doing “civic journalism” – they were the first who started these debates in their communities. -

partnerships with the local mass media:

Local mass media help you find a wider audience than the audience of students from your school. The materials made for the school newspaper can be published in the newspapers of the community by a principle agreement between the two entities. Online promotion and communication


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education

The students understand the best the force of online communication, and as for the realization of these activities, even if they discover these technologies now for the first time, they will be able to master them much better than an adult. -

the use of instant messenger (Yahoo Messenger, Google Chat, etc.):

It is the communication instrument the most used by the students aged 11-19 who have hundreds of lists of friends. The instant messenger statuses are the handiest means of communication they use: to communicate states, achievements, failures or thing they consider important. Naturally, they will promote their written materials on their own network. -

the use of social networks (Facebook, Hi5, Twitter, etc.):

The special pages that gather fans are a good instrument of communication and collective promotion – in this network, online newspapers can reach an audience of 1,000 persons extremely fast, as is the case of some of the pages dedicated to the newspapers of High School Reporter project. In their activity, it helps if the promotion responsibilities are divided and each team member is responsible for the realization and coordination of a certain activity among which the activities chosen by the team for promotion.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

DIDACTIC CONSIDERATIONS By Ecaterina Stănescu Before 1989, when we fed more on books than on food, a distinguished professor I had, Mrs. Zoe Petre, published as a translator the book of Pierre Vidal-Naquet, “Black Hunter”. Those interested in history as a job or just as a passion heard for sure about this researcher and can definitely say that it is about history, the history of the old Elade. While I was waiting for my turn to buy, someone asked, according to the code known by all the working world “What do they give?” the answer was in chorus “An Adventure Book”. I remembered this dialogue when I asked myself who could be interested in this guide. And with hope I enumerated: the English, Romanian, entrepreneurial education, history teachers as are those involved in the project initiated by Soros Foundation, “High School Reporter”; I immediately added the students that want more from the school, from themselves, from those around them, as are those that gave life to the project. I also rely on the journalists who ask themselves what is the age, qualification, power of understanding and reaction of those who read them. With more hope I enumerated the decision-making persons in the field of education in Romania, formal education, non-formal education and informal education. At the beginning of 2010, the work “School as it is” was published, materialization of a project “initiated, conceived and carried out during the period 2007-2009 by the financial partnership between the United Nations Fund for Children –UNICEF Romania and the Centre “Educatia 2000”. In the conclusions formulated by Romiţă B. Iucu, conclusions that the author sees as educational policy recommendations, he mentions the key competences that according to European documents are to be instructed to the teaching staff. Among them there are: -

to work with information, technology and knowledge;

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to work with the persons from the near educational entourage: students, colleagues, school and non-school education partners;

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to work with and in society, at different levels of complexity and expression: local, regional, national, European, international.

In a more optimistic moment, in 2002, Eleonora Rădulescu and Anca Tîrcă wrote in the foreword of another guide (School and Community – Guide for Teachers) about the Romanian society in search of identity and the meaning of becoming: “The transformation of the school in a nucleus able to authentically take this mission can take place only if the global society recognizes the real priorities in the field of education: -

determination of the set of values that must guide the evolution of society and its education;

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support of the partnership of all social factors that are interested in the development of education.”

These objectives can seem Utopian in the current context of Romania, but they are not impossible, as shown by the achievements of the eight teams involved in the project. I would write on the list of beneficiaries of this guide, without hesitation, Howard Gardner, who in the 1980s of the last century formulated the Multiple Intelligences Theory. According to his own testimony, “My research in the psychology of development and neuro-psychology that led to the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (TMI) started in the 1970s. the main directions of the theory were completed in 1980, and my book called “Frames of Mind”: The Theory of Multiple


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Intelligences appeared in the autumn of 1983”. Twenty five years after formulation, the author updates the theory, having in sight especially the way in which educators applied the results of psychological research in school practice. Gardner is very satisfied with the fact that the theory and practice of multiple intelligences acquired their own life. This life was also given by the teachers and students involved in the “High School Reporter” project. Let us describe the set of intelligences that Gardner defined, identified the area in the brain that corresponds to each of them and recognized them in the behavior of celebrities or ordinary people. Musical intelligence (proof coming from various cultures support the idea that music is a universal faculty.) The capacity to solve problems and develop products by rhythm and melody: Cristina Onu, Alba Iulia, the International Festival of Short Film “Tres Courts”: in the Saturday evening at 8 p.m., the competition “Paroles de femmes” was preceded by a rock and electric fusion artistic concert given by two bands: Fat 32 Duo, Secret Chiefs 3 and the solo drum player Ches Smith. They impressed a lot the audience, which considered the live performance unique and unforgettable, many participants being from Timisoara, Brasov, Bucharest, Sibiu, Cluj. “In the beginning, the people warmed up with difficulty at Fat 32 duo because the genre was not necessarily to the taste of the community, but then it was ok” said Ioana Novăcean, one of the spectators of the concert. The bodily kinesthetic intelligence (the skill of using the body to express an emotion, to play a game or to create a new product represents the proof of a cognitive characteristic of using the body) The capacity of solving problems and developing products by movement: Marius Maxa, “Dionisie Pop Martian” Economic College, Alba Iulia Impressions about “RDL” Project Just as in any activity, in the high school reporter activity there are unpleasant and pleasant situations. To me the joy of this “job” is given by the fact that you have the possibility to get in touch with different social media from the community, it is not an office job where you have to sit 8 hours a day on a chair in front of the computer. You have the possibility to know new people, to learn about their problems or the problems of the community, to visit certain places. The high school reporter job also has many obstacles such as the difficult collaboration with the local authorities. There are situations in which at certain public institutions you have to wait longer than you have to or longer than the law says in order to receive answers to the requests you make. Another problem is the status of student because the world does not always take you seriously. But, the biggest problem of all is the fear of the citizen to be taken an interview. Florina Crăciunescu, Colegiul National Banatean, Timisoara CNB Fest starts! CNB Fest, the event that the students from Colegiul Banatean are waiting for excitingly every year finally arrived at our “courtyard”! The great opening takes place tomorrow, 21st May, 11 a.m. in the school courtyard where the houses will anchor their flags, we will dance to the anthem of CNB Fest (yes, this year we have an anthem – “They’ll call me freedom, just like a Waving Flag) and the first competition will take place: Drawing the rope. In the evening, we will celebrate the inauguration of CNB Fest at the ball, at 6 p.m. Starting from Tuesday, the school is ours.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Competitions and entertainment begin. At 1 p.m. competitions will take place such as Bobbing Apples, Mime and CNB Quiz. On Wednesday, there will be CNB Cross, Bowling with cabbage and volleyball with balloons. On Thursday we will participate in classes held by students (11 a.m.), we will see who is the best in debates between students and teachers (12 p.m.), we will sing together at karaoke (1 p.m.) and in the end we will end up with a taste of cinnamon-banana-apples-grapes-saltpepper because the Flavor Contest will take place at 2.30 p.m. Logical mathematical intelligence is the archetype of raw intelligence or the capacity to solve problems, which seems to transcend the fields) The capacity to operate with models, categories and relations, of grouping and setting data in order and interpreting the data: News Magazine of Marton Aron Theoretical High School, Miercurea Ciuc The school is in renovation, the boarding school moves out Our first subject tackled in the online newspaper was a challenge because it was up-to-date at that time and many persons were involved, especially those from the boarding school among whom there is the co-author of the text, Dumitru Alexandru. The subject seemed interesting and I felt the ambition to let the public know about the situation created by the renovation of our school, in parallel with the demolition of an old boarding school, the boarding school of Marton Aron Theoretical High School. First of all, we decided to make a sketch usable along the way. The most suitable place was a coffee shop called Back Stage. We made our plan clear and we decided to require information from a clerk we chose the vice-mayor Antal Attila in charge with educational problems. As we said before, we had difficulties in our communication with him. After a longer period we received the necessary information by email and then we tried to take photos. The next stages were the narration of the facts, the correction in Romanian belonging to our project coordinator (another exam to pass…) then the posting of the finished article with the most successful photos. Musatinii, Roman, Round Table: “Civic journalism as civic education method” At the initiative of RdL Coordinator, Miruna Troncotă, “Musatinii” dealt with a unique experience, respectively the preparation and realization of a round table. Thus, we distinguish three main stages of organization of such an event: I.

Preparation: -

selection of a proper location for carrying out the debates;

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thorough preparation of the subjects of debate;

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announcement in time of the subject of debate, the time and place of deployment;

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invitation of the representatives of the civil society, authorities, mass media;

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provision of the audio video means (PC, video-projector, microphones);

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realization of the journalistic folder (brochures, stickers, written material about the subject).


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education II.

Deployment: -

optimization of discussions by alternating general questions with the questions specific to the subject;

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“breaking” the pace by asking challenging questions;

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the consequent follow-up of the theme in discussion.

III.

Dissemination -

the critical approach of the results of conference in the editorial meeting; presentation of the results of the press conference at Students’ Council; promotion of the final evaluation in the local mass media.

Linguistic intelligence The capacity to solve problems and develop products with the aid of linguistic code: Rai Andrei, “Andrei Mureseanu National College”, Bistrita Rached, a phenomenon of poetry and medicine Rached Elias Daoud, born in Lebanon, is a doctor, graduate of the Faculty of Medicine of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, class 1983. PhD in medical sciences, he is a laureate of several universities, some of them awarding him the title of “Doctor Honoris Causa”. Dr. Daoud is not an ordinary doctor, he is more than that: he is first of all original by his treatment methods that are unique all over the world, but he is also a poet of science and mystic philosophy. He got to love our country during university and remained loyal to his love for Romania and for Romanian language. His poems are written in an impeccable Romanian, being collected in many poetry volumes among which I mention: “Time fascination”, “Stop-overs on Golgota”, “Thank you thought”, “The Man without a face” and other two will be published in the near future, “Tragic Anamnesis” and “Sic Transit…” IN THE FACE OF SIMPLICITY Dig without a moment’s respite In the history of life I have the feeling that you do it Slowly So you discover something In order to increase your productivity Dig with stubbornness, And when you excoriate your palms By bleeding the spade’s tail Leave it to descendants. Dig beyond the Cambrian,


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Remove the Stromatolites And ransack behind Time Maybe-maybe You will find the first eye of the chain And you remain with open mouth In front of simplicity. Manda Oriana, Colegiul National Banatean, Timisoara Attention! Danger of contamination with happiness! The month of May announces happy and comes with smiles. On 15th May, for an hour, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in many towns in the country and not only, many people will smile. Because in towns the people are sadder and nobody smiles you, those from the Good World with the help of volunteers initiated the campaign “A smile for you”. “We proposed ourselves to make people smile when they are walking on the street!” they say. They want to bring a moment of happiness to all those they meet in the street and give them a smile. Their goal is to make at least 1,000,000 people in Romania and from our countries smile. The campaign started in 2009, when in July, September, and December, they managed to make over 16,000 people smile. This year brings the novelty that the event will be carried out in other countries as well, as Mr. Lucian Ghindă says, the national coordinator of the campaign: “In the present campaign we aimed to promote it at international level. We already have a few international towns enrolled and we continue the promotion.” How you can offer a smile: if you want to join the campaign “A smile for you” you must first complete a form on www.lumebuna.ro so that the organizers can keep you informed. Then, with a lot of colour and creativity draw smiling faces on as many post-it as possible and write below “A smile for you”. All you have to do is enjoy what you do and share a smile on paper and a smile of yours with the people you meet. Spatial intelligence (the capacity of solving spatial problems) The capacity of forming a mental model of the spatial world, of operating by using such a model, of solving problems and developing products with the aid of spatial representations and image:


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

The photo accompanies the article of Alexandra Partenie, “Grupul Scolar Forestier” (“Wood School Group”) from Caransebes about the recycling of wastes.

Image used by Musatinii from Roman to illustrate their article “Non-governmental organizations, a mystery?”

Interpersonal intelligence relies on a fundamental capacity of noticing differences in other people The capacity of solving problems and developing products by getting to know and interacting with the others: Matieş Cristina, Marton Aron Theoretical High School, Miercurea Ciuc As for the issue of recycling, obligatory subject we received from the Foundation, I wrote two articles. First of them was called “Think about the future! Recycling concerns you! http://miercureaciuc.reporterdeliceu.ro/?p=644. My training started first of all with the aid of the forum from where I received quite useful information as starting point. On the other hand, I had to tackle the subject in an article. A documentation period followed. I started with websites such as the webpage of the Environmental Ministry, Google…) and then I continued at local level by contacting the Mayor’s Office of Miercurea Ciuc and the sanitation company of the municipality. The documentation was more difficult because nobody of those I asked knew anything about the way that recycling takes place in Miercurea Ciuc. This also reflects Vox Populi I made with the answers coming from friends of my age. It was a subject in which the young people were not interested, and most of them wondered that a person of their age could be interested in something like this.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education After the meeting with our coordinator, Ana, the first thing I did was to write a letter of request to the Mayor’s Office of Miercurea Ciuc. They did not answer my questions. Then I contacted the Sanitation Company SC AVE-HURON SRL from where I received quite important answers which I think I would not have learned from anywhere else, except for the Mayor’s Office of Miercurea Ciuc. Răzvan Florea, “Dionisie Pop Martian” Economic College, Alba Iulia “Călin Potor – Alba Iulia Deputy” The team members read the article and considered that the style of the material shows a journalist that prefers not to get emotionally involved in what he writes. The feedback received from those who evaluate the writings from the online newspaper was a positive one, but there were slight slip-outs that could happen to anyone. They were remedied after the feedback. A part of the high school colleagues and even the colleagues from outside the high school contacted us and said that they found the article interesting and wanted to know if articles on political issues would appear. Monday, 8th November 2010, Traffic light, Ţăndărei Agricultural School Group Crisis on the streets of Ţăndărei 11/09/2010 By Nicoleta State The international economic crisis amplifies as the day goes by and Romania starts to feel this economic recession for which the great economists at international level cannot find a solution to counteract its effects. By watching the feature reports on TV regarding the economic crisis in Romania, I proposed myself to notice closely what effects the crisis has on the people. Going out in the street I asked a few questions to the people I met about the crisis in Romania. More exactly, I wanted to find out what they feel about the economic crisis in Romania, if and in what way this crisis affected them and if they think that this problem will be solved. The people were glad that they could tell their opinion about the crisis and frustrated at the same time because the crisis affected their lifestyle. One of the persons I interviewed, Ionela C., a 21-year old undergraduate feels that this crisis is a very serious financial problem that affects the ordinary people and not only them. Because of the lack of money in order to study at the faculty, she had to live in a student hostel where the conditions were pathetic: the furniture was deteriorated, the sanitary system was bad and the worst part is that the whole place was invaded by bugs. She fears that the problems brought by the crisis will not be solved too soon because the authorities do not make enough efforts to make it possible. Intrapersonal intelligence (knowing the internal aspects of the person: access to the life of his/her feelings, the range of emotions and the labeling and usage as means to understand and guide your own behavior). The capacity to solve problems and develop products by self-knowledge:


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Rusalin Băilă, Grupul Scolar Forestier, Caransebes Educational and professional counseling and guidance “High school students…which way to go?” The professional guidance of students is an activity by which a person is helped to develop himself and accept a full image about himself, about his role in society. The reality from Romanian schools is totally different. The classes with the master from high school were removed from the obligatory curriculum and the activity of the class master comprises the organization of extracurricular activities in which experts from different fields of interest participate, trips and meetings with certain students or parents. The class with the master moved to the black list, being the first to be excluded from the obligatory curriculum. Danciu Daniel, “Andrei Mureseanu” National College, Bistrita Recycling Either as a resonance of the actions of those from the team of high school reporters, either as pure coincidence, at 01.07.2010 the Mayor’s Office of Bistrita municipality started a campaign of selective collection of wastes by the emplacement in the collection points of containers in conventional colors determined by the sanitation law in force: -

yellow containers for PETs, sheet, plastic bags, metal packages;

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blue containers for paper;

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brown containers for other wastes;

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green containers type bell, for glass.

The campaign was made public by the distribution of warning posters at all the entrances of the blocks of flats or at private houses, in mass media or on the advertising panels from the town. In order to encourage the action, the text of the poster reminds of the European Directive that aims at environmental protection by selective collection and the obligation starting from 01.07.2010 to reach the target of recovery of wastes in proportion of 15% of the total collected quantity, in accordance with Ordinance no.1607/2008. We do not know if our actions determined this campaign or if it was planned a long time ago, but what is truly important is the experience that represented by the four team members a lesson of civic involvement and a proof that they can change the world. What they must do first is to get involved. Colegiul National Bănăţean, Timişoara Who put the garbage can in the street? The garbage from Timişoara. We all know that it is thrown in the garbage can, but in which? We decided to find out more things about selective collection of garbage, a “phenomenon” that recently occurred in our town. So we made an appointment with the company that handles the collection of garbage from our town and woke up in the morning to find the answer to all our questions. We went to the office of RETIM, where we talked to Mr. Florin Cepanariu, the manager of the company, who gave us more details about the selective collection and about many other


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education curiosities. After this discussion, we left the office of Mr. Cepanariu clarified about the situation of garbage in Timisoara and with the hope that everything will be heard on the recording. So, all this experience helped us understand that we are able to learn important information directly from the source, send it further to the interested persons and on this occasion, we become more informed about certain problems from our town. Naturalistic intelligence (the capacity to identify living beings) The capacity to solve problems and develop products with the aid of classifications and representations from the environment: Alexandra Partenie, Grupul Scolar Forestier, Caransebes My school Every year on 22nd April we celebrate the “Earth Day”, a day in which we celebrate the creation of the modern movement of the interest in the environment. It all began in 1970 when on 22nd April, 20 million Americans went out in the streets, in parks or amphitheatres manifesting for a more stable and healthier environment. 40 years from the first celebration of the Earth, its condition seems more endangered than ever. Still, in the whole world, people want to bring their contribution to the improvement of the situation. Either they are corporations or individuals, each tries to give a helping hand so that the environment does not change for the worse, but for the better. The Earth Day became an annual event in very many communities from the whole world, being a huge opportunity of uniting people to make beneficial actions for all the people. Cosmin Ciocioi and Cosmin Filişan, “Traian Vuia” School Group, Summer School – quota 1400 The threat of Edi bear From the center of Sinaia resort towards quota 1400 posters start to appear regarding the danger that bears represent. If a few years ago the main attractions were the gondola lift and the carriage back, now the whole attention goes to surprising these animals in different hypostases. At quota 1400 the bear Edi was very well-known for a few years. It stayed in the road as a beggar and everybody was enthusiastic by it because they could touch it while they fed it. It did not matter that it was day or night, Edi was at duty waiting for tourists, but just like any animal it instinctively attacked sometimes. The fun did not last for long because at the request of the economic agents “from the quota”, the foresters transferred it to the reservation of Covasna. Daniel Apostol, Traffic light, Grupul Scolar Agricol Ţăndărei Strachina Complex of Lakes, ASPA protected area For the beginning I asked a few citizens of the town if they know that the Strachina lakes are protected. They declared that they did not know. I asked if this complex of lakes is important for Ţăndărei area.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The answers were the same from everybody: the lake has a great importance. Then I asked if the citizens are affected in any way by the fact that the lake is protected area. The answers were different: it affects them more or less because of the fishing tax. Some are not interested at all because it is polluted: people that go fishing, go bathing or go to have fun, throw the garbage in the water, throw their hooks from the angling rods or throw the angling rods in the water because of the nerves that they do not catch fish. The dogs are also brought near the lake by their owners because of the diseases they have or because they do not want them anymore. The is the answer we got, it happens on the pools 2 and 3 towards Brăila because they are further away. Strachina Lake, “Strachina Complex of Lakes” is called that way because it is made of 3 pools. Pool 1 is located 3 km away from Tandarei, on European Road 60, towards Slobozia and from Slobozia towards Tandarei, after the town Ograda, 2 km away. Pool 2 on National Road Tandarei – Braila, 5 km from Tandarei and 1 km to the West. These two pools are administered by the Local Council of Tandarei. Pool 3 located on National Road Tandarei – Braila, 12 km on the County Road towards Murgeanca village, Valea Ciorii (which is the centre of commune) than at exit from Valea Ciorii to SW at 500 m and it is administered by the Local Council Valea Ciorii. This complex of lakes has a size of 1,051 ha and it is ASPA area (Bird Fauna Protected Area) with different habitats: fresh water, shrubs, bushes specific to steppe for different types of fish, birds of European importance and invertebrates. The hunting is prohibited on these lakes, but the bathing (in the summer) and fishing are allowed. From the statements of Mr. Teleoaca Dan, piscicultural engineer, Strachina lake belongs to ASPA but also S.C. IALPESCO S.A., the company that administers the area and guards it. The lake has the following species of fish: carp, plant feeder – singer, gold fish, sheat-fish, pike, zander, ablet and bass. It is populated once a year with fish, and the fishermen are allowed to go fishing only with subscription that differs in price depending on the kilos of fish they want to catch. The fish is also sold by the company. In the future, ASPA and the company that administers the area and guards it want to modernize the lake so that it is a natural European reservation by: artificial nests for birds, by purchasing lands in the vicinity of the lake for parking lots, paths, signs, etc. and by the information of citizens that it is a protected area, by its cleaning, by stopping the poaching. Existential intelligence (the intelligence of great questions, based on the inclination of people to meditate on the fundamental questions of existence: why do we live, why do we die, where we come from, what will happen to us, what is love, why do we make war. In this case, Gardner still has hesitations that come from the “precariousness” of evidence that there are areas of the brain involved in the decoding of these major aspects of existence). The gift to reflect, to ponder on the human and universal existence, the sensitivity to ask and ask oneself deeply: The Gazette of “Traian Vuia” School Group THE NEWS WAREHOUSE 31st October 2010 A prize, a memory By Cosminciocioi under Craiova


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education A few weeks ago, on a Thursday, in Craiova a tragedy happened. The young man Andrei Goreci was involved in a scandal, ending by being stabbed twice in the heart, wounds that caused his death. The event was the most recent from a series that made people talk about Craiova as the place where the underworld makes the law, where everybody is corrupt and nobody does anything. But people talk too little about what is good, beautiful and human in town. On the anniversary of Craiova, the Saloon of photography was carried out for students – “Craiova in images”, contest which attracted many participants. A number of 200 works enrolled in the competition. The big surprise of this contest was the participation of Teona Goreci (the sister of Andrei Goreci) who enrolled in the competition in the last day. After many trials, she managed to take the photo that would win the big prize of the contest. “Chaining” was called Teona’s photo that was to reproduce in an exposure of six seconds in which her collaborators had to draw in the air by displays of phones the letters that make the name of the town. The biggest surprise came when Teona said that this idea was her brother’s and the prize belonged to him. The young man wanted that by his voluntary involvement in the community to show that one can rely on the youth as well. Andrei and Teona were always involved in volunteering activities. Cosmin Ciocioi Andrei Goreci, Craiova, event 7 comments for this entry •

Dya – October 31st, 2010 on 09:59

What a shame that such a talented young man happened something like that..gorgeous picture •

Asier – October 31st, 2010 on 10:04

Very beautiful and touching!!! And beautiful exposure…bravo •

Ramy October 31st, 2010 on 12:33

A disturbing, touching story… •

Colegu’ – October 31st 2010 on 15:10

The picture is awesome..and the story very sad •

Extraordinary – October 31st 2010 on 18:02

I still cannot believe what happened…the gesture made by his sister..wonderful..I broke out in tears… •

Tatoanca – October 31st 2010 on 20:49

A very beautiful gesture of Teona! I’m glad that she had the strength to surmount the great tragedy, but she did it for her good and dear brother! And you Cosmin I see you do a good job! •

Nicoleta – November 1st, 2010 on 21:00

Impressive! The photo and the presented situation and the way you chose to tell us! In fact, the whole situation is touching!


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education AN ONLINE NEWSPAPER FOR OUR HIGH SCHOOL Ovidiu Voicu A few practical pieces of advice When we conceived the project “High School Reporter” and this guide resulted, we chose from the very beginning that the most part of the activity behind the articles should be carried out online. We do not refer here to the documentation work of young reporters because it has an essential field component, as it results from the chapters dedicated to it. But the newspapers are all online and on the Internet there were exchanges of messages, the critical analysis of articles, mentorship and resolution of administrative problems. The selection of this work variant is natural when you work in 2010 with high school students. Things went smoothly and the technical problems encountered were very few and promptly solved. In this section we propose ourselves to present you in brief the main technical requirements to operate an online newspaper by using the resources of the school or available free on the Internet. We will not go into details related to the use of each of them, but we will make the necessary references to find this information (some of them are included on the DVD enclosed to this guide). The information from this section refers to the case when a newspaper is entirely made; when the methods described in this guide are used in a subject, it is not always necessary to publish them. But if the purpose is opening a newspaper or turning the existing newspaper in the online environment, this information will be useful. We will go through the answers to the four important questions you must ask yourselves: where it will be hosted, how it will function, who will administer it and what name will the website of the newspaper have? Where will the website be hosted? The first decision that must be made is where to host the website that supports the newspaper, on what computer its content will be. It must be a computer permanently connected to the Internet and the two main options are a computer of the school or a computer from outside the school. At the moment, all the high school in Romania received equipment and have the Internet connection provided by the programs of the Ministry of Education. Our recommendation is to use these resources at hand by the school. There are many advantages to this approach: low cost, fast access to data, a wider palette of options for the configuration of the website and an easier configuration. If for various reasons the access to the equipment of the school is not possible, the second recommended option is using a free external service which offers a Content Management System – CMS – explained in the next section. The handiest ones are the popular blog platforms Wordpress (www.wordpress.com) and Blogspot (www.blogspot.com). Both are free and make available to the users all the necessary elements to create a successful online newspaper. The third option is using an external service, free or by fee, but which does not offer the content management instruments. There are many hosting services, hosting of a website on the Internet. The free hosting services have certain limitations or oblige the users to include in their own website publicity directed by the services provider. The services with fee do not have these limitations or conditions, but they have the obvious advantage that they require annual or monthly payment of a subscription. This last variant also has the disadvantages that it requires an additional effort for the conception and programming of the website and it needs a person with more advanced technical


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education skills to deal with the maintenance of the whole site. Without going deeper in this discussion, we mention that in this case as well there are many free platforms that can be the starting point of the future site. For the start of the activity, if it is about a small team of reporters, we do not recommend the investment of time and money in the development of your own website on an external server. The activity must be focused on the production of content and the other options are more than sufficient. A special situation can appear when the newspaper is a project of the school or of an extended team. In this case, apart from the “editorial office” there can be a “technical department”, a group of students that design and program the site (for instance, in a project of the informatics classes). It is the ideal situation when the newspaper is truly a project of the whole school. What will be the structure of the website? How the website will be organized is the second important technical decision that you must make. We say technical because we will refer here to its structure, to the program behind it and not to the content, the articles. In the previous section we talked a little about how the structure of the website will look like and about the Content Management System platforms, announcing thus the recommended option. First we must clarify what a CMS is. There are not yet standards to describe what a CMS can contain or do. That is why, we do not have a clear theoretical definition of CMS, but a few practical elements will help us understand the concept. The content of a site can be: text, image, audio, video, graphics; in general, anything can be published on the Internet. They must be interconnected so that you can take the wanted information at any moment and in any format according to one or several requirements. So we have here somewhere all this information in a database and what we want is that on the user’s screen this information appears at a certain moment in a certain configuration. The connection between the database and what is displayed is the main function of CMS. But this product allows not only taking control over the web content, but also the effective management of the collection and distribution of information. In other words, the second function of CMS is to take over information introduced by the users – the same things, text, audio, video, graphics – and take it to the database to be used afterwards. A CMS helps to collect, organize, manage and display the wanted information. Thus, the information presented in it is always updated and the search of older data is done relatively easily. CMS is a system used to manage the content of a site. A CMS indexes all the data from a system, and the users can search information in the database by using the key words. A good CMS should allow a user without IT experience to create, edit, manage, publish any type of content by observing certain rules that provide a correct display of the wanted information. It is easy to be installed by anyone, even by those who do not have much experience. With its help you can create a website in a few minutes and then follows the modeling by anyone’s preferences and needs. One of the important characteristics of a CMS is that it can be personalized in order to correspond to the desires of users. The system is based on templates of display of information and on a modular concept. It becomes very easy for a user to personalize the webpage by adding or eliminating certain elements. As for the price, there are CMS distributed free or by fee; they are already created, and have to be installed, configured, maintained or you can conceive a new one. Usually CMS are distributed in open-source regime under the effects of GPL (General Public Licence). Most of the free products benefit from the support of the community of users and developers, which means that new modules are permanently added or the programming errors are corrected. There is a wide variety of open-


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education source CMS that can meets the requirements of anyone. Among them there are: Joomla, PHP-Nuke, e107, Mambo, Xaraya, Tzpo3, Postnuke, Soc etc. Which is the best CMS? There is no such thing, the best is the one that meets the objectives of the users. By revising, the main facilities offered by using a CMS are: •

It is independent from the used platform (Linux or Windows);

It is based on templates;

The modules are integrated or can be downloaded from the Internet;

It has a control panel for the administrators;

You do not need programming knowledge for installation, configuration and maintenance (they are done from the web browser);

At installation you can configure the language that you want to use implicitly (there is no limit of supported languages, and the language can be configured anytime after installation);

Easy updating of the content of pages displayed on the Internet;

It can be adjusted both to companies and to natural persons;

For the familiarization with a CMS you can work on your own computer without having access to the Internet or to a server.

A special category of CMS is the category of blog platforms among which the well-known are Wordpress and Blogspot. They have the great advantage that they are built to facilitate the publication of content and that is why they are the easiest to use. Wordpress, the platform we chose in the project “High School Reporter”, thanks to the fact that it is easy to use. Wordpress producers boast themselves with the famous “5-minute installation” and it is not a vain appreciation, it is very easy indeed. It must be said that you need a few terminology knowledge and about how your own Internet connection operates. We will not insist on the description of the platform, it is all available on the Internet. Let us briefly present the three steps to follow. The first step you have to do is to download the Wordpress installation package available at http://wordpress.org/download. Then read and follow the instructions of the famous five-minute installation guide. The English version is available here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_Wordpress. You can read the translation in Romanian here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/24365896/Tutorial-instalarewordpress-carteamea-net. now you must have access to the server you will use. Also read in the guide what the minimal requirements are for your server. In the end, the last step: start to use your new blog! If the option you selected is an external server in exchange for a fee, Wordpress recommends you a few alternatives that are suitable with this platform: http://wordpress.org/hosting/ Last but not least, you can use Wordpress (just like Blogspot) without troubling with a server. By accessing www.wordpress.com you will find an already installed platform just like many users. It is enough to create an account and you can start working. This version has certain inherent limitations, but most of the users are very satisfied with it. This option has the advantage that you will not need the help of a site administrator. Who will be the site administrator?


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Depending on the previous decisions, the answer to this question comes natural. First of all, if the website is hosted on the school server, automatically the system administrator will become the site administrator. He can be helped by one or several students who can be part of the editorial staff. If a blog platform was chosen, the tasks will be clearly delimited. The administrator will deal with the installation and commissioning of the website and its periodical updating. All the other tasks – creation and management of users, personalization of the whole site, the addition of supplementary options – will be the tasks of editors. You should not get scared. Remember that today anyone wants can have a blog, regardless of the technical qualification. The recommended platforms are very easy to use, and the learning time is very short. You may still have the help of a person with less advanced technical skills in order to prepare the server and install CMS platform. In most cases, he can be one of the high school students; the known passion of teenagers for computers and everything that has to do with computers is in many cases enough to make them learn the necessary skills. The informatics teacher or the laboratory assistant or any other person appointed to manage the computer network of the school. What address (field) will the site have? The fourth and the last question refers to the name (field, address) of the website, what visitors type when they want to get to your magazine. Again, the answer depends on the previous options. If the magazine is hosted on the school server and the high school has its own webpage, the handiest option is that the magazine is incorporated in this webpage. For instance, if the webpage of the high school is www.liceulnostru.ro, then the webpage of the magazine can be www.liceulnostru.ro/revistanoastra. This configuration must be defined by the system administrator. If you chose a free server or the already installed version of the blog platform (wordpress.com), you will automatically have a name provided by the providers of these services (for wordpress, it will be revistanoastra.wordpress.com). You can decide to buy your own address of the type www.revistanoastra.ro. The body that manages the addresses in Romania is the Research Institute in Informatics. A web address can by bought from the webpage opened by this body: http://www.rotld.ro/. There are many companies that mediate these transactions. Conclusions These pages are an introduction about how you can open your own online magazine. Without exhausting the subject, we briefly presented the main things you have to decide on and especially we suggested practical solutions. For each of them, you will have to follow information from the suggested web pages. Let us revise our recommendation: host the magazine on the server of the high school because it is available, it has Internet access and does not require additional costs. Use a CMS, a free program that helps you to create websites fast; at least for start, go to a blog platform, Wordpress or Blogspot. You will need the help of a server administrator to make everything going; he can be the teacher, the informatics laboratory assistant or even a student. For the first steps, take seriously in account the possibility of opening directly a blog on the platform wordpress.com. You will not need a server and an administrator, and later on you can easily move to your own equipment.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

EXAMPLES OF GOOD PRACTICE: FREE SUBJECTS ALBA IULIA INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL “TRÈS COURTS” Cristina Onu, “Dionisie Pop Marţian” Economic College The article: “Short Film Festival “Très Courts” was made after the discussion we had in the editorial meeting and we reached the conclusion that we needed an article on a cultural subject in order to cover the cultural scope of the newspaper. Being appointed by the team, from the first editorial meeting I dealt with the cultural segment of the publication, I started to look for a subject to make the article. Accidentally, a friend informed me about this cultural event in Alba Iulia: “The Short Film Festival “Très Courts”. Therefore, I decided that it was a perfect subject to make the article I needed. In order to give an authentic note to the article, I decided that my presence in the event was absolutely necessary. The documentation session started by the careful observation of each detail of the event, a necessary thing to have an extensive article from all points of view. I did not hesitate to interact with the participants of the event who expressed their opinion regarding the feelings they had during the festival. After I collected all the informational materials, I put them together to complete the article. As the festival took place during two evenings, the content of the article reported to the Friday and Saturday evenings. I tried to “embellish” the article with as many descriptive information as possible, and the impressions of participants and organizers what would draw the attention of the reader. After I completed the article I decided that I needed a feedback from the whole team so that the result should be at maximal quota. I received from the coordinator teacher a few suggestions of “stylization” of certain phrases and ideas from the content of the article, which helped me discover certain very subtle mistakes. Thus, going through these stages, which I considered necessary for making this article, I completed one of my first cultural articles. The International Theatre Festival “Très Courts” During the period 7th-9th May this year, Alba Iulia was among the 25 towns in Romania that presented on the cinematographic map of the short film festival “Très Courts”, organized by the French Cultural Centre. On Friday evening, those who wanted to admire a creative mosaic made of 51 short film festivals from all over the world, among which 17 films made by young people from Romania were invited in the Revolutionary Youth Movement for Art, an event organized by Cristina Candea. Each film, either fiction, animation, documentary film or testimony was the imprint of personal and sensitive points of view, being intertwined with imagination, inventiveness and


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education humour and made each spectator meditate for 3 minutes on the world in which he lives, the predominant subject was the economic crisis that today’s society deals with. “The films impressed me nicely…I was fascinated by the ideas in the films, even taken by surprise sometimes. In conclusion, I can catalogue them as ingenious and well made” declared Dana Mureş, one of the spectators of the festival. On Saturday evening, at 8 p.m., the special competition “Paroles de femmes” was preceded by a rock and electric fusion artistic concert supported by two bands: Fat 32 Duo, Secret Chiefs 3 and the drum player Ches Smith. They impressed the audience a lot, who considered the live performance unique and unforgettable, many participants being from Timisoara, Brasov, Bucharest, Sibiu, Cluj. “In the beginning the world warmed up with difficulty at Fat 32 Duo, maybe because the genre is not necessarily to the taste of the community, but then it was ok” said Ioana Novăcean, one of the spectators of the concert. The concert was followed by the viewing of 21 short films in the competition “Paroles de femmes”, on Art Café terrace, in the centre of which was the concept of woman analyzed under the form of fictions, portraits or testimonies. The spectators had an important role, as each of them voted their preferred films in the last day of the festival with the purpose of appointing the best competitor for the “National Prize of the Audience”, an opportune occasion to promote and support the audiovisual creations of amateurs and professionals from our country. A lot of effort was made for the good carrying out of this event, as stated the students Ioana Novăcean who was part of the organizational team: “Taking into account that I had the opportunity to be part of the festival at a very direct level, promotion, sale of tickets, seeing what happens “back stage” I could see how difficult a cultural event is organized in a small town like Alba Iulia. As a spectator I enjoyed an cultural position underground, not at all mainstream. So far I underestimated the short films, although I vaguely knew that a lot could be said in a few minutes so that I now appreciate this genre at its true value”. We are glad that there are youth around us who get aware of the necessity of such manifestations and get involved in their realization and we look forward to the “Play for May” Festival from the period 28th-30th May, organized by RYMA team! Coordinator Ana Maria Suciu The article of Cristina Onu is a feature report that surprises very nicely what happened in the short film festival. Her participation in the event is obvious and the opinions collected from the participants give savoir to the feature report as well as the photos. From my perspective, it was the type of event that Cristina can narrate very well, first of all because it is a free subject chosen by her and secondly because in general she was interested in the culture/events section. Moreover, the fact that not every day a short film festival happens in Alba Iulia made the subject very attractive to the reporters.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

BISTRITA ROUND TABLE: “THE IMPACT OF CIVIC JOURNALISM ON THE BISTRITA COMMUNITY” Argument: In the pilot project “High School Reporter” initiated in the month of April 2010 by Soros Foundation Romania, a number of eight high schools in the country were selected to be part of the program of involvement of young high school students in the life of the local community by the promotion of civic journalism, as a consequence of the applications sent during the month of April. Among these high schools there is “Andrei Muresanu” National College, Bistrita, on which occasion four students from the 11th grade because high school reporters, and can create their own electronic paper “CNAM online”. Thus, the students started to practice civic journalism, by observing all the rules imposed by this type of activity. The initiative of Soros Foundation is a praiseworthy initiative because it lays the bases of a civic education of good quality by involving the high school students in the social and cultural problems of their community. The students proved to be enthusiastic and showed a real involvement in the current problems of the Bistrita community. The idea of a round table suggested by the local coordinator Miruna Troncotă was very well received by the members of “CNAM online”, who see in this event another chance of checking the effect of their activity of civic journalists on the local experts in problems of civic involvement: municipal counselors on youth problems, the local representative of the youth at U.N.O., representatives of the Mayor’s Office of Bistrita, local journalists. GOAL OF THE EVENT The debate on the subject of “Impact of civic journalism on the community of Bistrita” is to promote the idea of civic journalism in the youth, with the purpose of encouraging them to get actively involved in the life of the community. The discussions will be focused on the definition and the exemplification of this new form of involvement of youth, the potential promoters of it and the role they can have in Bistrita community. The event is organized within the “High School Reporter” project, financed by Soros Foundation Romania under the coordination of the Romanian language and literature teacher Aurelia Hîruţa who started the of the foundation by selecting and guiding the four components of the “CNAM online” team, the students: Ciocan Teodora-Mihaela, Danciu Daniel, Pop Ligia-Emima and Rai Andrei, all students of the 11th grade A, biology-chemistry profile, at “Andrei Muresanu” National College, Bistrita. FRAMEWORK OBJECTIVES 1. The development of the capacity of involving the youth in the community life. 2. The development of the observation spirit and the capacity of communication on civic interest problems. 3. The development of the team spirit and collaboration.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education OBJECTIVES OF THE EVENT 1. Specificity of the civic journalism. 2. Stages crossed by the “High School Reporter” project. 3. The role of involving the young high school students in the life of the local community – example of good practice. 4. CNAM online – the newspaper of Bistrita students. 5. “Impact of civic journalism on the Bistrita community”. LOCATION: In the room no.3 of “Andrei Muresanu” National College, Bistrita. Date: Friday, 21st May 2010, time 12 a.m. Participants: -

CNAM online

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Students of “Andrei Muresanu” National College

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Director

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Teachers

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Local Youth Council of Bistrita

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Representatives of the Mayor’s Office Bistrita

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Local journalists

Moderator: Miruna Troncotă, local coordinator of the “High School Reporter” project. Target group: Students of “Andrei Muresanu” National College and Bistrita high school students. Organizers: CNAM online team and teacher Aurelia Hîruţa, team coordinator. Budget: 50 lei which implied: -

realization of 2 colour posters, A3 format;

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realization of 40 colour invitations, A5 format;

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3 boxes of still water 250 ml. Deployment of the event:

At the initiative of Miruna Troncotă (local coordinator in the “High School Reporter” project, Soros Foundation), the journalists of “Andrei Muresanu” National College, Bistrita, organized a round table on 21st May 2010 with the subject: “Impact of civic journalism on Bistrita community”. Among those who participated in the meeting there were the local journalists Mihaela Curteanu, counselor in Education-Tourism department of Bistrita Mayor’s Office, local representative of U.N.O. , Adrian Solcanu, members of C.L.T. Bistriţa, teachers and students of the high school. The round table was first of all a lesson of what civic journalism means. The event positively draw the attention of participants, they engaged in discussions about their experience with the youth and youth involvement in the life of Bistrita town. Each guest praised the project initiated by Soros


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Foundation Romania, considering welcome the opportunity given to the youth of reporting the problems of their generation. At the request of the team members of CNAM online Mihaela Curteanu declared: “I consider that the round table in which I was invited by you is a very important form of involvement in the community life, is an organized means of expression. You are pioneers. The impression I left with after the discussions I had with you was more than positive. I noticed that you were eager to assert yourselves, to get involved in the community life which needs such initiatives. What you organized was a useful thing. It is very well, you started from somewhere and I am glad that CNAM opened this path for you. I advise that in the future, so that your work has a higher impact, you should invite the NGOs because they have something to say, they really participate in the community life. In general, the Bistrita youth get involved in many projects, they are very active and bring a plus value to the community. I advise them not to stand aside… to be active, always in action.” The moderator of the round table, Miruna Troncotă, led the discussions in the direction of her own convictions shared with us: “I believe that civic journalism is a simple, democratic and very useful means of “waking up” the public opinion to reality, of reporting problems and trying to remedy them. What it started this year, CNAM online newspaper can be a model to other citizens of Bistrita community willing to put the civic and initiative spirit to the benefit of the common good. The today’s meeting gave me a lot of hope relating to the involvement of youth in the society, with small but certain steps.” Camellia Tabără, director of “Andrei Muresanu” National College drew the attention to the care by which the members of the team of reporters must govern the time allotted to learning and the activity of journalists and especially on the conscience clause. The destruction of the image of a person and especially a colleague is a very difficult thing to correct, which makes it necessary that the responsibility should be very well taken by each of the team member. FEEDBACK: How the members of the CNAM online team define this event: Ciocan Mihaela Teodora: “An original experience, this is how I define the round table I organized. Taking into account that we are at the first experience of this type, we had butterflies in our stomach, but we tried to keep us on the floating line, and Miruna, our coordinator, took care to support us. Although the team was very short, the participants were interested in the project and collaborations.” Danciu Daniel: “The round table organized by the team members of CNAM online was new to me and was a wonderful experience, because I could promote what I do and encourage the others to get involved in certain projects directly regarding the youth and the citizens of the town. The presence of journalists, of the members of the mayor’s office, of students and teachers made that round table more interesting, because each person got involved in the discussions regarding the “High School Reporter” project. The questions asked by the journalists were a challenge to us. In my opinion, the participants were enthusiastic and were interested in a future collaboration.” Pop Emima Ligia: “In my opinion, it was a round table and a success. The guests showed interest in what we had to say. Miruna started with the presentation of the project and then each of us told what we learned and how the involvement in this project helped him/her. Personally, I was


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education very nervous.. I hardly remember what I said, but it went smoothly. It continued with free discussions. We talked about the journalism of today, about the tiny percentage of involvement of youth in the society and the need of involvement, about the projects of the Local Youth Council. It was more than beautiful! About 50 people sitting around tables and talking about the same thing. I was more than glad to see the support that everyone gave me. It strengthened my feeling that now, here, this is what I had to do!” Rai Andrei: “To me CNAM online newspaper is an original experience. By this round table I discovered people drawn to journalism, who do this job with passion and with a lot of pleasure and professionalism. There were contradictory discussions, questions and explanations, but at the end of our meeting, all this proved to be constructive. I am satisfied and I think that the other participants feel the same way.” Aurelia Hîruţa, coordinator teacher of the team: “The event fully confirmed me the utility of the “High School Reporter” project. These young people started to see the notion of communication beyond the pages of the books. What impressed me the most were their answers to the questions of the journalists (what made you get involved in the project?): “I think that a journalist must first of all be a man of character…”, “I like challenges..”, “I considered that it was a good opportunity to give yield to an older passion..”, “although we are only in the beginning, I believe that we can do more for the community…”. I am convinced that they can truly change the world just by get involved correctly and in a civilized way in all that concerns the universe of their generation and to give the tone to action.”


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

Coordinator’s eye Miruna Troncota In Bistrita the round table had a double role: of responsibility and cohesion of the team of journalists on one hand and promotion of the project and creation of institutional contacts, on the other hand. At organization level, the results were those expected: not spectacular, but significant. The major participants were high school students, teaching staff (one of the teachers presented the results of a very interesting local press monitoring project), partners of the project – Local Youth Council, the Students’s Council, a local television, 3 local newspapers, former students of the high school that became journalists in Cluj, the director of the school, the UN Youth Delegate for 2009) – all in all, 37 persons. The discussion about the civic involvement of the youth in the community gave a positive feedback to the subject of the round table, about which they did not know many details. At level of content and individual impact on the team, the event reached its targets. The students became more aware of their role in the team, and the visible impact of their journalistic actions even beyond the courtyard of their high school.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

CARANSEBES MY SCHOOL One of the subjects tackled by the G.S.F. Online team was “My School”, Alexandra Partenie, President of the Students’ council, who also assumed this subject. In the category of “My School” articles appeared regarding the activities carried out in the school or outside of it by the students from “Forest School Caransebes” in collaboration with other institutions. •

TRAINING

After the selection of this category, Alexandra participated in the meetings of the Teaching Staff Council and the Management Board of the school, mainly with the desire to find out what events were to be carried out in high school. The student always kept in touch with the teaching staff involved in curricular and extracurricular activities and expressed its desire to participate in all their future actions. •

REALIZATION

The articles published in the category “My School” were made after the direct participation of G.S.F. Online team in the activities that were later narrated, by interviewing the persons involved in order to obtain accurate information that was then checked. As a consequence of their participations in the school activities, articles resulted such as “Earth Day in Forest School”, “Our legacy”, “Green laboratory – together for a better future”, “Spring Day in Europe”, “Social Assistance as vocational option”, “Travelling…we discover new horizons”, “The images can be..beautiful words”, “F average mark received a prize”, “The mobile phone – trifle, necessity or danger”, “High School Students…where to?”. For making the articles, they worked individually and the final articles were checked by the coordinator teacher before posting them. “Earth Day at Forest School” The most important environmentally-friendly event “Earth Day” was celebrated today at “Forest School Caransebes”, marking the 40th anniversary of our planet. The ninth grade students (Backeş Larisa, Seracin Loredana) and tenth grade students (Iacobescu Florin, Antonescu Nicoleta) made drawings and Power Point Presentations called “Water – Did you know that..” and “Land sliding” which they presented in front of the teaching staff and the school mates that were present at the event. Then followed the viewing of a documentary film from the series Planet Earth, “From Pole to Pole”, activity that ended the first part of the manifestations related to this event. Every year, on 22nd April, we celebrate the “Earth Day”, a day in which is celebrated the modern movement of the concern for the environment. It all started in 1970 when, on 22nd April, 20 million Americans got to the streets, in parks or in amphitheatres manifesting for a more stable and healthier environment. At 40 years from the first celebration of the Earth, its condition seems to be


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education more in danger than ever. Still, all around the world, people want to bring their contribution to the improvement of the situation. Either corporations or individuals, each of them tries to give a helping hand to make the environment change for the better. Earth Day became an annual event in very many communities from all over the world, being an immense opportunity to unite people to make beneficial actions to everyone. The activities from this event will continue on Friday, 23rd April 2010, at “Forest School Caransebes”, presenting creations of other students on the subject “Earth Day”. Author: Alexandra Partenie •

READER’S VOICE (1)  Camil Says: Your magazine looks excellent! It makes the ecologic message get more and more credible and popular. I will come back here! Success! Aril 23rd 2010 at 09:24  Lucian Says: I am glad that something good is done for that high school! Congratulations! April 29th 2010 at 01:01  Camelia Nichita says: Congratulations! A beautiful achievement! I accidentally discovered the website, but I am going to visit it every day. Success to the team! June 11th 2010 at 23:11

Due to the positive comments received from the readers, this article had a sequel by “Our legacy”: “Who will remember Terra,/How beautiful it was? A living, blue planet/ this planet, ours…(…) (Cornelia Georgescu, Silence…) By this motto the second part of the ecologic event “Earth Day” took place today at “Forest School”. Cucuruz Mirela and Lelea Florina from the ninth grade A and Simbota Adrian, Iova Ionela, Schera Florentina and Deleanu Roxana from the tenth grade B and the coordinator teachers Stănescu Mihaela and Danciu Liliana made drawings and PowerPoint presentations with general data about Terra and the work called “Feeling of nature in Romanian prose and lyrics”. Then followed the viewing of a documentary film from the series Planet Earth that presented information about mountains, volcanoes, glaciers and animals, documentary that enjoyed all the attention of those present. The anniversary of the ecologic event “Earth Day” ended with the PowerPoint presentation made by teacher Munteanu Miheala, which drew the attention to the way in which mankind puts in dangers the future of our planet. (…) Over the years, millennia, eras/It will remain only …silence?! (Cornelia Georgescu, Silence..) Author: Alexandra Partenie •

Reader’s voice (2)


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education  Dya Says: Very beautiful your articles April 25th, 2010 at 16:32  Dakode Says: It is extraordinary the action of teachers from G.S.F., too few people make lobby to Terra, “the blue rock that gives us and keeps us alive… April 28th, 2010 at 19:06 Another article that enjoyed positive appreciations from the readers was “Green Laboratory – Together for a Better Future”: The students from Forest School Caransebes and the School with grades 1-8th “Trandafir Cocîrlă” from Turnul Ruieni planted a number of 1,000 seedlings of which: 200 sycamore maple, 200 common oaks and 600 locust tree in the area of Ovidiu’s Tower from the foothills of Munte Mic. From “Forest School” participated a number of 25 students from the forest specialized classes that were accompanied by the teachers Nistor Doru and Vasilescu Iovanka and from the General School “Trandafir Cocîrlă” participated a number of 65 students accompanied by teacher Vînătoru Maria and the counselor of Mayor’s Hall Seracin Ion. The action is part of the “Green Laboratory” project carried out by Banatul Foundation and the “Natur Ambient Association” in the “Program of Small Grants of the Global Environmental Fund”. In December, the first edition of the environmental contest – “Green Laboratory” took place within the same project. A number of 70 students from Forest School participated, from whom one student stood out, Jumanca Floarea from 12th grade A who came second and the students Fauru Alina and Raiescu Ana from the 8th grade B who came third and Pop Davis from the fifth grade from the General School “Trandafir Cocârlă” from Turnu Ruieni. The winner of this first edition of the “Green Laboratory” competition was the student Onica Beniamin from the 11th grade from the Car Transports School Group of Caransebes. The prize awarding took place in Radio Resita in the presence of the editorial team, the management of the foundation and the teaching staff from the participant schools. The “Green Laboratory” Project has activities of awareness and development of the capacity of intervention on the weather changes and their follow-ups at local level. It has the purpose to improve the access to information and public participation, to rehabilitate the areas that present desertification phenomena”, declared for our publication the representative of Banatul Foundation, Mr. Szekely Rece Emeric. •

READER’S VOICE (3)  Luiza Vigh Says: “I did not believe that there were youth that took care of nature. All our respect for those who organized this action! April 27th 2010 at 20:32  Leeloo says: After 20 years of barbarian and uncontrolled cuts, the youth save for the hundred time nature, both and human nature and the nature which shelters us.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Congratulations to the youth that participated in this action and those who wrote about it! May 2nd, 2010 at 17:48  Silviu Says: It was about time that we gave a message to those who destroy “nature” without realizing the consequences of their action…and when they do realize it..it will be too late. April 28th, 2010 at 13:39 Coordinator’s eye, Oana Vieru When you open the page of those in Caransebes you get a glimpse of the community they are part of, the closest one to them: Forest School. The blog is a part of what they live – marks of the school, “Calendar” that marks the days celebrated at international level, those strictly related to environment, pen… The 4 reporters from Caransebes, apart from the “external” form of the blog, managed to personalize the online gazette with various thematic articles, very close to what is studied in their high school. One of them is “My School”. The main author of this column is Alexandra Partenie, student of FOREST SCHOOL GROUP. She is interested in the events that took place in their high school that are not related just to the activity of the high school, but also to its activity in relation to the external community. Among the articles, most of them have an ecologic theme – the world environmental days that are “celebrated” in the Forest School Group one way or another. An example of such article is “Earth Day at Forest School Group”, one of the first articles written by Alexandra, article that brought along a series of favorable comments, in general about the Gazette. The activity of other students of the Forest School Group is presented in this category: debates done following the experiences with other cultures (“By travelling…we discover new horizons” – resemblances and differences between USA and Europe discovered by a student after a holiday spent in the United States); activities organized by FOREST SCHOOL GROUP – planting seedlings (“Green Laboratory” article), publication of a school magazine (“F Media”) that enters in the final stage of the competition of school magazines; presentation seminars; meetings with undergraduates, former students of FOREST SCHOOL GROUP; participation in the campaign “Let’s Do it, Romania!” in which both students and teachers enrolled. A co-author of this category is Rusalin Băilă who cared more about the activities organized in FOREST SCHOOL GROUP on the professional orientation of students studying in this high school. “Social Assistance as vocational option” and “High School Students – where to?” are two of the articles published by Rusalin. The Social Assistance students came in front of the students from Forest School Group and defended a presentation related to the advantages of choosing this road. The two authors of the column “My School” manage to surprise in a few articles the activity of Forest School Group, its offer for the students in the region, the extracurricular activities carried out in the high school and other activities that take place in the high school in which they study. They are not just articles written by the students, but they are an improved image of the Forest School Group and the activities of the students that study here, it results from the comments left by the readers surprised by the involvement of the four High School Reporters.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

CRAIOVA SUMMER SCHOOL – QUOTA 1400 In the “High School Reporter” project tow meetings were organized with all the members of the teams of participant schools. If the administrative, logistic aspects of the project, means of communication between the teams from the project, the experts and the local coordinator were presented, in the first meeting carried out in Sibiu, as well as the actions that the team of reporters must carry out in order to collect information for drawing up the articles, the Summer School from Sinaia brought a plus of experience by the original situations created. In the first days, in Sinaia trainings and workshops were organized where each team shared their experiences about the involvement in the actions of the community and the relation to the local authority. Each team prepared and developed subjects about: •

Local council meetings

Students’ Council

Wastes recycling

Activity of MPs from their town/region;

Grants Law

Non-governmental organizations that activate in their region and their activity

Migration and its effects

From the made presentations common subjects came related to the obstacles that the teams of reporters had to remove in order to get to the information necessary for writing the article. Among these we can enumerate: -

the answer to the requests for information addressed to the mayor’s offices for finding information that was late and was not relevant for the subject tacked;

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the recycling of wastes and the selective collection of garbage is a well kept “secret” guarded by the entities that carry out this activity and is entirely missing in most communities from which the students come;

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the students’ council makes its presence and duty felt in every school;

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the activity of MPs in those communities is so “intense” that the interviews were in most cases online;

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in all the communities there are NGOs that benefited from non-refundable funds according to Law 350 necessary for the implementation of successful projects;

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the social and economic instability in Romania and the transition period made many Romanian parents go to work abroad in order to support their families. This led to the occurrence of a social phenomenon with negative effects regarding the children, which is “abandon” of children to grandparents or other relatives;

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amusing, dramatic, interesting and pleasant, the meeting of the local council impressed all the teams of reporters that participated in it.

The profound study of the journalistic technique knowledge was done by making feature reports on the spot. The teams received a subject and had enough time available for drawing up the


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education article. Monitored by the local coordinators the teams did field work for the collection of information. The editing of an article on a given subject – presence and activity of bears at quota 1400 – stirred the imagination of the teams of reporters. After taking interviews to the tourists and employees from quota 1400, I learned about the “threat of Edi bear” (http://craiova.reporterdeliceu.ro) and “why the bear has no tail” (http://roman.reporterdeliceu.ro). Sometimes the “bear is a police officer on the road to quota 1400” http://albaiulia.reporterdeliceu.ro), and represents “attraction to some and danger to others” (http://caransebes.reporterdeliceu.ro). A truth confirmed by reality and surprised so well in the articles posted on blogs: the bear became a “domestic animal” http://tandarei.reporterdeliceu.ro) that learned to live “in a world of people” (http://timisoara.repaorterdeliceu.ro). And still, in the “shadow of the great bear” (http://miercure-ciuc.reporterdeliceu.ro), I learned happenings that cannot be forgotten, and the dilemma that “the mountain of people or bears” (http://bistrita.reporterdeliceu.ro) was solved. The threat of Edi bear From the centre of Sinaia Resort to quota 1400 start to appear posters about the danger that bears represent. If a few years ago, the main attractions were the gondola lift and carriage back, now all the attention goes to the surprising of these animals in different hypostases. Edi bear was very known at quota 1400 for a few years. It stayed in the road like a beggar and everyone was enthusiastic about it because they could touch it while feeding it. It did not matter that it was day or night, Edi was on duty waiting for tourists, but just like any animal, it instinctively attached sometimes. The entertainment did not last for long because at the request of the economic agents “from the quota”, the foresters transferred it to a reservation in Covasna. One of the causes for which bears get face to face with people is due to the fact that foresters do not feed them just like in Ceausescu’s time to keep them away from the resort. The tourists also have a part of their fault because they feed them, so omnivores get used to go on the street on the road of quota and in town” said Toma Sereduc – security guard in the parking lot of the hotel. The employee also told a recent incident when the hungry bears went to the garbage pit of the hotel demonstrating the huge power they have when they are starved, opening the sheet cage around the garbage cans like a tin. He also tells that events took place that put the life of tourists in danger. A year ago, a group of foreign tourist accommodated at “Cota 1400” Hotel surprised a she bear with two bear cubs in the parking space of the hotel at 11 p.m. The desire of the tourists to surprise the she bear in different hypostases with the camera turned out to be a bad decision. “I warned them about it telling them that the bear attacks when he makes his ears fall back and the main tousles. At that moment the she bear attacked, and the tourists started running to the hotel throwing everything they had at hand: cameras, laptops and phones.” Going in search for prints that signal the activity of animals in the area, we met George from Craiova with his family. He told us that was going on a path towards quota 1600 with his wife and his two children, but they decided to go back because of the fresh bear prints encountered saying that “it is no joke when bears are in the vicinity”. Nicolae Farcaş, one of the employees of the Rescue Centre from quota 1400 Sinaia said: “We have every day incidents where bears are involved, but they do not involve people. For a few years we did not have complaints in this respect. The most serious accident of this kind happened two years ago when a foreign tourist took a close picture of the bear by using the blitz. The bear reacted violently, by killing her.” I also learned from him that in the recent period because of weather


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education changes, a she bear gave birth to more than two cubs, which led to a fast increase in the number of these animals. The electronic engineer Călin Chelcan from the telecommunication point from quota 1500 told us from behind the protection fence: “Bears only attack when they feel threatened. In a day, attracted by the smell of a tomato thrown to the garbage a she bear with her cubs came in front of the station. Wanting to reach the rotten tomato she threw her paws unexpectedly through the fence hitting my left leg. The impact resembled a weight of approximately 50 kilos.” These statements were completed by the operator of the gondola lift from Sinaia who says that, although in the warning signs it says that the average weight of the bears in the area is 260 kilos, it is far exceeded, reaching 450 kilos. For the second article that the team had to draw up, the subject was different and unique. 8 subjects were proposed and by draw-out each team learned about what it would write. The team from Craiova had to follow the footsteps of the foreign tourists, to present Sinaia from the tourist point of view and collect information about the possibility of entertaining the guests. From the Tourist Information Point the reporters learned that “because of the economic crisis there was reported a decrease in the number of tourists by 2-3% compared to the last year. Although it is not promoted very much, the town is visited every year by 270,000 tourists of which about 30% are foreigners. The main countries they come from is Great Britain, Germany, France, Israel and United States. The guests are attracted by the history and culture of the town, but more by the picturesque landscapes the town has.” The meeting with foreign tourists gave the reporters from Craiova the opportunity to find out directly “from the source” impressions about the town, the visited tourist objectives and to practice their foreign language knowledge. I have not seen a foreign tourist for half a year In Sinaia, the crisis is felt the best on the “ground”. Although sometimes they exaggerate, the truth is that the hotel managers and the taxi drivers have less and less foreign customers, while, on the papers of authorities their numbers only decreased by 200 a month. With beautiful landscapes and Peles Castle, the resort could be the place looked for by Europeans with money to spend. But nobody helps them to learn about its existence, and if they still find it on the map, the offer does not convince them. “Although the town is not very much promoted it is visited every year by 270,000 tourists of which about 30% are foreigners. The main countries where they come from are Great Britain, Germany, France, Israel and United States” declared Paul Popa, the head of the Tourist Information Centre. I also learned from him that this year, because of the economic crisis, there was a decrease in the number of tourists by 2-3% compared to last year. The guests are attracted by the history and culture of the town but more by the picturesque landscapes the town offers. The international promotion is very poor because the funds allotted by the mayor’s office are very small. For instance, the cost of an advertising page in Lonely Planet (one of the best known tourist guides in the world) exceeds 650,000 Euro.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education In search for relevant information about tourists and their habits, the reporters introduce themselves first: -

We are preparing an article in a project of Soros Foundation from Romania. If you are kind enough, we would like some…

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No, we do not have money! said the organizer of an event.

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No, Mister! We want some information…

In Sinaia there is a guest card that can be obtained from the few partners that allow discounts for some services and products they offer. The Partners are just six and the discounts are rather insignificant. Surprisingly, at first sight, the ski slopes from the resort are not a winter attraction for foreign guests. Then we understood that their small sizes and the defective infrastructure make the foreigners avoid them, and they prefer the conditions offered in Austria, France, Switzerland, etc. Because of the unfavorable period from the economic point of view, the hotel managers were forced to change their plans of promotion and attraction of tourists. “In June 2010 we had a number of 328 tourists, most of them coming from countries like Slovenia and United States” said Sorina, receptionist at Anda Hotel, Sinaia. In the first part of July, the hotel only had 136 foreign tourists. During the conversation with a receptionist of one of the visited hotels, the phone rang: “Dear, a lady from the Mayor’s Office called (just across the hotel – NB) to iron a T-shirt for the mayor because he has a conference at 12.” “We have not had a foreign tourist in the car for almost half a year. When the things went smoothly, we had to gain from them because they left us a few bonuses” said one of the taxi drivers in Sinaia in disappointment. The foreigners pick the places from Romania by map “We chose Romania at the urge of friends. We looked on the map and chose five locations, among which Sinaia. We chose the camping for accommodation because of the crisis, it is no harm to do some savings” said a group of tourists, undergraduates from all over France. In Sinaia they visited Peles Castle and the monastery in town. About the landscape of Sinaia they said that it was “breathtaking” and resembles a lot “the Alps back home”. From Sinaia they go to Brasov, Făgăraş and later on in the following days they get to the Medieval Art Festival of Sighisoara. The souvenirs are very important for the foreigners that visit the resort. “The most bought objects are from Romanian culture. Peles Castle became a well sold brand, and the most interested in these objects are Jewish, English and German tourists” said Elena Stanciu, a local trader in souvenirs. “I came a few times in Romania, it is beautiful, but the roads are bad” said the driver of an intercity bus with foreign tourists from the Czech Republic. A few tourists from the bus learned a few words in Romanian, such as “multumesc”, “la revedere”, “drum bun”. They


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education had some difficulties in pronunciation, but after several trials they managed to pronounce them. Most of the foreigners who visit Sinaia are attracted by Peles Castle due to its reputation. One guest, a Czech retired man, was very direct: “The Castle is a kitsch. But it is an impressive kitsch…” From the authorities we learned that the foreign tourist have not been involved in unpleasant incidents so far. “There were certain divergences, but it was nothing serious” said a local police officer. GSTV Reporter tries to obtain information from a community police officer while his colleague from the road brigade turns around and apostrophizes him: “Go away, mister, with your locks of hair!” Cosmin Ciocioi and Cosmin Filişan

The feedback from the mentors Călin Cosmaciuc, Liviu Iolu and Radu Nicolae was a positive one for all the teams, each of them proving: •

The development of skills of identification, analysis and valorization of informational resources with which the students came into contact;

The acquisition of open and responsible attitudes and relational method at social level and in special situations;

Development of competences of oral and written expression in the mother tongue

Development of an open attitude towards the ongoing information activity, permanent education and education outside the school;

Development of behavioral skills and competences that facilitate a better social adjustment;

Acquisition of group work skills;

Creativity and willingness to get involved in the problems of the community;

Use and development of knowledge learned at various subjects;

Assimilation of new media specific tools (WEB 2.0).

All this could not have been highlighted if the “critical eye” of the local coordinator Andrei Pârvan had not been watching to surprise any mistake or incompetence. Shy at first, the communication between the mentor and the team was to become a daily necessity and the persistence to perfection its own style, to surprise the essence, to assimilate various communication means and the techniques of effective communication led to visible performances. Teacher Carmen Mocanu


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

MIERCUREA CIUC THE SCHOOL IS IN RENOVATION, THE BOARDING SCHOOL MOVES OUT News Magazine of Márton Áron Theoretical High School, Miercurea Ciuc – http://miercureaciuc.reporterdeliceu.ro/ Local context The idea to participate in this project organized and supported by Soros Foundation came after the determination of an analysis of needs and shortcomings in the communication and socialization of high school students in another language than the mother tongue, Hungarian. The knowledge, reception, oral and written communication, the comprehension in Romanian language is a huge CHALLENGE to the students from Harghita. Yet, after more than a half a year of real and direct participation in this project, I did not give up. It is the first step in wanting to do a certain thing..not to give up, however hard it is. My four collaborators, the team of students, Cristina, Noemi, Alex and Zsolt were not at enrolment time in the competition that aimed at filling the position of winner high school and not even now they are not my students in class. We met, we appreciated our strengths, we criticized our weaknesses and we completed one another when we had to. Now we are a team that went through a lot together… and we will definitely remember these things when the activity itself ends. Having the opportunity of giving an example of good practice, after the accumulated experience, we decided to choose an interview, the first text published on our blog. The title is “The school is in renovation, the boarding school moves out…” Preparation of subject: Our first subject tackled in the online newspaper was a challenge because of the fact that it was topical then and many persons were involved, especially the persons from the boarding school, among whom the co-author of the text, Dumitru Alexandru. The subject seemed interesting and we felt the ambition to inform the public about the situation created by the renovation of our school, in parallel with the demolition of an old boarding school, the boarding school of Márton Áron Theoretical High School. First of all we decided to make a sketch that could be used along the way. The most suitable place was a café called “Back Stage”. We clarified our plan and decided to require information from a civil servant. In this respect, we chose the vice-mayor Antal Attila, in charge with educational problems. As I said before, we had difficulties in the communication with him. After a longer period of time, we received the necessary information by email and then we tried to take pictures. The next stages were the narration of the events, and our project coordinator did the correction in Romanian (another exam to pass..), then posted the finished article with the most successful photos. Here is the product, the realization of the subject: The school is in renovation, the boarding school moves out… The building of Márton Áron Theoretical High School is one hundred years old and a renovation agreement was reached. Given the situation, the authorities made the decision to move


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education the boarding school to another building. In town and in high school there are rumors and ambiguities about it. The students are interested in the boarding school problem because it has an important contribution in the high school life. In order to clarify the situation, we received information from the vice-mayor of Miercurea Ciuc, Antal Attila, in charge with education problems. Unfortunately, as much as we wanted, we who directly participate in the carrying out of the project “High School Reporter”, the meeting could not take place face to face, because of the lack of time of the authorities. So at the vice-mayor’s request, we took the interview by email… Question: What is the connection between the renovation of the building in which the school is and the moving of the boarding school? Answer: It is a complex rehabilitation, financed by a project from EU funds. We hope that at the centenary of inauguration of the building we have a totally renewed building according to the current educational requirements. The biggest school building in Transylvania in the future will have to house and assure the educational spaces of two institutions, Márton Áron Theoretical High School and the Roman Catholic Theological High School Segitõ Mária. Taking into account the necessity of spaces of these two institutions, from the stage of design we decided to renounce to the kindergarten, boarding school and the kitchen in this building, as all the available spaces are necessary for the classrooms, laboratories, library and the other related spaces, essential for the educational process. The social components, according to the current norms could not be “crowded” in the available limits. We must mention that both the kitchen and the boarding school functioned in insanitary conditions, at the level of standards of 1970s. Question: Did you make a concrete decision? Answer: The alternative solutions on which we relied at the moment of design in 2008-2009, respectively the moving of the boarding school in the newly built boarding school of 350 places, the construction of which started in 2008 is not operational now because the construction was suspended because of the lack of funds of the Government. We are forced to make a decision of transition, of finding alternative solutions in the boarding schools available in the municipality. There are enough places. A final decision was not made, we must analyze in detail the most acceptable inconveniences for each party. Question: Who will impose the internal rules in the new boarding school? Answer: As I said before, it will not be a new boarding school, but probably one or several functional boarding schools will receive the students of Márton Áron Theoretical High School. By my knowledge, the internal rules of the boarding schools of public institutions are not imposed, but determined in accordance with the character of boarding school where certain rules must be observed. These internal rules must be updated, permanently improved with the participation of the lodged students. Question: Will the pedagogues and other current employees lose their jobs? Answer: There are displacements in the educational system, as we know, at the level of municipality there is a number of 300 displaced persons. The cost-effectiveness of staff in the educational system is a condition imposed by the International Monetary Fund – probably justified. Until the government keeps the current schooling plans of up to 34-38 hours a week and keeps in the system teachers with the daily work quota below 20 hours, the surplus staff will be laid off from the auxiliary and non-didactic staff. This is the context at the moment of dissolution of the boarding school and the canteen from the building of Márton Áron Theoretical High School. Inevitably, the


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education canteen staff will be probably laid off. We agreed that the pedagogues of the boarding school should be transferred with the internists to the new locations. Question: By what criteria will you choose the new space of the boarding school? Answer: As I said before, no final decision was made. We are trying to identify locations as nearest as possible to the school, with a lodging capacity as the boarding school of Márton Áron Theoretical High School. It would be ideal if the community did not divide too much, the boys in a location and the girls in another location. This implies moving the existing groups, rehabilitation works in the summer, furniture equipping – so it is not a simple decision, but we must think of the whole system of the network of boarding schools in the municipality. High school reporters, Dumitru Alexandru, Szabó Zsolt (photo and text)

Photos The current boarding school of the high school (at the time of publication of the interview, it is now already demolished) Feedback to the article from journalists and comments I announced the material on the forum of discussions, and then I looked forward to the feedback of journalists.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Liviu Iolu 1: I read, I liked what I saw. You did not make just an announcement, I followed a rumor and asked details exactly where you had to. I understood how important the boarding school was in the life of the high school and I received the necessary answers. Excellent! I obviously have small comments, for instance instead of “Unfortunately, however much we wanted, those who directly participate in the carrying out of the High School Reporter Project, the meeting could not take place face to face, by lack of time from the authorities. So at the vicemayor’s request, I took the interview by email…” you can say briefly and without too many details that “The answers I received from Antal Attila, the vice-mayor of Miercurea Ciuc, who is also in charge with the educational problems in the Mayor’s Office.” Why? The reader is not interested in how we struggled and took that interview, he/she is interested if it exists. The rest is internal kitchen, I understand and know that you work. Then there is the writing in black and grey, very difficult to read. If you could solve it, it would be perfect. For the rest, congratulations once again! Liviu Iolu 2: I saw it, it’s different now. Interesting photos, especially because I have not seen a boarding school for a long time. Călin Cosmaciuc: Interesting news and even an interview (in Miercurea Ciuc with the vicemayor). In the future, the published interviews must be accompanied by a photo of the interviewed person and as much as possible, the title should be a quotation. For instance, in our case, the vicemayor Antal Attila says: “The construction of the new boarding school is suspended and we do not know yet where the students will be lodged.” The quotation is approximate, but this is the meaning. As Liviu wrote above, the paraphrasing is a solution in interviews. The return to the subject and self-evaluation consisted of retouches made after Liviu reported the ones that should be done, moreover, the subject continued to be tackled by us and a new interview appeared with the Director of our institution, Mr. Varga László: Continuation of discussions regarding the dissolution of the boarding school of Márton Áron Theoretical High School, taken this time by our colleague, Matieş Cristina, student of the boarding school. Cristina’s text contains the opinions of the school director, who had the same point of view as the vice-mayor of Miercurea Ciuc. Thus, almost the whole team managed to send vast and topical information by then. In conclusion, we can say that from the very first article we managed to learn something from the secrets of civic journalism; this article is a success of those from http://miercureaciuc.reporterdeliceu.ro/. Example of good practice, Made and conceived by high school reporters, Dumitru Alexandru and Szabó Zsolt Coordinator teacher, Maria Sturzu Continuation of discussions regarding the dissolution of the boarding school from Márton Áron Theoretical High School Matieş Cristina Preparation of subject:


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The interview I took is a comeback regarding the problem of dissolution of the boarding school, a subject my colleagues tackled, Alexandru Dumitru Cosmin and Szabo Zsolt in the previous material. My qualification regarding this complex subject of discussion, which interested the former internists of Márton Áron Theoretical High School took place as follows. Being one of the internists, I knew in what situation of uncertainty was this category of students, because of not knowing the problem of their accommodation with the dissolution of the boarding school. Realization of the subject: I know that Director Varga László could be one of the important sources regarding finding the information in which are interested the students who do not live near the school, so I decided to ask him questions. But before going to take him an interview, I asked the students from the boarding school what is the information they would want to find from the management of the institution. Thus, after I collected their questions and I thought of other necessary and useful information for all those interested in this subject, I asked Mr. Varga László to make some time for our blog one of these days. After some persistence, I finally managed to ask him the questions and find an answer to them. Indeed, the boarding school colleagues could find out the situation of the boarding school, they would be moved to other boarding schools, but they also learned more about the renovation of the school. Continuation of discussions regarding the dissolution of the boarding school from Márton Áron Theoretical High School May 5th 2010, Author: Cristina Matieş

Interview with the Director of High School, Mr. Varga László: Question: When did you find out that the boarding school of Márton Áron Theoretical High School would be dissolved? What does this decision consist of? Answer: The Mayor’s Office of Miercurea Ciuc submitted a project at the residence of the Development Centre of Alba Iulia for the rehabilitation of the building of our high school. This project provides that the two boarding schools, the boarding school for boys and the boarding school for girls will be dissolved. We were informed that this rehabilitation would affect the boarding schools, but this does not mean that Márton Áron Theoretical High School as school institution cannot have a boarding school in another point of the town. The boarding school does not correspond to today’s requirements, but if we accept the idea that the high school will not have boarding school in the body of the building, this does not mean that we agree not to have a boarding school at all. Many of our students are internists, over 120 persons. As we won the project, we, the management of Márton Áron Theoretical High School mentioned that we required the provision by the mayor’s


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education office of Miercurea Ciuc of a location for the girls and boys boarding schools, and this was in progress. Question: In parallel with the dissolution of the boarding school we know there will be a renovation that will bring changes to the image of the high school. Will this be a radical renovation? Answer: It is hard to say. This building was inaugurated in 1913, on the eve of the First World War. Since then it did not have any major repairs, that is why it is in this condition. A major repair with financing funds will embellish the whole building. At the same time, the teaching/learning conditions will improve both for the students and for the teachers. We will renew the electricity system, the water supply system, and also the central heating system because in the last years we mostly suffered from cold, especially the internists. The windows will be changed because they are in the worst condition. So in 2 years, 2 years and a half, the school will look different. Question: As for the accommodation of students, we could hear several variants. Did you reach an agreement with all those involved in this problem? When will the interns know where they will be lodged? Answer: Things begin to be clear now. I had successive meetings with László Attila, who replied in writing to the petition of the intern students, in which he presented several variants for the resolution of the problem. The handiest variant, and the safest one is that the girls boarding school should be moved to the building of the boarding school of Kos Károly School Group and the boys should be lodged either in the same building with the girls or in the boarding school of Székely Károly School Group. I think that for our students this solution is acceptable, and things became clear. Question: Will Márton Áron Theoretical High School ever have its own boarding school? Answer: The current trend is that schools have a single boarding school at town level. For our high school, the biggest danger would be that our students are spread in different boarding schools of the town, so they are not together. Fortunately, we found a solution to prevent this. Still, we hope to have our boarding school with own or administration. Question: How do you think that the students will receive this news and what do you transmit them? Answer: That petition formulated by the students and addressed to the mayor’s office received a favorable answer. So the students are informed about this aspect. We thank the students for the moderation they proved and I tell them that we are still counting on them. No student who aspires to come to us next year should give up our high school because of the problem of moving the boarding school from the old building. In the end, the accommodation conditions will be much better in the new location. Photo and text, high school reporter, Matieş Cristina I received feedback to the article more from the boarding school colleagues who I think were satisfied with the news.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education I listened to Călin when he said: In the future, the published interviews must be accompanied by a photo of the interviewed person… I did not receive many comments in writing to the article, but I felt that my work, our work was not in vain because I discussed with “my” readers in reality, and I think this has more value than a comment below the article. Return to the subject and self-evaluation As for our involvement during documentation related to the subject of renewal of the school I think it was enough. I sent the interested readers the information I considered they needed, going to collect information from the “big people” involved in the resolution of this problematic situation at that time. Materials coordinated by teacher Maria Sturzu

Coordinator, Ana Maria Suciu EXAMPLES OF GOOD PRACTICE (FREE SUBJECTS) MIERCUREA CIUC THE SCHOOL IS IN RENOVATION, THE BOARDING SCHOOL MOVES This was the first article made by two reporters from Miercurea Ciuc on a subject of very much interest for the students in their high school. This subject was identified in Sibiu, when Alex and Zsolt, authors of the article, received suggestions from journalists regarding the potential approaches of the subject. Then, their step was continued by Cristina who came with information about the subject. I think that the series of articles regarding the boarding school of the high school was a success because it is a matter of civic journalism and the students presented a subject of interest to them and to their immediate community, the school. The articles were well documented and the fact that they relied on the needs of information of those directly interested in the subject, the students who live in the boarding school, made the reports have real investigation elements.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

ROMAN ROUND TABLE The visibility of the “High School Reporter” project in the local community was assured by various methods. The optimization of the means of communication of information corresponds to the specificity of each team and the desire of members to support civic involvement through civic journalism. At the initiative of RdL coordinator, Miruna Troncotă, “Musatinii” had a unique experience, the preparation and realization of a round table. Thus, we distinguish three main stages of organization of this event: I.

Preparation:

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selection of a proper location for carrying out the debates;

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thorough preparation of the points in debate;

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the announcement in time of the subject in debate, the time and place of carrying out;

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the invitation of the representatives of the civil society, authorities, mass media;

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provision of audio video means (PC, video-projector, microphones);

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realization of the journalistic folder (brochures, stickers, written material relating to the subject). II.

Deployment:

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optimization of discussions by alternating the questions of general nature to the questions specific to the subject;

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“breaking” the rhythm by asking challenging questions;

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consistent follow-up of the subject in discussion. III.

Dissemination

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critical approach of the conference results in the editorial meeting;

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presentation of the results of the press conference at the Students’ Council;

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promotion of the final evaluation in local mass media.

Title: “Civic journalism as a method of civic education” Location: conference hall of the Mayor’s Office in Roman Date: 6th July 2010 Participants (25): -

the mayor of Roman town, Laurenţiu Dan Leoreanu;

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the editor in chief of “Ziarul de Roman”, Volcinschi Gabriel;

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reporter 1TV Neamţ, Rusu Teodora;


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education -

reporter CNS Roman, Ţarcă Ovidiu-Gabriel;

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editor of « Realitatea nemţeană », Constantin Nistor ;

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vice-president of “Fundatia Pentru o Viaţă Demnă” Roman, Drăgan Brînduşa Ana;

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representative of Association “Familia şi Viaţa” Roman, Iuliana Petruţ;

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executive manager of Caritas Association in Roman, Bogdan Mărtinaş;

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bloggers: “Hurry” (Tiberiu Călimac), “Caleb (Bordea Cosmin), “DrCriss” (Cristian Mârţ, etc.

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students.

Tackled subjects: -

placing in time and space civic journalism;

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delimitation between the civic journalism and the professional journalism;

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resemblances and differences between the two forms of journalism;

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coexistence between the traditional journalism and blogging;

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the method of manifestation and its impact on the local community;

Contents: The beginnings of civic journalism are indissolubly related to the evolution of the audio video means, of Internet at the end of the past millennium. Any possessor of technical means of communication could get actively involved in receipt, transmission and dissemination of information from the public space. Thus, a series of events that changed the course of history were transmitted in real time: bomb attacks (New York, September 11th 2001; London 2005), massacres (Virginia), extreme weather phenomena (tsunami, 2004; hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 20005), deflagrations (explosion from Zalău, 2007), etc. The development of the social networks imposed a repositioning of the journalists to a potential competitor, the blogger. After discussions on the quality of the information provided by the two camps they reached the conclusion that civic journalism is subject to a rule that is generally valid in mass media, the rating. The complexity of journalistic products reflects in the impact caused by them on the target public and finally in the changes made in the civil society. The electronic platforms offer the opportunity to users of getting actively involved in the life of the community by publishing audio video contents that can become impact news. Civic journalism turned out to be an effective instrument in signaling the dysfunctions of the civil society that can be corrected. The local authorities present in dialogue were in a delicate position generated by the desire of mass media of learning details about the management of public money. The journalists deliberately take the role of mediators between citizens and authorities. The answer of local representatives is found in the actions of promotion of projects carried out from public funds both in the written press and in the online press. The citizen has a legitimate right, the access to information. Conclusion: Through the active participation of social actors in the debate and the obtained results, the round table turns out to be an effective instrument in the promotion of civic journalism.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Teacher Ovidiu Albert Coordinator, Miruna Troncota Roman – Round Table The effects of the round table organized in the professional way by the team of Musatinii were the expected ones. The project was publicized in the whole town by television and local newspapers that introduced the news in the informative bulletins of the day. The students took the floor in the discussion, presented their points of view with arguments and connected more as a team. The subjects of discussion tackled in the meeting turned out to be very consistent and opened the appetite of participants for debate: what is the borderline between civic journalism and the professional journalism and its impact on the community. The meeting had as participants the mayor of Roman and a few members of the Local Council, which was an incentive for discussions and brought the round table about civic journalism a greater relevance as a form of civic involvement.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

TIMISOARA FREE TIME Attention! Danger of contamination with happiness! Everybody talks about the global effect of cooling of feelings which accelerates as the technology gains field, and the concrete and glass constructions in monotonous colors give the towns a sterile aspect. The truth is that you seldom see people smiling on the street, walking with head up or even laughing out loud with 2-3 friends that are just as cheerful. The general tendency is that of physical distance of people and virtual closeness on the infinite field of Internet. Yet, the accidental discovery I made owes to the Internet, by randomly browsing on the virtual highways of Google country: the campaign “A smile for you”. It seems that what I told above is a reality surprised by others who also had an initiative in this respect: to share smiles on the street in as many towns as possible at the same time. By a few clicks I obtained the email address of one of the coordinators who was excited about the idea of High School Reporter Project and the desire N.O.I. had to cover the subject. She recommended me the initiator of the project with whom I traced the evolution of the campaign from the stage of idea to the success recorded last year. The advantage of investigation work necessary before drawing up a material is that you have the chance to meet wonderful people who do wonderful things and benefit from a very useful exchange of information, not just within the limits of an interview question-answer related to the material you draw up, but sometimes more. For instance, the project coordinator was a graduate of the Faculty of Journalism and she practiced journalism for a few years, experience she shared with me. Both the coordinator and the project initiator were from Bucharest, and the meeting was impossible, so the entire documentation for articles was made by the fast variant of email. With all the ease provided by this service, the face to face interview is much more useful. Some questions can appear along the way, and its direction can be changed depending on the received answers. Sending the same person 5-6 emails with questions that come to your mind later on can be annoying. Moreover, if you try to avoid the answer to a certain question, it is easier to insist or persuade when you face to face with the person you discuss and not in front of the screen, especially that it is so easy for that person to ignore your emails. Anyway, I was lucky, I sent only 2-3 emails and the people I collaborated with were very nice. The articles are like that: Attention! Danger of contamination with happiness! The month of May announces happily and it comes with smiles. On 15th May, for an hour, from 14.00 to 15.00 in many towns in the country and not only, many people will smile. Because in towns people are a little sadder and nobody smiles you, the members of “Lume Buna” with the help of volunteers initiated the campaign “A smile for you”. “We proposed ourselves to make people smile when they walk on the street!”, they say. They want to bring a moment of happiness to all the people they meet on the street and give them a smile. Their goal is to make at least 1,000,000 people in Romania and other countries smile.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

The campaign started in 2009, when in July, September and December they succeeded in making over 16,000 people smile. This year brings new the fact that the event will be carried out in other countries as well, says Mr. Lucian Ghindă, the national coordinator of the campaign: “In the current campaign we aimed to promote it internationally. We already have a few international towns enrolled and we continue the promotion.”

How you can give a smile: if you want to join the campaign “A smile for you” you have to fill in a form on www.lumebuna.ro so that the organizers can keep you informed. Then, with a lot of colour and creativity draw smiling faces on as many post-it as possible and write below them: “A smile for you”. All you have to do is to enjoy what you do and share a smile on paper and a smile of yours to the people you meet. In Timisoara we expect as many volunteers as possible for smiles! The meeting place settled by the local coordinator, Amalia Ţăran will be displayed on the website of the campaign and the participants will be announced by email. For further information or questions, you can contact Diana Cristea, a smiling face: Diana.cristea@lumebuna.ro. A smile lasts for a moment, but its memory can last a lifetime! Manda Oriana Tags: 15th May, campaign, happiness, nice people, Timisoara, a smile for you, smile Smile with me! Even if the prognosis announces smiles and cheerfulness, on 15th May few faces cheered up. The weather was not on the side of the 10 volunteers present in sharing smiles in Piata Operei. Yet, for few people they met and who, in spite of everyday stress stopped to listen to them, smiles made their day! By discussing with Lucian Ghindă, the initiator of this campaign, we managed to learn more about “A smile for you”: “Where did you come with the idea of sharing smiles?”


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

Lucian: It started from a discussion between me and Mihail (founder of LumeBună) in which I expressed my vision of making 1,000,000 people smile and I was trying to find a way of metering and seeing people smile. And we both thought of how to share smiles. Should we smile to people directly? We discussed and because we had given a few notes with smiles before as thank you, Mihail proposed that we shared smiles that way. And this is how the whole beautiful adventure with smiles started. “I understood that there were three campaigns of this kind in hospitals and banks. Could you tell me two or three ideas about how and where they were carried out?” Lucian: There were 3 campaigns so far. Two local campaigns in Bucharest in another format and a national campaign. The first campaign was in July (http://zambesc.lumebuna.ro/2009/07/daruieste-un-zambet/) and its means sharing smiles for 10 days in 10 locations proposed by 10 participants. The locations were chosen so that each of them can share in his road or be as close to him as possible. We need not meet somewhere in particular. It was a challenge to each of us to share smiles alone and the experience was wonderful from the first emotions and questions to the last smile received back as thank you. In the last day of the campaign we met in a park and shared smiles together. It was an explosion of joy and smiles. The second campaign was in September (http://zambesc.lumebuna.ro/2009/09/sa-zambim-impreunadaruieste-un-zambet/) and continued what he had started in the first campaign, this time in more challenging locations: banks, chemist’s shops, security agencies, drivers in intersections. We tried to share smiles to those who were not smiling, who seemed sad or depressed. And then the joy became greater when we succeeded in making someone smile. After the experience of the two campaigns in which volunteers shared smiles individually, we thought to organize a national campaign on 5th December (http://zambesc.lumebuna.ro/2009/11/campania-nationala-unzambet-pentru-tine/) in several towns in which volunteers will meet in a single place and from there they start and share smiles together. This campaign was splendid, over 300 people from 34 towns enrolled and someone from Frankfurt too. The result was a dream come true:15,000 smiles shared and just as many persons who smiled. You can read the impressions of the participants in the national campaign of 5th December here: http://zambesc.lumebuna.ro/2009/12/impresii-si-poze-din-campania-nationala-un-zambetpentru-tine/ and photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38810329@NO5/collections/72157622879797187/ In the current campaign we proposed ourselves to promote it internationally too. We already have a few international towns enrolled and we continue the promotion. “Is there a connection between this campaign and Free Hugs Day?”


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Lucian: Between FreeHugs and Un zambet pentru tine (A smile for you) we can say that there is a connection as idea of giving the people around a sincere and simple moment of happiness. There is also another connection that LumeBună organized both the National FreeHugs Campaign and the National Smiles Campaign. As for Free Hugs Day, we propose that on medium term we promote the idea of a day of smiles in which people share smiles. “Now that the campaign is over, can you tell us how many smiles were shared at national and international level?” Lucian: I have not finished the counting of smiles yet. I can say as an estimate that so far I received feedback from 20 towns in Romania and Bucharest and so far we have 18,000 shared smiles. “How many towns participated in the campaign?” Lucian: A number of 44 towns from Romania and 18 towns from abroad enrolled. So far we have feedback from 20 towns from Romania plus Bucharest and 3 international towns. “How difficult was it to promote the event at international level and to attract towns?” Lucian: “It was a hard work that put our creativity to work. We needed to have a direct communication with each participant in order to make sure that he/she understood exactly what the campaign meant. The promotion of the campaign and its organization at international level was exclusively online, by email, messenger or social networks. “How was the campaign received at international level?” Lucian: From the feedback we have from the 3 international towns it was very well received. Someone told us that he felt very well and will send us pictures and a video. Taking into account that it was the first campaign that we organized at international level, the fact that it was organized in towns in which we did not have any contact, by the inhabitants seems to me extraordinary. This means that it is an idea that starts to catch worldwide. We learned together with the participants and this experience will help us in the next campaign. Photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38810329@NO5/4184396378/in/set-

72157622997561784/ Oriana Manda Tags: 15th May, campaign, free hugs, lucian ghinda, piata operei, timisoara, a smile for you.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

Ciubotaru Paul, Timisoara, Colegiul National Banatean Cricket demonstration from Timisoara I had heard about this cricket demonstration at a press conference of the School Inspectorate from Timis in which participated the representatives of the Indian Embassy who wanted to introduce cricket as sport in the schools from Romania. They donated kwik cricket equipment to a hundred schools from Romania. Kwik cricket is the younger brother of cricket. After the meeting we were invited to a cricket demonstration at L.P.S. Banatul High School from Timisoara where a team of 11 well dressed men in golden polo T-shirts and white trousers started the demonstration of this game that resembles a little the American baseball. After the end of the demonstration I had to write an article and collect all the necessary information, so I took interviews to all those involved writing down in my notebook only the key words that could help me later remember what that person said. For instance, I took an interview to a high school teacher who talked very fast and I wrote down only the essential words such as: team sport, future, interesting, evolve and acceptance. I chose the title of the article at the end so that when you have the written content you can get easier an idea of the title even if most of you will think first about the title. After I took all the necessary information to write the article I posted it on the website and here is what turned out: Cricket, the new national sport? Starting from today, the students of the High School with Sports Program “Banatul” from Timisoara will add another subject to the multitude of sports practiced in this high school: cricket. This project was presented today by Mr. Marius Gaiţă, president of Banat Lions Cricket Club. Mr. Gaiţă and a few persons that know how to play cricket explained what this sport consists of. They said that at first the students would learn how to play cricket with a kwik cricket equipment that is easier to use being made of a special and resistant plastic. Mr. Gaiţă mentioned that this kwik cricket equipment would be donated to a hundred schools from Romania and the first county teams would appear as soon as possible and we would have a women cricket team by 2011. I asked a teacher from L.P.S. “Banatul” what he thought about the game and he said: “It is a team sport, it is played 11 to 11 just like football and I assume it will be a future sport in Romania if it is accepted in schools. Anyway, it is an interesting game and let us hope that it will evolve at maximal power in Romania.” If you want to see how this sport is played you are invited on 21st April, time 13.30 to L.P.S. “Banatul” High School for a demonstration of professional cricket. Paul Ciubotaru Coordinator’s eye, Oana Vieru The team of high school reporters from Timisoara has a great advantage – the town! Timisoara is the place where things happen and especially events for all the categories of age. Whether it is about theatre plays or concerts, street events, films, book release, the reporters from Timisoara were there to write and say that happens in their town.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Moreover, they managed in the first part of gazette activity to make their blog a mini-guide of urban events from which the reader, especially the readers from Timisoara, should choose. So if we take a look at the subject of Free Time we realize how many events take place in Timisoara. From campaigns of sharing smiles in town to fairs (“Gaudeamus” book fairs), companies fairs, fairs of offers to students) to from the most varied Fests or thematic evenings. It seems that not only the town offers, but the youth are waiting to be offered some of the most varied events. Among the first free time articles there was “Saptamana Cafenelelor” (Cafés Week), a cultural or inter-cultural event that carried the audience through 6 of Timisoara’s cafés. The evenings with themes are very much looked for! An event less known to the spectator’s eye was the Living Library, a campaign of “human reading”. And the list of events and articles continues. The four reporters invite once in a while to theatre, film, or a good book. At first, Free Time occupied most of the space for publishing in N.O.I. gazette. It was a beautiful online publication of urban events, written in the tone of teenagers from CNB. You can say that the four of them had too much free time! However, the gazette continued to be a little more serious with articles that interest another kind of audience, not necessarily as age, but different as interests and degree of involvement in what happens in the substrata of Banat community. But they did not give up the other types of articles! Because in the chapter “What you can do today” it is always room to read, listen or see to your own taste and after you have informed yourself about the other things that get you thinking.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

ŢĂNDĂREI AGRICULTURAL SCHOOL GROUP VOX POPULI

Context Ţăndărei is a small town. In such a town everybody knows one another and say hello. At 4 p.m., 10 minutes spent in the center of the town, in the bus station – here it is where stop the buses crossing the town in their way from Constanta to Bucharest, Brasov, Ploiesti, Buzau – it means to meet at least five known persons. This familiarity between inhabitants seemed to be at first an advantage to what was to be the field work of the high school reporters. It is true that tow of the four students involved in the project are from the rural milieu, but out of the other two left, one has grandparents in Ţăndărei, being quite well-known among the inhabitants. So all of them would have benefited from this advantage of acquaintances easy to approach. Actually, it did not happen that way. The fact that the town was small, people knew each other was a factor of inhibition to the interviewed persons. The answers the reporters obtained were: “Ohh…if you ask me, I am not important to answer that…ask somebody else!” Without substantial answers, the articles seemed to be insufficiently documented. Paragraphs appeared such as: “People think that nature must be protected and that is why they have more sense of responsibility regarding conservation of cleanliness, so before their departure they make sure that it is as clean as at arrival.” (Gabriela Ioniţă, “Ţăndărei of 1st May in the forest”, 5th May 2010). I also asked if this complex of lakes mattered to Ţăndărei area. The answers were the same from everyone: the lake has a great importance. Then I asked if the citizens were affected in any way by the fact that the lake was protected area. The answers were different: they were more or less affected because of the fishing tax. Some are not interested at all because it is polluted: people go fishing, bathing or go having fun throw garbage in the water, through their hooks from the fishing rod or throw the entire fishing rods in water angry that they did not catch fish. (Daniel Apostol, “Strachina Complex of Lakes”, 22nd May 2010). The problem was that because of the lack of declarations from the interviewed persons, we could not use quotations which would have brought a plus of authenticity to the text. They made only the summary of the ideas obtained by the lacunose expressions of the persons approached. The idea was that students interacted with the world, have what to tell about, make up stories that attract the readers. The solution came not by renouncement, but a series of articles that had the purpose of making the students be forced to get the material from the other people in order to write their article. It was not about writing the article by other sources of information: some documents given by a director or a line said in a hurry with the note: “You do not quote me in the newspaper!” Thus, the high school reporters had to assimilate a few habits useful in the journalist work: approaching a person on the street, obtaining her trust, obtaining the information, stating the source. Last but not least, these articles had the purpose of developing the creativity of the reporters by the freedom that their subject gave them.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education •

Preparation of articles

For the preparation of these articles, first the subjects of the articles were found. They resulted from a discussion carried out with Andrei Pârvan, local coordinator, on the occasion of his visit at Ţăndărei. At the moment of the visit, the subjects did not have impact. But, on 14th June, Andrei Pârvan came back to the list I had started on the occasion of the visit. The subjects were posted on the group of discussions, and the students had the task to pick a subject. •

What is the oldest memory you have? How old is it? What is it about? Now is the first time when you are asked to recall it?

What would you do if you won 10,000 Euro? What would you buy/procure? On what would you spend the money? Where? How much? Why? What would your pairs do, what about the older ones?

What passions do the youth from your town have? What concerns them? What do they give attention to? In what do they invest time and energy? How much time? What else do they invest? Do they have opportunities for that? Do they want something else?

Are your friends collectors? What do they collect? How? How much? Where from? Since when? Have they collected other things too? When? What did they do with what they collected?

What is the identity of the place? What are the most frequently used meeting points of the people? What are the places that people consider as having a high emotional charge for them? Why?

What was the greatest (grand, amusing, noteworthy, embarrassing, etc.) moment of your life? Where were you and what happened? What was your role? Who else was involved? Did it have impact? What did the effects consist of?

What makes you happy?

What do you do with the allowances? Who cashes the money? What are the allowances spent on? Would you like them higher or lower? Why? Why not?

In the preparation of the articles, all the students had to do was to develop the given subject, as much as possible, by finding a great number of questions connected to that subject. Thus, in the free discussion with the interlocutor, the student knew clearly where the discussion could lead to so that the result could be used in the article. For the rest, without any other kind of prior documentation, they went on the field. •

Written articles and received feedback

The first to accept the challenge and who posted the article was Gabriela Ionită. Her article was about the way different people would choose to spend 1,000 Euro. Here is the result: Because in this period most people deal with the lack of money, we thought about seeing what people would do if they won 10,000 Euro. Elena V., aged 21, says she would take her boyfriend and move to another country because here they have no future and maybe there they could start a small business. Vasile I., over 40 years old, says: If I had this money I would definitely get rid of debts and with the rest I could keep my children at university until they find a job.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Mariana S., aged 46, says: I would be very happy because I would got rid of the torture I endure every day and would not have to think where to get money from to put some bread on the table for my children. Cristi D., aged 31 says: I think I would get married and I would go away on holiday away from home, so I would not forget about anyone or anything. (…) I had the curiosity to find out what people past second age would do with this money: Ion I., aged 63 says: Father, I would open a pub and I would be everyone to drink and I would give some money to the children. Riveica Z., aged 68, says: I would give money to my boys because they take care of me and everything I own would be theirs. Maria F., aged 72 says she would give money to the poor children. Although she has a small pension, she thinks that those children need that money more than herself. They are simple people with different needs who think about their future or the future of their children, but all have the same scarcity: money… What would you do if you won 10,000 Euro..? (Gabriela Ioniţă, “What would you do with a bit of luck…?”, 26th June 2010). You can see that although there were answers from the interlocutors, one goal, the goal of developing creativity by drawing up the article was not reached. The article presents an inventory of the received answers. The only interventions of the author are in information and in the end of the article, which is a conclusion of the information presented in the article and which makes the opening to the reader’s right to reply. The feedback received from mentors aimed at this specific aspect: Gabriela, I liked your article in which you talked to the people, I find this idea very cool. Let’s turn it into an extensively built feature report (…) I can make some suggestions: write down and put in the article your comments about the people you talked to. Try to build your characters literarily without being poetic. Build them, put them in a context, make us understand them better. Describe them: where you found them, how they were dressed, what they did, for instance. Go back and talk some more to them, see what their dramas are, what their concerns are, things that make them worry. Let’s take some pictures, maybe you find characters that agree to that, or if not, let’s put some pictures of Ţăndărei, where you found them and talked to them. Tell us the story of as many people you talked to. Here is an example of how this could be done so that you understand better how it can be done: I found Ion in front of the mixed store on Revolutiei Street, he was sitting on a bench and watching very carefully the cars passing by. I easily started a conversation with him, he seemed to have been waiting for a conversation partner all day. When I asked him what he would do with 10,000 Euro, he looked at me as if he had it in front of his eyes. He smiled with all his teeth and sighed three times before answering: “Father…” We talked for a few minutes about the weather, prices, crisis, children. Ion has three children and 2 grand-children, all away from Ţăndărei. He sees them on Easter and Christmas. The oldest boy is in Spain, with his children and the girls are still in Romania… etc., one more paragraph (Elena Coman, 8th July 2010). The second subject tackled aimed at the passions of teenagers from Ţăndărei. This time the stage in which were recorded the answers of the interviewed persons implied a greater effort. Although it was thought as accessible to any young man met on the street, the subject was not agreed by teenagers. Ţăndărei does not offer too many places of entertainment, the possibility to cultivate a special passion for any sport, etc. Here is the result:


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The adolescence was and is considered the age when the personality develops. It is the period when the young discover preferences for certain activities, the adherence to certain beliefs. The teenager can be easily influenced by the persons around him. It is the rebel age when the young goes out of the childhood universe and directs to the adult world, but goes his own way. The break from the family authority and the integration in his own pairs begin and the factor that unites the group is represented by the passions that the young share. I wanted to find about these passions from the youth from Ţăndărei. Among the passions of teenagers from Ţăndărei there is the disco. The youth spend time in the disco having fun with friends, dancing, playing different games. The disco is in the center of the town and it is a newly renovated place. In the disco there are video games, billiards and a tennis table. In our town there are also a few terraces where the youth go out with their friends, listening to music and having fun. In the town, there are two football teams where the youth practice this sport out of passion. Another passion of the youth is Internet navigation for information and removal of boredom. Other prefer walking in the two parks, generally in the evening, to get fresh air, to relax after a full day of work, to socialize with the people around. The youth prefer the park from the center of the town because they go walking with their friends, playing football, go rollerblading and by bicycles, these activities are beneficial for the body. (…) You in which of these groups would you be? (Dani State, “Passions of teenagers from Ţăndărei”, 29th July 2010). An evolution is noticed. It is about the fact that the results are accompanied this time by the comments of the author, they go through a filter. However, the article loses of authenticity because of the lack of quotations and by the fact that the information is vague, a kind of browsing. In fact, the second article is the opposite of the first: the first was an inventory of quotations, while the second turns out to be an inventory of facts. The narrative aspect of the stories is missing, but we can see the originality of editors. The last subject was made by Florin Vlad, who chose to tell the most interesting memory of his: To make you smile, I started to look around, at friends and at my own experience, a funny memory. Read carefully the material below! I asked a group of friends what memory they had left and I found interesting what they had to say. (..) George C. has a quite interesting memory: “When I was 4 or 5 years old I went fishing with my father and I did not know how to put the bait in the hook. I tried to put I for ten minutes, but I couldn’t. I stung my fingers quite bad. My father laughed at me and helped me. When he drew out the first fish, I got scared and I threw the fishing rod away. And my father laughed at me. I got angry and I wanted him to stop laughing, so I focused and when I was about to draw out the fishing rod because it had bitten, I fell into the water and the fish took my fishing rod. That day I was humiliated by a fish and I made my dad burst out laughing. He said he would take me fishing next time, but when I heard that, I told him I would never go fishing again.” (…) Florin Comşa reveals another memory that will make us smile: “My first memory has my grandfather close-up. It was the winter of 1996 and I was in visit at my grandparents. When I went to visit them, I always stayed near the stove full with hot pie because it had a nice smell of apples and cinnamon. On a Sunday, my grandfather wakes me up early in the morning to show me the famous fair of Ţăndărei. When I got there, I was stunned. It was something that the mind of a four-year old child could not understand. We did not realize the purpose of that crowd of people and animals. The cows were mooing, the sheep were bleating, all the animals were screaming in their


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education specific language and I ran crying in the arms of my grandfather. Since then and until today, I can say that I have not put a foot in a animals fair in my entire life. And it is almost fourteen years since then….” (…) My oldest memory is since I was 4-5 years old, when I went to the seaside with my family. There, being little and not knowing anyone, I wanted to explore the area. My parents did not see when I left and they stayed on a terrace, eating highly seasoned force-meat balls broiled on the gridiron and drinking beer or juice. I left them and as little as I was, I went into the water, not knowing what was to happen. I saw a group of three or four children, a little older than me, all with water cushions. I talked a little with them, we befriended quite fast, my purpose was to stay on a water cushion with one of them… I did and we all had fun, then one of them left with his mother to get an ice-cream and he left me the water cushion. I laid on it and closed my eyes. It was quite beautiful, until I realized the current had taken me away …quite far away at sea. I could not swim, I wanted to get down from the water cushion to see if I could reach the bottom of the water, but the buoy was half a meter away from me. What could I do? I started screaming at the lifeguards. One was drinking juice and the other one was drinking something. You can realize that they saw me, but it was quite late, when my face was swollen with crying and yelling, but…That was not the biggest danger… you should have seen the slapping I got from my mother. (…) Now it is your turn to tell! (Florin Vlad, “Funny memories”, 4th August 2010). Florin manages by a collage of quotations to create an atmosphere of the text, by keeping his intervention limited. It is in fact, what we wanted: by starting from a material collected from the interviewed people, he created a story, encouraged the creativity of the student. Within the limits of journalism. •

Conclusions

The type of feature report relies on the interviews that students take on the street to persons met randomly, called in specialized language vox populi, is the one who helps to train students. It can be used at first when they do not have the experience of writing or work with people. From the self-evaluation the students made, I noticed that the lack of emotions in case of interviewing persons constantly returns when they are asked about the benefits of this kind of feature report. Thus, the students acquire the confidence they need to later on talk to people that represent the authorities. By this type of feature report, the students develop their own style, which they can later use in articles. They learn what statements can be used and what statements are not sufficient to captivate the reader and which must be their intervention apart from their quotations. More so, how their addition must be in relation to what they receive from the interviewed persons. Alexandra David


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

CASE STUDIES: OBLIGATORY SUBJECTS COMMON SUBJECT: RECYCLING ALBA IULIA “SELECTIVE COLLECTION – AT ANYONE’S WILL” Cornel Plumb, “Dionisie Pop Marţian” Economic College 1. Preparation of article The article “Selective collection – at anyone’s will” was made by tackling the subject “Recycling” imposed by Soros Foundation Romania. We must mention that all the 8 subjects initially imposed by the foundation had to be divided between the team members in an editorial meeting. It happened that I did not participate in that meeting of high school reporters, but I had expressed before my intention of covering this subject, which was taken into consideration. I had my eye on this subject for the first time when the Foundation sent me an email with the titles of subjects because a whole bunch of ideas came to my mind about how to tackle this subject. Once the subject was entrusted to me, I made myself a plan of approach, in three articles: •

In the first article, I will see if there is a program of selective collection of wastes in Alba Iulia municipality, by whom this selective collection is done, where are the collection points located, what are the companies recycling materials and where the selectively collected material from the population go;

The next two articles, I decided that they should contain data about the materials that the citizens must recycle and their opinions about action, information about the garbage pit of the town and opinions of the sanitation operators.

For the realization of these articles, the first and the handiest source of information was Google, where I came up about the Regional Plan of Wastes Management for Region 7 Center, then I procured the county plan for Alba county. Going through both of them, I realized that they were inspired one by the other. I searched in the local press for articles, to see what was not covered and idea regarding what this article should contain and how to group the information. Another source of information was the Mayor’s Office of Alba Iulia, to which I forwarded a request for information, according to Law no.544/2001 to find out its plan for the selective collection in town. The answer was not very elaborate, but contained information to be taken into account by the citizens. Before sending the request, it was checked in the weekly editorial meeting. In the elaboration of the request, I asked the local coordinator for a model that contained two possible questions because I had not dealt with something like that before, to which I added another two to cover the information I needed. 2. Realization of article After collecting all the information, there was the stage of realization of article. I started with the County Plan of Wastes Management of Alba from where I took general information about the forecasts regarding the wastes that will be made and collected and those regarding the recyclable materials to be collected, for each year in view of achieving the norms imposed by European Union. All this, but also information regarding the garbage pits and the sanitation companies and the companies that recycle materials was inserted first in raw form in a Word document and then the


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education information was selected again by importance, combined or fit into appropriate context. By getting to a final form of ideas by paragraphs, I arranged them by a plan of the article: first I proposed an introduction to the subject, stating the social context, the major importance of the phenomenon, but also the obligation of local authorities to tackle this subject. I continued with the description of the current situation, based on the direct observation of the situation of collection of wastes in town and the recycling program, how it is done, by whom, where the collection points are located, opinions of the parties involved. The end was attributed to county data and an enumeration of the economic agents that recycle and to which the inhabitants of the county can address. 3. Feedback Obviously, after doing the article, I read it. The coordinator teacher gave me a few suggestions of revision of a few phrases and subtitles in which the main idea did not stand out or the phrase was too complicated. After these corrections, the local coordinator appreciated the abundance of important information in the article, but also that as a whole it was a very good article, even recommended it to all from the summer camp in Sinaia to read. The same opinion was from the school mates and the other high school reporters from the team. 4. Continuation of tackling the subject I definitely cannot say that I exhausted in my first article everything that could be said about this subject, so for the future I propose to continue its approach by the other two articles, initially planned: one will be represented by a video material regarding the materials that need recycling with a short presentation of the path that materials cross to get to be reused; the second one will contain the opinion of the sanitation services provider that collects the selectively collected wastes in town and the administrator of the garbage pit, but also the representatives of the Environmental Ministry in the county, regarding the quantities of collected recyclable wastes and the barriers and solutions they propose. 5. The first published article Selective collection – at anyone’s will Published: July 14, 2010 Posted in: Community Tags: selective collection Alba Iulia In Alba Iulia, even if there is the possibility of going with your bag full of paper or PETs to put them in specially procured containers (they are located in few places in town) is preferred by citizens, probably, the method of “throwing” the garbage in mixture. Why? It is a much more “convenient” solution and implies only the travel of the household garbage bag in which lay mixed PETs from vegetal oil and sparkling drinks, with paper and cardboard from packaging, with the other wastes, for a few tens of meters. That way you do not have to bother to separate the paper from plastic to put them in the green container respectively yellow container. Not even in the case of electric and electronic equipment there is no crowd for teaching, especially if nothing is taken in exchange in the campaign “The great collection” initiated by the Environment and Sustainable Development Ministry. The last edition of this campaign in the municipality announced on the website of Mayor’s Office of Alba Iulia took place on 26th-27th March and the collected quantity was below the country average. The new regulations regarding the collection, sorting, valorization and elimination of different categories of wastes put first an increased involvement of population, the usual methods of collection of wastes from households which are to be put aside in favor of a separate transport for paper, plastic, glass, metals and packaging wastes. Collected in colored containers specific to each material, they will be easier to sort and recycle. The problem of recycling is a “civilization exam”


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education that Romania should pass by observing the commitments to European Union regarding the quantity of wastes that are necessary to be selectively collected. The municipal wastes are collected by the care of local administration, who has this responsibility – Law no.101/2006 regarding the determination of the unitary legal framework regarding the foundation, organization, management, exploitation, financing and control of the functioning of the public sanitation services of towns, being part of the scope of community service and are carried out under the control, management or coordination of local public authorities. In Alba Iulia municipality the sanitation activity was granted by contracts signed between the public administration and the sanitation agents serving the town and adjacent commune such as: Ciugud, Cricău, Berghin, Ghirbom, Totoi, Teleac, Drâmbar, Seusa, Limba, Sard, Bucerdea Vinoasa, Ighiu, Daia Română. The only containers for PETs and paper do not look full The municipal wastes are made of the household wastes collected in mixture from population and institutions, industry and trade as well as the wastes from parks, gardens, markets and street wastes. In the composition of household wastes from urban areas, the highest weight (50%) is represented by biodegradable wastes followed by paper and cardboard, glass and plastic. In Alba county there are no sorting, composting or mechanical biological treatment plants for wastes. Their valorization is done at a low level, given the fact that the inhabitants of Alba Iulia did not learn how to collect selectively. Anyway, there are not enough special containers for selective collection in town and the existing ones are just for paper and PETs, but nobody seems disturbed that such containers did not appeared near the mixed containers in the vicinity of blocks of flats or houses. After all, the problem of recovering wastes and rescuing resources concerns us all. As long as nobody is forced to selectively collect wastes, it is up to each person’s will and time available. The truth is that you cannot bring spring with a flower, but it announces that it exists, which fits like a glove to the situation of selective collection in Alba Iulia. The fact that those containers that exist were not completely empty shows that there are responsible people, but it is not enough to generalize and say: “The inhabitants of Alba Iulia collect selectively”. At county level As for valorization, the county has no lack of possibilities. Paper and cardboard are valorized by S.C. PEHART TEC S.A. from Petresti, Alba county, with a processing capacity of 6,500 tons of wastes a year. Metallic wastes are recycled in Aiud by S.C. METALURGICA S.A. while wood and sawdust are put to use by S.C. Kronospan Sepal from Sebes. Here is a short list of economic agents from Alba county which collect or valorize wastes: •

SC Remat Alba SA subsidiary Alba Iulia collects: metallic wastes, paper, plastic, glass, used vehicles, used oil, used batteries and accumulators;

SC Meteor Star SRL collects: metallic wastes, paper, batteries and used accumulators;


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education •

SC Kronospan Sebes SA collects and valorizes: wood wastes and sawdust;

SC Pehart Tec SA Petresti collects and valorizes: paper and cardboard wastes;

SC Gabriel Grup SRL collects: paper and cardboard wastes, plastic materials (PET);

SC Tehno General Jr. SRL collects and valorizes used vehicles;

SC Auto Erhart SRL (point of work Oarda) collects and valorizes used vehicles;

SC Impuls Oil SRL collects used oils;

SC Salprest SRL collects electric and electronic equipment wastes;

SC Aloref SRL collects electric and electronic equipment wastes;

SC C.N.D.P.I. Romsoft SA collects electric and electronic equipment wastes from the technical category of computation.

The sanitation services in Alba Iulia are provided by two companies, SC Salprest SA and SC Schuster & CO Ecologic SRL, the main collection practice is the mixture. Separate collection is done at municipality level only for paper cardboard and plastic materials (PETs) (PHOTO) in containers of SC Salprest SA, located in 30 points in the town. According to the data offered by Mayor’s Office Alba Iulia, the selectively collected wastes around the blocks of flats are collected by the sanitation operator every Saturday or whenever it is necessary, and in case of economic agents and institutions, the collection can be done by phone order. According to the same source, most of households are equipped with a second garbage can for the separate collection of plastic and paper wastes.

As for Electric and electronic equipment wastes, the collection points are located every Thursday in the following locations: Cales Motilor – back to Unirea store, Arnsberg street – parking lotm near the playground for children, Ariesului street – the former agricultural food market. In an interview given for the newspaper “Informatia de Alba”, the director of Salprest SA hinted that the result of selective collection can be seen in sanitation cost: “I invested a lot in the equipping with special garbage cans for this procedure of collection of household wastes and would give even more results if people respected this process…plastic and paper are recycled, which means the recovery of a par of the amount invested in the sanitation process. Thus, we managed, Salprest company, to have a much lower price than the paid price by those from Sibiu or Cluj because I can see that many people compare Alba Iulia to these two cities…Well, we work with a third of the price practiced by the operators from these cities. Why? Because this selective collection system started to give results. Until we all become aware of the importance of selective collection, we cannot expect satisfying quantities to pass to the limit the “test” of European Union regarding the quantity of wastes from special containers for paper and cardboard and plastic (that do not seem to be full) because only the herd law would function, probably every time after the line: “if everyone does not do it, why would I?”


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education At county level, according to the County Plan of Wastes Management in Alba, for the year 2011 about 67% of county population will have to selectively collect the paper and cardboard and 55% plastic, glass and metal so that by 2013 their number increases to 68% in case of paper, respectively 63% for plastic, glass and metal. No ecologic landfill in the county The ecologic landfill in the county, investment of the Project regarding the Integrated System of Wastes Management is yet to be waited for, especially if certain non-conforming landfills among which the landfill of Alba Iulia still have right to function for a few years. So far, the ecologic pits from the neighboring counties are required. The municipal landfill of Alba Iulia with a designed capacity of over 1,700,000 m3 is estimated to reach an area of 6 ha by 2015, at the moment planned for the suspension of storage, according to GD 349/2005. Coordinator Ana Maria Suciu General considerations – obligatory subjects The obligatory subjects were perceived as beneficial by both teams we coordinated. As planning instrument, each team conceived a calendar (annexes I and II) but each reporter had the freedom to determine his own deadlines and the number of written articles, which helped me get them responsible and made it easier to ask them for the promised article because they had established the way in which they organize and finish, and the results were positive to a large extent. As a recommendation, I think it is desirable to have some previously established subjects as references. You can easily see that when the reporters started to work on the obligatory subjects, no other article appeared on other subjects. When students start to write about what they want, the articles are much better. Of course, there are cases when the obligatory subjects were interesting, but most of the times things were approached quantitatively and with sources exclusively from the Internet (a kind of press magazine on the subject). 1. OBLIGATORY SUBJECT –COMMON-ALBA IULIA – RECYCLING The article of Cornel Bumb on recycling subject was one of the best articles made by Alba Iulia team. First of all, the relatively large period for documentation counted, according to the calendar enclosed in Annex I, about 3 weeks. Secondly, (and this is a general observation), the fact that the author wanted to tackle this subject which is of interest to him at personal level made the documentation as serious as it can be. On the occasion of documentation for this article, Cornel required for the first time public interest information from the Mayor’s Office of Alba Iulia. It was probably the first time that an 18year old student read a wastes management plan. The result of his documentation was an article that treats recycling in Alba Iulia from all possible perspectives.

BISTRITA RECYCLING – A PROBLEM THAT ONLY SEEMS TO BE SOLVED RDL team of Bistrita received with reservation the subjects proposed by the foundation, but also with relaxation because they narrowed the area of searches for the subjects of articles. Until the


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education setting of subjects, the first part of each editorial meeting was dedicated to an informative note on the events in progress or which were to begin. The director Camelia Tabără was co-opted as local counselor, she was always informed about the events of the community and took seriously the mission of the team. After a short browsing through the more important events, the team members divided their tasks and with the coordinator teacher outlined the steps of realization of materials. The receipt of the subject made the team choose the method of tackling the subjects and all agreed not to work chaotically, but each of them choose the subjects they will deal with. The distribution went without a hitch because all knew from the beginning what subjects they were attracted to, what opportunities they had in procurement of materials and in field work. Therefore, each member received two subjects and the first concern was to determine the responsible or competent contact persons we should approach about the subjects: Ciocan Teodora Mihaela 1.

Grants Law – contact persons: Monica Buboly, Gratiela Nemes – Bistrita-Nasaud School Inspectorate, Liliana Cocesiu – European Integration Department – Mayor’s Office.

2.

Education.

Danciu Daniel 3.

Recycling – vice mayor George Avram, mayor Ovidiu Creţu.

4.

Meetings of the Local Council – Camelia Tabără – local counselor.

Pop Emima 5.

Students’ Council – Costea Ioan – Bistrita-Nasaud School Inspectorate, Mihaela Curteanu – coordinator of the Local Council of Youth.

6.

Development of non-governmental sector: Tăşuleasca, Inocenţii, ProAdo (Mrs. Orza), Bistrita Medievala (Florin Săsărman).

Rai Andrei 7.

Activity of MPs – Ioan Botiş - deputy, Radu Moldovan – deputy, Ioan Tintean – deputy, Ioan Sbârciu – senator – Parliamentary Office.

8.

Health.

9.

When he chose the subject of recycling wastes, Daniel Danciu had the advantage that he worked as cameraman in the local television station and knew the “levers” of operation of the administrative institution of Bistrita. What remained to discuss was the method of approaching the subject and the first suggestions were to conduct a survey in his block of flats. Together we started to outline a plan of work, as we always do and we put it on paper to make it easier for him to observe the stages:

Recycling – plan of work for tackling the subject] -

recycling programs in schools/community, what impact they had;

-

a subject could be if the people from your block of flats recycle separately..if they have recipients in the backyard of the block of flats..if not..why don’t they have them? (conduct a survey); here goes a petition as well;


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education -

you can talk to the inhabitants of the block of flats if they want to recycle selectively and sign a petition by which they ask the Mayor to install appropriate recipients in their block of flats;

-

interviews with the people that do them;

-

interviews with the Environmental Guard.

After the observations made by the interviewed persons, Daniel decided that a petition was opportune, especially that he was very curious if the legal levers he had heard of at the seminar of Sibiu, initiated by the Soros Foundation Romania function. He also wanted to see how Bistrita authorities observe the citizens’ rights. PETITION Name of authority or public institution: Mayor’s Office of Bistrita Municipality Office/address: Piata Centrala nr.6 Date: 15.06.2010 Dear Mayor, I, the undersigned, Danciu Daniel, residing in Bistrita, Mesteacanului Street, block 11, entrance A, ap.6, identified with Identity Card series XB no.188846, collaborator in the “High School Reporter” Project, implemented and financed by Soros Foundation, I hereby formulate a petition according to GEO no.27/2002 approved by Law no.233/2002. I report the following problems: - the non-existence in Bistrita of garbage cans for the collection of selective wastes with the clear note of the type of recyclable wastes: glass, paper, plastic; - the non-existence of specially arranged spaces, which leads to the mistake of the existing one for the household garbage can; - the lack of surveillance of the storage spaces of recyclable wastes, which leads to disorder in their vicinity. Please take the following actions: -

allocation of spaces with exclusive destination for recyclable wastes: glass, paper, plastic in all the neighborhoods of Bistrita;

-

location of garbage cans for the collection of selective wastes in all the neighborhoods of Bistrita;

-

application of fines according to Law no.9/1973, Art. 1, para. 1 for those who do not properly store wastes of any kind and especially recyclable wastes.

The resolution of these problems will have beneficial results such as: -

training of a Bistrita citizen civilized and interested in the cleanliness of his own town;

-

reduction of pollution;

-

promotion of a healthy life for youth and not only.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education I want that the reply to petition should be received in electronic format at the following email address: danieldanciu3@gmail.com. Thank you for your concern, ………………….. (petitioner’s signature) Last name and first name of the petitioner: Danciu Daniel Address: Bistrita, str. Mesteacanului, bl.11, sc.A, ap.6 Phone (optional): 0743388674 After ten days from petition, Daniel was delighted to see that his petition was taken into consideration, analyzed and resolved to a large extent. What delighted him more was that his complaints and proposals were answered, and was assured by the mayor himself of all his appreciation for the involvement in the community life.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education MAYOR’S OFFICE OF BISTRITA MUNICIPALITY 420040 – Bistrita, Piata Centrala nr.6, Bistrita-Nasaud county Citizen’s phone: 0263-984 Phone: 0263-223923, 224706, fax: 0263-231046 Email: primaria@primariabistrita.ro http://www.primariabistrita.ro No. 49742/23.06.2010 Attention: Daniel Danciu Str. Mesteacanului bl.11, sc.A, ap.6 Dear Mr. Daniel Danciu, I am happy about your involvement in the “High School Reporter” project implemented by Soros Foundation. These projects have a major contribution in the training of active citizens, involved in the community life, who want to effectively participate in making decisions. I am convinced that the desire of students to identify problems of the local community and search for potential solutions are extremely important in their training. As for the punctual problems reported by you, I do not think that we can talk about the “non-existence of garbage cans for the selective collection of wastes, of spaces specially arranged for them” in Bistrita municipality. In the last years, with the sanitation operator SC Urbana SA, we make efforts for the implementation of selective collection. Press campaigns, awareness of population regarding the benefits of selective collection, arrangement of special platforms for this purpose, the acquisition of garbage cans, etc. meant a special financial and logistic effort. But the results depend to a large extent on the way our townsmen understand to answer these actions of authorities. As for your proposals, I assure you that we will continue to allot spaces and arrange them with the destination of selective collection in all the neighborhoods of Bistrita municipality. Through the Community Police we will continue to sanction those who do not understand to observe the regulations regarding selective collection. I appreciate your involvement in the community life and assure you that your proposals are received and analyzed with utmost responsibility. Yours sincerely, 155


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education Mayor Ovidiu Teodor CreĹŁu [illegible signature and seal]

156


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education But the story does not end here. The members of “CNAM online” team were invited in the following days to the local television station in a live show called “Challenge”. The show gave Bistrita youth the opportunity to present the project “High School Reporter”, but also to tackle the subjects they had to tackle in a free discussion by inviting the viewers to come with completions, suggestions and questions. They developed the recycling subject, by insisting on the negligence attitude of citizens who defy the community out of lenience or lack of civic education by preferring to leave the others the task of taking care of saving your own money by selective storage of wastes. Written on June 24th 2010 at 8:06 am by danieldanciu ANNOUNCEMENT! Filed under “Free time, no comments!” “CNAM online” Team will participate in two live shows at the television stations AS TV Bistrita on the subject of involving the youth in the life of local community and proposes to present the “High School Reporter” Project. The show will be broadcast under the title “Challenge” and will be carried out on Friday, 25th June 2010 and Friday, 2nd July 2010 at 7 p.m. We invite you to “stay tuned”! For those of you who do not receive the TV station we send you the link: www.as-tv.ro Results Either as a resonance of the actions of the team of high school reporters, either as pure coincidence on 01.07.2010 the Mayor’s Office of Bistrita municipality started a campaign of selective collection of wastes by locating in the collection points containers in the conventional colors determined by the sanitation law in force: -

yellow containers for PETs, sheet, plastic bags, metal packages;

-

blue containers for paper;

-

brown containers for other wastes;

-

green containers, bell type, for glass.

The campaign was made public by the distribution of warning posters at all the entrances of blocks of flats or at private houses, in mass media or on the signboards in town. In order to encourage the action, the text of the poster reminds you of the European Directive regarding environmental protection by selective collection and the obligation starting from 01.07.2010 of reaching the 15% target of recovery of wastes of the total collected quantity, in accordance with Ordinance no.1607/2008. We do not know if our actions determined this campaign or if it was planned a long time ago, but what is really important is the experience that was for the four team members a lesson of civic involvement and a proof that they can change the world. What they must do is to get involved.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

CARANSEBES Alexandra Partenie – Recycling: selective garbage collection, ecologic pits •

Preparation

As president of the Students’ Council from « Grupul Scolar Forestier Caransebes », but also because she studies in a class with Ecology profile and the environment quality protection, Alexandra Partenie was always concerned by the ecologic actions carried out by the school and the community and one of the obligatory subjects from the month of May, Recycling, fit her like a glove. •

REALIZATION

In order to get informed about this subject, Alexandra went to the Mayor’s Office of Caransebes and completed an application for audience for Mr. Bogdan Vitonescu, the head of Environmental Protection Department, but also Alexandra’s documentation on this subject: “Only by recycling we can save the planet” A survey conducted by the high school reporters of “Grupul Scolar Forestier” showed that 80% of the inhabitants of Caransebes know what selective collection is. By discussing with the high school students I learned that a part of them (49%) always collect selectively, while 16% do that sometimes, and 35% never do it. Andreea Vasilescu says that to her recycling became a habit, a thing she does out of instinct: “I have been recycling since I was a child, my parents taught me to protect the environment. Just as I eat every day, I watch television, I walk, I recycle; it became a part of my life.” Recycling is the process of reuse of old materials and products for the creation of new ones, without resorting to new raw materials, thus reducing the consumption of energy for the extraction of raw materials. Recycling helps to reduce the hot house gas emissions. The recyclable materials come from the industrial environment, offices or houses and consist of paper, plastic, glass, metal and textile materials. The biodegradable materials such as bio-vegetal left-overs and food are not considered recyclable. The three main methods of collection of wastes are: the collection in special centers, buy-back centers and the collection “from the street”. The collection centers are the most cost-effective. The buy-back centers offer an amount of money for the recovery of broken-down goods. The collection from the streets is different by the way wastes are stored: mixed collection, collection of recyclable materials and storage by separation by categories. In Caransebes the collection is selective in certain pilot areas, they valorize the cardboard, paper, metals and WEEE (wastes electrical, electronic and household equipment). The collection takes place in the first Saturday of each month. Until the completion of construction of ecologic pit of Lupac, the remainder of the household garbage (leaves, crusts) will be transported to the waste dump of Otelu Rosu. A press for cardboards and PETs was mounted instead of the garbage dump of Caransebes (which was closed last year). “For the management of wastes in Caraş-Severin, the Intercommunity Development Association “Intercom wastes” was created. The association has the purpose of joint


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education accomplishment of the infrastructure development projects for the public sanitation service of towns based on the county development strategy and the joint provision of services of collection and transport of household garbage”, as we were informed by Mr. Bogdan Vitonescu from the Environmental Protection Department from the Mayor’s Office of Caransebes. In comparison with other ecologic methods, recycling implies the lowest effort of consumers and has many benefits: it creates jobs, lowers the costs of companies (the more they recycle, the lower the costs of companies are), reduces the number of polluting agents from the air and water, reduces the quantity of wastes that must be stored in garbage pits, prevents the destruction of natural habitats of animals, of biodiversity and prevents the soil erosion. Author: Alexandra Partenie Coordinator’s eye, Oana Vieru We could see how during 6 months the team from Caransebes grew. It could be seen by the way they started to write the articles. If for other teams the imposed subject were a desolation moment, for GSF-online they were welcome. Of course, it was not easy for them to knock at doors and talk with the personalities from the region, but it was the incentive they needed to move on. We said in the school presentation that it was part of a region slightly reluctant to changes and events and it was seen in the absence of articles or the lack of information from the articles written by the students from “Grupul Scolar Forestier”. With the appearance of imposed subjects, they knew exactly what to look for and where to look. One of the subjects was recycling. The subject was tackled a few times in their articles as they were in a college that emphasized the ecologic activities. Only this time they were more selective. They were interested in the current situation of recycling in Caransebes, the collection of WEEE and the situation of the garbage pit from the region. Apart from the general information and the conclusions at the end of articles (“recycling implies the lowest effort from consumers, creates jobs, lowers the costs of companies” – Only by recycling we can save the planet), the students of GSF showed to a small extent the effort made by other persons interested in recycling. One article describes an exhibition of drawings on the subject of recycling, drawings made by kindergarten children who are the “consumers of tomorrow”.

CRAIOVA RECYCLING Recycling was among the obligatory subjects sent by the Foundation for the teams of reporters. All the team members avoided to choose this subject in the division of obligatory subjects among the team members. We agreed to carry out a conversation on this subject and to determine a means of approach. Recycling is a concept of twentieth century and it appeared as one of the possibilities of limiting the prodigality and using resources more efficiently. It became more and more clear that industrialization and the sustained increase in population led to the consumptions of larger and larger quantities of resources.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Why should we recycle? Wastes can affect the environment, the air, water, the soil. Their inefficient management can affect our health and the environment in which we live. We do not know much about recycling in our town. In the school there are containers on each floor for the collection of different types of wastes (paper, plastic), result of the implementation of a project “Environment understood by all the people!” What happens to these wastes until recycling? Silence. Craiova is not among the towns with a selective wastes collection system. Postponed too many times, the article on recycling became a complicated problem. Cosmin Filisan, who was supposed to draw up the article, went to the Environmental Protection Agency to collect information. But, silence. A few phone calls given to the Public Sanitation Department and maybe the superficial involvement in the documentation activity led to the following article: Slow steps, but safe steps to recycling in Craiova By becoming one of the main world problems, the recycling of wastes resulted from the consumption of products by people, the Romanian Parliament took actions by passing the Law no. 132/2010 in June this year with a enforceability deadline of 3 months by which the public institutions are forced to arrange containers on each floor of each institution for the selective collection of household wastes, paper, cardboard, metals, plastics and glass. If the law is not applied by the persons in charge with the collection in the specially designed places, there will be fines in amount of 500 and 3,000 lei and for the companies that are in charge with the collection of wastes if they do not collect them as scheduled there will be fines between 5,000 and 10,000 lei. The objectives of the law are to increase the degree of recycling and valorization of selectively collected wastes and the increase in the degree of awareness of civil servants and citizens regarding the selective collection. In Craiova the Public Sanitation Department made available to the inhabitants of Craiova since April 1,250 garbage cans for the selective collection of abovementioned materials after the Public Sanitation Department purchased a baling press for recyclable materials. The money obtained from the sale of recyclable products will go into the bank account of public sanitation department. Marin Sima, aged 53 from Craiova said: “I tried to do selective collection and I grouped the household garbage by each category and after 3 wastes minutes of putting the PETs, glass and metals through the small holes of the new containers, I left and after walking 50 meters I noticed a Rroma man who came after me, lifted the lid of the container, took the PETs and tins and left. I think that the citizens of Romania will never do recycling unless they are threatened by the law. But I have doubts about the application of sanctions by the authorities.” The Public Sanitation Department started the actions for the arrangement of storage spaces and for the collection of wastes for recycling from public institutions from Craiova, but also the determination by auction of the companies interested in recyclable products and all this will be ready when the law comes into force. Cosmin Filişan


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Article of coordinator teacher Carmen Mocanu In Craiova, the selective collection of garbage according to European norms proved to be a hard to achieve objective. The attempts of the Public Sanitation Department to selectively collect the garbage failed. Because of the carelessness of citizens, but also the indifference of authorities, we collect in the same garbage can the household left-overs, PETs, paper and glass. In 2007, 2008, the pilot programs for selective collection turned out to be useless. In different neighborhoods of the town platforms were installed for special garbage containers. The result was zero. In Craiova there is no large company of collection of PETs. The local authorities and the representatives of the Public Sanitation Department say that it would be better not to collect the garbage selectively. Otherwise, two types of cars, two distinctive programs will be necessary, which would raise the price of garbage collection and the cost would be felt in the citizen’s pocket. The indifference of population to selective collect the garbage is encouraged by the methods of Sanitation employees. They stuff every day in cars everything they find on the garbage platform: household left-overs, paper, glass, PETs, iron and rubble. All this is taken to the garbage pit of Mofleni. Here they do the manual sorting, which is extremely costly. Too close to town, the Mofleni pit was and is a constant polluter for the inhabitants in the vicinity and not only.

MIERCUREA CIUC Person in charge with the case study, high school reporter, Matieş Cristina, Marton Aron Theoretical High School RECYCLING IN MIERCUREA CIUC I wrote two articles on the subject of recycling, compulsory subject I received from the Foundation. The first of them was called “Think about the future! Recycling regards you!” http://miercurea-ciuc.reporterdeliceu.ro/?p=644. My training started first of all with the aid of the forum, from where I received quite useful information as starting point. In exchange, I had to write an article on this subject. A documentation period followed. I started with Internet sites (such as the webpage of Environmental Ministry, Google, etc.) and then I continued at local level by contacting the Mayor’s Office of Miercurea Ciuc and the sanitation company of Miercurea Ciuc. The documentation was difficult because nobody from those I asked knew anything about the way recycling takes place in Miercurea Ciuc. This regards Vox Populi I made with the answers received from friends of my own age. It was a subject the youth were not interested in and most of them wondered that a person of their own age could be interested in something like that. After the meeting with our coordinator Ana, the first thing I did was to write a letter of request to the Mayor’s Office of Miercurea Ciuc. They did not answer my questions.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Then I contacted the sanitation company SC AVE-HURON SRL from where I received quite important answers which, I think I would not have learned from anywhere else, except for the mayor’s office of Miercurea Ciuc. In the end, this complex subject appeared in the article below. Think about the future! Recycling regards you! The garbage is collected but nobody knows anything about the recycling in Miercurea Ciuc. What is the reason of ignorance? Do people not get civically involved as much as they should? Because the lack of information dominates. So for the moment we can speak of the recycling issue. A Vox Populi took place, so the youth from our community were asked: What do you know about the recycling in Miercurea Ciuc and how is it implemented in this town? Most of them answered: “I don’t know anything, trust me!” Others heard about the sanitation company AVE which collect their household garbage. Here are their answers: “Well, the recycling of the oil. The oil used should not be thrown into water. It is collected in empty bottles and thrown to garbage cans and then a vehicle comes to pick up the garbage. The vehicle belongs to a Hungarian company.” (D.M.-19). A.N. aged 17 says: “In our town the following recycling possibilities can be mentioned: 1. The vehicles that process the wood from which residual material results such as sawdust which can be used in district heating. Taking into account that the methane gas gets more expensive, and the sawdust is relatively cheap, replacing it and using it, the money spent on urban heating and the synthesis of household hot water will be significantly lower (by 30-35%) than the costs covered by the Romanian population now. 2. By a civil initiative they organized the collection of household oil that they use as fuel for machinery.” P.I. aged 19: “We did not learn to exist in our town a selective collection program, but I do not think that it would be a bad idea, on the contrary, it would be welcome.” B.Cs. aged 19: “I do not think that in Miercurea Ciuc we can talk about the recycling of wastes. At least it does not seems like that because no special garbage baskets are distributed. It is true, in few place, such as the station, but they are only formally because nobody uses them properly. But if the recycling of wastes does not take place, we can understand for what reason.” We learned important information about the recycling in town from the assistant manager of the sanitation company AVE, Csilla Farkas-Czerják: Question: The only sanitation company from Miercurea Ciuc is the one you have in administration. Since when does it function in this town? Answer: The company AVE Huron SRL has functioned in town since 1997. Until 2008 the company functioned under the name Huron Export-Import SRL and after the leader of the wastes management market from Austria took over the company 100% it became an operational subsidiary of wastes management of AVE Group. Question: How and when does the collection of garbage take place?


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Answer: The household wastes from natural and legal persons are collected by state-of-the-art trucks for refuse collection once a week. From neighborhoods they are collected twice a week. The working hours are between 7 a.m – 4 p.m. Question: Is the whole town served by your company? Answer: Yes. Question: What are the plans for the future regarding the recycling in Miercurea Ciuc? Answer: A collaboration protocol was signed regarding the implementation of selective collection of wastes in Miercurea Ciuc by SC ECO ROM AMBALAJE SA, the Mayor’s Office of Miercurea Ciuc and the company AVE-HURON SRL. It consists of the provision by ECO ROM AMBALAJE SA for Miercurea Ciuc of containers bell type made of PE of a capacity of 2.5 m3 for the recyclable wastes type paper/cardboards, plastic materials and glass. In the administrative area of Miercurea Ciuc a number of 18 collection points will be located, each collection point will be provided with three standard containers. The collection of wastes will be provided by SC AVE-HURON SRL by a program established with the Mayor’s Office of Miercurea Ciuc. If plans exist, then there are hopes for a clean town. We must not forget to think about our future and the future of our municipality, Miercurea Ciuc. Written by Matieş Cristina The feedback to the article consists of a reply received from Suciu Ana-Maria below the article: “Very beautiful, I can’t wait to see what the mayor’s office says.” And one feedback on forum: “Congratulations, I liked how you wrote! Maybe it would be a good idea not to say Vox Populi directly in the article, but we are waiting here for the opinion of experts. As for the title, I tried to draw the attention of youth to a problem that should concern everybody. The return took place with the aid of the following article: “Together against wastes!” A few hundred years ago we did not have the possibility to drink from lakes and rivers. Today we cannot even trust the water from the tap. We were interested to see what could be in that glass of water that we prepare to drink and how could we get rid of the impurities from it? Have you ever thought what could be the reason for which the impurities are there? If you want to find clean water in bottles, you should learn to collect garbage! Because not all that is thrown away is garbage.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Did you know that the glass needs 1,000,000 years to decompose in tiny pieces? Did you know that the natural decomposition of plastic in the environment requires over 500 years due to the materials it is made of? Did you know that each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees? Did you know that a television can function for three consecutive hours with the energy saved by recycling an aluminum box? (http://www.ecoromambalaje.ro/colectare selectiva.phpsursa) Recycle! The selection of wastes begins in your house. All the time we expect someone to come and tell us what to do so that things should go as they should. Well, you don’t depend on anyone. And a minute is very long when many things depend on what you do. And if we talk about a whole day, then you can do much more things. That is why I invite you to do something for the environment in which you live. You can start by taking part in the project “Let’s do it, Romania.” The objective of the team is to clean the whole country on 25th September 2010. For further information, click: (http://www.letsdoitromania.ro/stiri/cartam-in-harghita/-sursa).

Why? Because it is about the place in which we live, where we spend our everyday life. It is important that the wastes improperly thrown in the natural ecosystems should disappear and their reappearance should be prevented. These works were required to Romania by European Union. All for one and one for all. So, all against wastes. Source of photos: www.alternativenergia.hu/tag/norvegia codverde.realitatea.net/2009/07/ High School Reporter, Matieş Cristina We continued this article as follows: “Starting today, Romania is cleaner” Starting today, cleaner Romania The great campaign of garbage collection took place, a national project of social involvement. The project “Let’s Do It, Romania!” – Cleanliness in the whole country. In one day!” seems to be a success. The scouts of Local Center “Orion” from Miercurea Ciuc took part in this activity, by cleaning the surroundings of the town. The scouts are a group of young people allotted by age: Wolves cubs, Venturesome, Explorers and Leaders (Seniors) with the motto: “Ready anytime!”


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education “The purpose of scouts are to make a better and cleaner Romania for the citizens of the country, especially in our town. I am a scout because what I learn from scouts helps me in my life” says Antochi Marius aged 17. The scouting is mainly based on campuses organized in the mountains in which participate members of different local centers, where they sing around the fire and ecology and orientation activities and games are carried out. Youth that acts Linx Explorer (Florin Mihalache aged 18) answers a few questions relating to the way this project was carried out in our area. http://miercurea-ciuc.reporterdeliceu.ro/wpcontent/uploads/2010/09/letsdoit44.jpg Question: How did you learn about the action and how did you get involved in the project? Answer: We learned about this action a few months ago through the Internet and the involvement in the project came naturally when we were suggested to do it with the scouts. If we had not gone as group of scouts, the number of volunteers of our age would have been smaller, at least in Ciuc. Question: How many persons took part in the big project? Did other volunteers go with the scouts? Answer: The total number of volunteers in Romania was 73,212 and in Harghita county their number was quite small compared to other counties, only 170 persons were interested. In Miercurea Ciuc both scouts and volunteers were involved. Question: What areas did you clean? Answer: Before the cleaning activity, there were volunteers that handled map plotting, managing to make an online map on which piles of garbage appear (http://intranet.letsdoitromania.ro/hartaverif/). The participants were enrolled by teams and each team cleaned certain piles of garbage. I could not say exactly what areas were cleaned, but our team removed the garbage in the vicinity of Leliceni in a place that became garbage pit for various persons. In the following days we will learn precisely what areas were cleaned with the aid of the online map that is in progress of updating. Question: Do you think that the purpose of the project was achieved? Answer: We hope with all our heart that the purpose was achieved, but I have doubts… There are many inhabitants in our country that are not at all interested in the condition of the environment, so it is very hard to make them more responsible. If such projects were at national level, there would be chances to have a clean country. http://miercurea-ciuc.reporterdeliceu.ro/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/SIGUR.jpg We hope that the work of these young people and other persons in the country who took part in the cleaning of Romania was not in vain and the garbage will not lie again on the lands of Romania. Source of photos, Florin Mihalache High school reporter, Matieş Cristina


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The last article seems to be more successful than the other two. I received more comments from my readers and even if they did not write many comments, I know that the article was read by many persons. Annuaire says: “I like to read nice things!” Garrettot says: “Todo dinamica y muy positiva!” Along the way we learned that all the scouts of the Local Center “Orion” receifd the link to the article and enjoyed it a lot, which made me feel happy… Coordinator, Ana Maria Suciu 1.

COMMON OBLIGATORY SUBJECT – MIERCUREA CIUC – RECYCLING

Cristina’s articles on the subject of recycling evolved as she became truly concerned about this subject. If in the first article the only sources are the profile websites, for the second article, public interest information was required from the mayor regarding sanitation services. Although she did not receive an answer in due course, Cristina continued the investigation on the subject, used a vox populi in order to identify the opinions of her high school mates about the subject and took an interview from a representative of a sanitation company that activates in her community. Moreover, even when the summer camp had passed, Cristina returned to the subject and narrated the implementation of the national project “Let’s do it Romania!” at local level.

ROMAN SELECTIVE COLLECTION OF WASTES IN ROMAN FROM IDEAL TO DAILY REALITY The wastes that Roman inhabitants usually throw to a common container will be theoretically selected by 2015 by at least four flows (plastic, metal, glass and paper/cardboard). Therefore, we expect that by 2020 a 50% of the wastes should be recycled. Seen as a challenge, recycling starts to enter the daily vocabulary of Roman inhabitants. So far, the age segment the most interested in ecology is the teenagers. Ecologic garbage cans at “Roman-Vodă National College” One of the initiatives regarding the selective recycling of wastes is carried out by “Roman Vodă” National College where there are no ecologic garbage cans appropriate to the abovementioned flows. A number of 402 students signed a petition addressed to the Mayor of Roman in which they required the location of garbage cans for the selective collection of wastes in high school. The answer was negative motivated by the lack of financial funds. The students did not lose heart and the solution came. The foundation “Pentru o Viaţă Demnă” (“For a Decent Life”) of Roman gave its support for the resolution of this problem by concluding a partnership with the school institution. Concretely: three ecologic garbage cans for the collection of waste sheets were located in the precincts of “Roman Vodă” National College at the beginning of the school year 2010-2011. Mara Ieşanu, coordinator of this project is a tenth-grade student in this high school and gave us a few details related to this project.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education RdL: What motivates you to get involved in the field of ecology? Mara: I am interested in the field of ecology because I am one of those who care. I think that we have to leave a clean planet for the future generations. I myself want to live in a healthy environment and if that means that I should get involved, I will. This should be in everyone’s attention. RdL: How did you discover the Foundation “Pentru o Viaţă Demnă” Roman? Mara: I discovered this foundation thanks to you. I read in the online edition of “Ziarul Musatinilor” about an ecologic project/ “The young challenge you: be ecologist!”, editor’s note/ carried out by that foundation, I contacted them and the rest …was just technical details. RdL: Why do you think that these garbage cans will be useful? Mara: I think that these garbage cans are useful because they are a first step in making students selectively collect the wastes. There is the possibility of recovering and reusing the waste sheets as raw material for the making of paper. Thus we will save from cutting the trees that represent the “green lung of the planet”. By the valorization of waste sheets at the collection centers we can get money for purchasing permanent garbage cans, the existing ones are leased free of charge from the Foundation “Pentru o Viaţă Demnă”. Even if this project can be considered a small one compared to other ecologic actions, it is a taken step. We hope to complete it with results, to get more people involved and to save as many trees as possible. The degree of involvement of the Mayor’s Office of Roman and of other environmental institutions: In the ecologic problems, the Environmental Guard is an important actor. The role of this institution is counseling, control, sanction of those who violate the norms regarding the environment. The Head of Environmental Guard of Roman, inspector Cristian Cozma reminded us that the Mayor’s Office of Roman has an ecologic pit and the its closing deadline is in 2012. RdL: Please describe in a few words the activity of “Environmental Guard”? Cristian Cozma: In the Environmental Guard there are two large fields: pollution control and biodiversity control. Pollution control has in view checking the pollution level, but also the way chemical and hazardous substances get into the environment. Controls are made to prevent or sanction some violations of law regarding the pollution. The biodiversity control comprises all that is alive, starting from plants, animals, waters, etc. RdL: How do you get involved in environmental issues? Cristian Cozma: We are those who apply fines provided by the law in the field of environmental protection. Here we must make a note. The Environmental Agency handles the implementation of European law and the Environmental Guard intervenes in the control of all the activities that have an impact on the environment. The administration of environmental fund is the body that collects funds for the protection of the environment.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education RdL: Is there a network of volunteers who activate for environmental protection? Cristian Cozma: It exists. In the Body of environmental volunteers anyone at the age of maturity can enroll. The volunteers are recognized at national level, have an environmental volunteer card and directly collaborate with the Environmental Guard. For instance, these volunteers can notice an accidental pollution, an environment in which wastes are thrown, etc. The next step is to get in touch with the environmental commissioner and to report the problem. RdL: Does the local community have an ecologic pit? Cristian Cozma: At present the local community has an ecologic pit and its closing deadline is 2012. By 2012 the ecologic project at county level must be operational. Now most of the garbage pits from the rural environment are closed. Things are a bit more shaded as we learned from the persons from the Mayor’s Office of Roman. With the desire to learn the degree of involvement of the local community in the resolution of ecologic problems we talked to Engineer Alexiu Vasile, person in charge with the Environmental Protection Department from the Mayor’s Office of Roman. RdL: Can we talk about a selective collection of wastes in Roman? Alexiu Vasile: Yes, 20-30%. We are in the stage of start of collection and selection of wastes. This is done with the aid of the sanitation company ROSSAL which makes available the logistics, the European garbage cans or “euro-containers” they locate in special collection points in town. RdL: Are the wastes recycled after they are taken over by “Rossal”? Alexiu Vasile: The household wastes are carried to the garbage pit of the municipality, those that are selectively collected - and I refer especially to the plastic recipients - are stored in euro containers that are located in 30 collection points in town, which will be taken over by the same company and valorized. RdL: How is the public informed about the selective collection of wastes? Alexiu Vasile: There is a campaign for the information of the public about the selective collection of wastes carried out with the “Great removal” by which the wastes electrical and electronic equipment is collected in a certain day. The defective or worn out equipment abandoned by population or the economic agents was taken over and transported to the warehouse of electrical and electronic equipment built by the Mayor’s Office with funding from the Environmental Fund Administration. The project cost about 327,000 lei with a third of funds from the Environmental Fund Administration and the rest of funds was allotted by the local budget. RdL: Can you provide us with a statistics of the electrical and electronic equipment that was collected by this project? Alexiu Vasile: Of course. The first action of this kind was done on 9th January 2010 and completed with the collection of 320 kg of wastes electrical and electronic equipment. A later action took place between 26th and 27th March 2010 and ended with the collection of 520 kg of wastes. RdL: As you know, the European law imposes under the sanction of very high fines, the creation of ecologic garbage pits. When is such an ecologic pit planned in Roman? Alexiu Vasile: The closing deadline of the ecologic pit is July 2012. A possible solution is the creation of a transfer station outside Roman, but the problem is still being discussed. Roman inhabitants agree to the selective recycling of wastes


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The simple location of ecologic garbage cans will not solve the problem of recycling. The Roman inhabitants continue to throw wastes in the “classical” garbage cans, voluntarily or not. The absence of funds makes improbable the location of garbage cans in the near future. However, the inhabitants of Roman are willing to participate in the process of selection of wastes on several recycling flows. The reaction of local inhabitants to this matter is a positive one, which proves that the environment is more than a simple ambient. After the conduct of a survey, RdL could see that 75% of persons agree that the recycling of plastic and aluminum objects is necessary and useful, 12% of them said that they had already sorted the wastes selectively and 13% expressed their willingness to get involved in an ecologic project. Recycling, between immediate reality and utopia The selective recycling of wastes in Roman is only at the beginning. There are only two flows of distribution of wastes, plastic and electrical and electronic equipment compared to the four flows that should be carried out by 2015, in accordance with European legislation. At the moment, Roman inhabitants do not have ecologic garbage cans in which they can select wastes by several recycling flows, but proved a positive attitude to this problem, getting aware of the vital role that ecology has in the day-to-day life and that the serious pollution generated by unconventionally thrown wastes will have long-term effects. Selective collection in statistics The selective collection of wastes is their way of organization by a wastes management process that is directed on several recycling flows (paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and metal). According to GD no.621/2006 (amended and supplemented by 1872/2006) all the public institutions (associations, foundations, natural persons) will be forced to selectively collect wastes in different containers. The colors by which containers identify for the selective collection of wastes, approved by Order no.1121 of 5th January 2006 regarding the determination of the methods of identification of containers for different types of materials for the purpose of application of selective collection are: In accordance with the Romanian law in force by 2015 Romania will do the selective collection of wastes generated by population for at least four flows (plastic, metal, glass and paper/cardboard) and by 2020 at least 50% of the quantity of municipal wastes shall be recycled. At this point, Roman selectively recycles the wastes only on two flows, plastic and electrical and electronic equipment from the minimum of four flows that are to be adopted by the end of 2015. White glass

Colored glass

Paper and cardboard

Metal and plastics

White

Green

Blue

Yellow

TIMISOARA PUT A LID ON IT AND RECYCLE! Recycling. A subject as important as the action itself is ignored. At first, I thought that it will be difficult to tackle this subject because we did not have much knowledge and information about it, but to our surprise, we did not have obstacles in finding the information. What I liked about the realization of this article was that we learned may useful things and yes, there are persons who care and who want to make a change in the lifestyle of the inhabitants of the town. We also tried to create a connection with our school or at least to start from it. So we talked to Ciprian Orhei,


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education president of NGO ECO Club Timişoara and a former student of Colegiul National Banatean, who told us at leisure about the many projects achieved, the involvement of the young, different ecology activities and that the recycling is in vogue. Even the title is the name of a project of the Club, a title that had a strong impact on us and on the readers of the article. Who put the garbage can in the way? The garbage from Timisoara. We all know that it is thrown in the garbage can, but in which of them? We decided to learn more things about the selective collection of garbage, a “phenomenon” that recently occurred in our town. So we made an appointment with the company that handles the collection of garbage in our town and we woke up in the morning to find the answer to all our questions. When we arrived to the office RETIM, we talked to Mr. Florin Cepanariu, manager of the company, who gave us more details about selective collection and about many other curiosities. After this discussion I left the office of Mr. Cepanariu clarified about the situation of garbage in Timisoara and with the hope that everything will be heard on the tape. So, all this experience helped us realize that we were capable to find important information directly from the source, send it further to the interested persons and on this occasion we get more informed about certain problems in our town. Who put the garbage can in the way? Timişoara: 317.660 thousand inhabitants. How much garbage? Every day tons of residues from containers and garbage cans that embellished the town are collected. Green, black, yellow and red, they are available to us and offer us a healthier alternative to the selective collection of garbage. Retim Ecologic Service introduced in Timisoara a dual selective collection which is a much more simple system of collection of wastes. Very many inhabitants of Timisoara ask why it is necessary and what are its benefits to them. First of all, the quantity of wastes shall be reduced and the less we put, the less we pay. Last but not least, these minor gestures such as the collection of PETs, cardboards, paper and aluminum will contribute to a large extent to the protection of the environment in which we live. Mr. Florin Cepanariu, General Manager of Retim Ecologic Service gave us more details about dual collection and recycling in Timisoara. How is the garbage selectively collected in Timisoara? In Timisoara, the selective collection is done a little differently. There are two types of selective collection: by specialized containers, arranged in the corner of the street or in certain locations and directly at the source which any man does in his household and he puts these recyclable materials in specialized containers. In Timisoara selective collection is done directly at source. Each association of landlords has a special recipient for the collection of recyclable materials. The collection is done with the collection of household residues. As particularity for the town, Timisoara is the first town in Romania where this selective collection is implemented in the precincts of the town. And this collection is done in dual system, respectively wet garbage can and dry garbage can. The collection that is practiced in the West started to be put under the question mark because the more elaborated collection produces a higher pollution than the dual collection. For each of these materials a specialized car circulates: instead of stopping 2 vehicles for the wet garbage can and the dry


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education garbage can, 6-7 vehicles will stop, which means pollution and waste of resources. If they are collected in wet and dry fraction, the materials are processed by a sorting plant with electric power, the pollution is lower. The number of containers depends on the number of landlords and in individual houses there are 80L bags. Are the rules regarding selective collection observed? Now Timisoara produces 35-60 tons of recyclable materials per day. Where do plastic, paper, glass get? In Timisoara a sorting station became operational and every year 160 thousand tons are processed every year. Timisoara produced about 450 tons of residues per day. This sorting station has 2 lines: one that processes residues that turn into secondary raw materials and the content of the garbage can and a part of the industrial residues turn into alternative fuel. Finally, the tetra pack packages that cannot be recyclable go to cremation. Are there future projects regarding selective collection? Of course we have many projects. We will have to change the habit of citizens. Not everyone tries to answer this selective collection. Probably in the future the prices will be different for those who want to selectively collect. We must also eliminate the habits that were made and that are apparently innocent, but which mean financial resources and energy. For instance, everyone drinks packed juices and after having drunk from that PET, he/she keeps the cork – absolutely uneconomic gesture. In order to break a glass 7 atmospheres must be used. At a very high volume the weight is very small. When the garbage vehicle comes, it cannot press the PET and it transports several tons of garbage, because it is a lot of PET. This means consumption of diesel. Because of it, in the country the weight of the household garbage got from 250-280 kg/m3 to 530 kg/m3. What happens to the old garbage pit? In general, everybody tries to minimize the quantities of garbage deposited in the garbage pits and subject to final elimination. The garbage pit from Parţa-Sag closed on 1st January 2009. now only inert wastes are deposited in the garbage pit. A support layer must be created, and then it can be re-cultivated. In parallel a degasification plant is made. Now we have an ecologic landfill under construction that will serve Timis county in Ghizela commune. Probably this year it will be commissioned. A minor thing such as “where do I throw the garbage?” can become a problem we depend on in the future. All this makes us a habit and makes us think twice before making certain decisions regarding our health first of all. Put a lid on it and recycle! How seriously is the recycling idea perceived? Of course, we all know what it means, but how many of us use this method? For the Romanians, this lifestyle is not yet stuck in mentalities and habits. To everyone it is much easier to throw the garbage in a single bag than get complicated and keep three plastic (biodegradable!!) bags and made a good deed for the nature. Timisoara, just like all the other cities, deals with this permanent problem, but the ambition and determination of people are the only things that lead to a change. The “green helping hands” of nature and the city, the NGOs that do the recycling, the collection of garbage and the change in the attitude of citizens are continually trying by various projects to make a more “ecologic” place from our city.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

ECO CLUB TIMISOARA, one of the NGOs focused on ecologic activities and projects is trying to change the mentalities of Banat inhabitants and their lifestyle! NOI had the opportunity to speak to Ciprian Orhei, the president of ECO CLUB Timisoara, who answered a few questions about the recycling and cleaning in Timisoara. “We want to turn Timisoara into an ecologic city by involvement, dedication and lifestyle”. 1. What does ECO CLUB Timisoara do? ECO CLUB TIMISOARA exists in order to create a cleaner Timisoara, in order to improve the attitude and change the behavior of citizens by drawing attention and changing the mentalities on the man-environment relationship and making us aware of the negative effects of the actions of each of us on the environment. The activities that we have in view are: information campaigns, outdoor activities (ecologic actions and arrangement of spaces), ecologic education for the elementary and High School students and last but not least, the carrying out of various projects on ecologic themes. 2. What do the information campaigns do? Where do they take place? Did they have any impact on the people? One of our main information campaigns is the project “Say NO to the plastic bags” which has the objective of information and making inhabitants of Timisoara aware of the negative effects plastic has on the environment, on the human health and on the personal benefits after the use of textile bags. The partner that supports us by providing the space necessary for carrying out the campaigns “Say No to plastic bags” is Iulius Mall Timisoara, location in which the campaigns of May and December 2009 and May 2010 took place. The distribution of textile bags was done in the events “Bega Bulevard” in 2008, 2009, 2010, “Plai” in 2008, 2009, “Environmental Day” of 2008 and in the project “Curricula for students”, 2010 edition. The impact of these information campaigns on people materialized in the decrease in the frequency of use of plastic bags, and this acknowledgement results after the analysis of questionnaires applied in the campaigns of 2009. 3. What projects on ecologic subjects did you carry out and what projects do you plan? The ecologic projects in progress are: “Collection and Recycling of paper from the University Campus of Timisoara”, which has the purpose to create an integrated system of paper collection by which we encourage the recycling of paper by the students and their education for the adoption of a rational behavior regarding the use of this resource; “The collection of empty printer cartridges for their recovery and valorization by ecologic reprocessing” which has as objectives the education and information at companies and institutions level regarding the need of adopting an ecologic behavior by the collection, recovery and valorization of empty cartridges and the provision of necessary logistics, the encouragement of economic agents and institutions in this direction; “Say No to plastic bags”, accomplished through the campaigns of distribution of textile bags. The previous ecologic projects were:


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education “Curricula for students” that took place in March-June 2010, being addressed to 5th grade students belonging to the General School Checea; “Caravan Solar Cinema”, event done in partnership with the Association Aristiteles Workshop (AWA) of 23rd January 2010; “Put a lid on it and recycle!” project made in partnership with Iulius Mall Timisoara and Coca-cola HBC Romania during the period 12-15th November 2009; “Ecology day of Timisoara – 16th May 2009”; “Ecology Festival” of 17th May 2008 hosted by Grupul Scolar Silvic; “Ecology Day of Timisoara” – 10th May 2008”; “Eco 3 Prinde Ritmul Naturii” which was carried out 19th March – 17th May 2009. Among the projects that ECO Club Timisoara has in plan there is the project “Volunteer – where to?” which has the purpose of drawing the attention of students to the need of doing volunteering and their information on the benefits that this activity can generate. 4. What do ecology activities suppose? Were special spaces for recycling arranged? The purpose of Ecology days is an educational one, drawing attention to the need of involving any citizen in keeping the town clean and highlighting the involvement of companies, schools, local institutions in its good management. These ecology days imply both activities of preparation of the event (division of town in ecology areas, promotion of the event in NGOs, institutions, companies, schools, associates of landlords, search for partners, formation of volunteer teams, training the volunteers, preparation of necessary logistics) and activities specific to the event such as the selective collection of wastes from the areas that need cleaning and the artistic programs with ecologic theme. As for the special spaces for recycling, by the project “Collection and Recycling of Paper from the University Campus of Timisoara” ECO Club Timisoara, makes available to students, teaching staff and the employees of higher education institutions 23 paper collection boxes in view of recycling, the main partner being the Paper Tree; and by the project “Printer Cartridges Collection” it facilitates the recycling of inkjet cartridges with built-in electronic head and laser cartridges in institutions and companies by the location of 12 collection boxes having TIN FACTORY as project partner. 5. How did the ecologic education for students go? Is it still being practiced? In what schools? What did they discuss about? The first ecologic education project in schools “Curricula for students” was integrated in the project “ECO 3 Prinde Ritmul Naturii” (19th March – 17th May 2008), being implemented in six schools in Timisoara, materialized by two ecology classes taught to 6th grade students. The finality of the project “Curricula for students” of 2008 was found in the participation of students in the contest of ecologic models from the Ecology Festival. The second edition of the project “Curricula for students” took place this year between March and June, having as target group the 5th grade students from the General School Checea. The main subjects of discussion were about biodiversity, wastes, and the need of protecting nature. The structure of teaching ecologic education was based on the binding of exposure of information/debate of subject related to the environmental protection (carried out in the class room) and the games and practical activities carried out outside the course room. The integrated event of this project was the Ecology Day of Checea.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education So we thank ECO CLUB Timisoara for thinking about the best interest of nature and our best interest and we hope that these actions will not stop here. N.O.I. can change things for the better! (P.S.: Recycling is in vogue!) Coordinator’s eye Oana Vieru The appearance of obligatory subjects meant a short time of break in the journalistic activity of the team of Timisoara. This short moment of break was regarded by the local coordinator as a moment of disorientation and slight confusion – why were necessary imposed subjects when subjects and events were plenty? But at the same time, the break was seen as time necessary for documentation – if now there are subjects for which we must document more, let us document! The moment passed and the articles started to appear. This time more serious, deeper, of another interest and written by people that suddenly grew by a few years. From walking on the street and information about an event that took place then and there, they went to the Local Council room. They took interviews with great people with power of decision, they perfected the CNB language, asked questions and were a little uncomfortable in some frames. One of the subjects was recycling – it was on everyone’s lips recently. This is how we learned how recycling was done in Timisoara, how this city is pilot in the country in the chapter “door-todoor collection”, what happens to the garbage pits and how many tons of residues are collected from the population – and this only in Timisoara. As it was expected, NGOs deal with the piles of garbage and a larger pile – the mentalities of people! That is why there are NGOs that do more than collect what some leave behind; they implement ecologic education projects in schools where the ecologic combat should start. All this can be found in the articles of N.O.I. from Timisoara that managed to collect information both from authorities and representatives of NGOs and from the population. They put this information in structured articles and put playful titles: “Who put the garbage can in the way?” and “Put a lid on it and recycle!”, articles that can be read in the “General” column.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

ŢĂNDĂREI GRUPUL SCOLAR AGRICOL (AGRICULTURAL SCHOOL GROUP) •

Context

We were asked to write about recycling. The subject seemed difficult at first: nobody knows anything about recycling although it is a subject everybody talks about. The ecologic attitude is a trend, but the education of citizens about ecology is only in the beginning. I thought that having among the team members three students from the natural resources and environmental protection profile, with the specialization ecologist technician, it will not be so difficult to manage to develop this subject. Moreover, in ŢĂNDĂREI an ecologic garbage pit had recently founded collecting the wastes from this tow and from Sudiţi, Săveni, Platoneşti, Movila, Ograda, M. Kogălniceanu, Giurgeni. It was a research track for reporters. Florin Vlad was the one who accepted the challenge. •

Difficulties that occurred along the way

The first article that Florin proposed himself to make was an article that revealed the realities from the town. A kind of illustration of the context, without analyzing beyond what was given without asking about the causes or trying to look for an answer from the authorities. We resorted again to public opinion. Here is the article: “After a survey among the citizens I wanted to find out if the inhabitants of Tandarei recycled. To my surprise, a few of them do it, but not properly. The first person I asked was M.N. (aged 40) who declared that if he knew how recycling should be done, he would do it. She says that everything she does not need anymore is thrown away or burnt. Another person who wanted to remain anonymous because what she does is not correct says: “I do not care! Why should I recycle when nobody does it? In Romania there is no future in recycling so I do not have any reason to get tired in vain.” But we also have cases when recycling is done. S.N. aged 16 states that she recycles because it is natural, does not throw anything on the street, recycles as much as she can and for the others that do not do it. I.L. aged 17 says that she recycles quite often with her family because we was taught that way and because it is natural for her to do it. We went for a walk through Tăndărei and noticed that the garbage cans were quite frequent, but almost always full, and very many of them were deteriorated and smell bad. By walking through the large park, I could not help noticing that there are very few garbage cans and a lot of paper, packages, PETs thrown everywhere. I also saw that in Tăndărei there were no containers for differentiated recycling although an employee of the garbage can declared that one of the inconveniences of the household garbage was that it was not sorted. It is true that there are in the area of blocks of flats specially arranged places for the recycling of plastic, but that does not mean that the citizens separate PETs from household garbage. Maybe if a few more garbage cans were placed and containers were provided so that the recycling could be at hand of population, things changed. After this article I hope that you will try to recycle more. That remains to be seen… (Florin Vlad, “Recycling in Tăndărei – is it done?”, 12th June 2010)


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The article seems to be summary. Done in a hurry. This was also noticed by the mentors. Liviu Iolu: Florin’s article about recycling: It is a good thing that you tackled the subject, but see that not only the subject is important, but also the form. “What you call survey is a “vox populi” (the voice of the people) “Your article relies on observation and not on information. You must look for information at the Mayor’s Office or in places that recycle the garbage – if it is recycled. You must learn the quantities, the type of garbage, etc. “Just like in other participants I notice an inclination for the anonymity of those you speak to even if it is not justified. Try at least to give them the full first name, it is better than two initials appear. “In conclusion, it is a story with too much opinion and it needs more work for a full article. Good luck!” This was the only article that Florin wrote on the subject of recycling, he refused to develop this subject afterwards. As coordinator teacher, I tried to identify the reasons that led to this obstacle. Thinking that it is about a blockage given by the lack of ideas for future articles, I discussed in an editorial meeting what the leads could be that could be followed further on. With the other members of the editorial staff we decided on a series of approaches: •

Do the students know how the selectively recycle? Is it the code of colors known by the students?”

What do the officials think about the way citizens recycle? Interview with the manager of the garbage pit, information from the Mayor’s Office regarding the number of selective recycling containers from the town;

Encouraging the ecologic behavior of students: campaign of collection of waste sheets through the newspaper at the beginning of the school year.

The second article on the subject of recycling was done on the occasion of an event that took place at national level: the campaign “Let’s do it, Romania!”. Dani State participated in this campaign as she was often involved in volunteering actions. It was not a planned article, but one caused by the event itself. It was written by Dani who was the only one in the team who participated in the action. The national cleaning campaign carried out in Romania on 25th September 2010 also took place in Tăndărei. The place in which gathered the teams that has as target the cleaning of the town was the Mayor’s Office. We gathered. The team from Grupul Scolar Agricol was made of 25 students accompanied by 5 teachers (…). The teacher that took care of the organization of the team declared that several students had announced their presence, but apparently had given up until the morning of that day. Among the teachers there were rumors that the reaction of the students had not been a positive one when they had been invited to a volunteering action, the most frequent replies were “How much will we get paid?” or “How should we collect the garbage?! What are we? Garbage people?” But we were stunned when the students from general schools arrived and had mobilized in large numbers and seemed to fall into columns, accompanied by headmasters, school teachers and parents. I also learned that in the action the kindergarten children had participated and I heard saying those in charge with the organization of the action at local level that the answer was better among the little ones, the kindergarten children or the elementary students than among the older students, the


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education gymnasium and high school students. Is there a connection between the age and the inclination for volunteering actions? We cleaned. At 9 a.m. the crowd in front of the Town Hall split and each team had the task to clean a certain area of the town. We, those from the Group, had to collect the garbage from Bucharest highway. By some vehicles from the Mayor’s Office we were transported to the exit from the town to Ograda and started working. Although we were not too many in numbers, nor noisy, the reactions of the local inhabitants from that area were not late. First they started to go out to the gate. They looked. They approved. Nobody said anything, they did not address us directly. Mrs. Marioara Negrean, geography teacher, the oldest member of the team, kept telling us: “The plastic bags get deteriorated in a hundred years. You should do the counting how long this plastic bottle will stay here!” And she put in the bag one of the plastic bottles thrown to the edge of the road by one of the cars that cross the town to Constanta. We were in a less populated area, at the edge of the highway. Still collecting we got to the store. In front of the store, two Rroma local women encouraged us: “Collect, collect, it is the right thing!” They went away fast. And the fact that until that moment, all had encouraged us, but nobody had joined us, made our smiles go away. Then, from a car stopped in front of the store a question popped: “Are you in internship or what?” And we quickly realized that people did not know why we collected garbage from the side of the road. They did not know about the campaign, they did not know they could get involved. This is what justified that fact that in front of the Town Hall we had only been mostly students and teachers. We started talking. Of course we met people that had heard about the cleaning campaign and who helped us as much as they could. One of the fresh team members got hungry and went into a stop to ask for a sandwich. The answer was at first: “We do not sell anything like that.” Then the shop assistant decided to make a sandwich from that she had at hand. A sandwich of half a bread which ended by being split between the boys of the team. And the result The most unpleasant thing was to see the ignorance of some people. In the station area a plastic packaging was thrown to one of us to pick it up. One of the teachers, Mrs. Gabriela Frigea, immediately drew the attention of the person that did that thing that he could put the packaging directly in the bag, not throw it deliberately on the street. An unpleasant thing was that going through the areas where we had cleaned up, two days after we had collected the garbage, we saw how PETs, papers, plastic bags were there again. Not just as many, but they were there. I remembered some of the comments of those I had met on Saturday while I was filling the bags: “It’s a good thing that you collect, others do nothing!” I realized that got used to wait for others to do something that we could do ourselves. It is the habit of throwing a piece of paper on the street, waiting for someone to come behind us and pick it up. And it is also the lack of involvement when it is about the volunteering activities, in this case, the attitude: “I won’t do cleaning the garbage done by another person.” The result seems to be a vicious circle from which we all have something to lose. Because for half a day, the town was really clean. Beautiful and clean. (Dani State, “Let’s Do It!”, 28th September 2010). •

Conclusions

Recycling was not a successfully implemented subject in Tăndărei. First of all, because the citizens of the town are not concerned about this ecologic attitude and for this reason, the students felt that they had nothing to write about. Secondly, because of the lack of involvement of the student that had the task of solving this problem. Alexandra David


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

B.COMPULSORY SUBJECT – FREE CHOICE

ALBA IULIA “CALIN POTOR – ALBA IULIA DEPUTY” Răzvan Florea, “Dionisie Pop Marţian” Economic College 1. PREPARATION OF ARTICLE The article “Călin Potor – Alba Iulia Deputy” is an article made in the High School Reporter project and published on 15th June. This article was written on the subject “Activity of MPs in the territory”. The subject for which the article was written is one of the 8 subjects imposed by Soros Foundation at half of the month of May. The subject “The activity of MPs in the territory” was discussed in an editorial meeting in which each student chose two subjects to write about. After the subjects were allotted in the team, each member was forced to give himself a deadline for the writing of the article on the given subject. In an editorial meeting we discussed precisely about what to write on the given subjects. For the article “Călin Potor – Alba Iulia deputy” we used as sources of documentation several local online publications (“Informatia de Alba”, “Adevarul de Alba”, “Plaiu Luminatu”, “Monitorul de Alba”), the website of the Chamber of Deputies and the photo was taken from the website Alegeri.tv. 2. REALIZATION OF ARTICLE The student had a higher degree of involvement in the realization of the article. He was forced to think well exactly what he would want to include in the article relating to the subject. After this step was taken, the information collection work began, especially on the Internet from the local online publications available. By holding a series of information on the subject, the real work started, the selection of public interest information and then the drawing up of the article. At the end of drawing up the article, apart from the student, the coordinator teacher had a small involvement and corrected the article before publishing it so that it should not have mistakes. When mistakes slipped in, he marked them and sent the article back to the student with the note that it can be published after the students corrects the mistakes. 3. FEEDBACK The team mates read the article and considered that the style of the material showed a journalist who preferred not to get emotionally involved in what he writes. The feedback received from those who evaluate the writings on the online newspaper was a positive one, the article was good, but there were some mistakes that could happen to anyone. After the feedback these mistakes were corrected. A part of the high school mates and even from outside of the high school contacted us saying that it seemed to be an interesting article and we ask ourselves if more articles on political subjects will appear.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The subject “Activity of MPs in the territory” will also contain another article on a deputy from Alba county, but other articles will also be written about the activities of MPs along the way, articles which have the goal of monitoring their activities. 4. ARTICLE IN FINAL FORM Călin Potor – Alba Iulia Deputy Published: June 15th 2010, Posted in: “Activity of MPs in the territory”, Tags: Alba Iulia, albaiulieni, Potor Călin, representative The last Parliamentary elections took place almost 2 years ago and for Romanians this event was carried out by a new electoral formula. The MPs were not elected by party lists, but by uninominal vote, which means that each candidate competed for the position of individual MP in uninominal colleges. In Alba county there were five colleges for the election of deputes and two colleges for the election of senators and in deputy college no.1 Alba Iulia, doctor Călin Popor, former manager of Alba County Hospital was elected from the Liberal Democrat Party. Known as one of his close assistants, Mircea Hava (mayor of Alba Iulia, president of Liberal Democrat Party of Alba and vice-president of Liberal Democrat Party at national level), doctor Potor won the deputy place by 55.83% votes, outranking the other two main candidates: Angelica Mocan (Social Democrat Party – 19.13%) and Cosmin Covaciu (Liberal National Party – 17.18%). During the electoral campaign, Călin Potor made some mistakes which were to bring him criticism from his political opponents. Thus, doctor Potor claimed during the campaign for the Parliamentary elections that until he became manager of Alba County Hospital, the hospital was lagging behind and thanks to him it became among the first hospitals in the country, by referring to the complexity of cases. It is curious that he did not say where he found this information that Alba County Hospital was lagging behind… From his own point of view this situation existed because normally if such a hierarchy existed everyone should have been able to find it easily. Ever since he is MP Călin Potor always had a special interest in hospitals, a natural thing, given his professional qualification. In fact, in the Parliament, he is in the Health Commission. As Parliamentary activity, Alba deputy had so far 24 draft laws and took the floor in plenary meetings only twice, the first time when he swore the oath. The second time he took the floor in plenary meeting was on 23rd March 2010, when they debated the motion called “There is nothing healthy in the Health Ministry”, initiated by 54 MPs of the opposition against the reform of the medical system that Boc government wanted to implement. Supporter of the government, the deputy Călin Potor declared himself against the action of the opposition, but agreed to a part of the motion text, the part in which he said that emergency county hospitals should not be decentralized. Another “success” of the deputy was to give hope to people who protested several times in May 2010, in Alba Iulia against the austerity actions proposed by Boc government. Călin Potor declared to protesters that his vote would be one which would allow him to look in the eye the people who voted him, but he would use the secret vote. The protesters asked him to vote openly, but he said from the very beginning that he would not do something like that. In the plenary session, on 15th June, Călin Potor used the secret vote, just as he had declared and many Alba Iulia inhabitants believe that doctor Potor respected the line imposed by the party and voted in favor of


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education austerity actions proposed by the government run by Emil Boc. This supposition is also based on the political past of doctor Potor: since 1995 and to the present he did not change his party, Liberal Democratic Party (called Democratic Party until 2007). This proves that Mr. Potor is a serious party member, stable in supporting a certain political cause, a man who is attached to the principles and values promoted by the party to which he belongs. This is succinctly the political activity of the deputy of Alba Iulia, doctor Călin Potor, since he was an MP of Alba county. We will come back in the future article with information about his other actions and we hope to obtain his opinion about all these actions. Coordinator, Ana Maria Suciu COMPULSORY SUBJECT – ALBA IULIA – ACTIVITY OF MPs Răzvan’s article evolved significantly from the first stage until the version currently published on the blog. Initially only the biography of the elected MP was followed without specifically pointing out his activity of MP, without enumerating legal initiatives or censure motions he defended. Later on, the legal proposals of the deputy were identified in number of 24, but we did not learn what he proposed. It is a considerable improvement from the initial form. The article is not objective in its current form as there are here and there suppositions and discussions with a hint of political comment. As for the documentation, it is obvious that he used only the Internet and the press. The lesson to learn from this article refers to the fact that high school students find it difficult to tackle such complex problems as the activity of MPs. Moreover, the fact that they are inaccessible makes the documentation more complicated. At recommendation level, I think that this type of subjects should be included in a high school newspaper only if there is a real interest in the subject in the school community, when they debated subjects such as Education Law or there are proposals that significantly affect the activities related to the young and the school.

BISTRITA HEALTH

“I chose the subject Health because this field of activity is quite familiar to me by my father’s profession, homoeopath doctor. I really wanted to tackle this subject because many young people of my own age have an unhealthy behavior, starting from their lifestyle to nutrition. After I participated in a show on this subject as a guest, as moderator, I think that I drew the attention of those who watched us by making them think twice before buying a Cola.” (Andrei Rai) The twelve grade students with the biology chemistry profile, two of the high school reporters from Bistrita aspire to the profession of physician. Therefore, the proposal with the subject “Health” caught very well. The articles started a little maladroit with a portrait of poet doctor: Rached, a phenomenon of poetry and medicine (Rai Andrei) Learning about my involvement in the “High School Reporter” project, Rached was delighted to collaborate with us in the near future on health issues.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Rached Elias Daoud, born in Lebanon, is a doctor, graduate of the University of Medicine in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, class 1983. Doctor in medical sciences, he is a laureate of several universities, a few of them giving him the title of “Doctor Honoris Causa”. Dr. Daoud is not an ordinary doctor, but even more: he is above all original by his unique methods of treatment in the world, but also a poet of science and mystical philosophy. Constantin Noica describes him as a great mystic of Romanian poetry, just as internationally Rached is recognized as a great mystic in medical science and practice. He is especially reputed in Europe, United States and Middle East by his miraculous healings on people suffering from diseases considered incurable by current medicine with all its classic and modern therapeutic methods. Daoud is a unique phenomenon not only as Romanian poet, but also by his science of doctor – healer of human sufferings, his incredible results exceeding common understanding. He fell in love with our country during university and stayed faithful to his love for Romania and for Romanian language. His poems are written in an impeccable Romanian, being collected in many poetry volumes, among which: “Fascination of time”, “Stopovers on Golgota”, “Thanking thought”, “The one without a face” and other two will be launched in the near future, “Tragic anamnesis” and “Sic Transit…”. Rached, as he likes to be told, was in Bistrita for a few times and I had the great joy of talking to him, sharing with me some of his work methods with patients and about his passion for poetry. On the day of his coming, our high school celebrated Youth Day in Schulervald and Dr. Rached honored my invitation to participate along with high school students from Bistrita in this celebration. Unfortunately, his visit was too short. In exchange, I kept in my mind the promise of a work meeting on health problems of the youth. For the time being I suggest you to delight yourselves with one of his poems from the volume “The one without a face” and a photo from the event I mentioned. IN THE FACE OF SIMPLICITY Dig incessantly In the history of Life. I have the feeling that you do it Slowly, So you discover something To enhance your productivity. Dig fiercely, And when you excoriate your palms By making the spade’s tail bleed, Leave it to descendants. Dig beyond Cambrian, Leave aside Stromatolites


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education And dig behind Time, Maybe-maybe You will find the first eye of the chain And you remain a gaper In face of simplicity. Photo: Andrei Rai Then we had a more concentrated article followed by a petition submitted to the mayor’s office, but we did not receive a reply…Andrei is getting more and more active on this subject, feeling more and more motivated. A healthier lifestyle! Andrei Rai A sport that should be practiced more and more by each of us is traveling by bike. Much healthier, cheaper and without pollution. For this purpose, an action took place these days, which was called “Bistrita student and his good deed”, with the subject “Let’s live healthier in Bistrita”. Along with other events of this kind, the action was part of a project supported by the Mayor’s Office of Bistrita. The actions consisted of a tour in Bistrita, by observing the route: Bulevardul Independentei – str. Al. Odobescu – Pietonalul Bistrita – str. Grigore Bălan – str. Bistricioarei – Piata Petru Rares – Bulevardul Republicii – str. Gării and Bulevardul Independentei. Students of General School no.1 Bistrita, 7th and 8th grade classes took part In the race, and each of them carried a message by which they promoted the safest solutions for a healthy life: “Do not waste your energy”, “Eat healthier”, “Keep the town clean”, “Do not pollute”, “Respect the green spaces”, “Exercise”, “Prevent diseases” or “Volunteer!”. By these messages we aimed at the direct involvement of children in actions of awareness of the need of adopting a healthier lifestyle. “For the event that took place we collaborated with the Police Inspectorate of Bistrita and the Military Police Force which gave us protection in traffic. The citizens received positively our message, even if we stopped the drivers in traffic a bit, but we had a constant speed so we hope they supported us. The students joyfully participated and we think that the action was a success” declared the teacher Poienaru Florin. This action was organized by the teachers of the General School no.1 Bistrita, Lăpuşte Geta, Poienaru Florin, Scridon Corina, Tofan Anamaria and coordinated by the school manager Sigovan Mia who also took part in this march. In the end, the children were delighted and were curious to learn when an action of this kind would take place.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Teodora is also attracted to this subject and has a very good idea: the realization of a questionnaire on the subject of vegetarianism. The Soros Foundation support her, like the idea and offers to multiply the questionnaire after they help her formulate it. Now the most difficult part follows…the distribution to several high schools, the search for respondents willing to get involved, the storage of answers, the synthesis of answers and…another “brilliant” idea (how she likes to call it) – what would it be if she asked for the support of a doctor for data development and interpretation? Willing to materialize at maximum the tiring work, she joined the results of the survey with an interview of dr. Rai Petru, Andrei’s father, who brought into discussion issues that are very useful to the youth who are tempted to become vegetarian or not. Being a very busy person, he allows Andrei to tape him over the phone and Andrei has a free moment and sends him Teodora’s questions. The result: her article gets more substance, nuances the subject, is documented and bring him the satisfaction of a thing well done. She declares herself satisfied with what she accomplished, but she would be glad if she had more readers…She would want to have more time, be back again in the eleventh grade to do herself some publicity…. now she knows how.. The young and healthy nutrition By Teodora Ciocan Vegetarianism is a culinary current very in vogue today among all categories of age. At least once in life each of us raised the issue of a healthy nutrition. Some of us in order to look physically better, others to be always full of energy or just out of curiosity they thought to try and they even tried a vegetarian regime. What do high school students know about this current, if they practice it or not, we tried to find out by a questionnaire applied on a sample of 283 students from “Andrei Muresanu” National College, “Sanitary High School”, Sports Program High School and “Grigore Moisil” High School from Bistrita. Their answers are surprising. Most of them consider vegetarianism a healthy lifestyle, but 38% of respondents perceive vegetarian diet as a trifle, a whim, a superficial choice. Asked if they would want to learn more about this culinary current 51% of them answered NO. out of all questioned students only 3 are vegetarian, but they declare that they did not notice any change in the body. Only 20% of the interviewed students would want to become vegetarian for various reasons, curiosity was first, but some would try out this type of diet because they consider it healthier or just because they love animals. They think that the effect of such a regime is a healthier body and still they would not try it out because it seems to be costly. Another drawback they add to vegetarianism is that it does not offer enough energy and enough proteins. From the answers of the students it results that they do not entirely agree to such a lifestyle although they consider it beneficial to the body.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Because many people declared that they did not know what was exactly to be a vegetarian I asked for the opinion of a specialist doctor for correct information on this subject about which everybody thinks that knows everything, but loses the essential. Mr. Petru Rai, homeopath doctor, graduate of the Faculty of Medicine “Iuliu Hatieganu” – Cluj, specialized in homeopathy, presents for our newspaper the benefits and the insufficiencies of practicing such a regime. Dr. Rai is 54 years old, has been practicing for 27 years and considers that destiny directed him to this branch of medicine. C.T.: First of all, doctor, what is vegetarianism? P.R.: Vegetarianism is a lifestyle, a feeding style that implies a diet which partially or completely excludes the consumption of meat and other animal products. This diet is partially or totally made of vegetal products. C.T.: Why do you say partially? P.R.: The products of animal origin can be partially excluded because there are several types of vegetarianism which offer a more or less permissive menu. Vegan vegetarianism is the most drastic, it totally excludes from nutrition the products of animal origin (meat, eggs, dairy products and their derivates). There are also lactic vegetarians whose menu is based on fruit, vegetables and dairy products. Another type of vegetarians are the egglactic-vegetarians who apart from the vegetal products can also consume dairy products and eggs. C.T.: Do you think that being a vegetarian is good or bad? P.R.: It is good to be a vegetarian from several points of view. This regime must be adjusted to each individual, depending on the period of life in which you are. It is good that this regime is healthier because vegetal products require a much smaller quantity of energy in order to be digested compared to animal products. After digestion they are easier absorbed in the body, and the quantity of energy is just as reduced in comparison to the energy necessary for the absorption of food of animal origin. Once assimilated by the body in its own structure, the products from meat, which are more complex, with a higher organization will have the tendency to detach from our structure. For instance, a molecule of protein obtained from meat will search to detach itself or has the power to detach much easier from our structure than a protein of vegetal structure. In other words, the body spends a higher energy for maintaining an animal protein than for maintaining a vegetal protein in its own structure. That is why, a molecule of vegetal protein can be retained by the body for a longer period of time with a lesser expense of energy. On the other hand, it is said that the vegetal regnum has a regnum spirit, so a regnum energy, while the animal regnum has a group spirit. The man has an individual spirit. The group spirit is more powerful than the regnum spirit. If you destroy a plant, it will live a suffering, but its suffering will be minor compared to the suffering and anguish of death lived by an animal whose spirit is a group spirit. That feeling of horror, fear of death imprints in each molecule and you charge yourself with this anagram of death and you have chances to die sooner than a person who live on vegetal products. C.T.: Should I understand that you recommend a vegetarian diet? P.R.: Our digestive tube is very similar to the digestive tube of herbivorous animals, which means that we have long bowels, while carnivorous animals have shorter bowels. However, we


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education have a particularity, dental formula, in which formation we have tearful canine teeth similar to the carnivorous animals. Therefore, we must consume both vegetal products and meat, but alternatively, depending on our physiologic condition, age, etc. C.T.: Are there risks of passing from a normal diet to a vegetarian diet? P.R.: There is no risk as long as the passage is not sudden. C.T.: Is there an optimal age when we could adopt such a diet? P.R.: I do not think there is an age when we could become vegetarian. The religious fasts addressed to the young and to the old have a role, they are not just kept according to religious beliefs, they also have a purifying role. Fasts suppose a vegetarian regime because the body needs this relaxation in digestion once in a while as well as absorption and revitalization. C.T.: What happens to our body during such a diet or after this diet? P.R.: After this diet the body is more purified from the point of view of toxins, but it is poorer in energy. C.T.: Does such a diet affect the development of the body in the youth? P.R.: From my experience, it does not affect the development of body of the youth, but it is best to alternate with the carnivorous diet because youth is characterized by the incarnation process, the body needs meat. I would go for a full diet, omnivorous and not exclusively vegetarian although the latter is welcome once in a while. “The youth of today and health” (TV show broadcast live on the local TV station As-TV) Moderators: Teodora Mihaela Ciocan and Rai Andrei Teodora Mihaela Ciocan: “On 5th October 2010 Andrei and I gave in to the challenge initiated by Ana Maria Răzoare – moderator of the TV show “Challenge” from the local TV station AS-TV and we became moderators of this TV show. The topic we chose to debate during the show was focused on high school students, namely the extracurricular activities they conduct and which stimulate their health. We had four guests: Răzvan Rus, 12th grade student of the “A. Muresanu” National College, Greenpeace representative (founder of the Greenpeace group of volunteers in Bistrita), Roxana Suciu student of the “A. Muresanu” National College, representative of another NGO - „Tăşuleasa Social”, Claudiu Vidican,12th grade student of the Nursing Care High School in Bistrita, streetdancer and Răzvan Gălăţan, student of the “A. Muresanu” National College, representative of CLT Bistrita football player at the „Viitorul Lechinţa” Football Club. The show was 50 minutes long and was broadcast live (link: http://www.astv.ro/05-102010__tinerii-de-ast-zi-isn-tatea). Andrei Rai: The show about health, done together with Theodora was a unique, enjoyable and educational experience which I recommend to all those who have something to say. One of the problems encountered was selecting or, rather, finding the guests. We came across some students who were very reluctant to such experiences, which I did not expect; many young people with special abilities are reluctant to appear on television, which is proved by the ignorance and illiteracy we see every day on TV. Eventually we had four guests, with whom we made this show. From backstage: The training period of the show was of about a week, during which we sought to invite experts in the areas addressed (health and sport) and we put together the schedule of the show.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The guests were relatively hard to find because most high school students do not want to appear on live TV. Ms. Aurelia Hîruţa, a teacher, helped us get an interview with a sports teacher of the “A. Muresanu” National College and a sociologist at the” Education for Health Department'' within the Public Health Directorate - Bistrita, to give the show some consistency. We collaborated very well with my colleague Andrei, who has been very involved. We were delighted because we put together our own schedule and that we did the show as we had planned it. Mrs. Aurelia Hîruţa helped us select the guests because we were turned down a few times. We did plenty of preparations, we were very nervous, we did not know the guests too well, we were very worried that they would be nervous and would not be able to talk. I tried to have a dialogue with them before the show for them not to be too “scared”. The moderator of the show “The challenge'' and the teacher arrived 5 minutes before the broadcast, and the cameraman scared us that they would not be able to arrive, which made us very nervous, especially since the show was live. The content of the show: The topic of the show was the extracurricular activity in which each guest was involved, whether it or not that had any impact on their health and the four provided details about what they were doing and everyone was involved in the debate, although their fields of activity were quite different. All four guests stressed the importance of the involvement in activities which stimulate mental and physical health, the importance of volunteering for themselves and for the community, the satisfaction provided by nurturing passion by activities which reflect their personality. Răzvan Gălăţan has been playing professional football for the past 11 years, in the 4th League, he has a balanced diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, chicken and fish, and he never eats fast food. He believes that the hour of sports per week at school is insufficient; classes which he says are attended by colleagues. For convenience, they get medical exemption rather than getting the appropriate equipment and attending it. Professional ports gave him satisfaction, a life discipline and motivation to give up other temptations such as clubbing with friends, trips, vacations without spare time. He is disappointed that school discourages professional sports, which is considered a barrier to learning, but he understands that he must adjust his time and meet both challenges. “Two years ago I ranked in first in the national competition. It was a satisfaction that made up for all these years of work. “ Roxana Suciu has been working as a volunteer for four years in the NGO “Tăşuleasa Social” and enjoys every action she conducts alongside other volunteers, teamwork, hiking, and the experience she accumulates with each stage. Her greatest satisfaction is when she is in action and she fondly remembers the latest campaign collection, entitled “The Green Passport” and held in Poiana Negri. She believes that this is a stage in her life which prepares her for the faculty she wishes to attend: Environmental Science. Claudiu Vidican is passionate about street-dance, which brings him plenty of satisfactions, physical and mental health. Since he has been dancing he has made many friends, he is supported by his colleagues and he participates in all events to which he is invited alongside the band he has set up. Although he was tempted to give up street-dance, he is happy he didn't, because the two workouts a week help him stay in shape. Răzvan Rus talked about how he became founder of the Greenpeace group in Bistriţa, by going online and sending his application. After being accepted he started on his own initiative to Bistriţa group, but he is disappointed to see that many have dropped out due to the very busy schedule. He believes that it is the duty of young people to think about protecting the environment and about promoting world peace. “The time devoted to this is not wasted, but is beneficial both for yourself and for those around you” he says. The physical education and sport teacher of the “A. Muresanu” National College, Nicolae Grigore, agreed to give an exclusive interview for the show put together by the two high school reporters on the importance of physical education in maintaining our health. He pointed out that, unlike western


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education countries where physical education occupies a large share of the curriculum - a one-hour compulsory class per week and 2 to 3 hours selected by the student, but also compulsory - here there is only a one-hour class of physical education per week, which is, from his point of view, very little. “We live in an increasingly sedentary world, where physical education classes are not addressed as they should ... Young people do not realize that sport is very healthy”, he says. A very interesting statement came from Mirela Parker, a sociologist at the Health Education Department, a specialist in health promotion. The statements capture the Romanian mentality on nutrition, which led to a relatively new phenomenon in Romania - diet-related illnesses: “After 1990, among the radical changes Romania has undergone was that related to the food culture, because when we talk about food, we are talking about a cultural element. I would like to stress this issue, because, aside from tradition, food is attached to some cultural norms. For example, overweight or obese people in Western countries are associated with poverty. This does not happen in Romania. In Romania, excessive weight is found in all social environments and very often it is related to financial wealth. Why? Because eating well is to us not only an immediately joy, but it is also a reason for boaster: “I had a good meal,” “I am eating well.” Here's how food culture is grafted onto a certain type of mentality. Therefore there's need for an aggressive program, for a very effective intervention, before it's too late. In the last decade 7% of European budgets - we have not yet reached this percentage - were spent on diseases that are related to the diet. Junk-food then became an extremely aggressive part of our lifestyle. If fast-food restaurants had a history, a story in the American society or the European that people gradually adapted to for 40 to 50 years, this happened here very quickly, after 1990. This is 2010. In the meantime, fundamental changes have occurred as if we had no cultural tradition in terms of food. It all vanished. “ Andrei came to a conclusion: “It would be very good for the curriculum to include at least one hour per week of food education, to lower the obesity rate. Romanians are accustomed to eating a heavy meal, not necessarily healthy.” The surprises of the show: “I am the principle of the “A. Muresanu” National College and I am pleased to introduce you to two students who were actively involved in our extracurricular projects: Rai Andrei and Ciocan Teodora. They were passionate about this idea of being a high school reporter, of what it means to get involved in the community life, of what it means to understand the complexity of a society in transition and in a state of perpetual unrest. They did everything with decency; they did everything wonderfully, as teens full of confidence that the society of tomorrow will be better and more beautiful than the society of today. Because they are in the 12th grade, I wish them good luck at their final exams and I wish them to still be part of such projects and to leave the same good impression they left here at our school wherever they go in lives.” (Prof. Camelia Tabără) Two of the moderators' classmates were up next, who managed to put smiles on everyone's faces by telling several funny stories that they remembered. Feedback: Teodora Ciocan: “I think that the two of us completed each other very well because he managed to give me more confidence in myself. The “Challenge” show was a challenge for us; it was something new, something we didn't think we would be able to do. The RDL project led us to cross these boundaries!” Andrei Rai: I was very nervous, especially when I saw that halfway through the show we had finished what we had planned in the schedule. But we were spontaneous, and our guests came to our help. I know there are many valuable young people who have something to say, but they let


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education themselves be overwhelmed by emotions and prefer not to get involved. I would advise them to put aside their fears and to share with the others their thoughts and experiences ... For me Health means forming a rational view on life. This project helped me get rid of inhibitions, and be self-confident, and get involved.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education CARANSEBEŞ One month after the beginning of the project and after the opening seminar in Sibiu, the compulsory topics emerged, which were required by the Foundation, and which were aimed at the direct involvement of the students into the issues of the community: The law on grants, Recycling: selective waste collection, landfills, parliamentary activity, Students Council, educational and vocational guidance and counselling, development of the local non-governmental sector, migration and its effects in the locality, Local Council meetings. After posting the topics on the RdL forum, at a meeting of the editorial team the topics were divided according to the choice of the team members, each being in charge of two topics: Rusalin Băilă Educational and vocational guidance and counselling and Parliamentary activity, Alexandra Condurache - the Law on grants and Local Council Meetings, Mihai Muntean - Student Council and the development of the local NGO sector, Alexandra Partenie - Recycling: Selective waste collection, landfills, and Migration and its effects in the locality. EDUCATIONAL AND VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING Rusalin Băilă • PREPARATION Immediately after choosing the topic, Rusalin found that the time was right for this article because the pupils of the 12th and 13th grade countrywide were preparing for the high school graduation exam and for college. Therefore, before an admission exam, at the end of a meeting of the editorial team during which we discussed the topic at length, Rusalin approached his older colleagues on this topic. • ACHIEVEMENT Several 12th and 13th grade pupils studying Buildings and public facilities, Ecology and protection of environmental quality and Design and interior design were interviewed. Their responses were centralized and, after a long and open discussion, the following article was published: “High School students... Where are they heading?” The vocational guidance of students is an activity during which people are helped to develop and accept a complete picture about themselves, about their role in society. The reality of Romanian schools is entirely different. The home room classes at the school were removed from the compulsory curriculum, and the work of the home room teacher will include organizing meetings, to be attended by specialists from different areas of interest, trips and meetings with individual pupils or parents. The home room class was blacklisted, being the first excluded from the compulsory school curriculum. We cannot minimize the role of home room teachers who try to direct the students according to their skills. From the testimonies of 12th and 13th grade students of the Forestry School Group something else is revealed: though they called for the help of the school counselor, many students felt confused in choosing a future profession. Craia Marius, a 13th grade student in Buildings and public facilities, said that “family had a decisive role in choosing a future profession”, but there are some cases in which parents allowed their children to choose their profession. The questions addressed to students refer to the faculties in which they wish to enroll. Most students have confessed that the main criterion which is used as guidance in choosing a higher education institution is provided by the importance of the profile of the institution on the labor


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education market. “Costs are also important,” said Alexandru Bucur, a 13th grade student, “since most students do not have the financial means to get an education with prestigious higher education institutions.” For these reasons many students said they choose universities located in their proximity. Others say they prefer to change their profile because the profession they chose at the beginning of high school is no longer sought on the labor market. Most students choose state faculties because, they say, “they provide a guarantee of obtaining a diploma recognized both at home and abroad” (Stoica Andrei, a 12th grade student, in the field of ecology and environmental protection). At the other end there are students which are disappointed by the offers on the labor market after graduating from higher education, as is the case of Bogdan Vlad, a 12th grade student. “Many young people who have completed higher education were forced to perform work which was far below their level of training, because they did not find jobs in the line of work for which they were trained.” These young people said they prefer working abroad because the revenues obtained there allow for a decent living and for the possibility of helping their families left in the country. Over the course of the life of any individual, one must be able to undergo professional orientation whenever necessary to obtain revenues to ensure a decent life for oneself and one's family. Author: Rusalin Băilă • FEEDBACK FROM JOURNALISTS  Liviu Iolu: “Your article is not bad at all, each “voice” comes with a name and surname which is excellent - and it has fluency. Important in your article is that it doesn't generalizes but it point out some of the reasons why high school students chose certain faculties: distance from home, costs etc. (...)” Coordinator Oana Vieru High school reporters slowly become seekers of information, events and things that no longer interest them directly, but which train them. One such topic is Career guidance. They are high school students nearing graduation, who are seeking direction. As they grow older the question “where to” becomes increasingly present in the minds of high school students. The people at “Gazeta Verde” also took interest in this subject. It was a moment of truth, which is not only known by all of us, but this time it was verbalized, the counselling carried out in schools is not necessarily ineffective, but it is often absent. Counselling classes have been removed and home room teachers deal more or less with the discussions about the professional orientation of the students. But in the end, the family has the final say! However, Romanian youth learned to seek and find out what is demanded and what is offered on the labor market, and where they could head in the future. Sadly, what is obvious in the articles coming from Caransebes (High school students ... where to? and Social assistance as a vocational option), is that many young people have an answer to the question “where to”: abroad! One thing that the school can do for its students, in the absence of career guidance classes, is to organize meetings with students and university graduates which could come in and speak to students about the advantages and disadvantages of certain faculties, and, especially, about the possible choices. And this is happening in the Forestry School Group in Caransebeş. Prospects are not necessarily the best, but the student's interest, and especially the interest of the high school reporters increased for this topic.


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education The interest for local authorities also increased, they coped with having doors shut in their face, and they met people who wouldn't always do what they said or, people who simply treat them like children. One thing is clear: those in CaransebeĹ&#x; are not just kids; they are young citizens trying to find their way and get informed. There is plenty of information, but it must be selected and then presented they still have work to do on this. But it is good to know that they want to go further!


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education CRAIOVA LAW 350 OR THE LAW ON GRANTS One of the topics suggested by the Foundation was the Law on grants, or Law 350. No student in the team had any knowledge about it, and writing the article required obtaining information from the competent institutions. An information lesson was necessary to understand the topic and to select the information. In the first editorial board meeting following the posting of the required subjects, the reporters from Craiova took “notes” about Law 350. TRAINING Law on grants from public funds allocated for non-profit activities of general interest, with the number 350/2005 is known as the Law on Grants. A grant = the financial contribution to the achievement of a project which is offered to the applicant without the further obligation of repayment (non-refundable financial aid). a) income generating activity - activity which generates a direct profit to a natural person or legal entity; b) funding authority - any public authority, including the judicial authority and any public institution, of general, regional or local, interest, which is a main credit release authority under the law; c) beneficiary - the applicant who is awarded the grant contract after the application of the public projects selection process; d) eligible expenses - expenses which may be taken into consideration for the grant; e) the grant contract - contract concluded in compliance with the law, between a public authority and a beneficiary; f) grant / a direct financial allocation from public funds for the conducting by natural persons or by non-profit legal entities of non-profit activities that contribute to the achievement of certain actions or programs of public, regional or local interest; g) public funds - amounts allocated from the state budget, the social insurance state budget, the social health insurance budget, the special funds budget, the state treasury budget, the local budgets, the budgets of public institutions financed from own revenues, h) applicant - any natural person or non-profit legal entity submitting a project proposal. Project = all the activities which lead to the achievement of a common goal. It requires a significant use of human, material and finance resources. Every project has a certain period of implementation. Together with the team we set the strategy for gathering information about the grants allocated from the budget of the Local Municipal Council and the County Council. Cosmin, the chief editor, made request for information to find out the successful projects, their budgets and the beneficiaries of these funds. After submission of the requests we had to wait. And because there was still no reply, I decided to go with Cosmin to the institutions in question to find the necessary information. The first “raid” was at the Prefecture of the Dolj County. After the presentation and provision of the information on the activities and existence of the GSTV newspaper we were directed to speak to employees who were in charge of monitoring programs and projects funded by grants.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Surprisingly fast, we received the information required to write the article. Then there was the work visit to the Town Hall of Craiova. And there we were greeted with kindness and we were provided with very specific and concise information. We weren't informed about aspects regarding the activities of the Associations and Foundations which had submitted projects for funding, the period of performance of the projects and other details. ACHIEVEMENT Survival of grants Due to the economic recession in 2009 the Municipal Council of Craiova suspended the awarding of grants from public funds under Law no. 350/2005. We looked into the situation between 2007 and 2008. And we found out about the projects and the organizations which benefited from such grants: • Tineri în dificultate (Young people in distress) Applicant: The “Europrotect” Association Objective: To increase awareness of teenagers/ young people about reproductive health. • Tramvai cu Gaguri (Gags tram) Applicant: The GAG Cultural Association. Objective: to increase the level of access and the participation of children and young people from Craiova in educational activities. • PURPOSE - Complex Career Guidance Services. Applicant: “Societatea de Cercetare în Leadership, Management, Marketing şi Cultură Organizaţională” Objective: Providing career guidance and counselling to a group of young people from families with low incomes or unemployed. • Quest-iunea Craiova Applicant: “Asociaţia pentru Dialog Educaţional şi Social” (the Association for Educational and Social Dialogue). Objective: the increase of the desire of young people in Craiova for knowledge about Romanian tourist objectives, culture and tradition. • “Tu poţi fi următoarea victimă!” (The next victim could be you!) Applicant: The “Dominou” Association. Objective: Informing young people of Craiova about human trafficking, sexual exploitation and modern slavery. (The students of our high school also took part in the project, and they showed a strong interest in the subject.) It seems that the budget of the County Council of Dolj is more generous this year and that grant funds are being awarded, the call for proposals being under way. Last year funds were targeted towards three areas: Education and Culture, Youth, Sports. The successful NGOs in 2009 were:


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education Centrul de Cercetări Juridice Fundamentale (the Fundamental Legal Research Center) with the “Mass-media - means of developing the capacity for interaction between citizens and the administration”. The Youth Association “Enjoy” with the project “Promoting cooperation and exchange of experience for young people in the county of Dolj”. The County Athletic Association of with the “Sport - an extra chance for everyone.” It also seems that the civil servants of the Town Hall of Craiova and the County Council of Dolj are aware of the law on the right to information. Friendly and with a smile on their face, they provided us with the required data immediately. I was amazed by how quickly they delivered the information we requested. Was it because the applicant was unusually young and interested in such a topic? FEEDBACK Liviu Iolu: Excellent. You try to find out who applied and for how much money. Then you get in touch with them and ask them to talk about their projects, to see how they could be helpful, etc. Ovidiu: Let's start the debate http://craiova.reporterdeliceu.ro

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homework:

Don't rejoice too much, Cosmin, because we won't let you get away so easily. The beginning is very good, but it's certainly a topic which could be developed. It's great that you found the information both at the Town Council, and at the County Council. What caught my eye is the absence of one thing: how much money are we talking about? How much money did these NGOs take for each project? I think it is something that every reader could be interested in, even out of curiosity. Another thing I would have added is this: an introductory paragraph about what the deal is with this money. We know because we did the research, but maybe some readers do not know. One could comment on the EU funds, but they're wrong. For people like that you should also add context information. Now let's think of how the topic could be developed. What was actually achieved in the 2007 or 2008 projects? You can find some of the organizations involved and find out what they did. Cosmin did his homework, the summer camp in Sinaia is over, we're back to school and we're still waiting for an “official” answer to the request for information submitted. Miercurea Ciuc High school reporter Márton Áron Szabo Zsolt Material put together after the participation in the meetings of the Town Council in Miercurea Ciuc, Harghita Politics is a topic which appeals to me. Therefore when the topics were allocated to the team I chose the Town Council meetings. I liked working on this article especially since it has EU coverage. Preparation The first step of this process was gathering information on the website of the Town Hall. This site is very easy to use; I managed to gather important information about the Ciucani advisers. I found details about their number, occupation, income and studies, and when I attended the first meeting I knew the name of each adviser and the party of which they were part of. Achievement


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education I managed to take advantage the fact that our high school history teacher, Orban Zsolt is a member of the Local Council and after he gave me some tips I managed to publish my first article on our blog and announce it on the forum. The article is a general article about the composition and schedule of the Local Council, which was meant to pave the way for the second story about my experiences at Town Hall. To achieve the next article I had to wait longer, so I had time to get in touch with Mr. Orban and ask some him questions before the meeting. I took notes about the relations of the advisers, the topics of debate, the precedent cases and I took photos of the meeting room and of the meeting with the advisers. After the meeting I immediately started writing on the article; I did not want to forget anything of the abundance of information received and that was not hard because I had a comprehensive and clear image about what happens during a Local Council meeting. Luckily I managed to publish the second article at the set date and this gave me extra motivation. Comments None of the articles was commented on by journalists on the forum. The only commented posted by the readers of our blog came from a stray blogger who talks about mortgages in English. However, in Sinaia we received verbal comments on these texts, from Călin and Liviu, and perhaps they were more constructive this way. Return I didn't actually return to these articles, but I'm still going to attend another meeting and elaborate on one item on the agenda. Self assessment In my opinion these articles, especially the second, are the articles on which I've worked most, and which tough me the most important things, and thanks to which I got to know important and wise people. I hope to be able to attend at least one more time a Local Council meeting and I hope for us to be able to create continuity in notifying the public about what is being discussed there. The Local Council Meetings, http://miercurea-ciuc.reporterdeliceu.ro/?p=714 In Miercurea Ciuc as in other localities, there is a Local Council that takes decisions and approves projects at a public level. The Miercurea Ciuc Local Municipal Council is composed of 17 advisers, who are all locally elected officials (their number must be odd not to create situations of tie vote). Among them there's a teacher, a notary public, a family doctor, an architect or a businessman, so many of the categories of the society are represented, so this helps in making the best decision for everyone. The President of the Council is elected for 3 months and during this time he chairs the meetings and he makes sure the meetings are run according to the law. Therefore members are in constant rotation to chair the Council and this brings dynamism. To achieve the best possible effectiveness six specialized committees were created: social, cultural, town planning, economic, legal and commercial. All board members are also members of two expert committees, based on their profession, education and circle of interest. These committees have three, five or seven members, each group having one president who leads his group's work and a secretary responsible for the minutes. The Local Council and the County Council are two different things which make decisions in their own field, but often joint problems appear and then the two sides must work together to choose the correct version. The Local Council meetings are regular, the scheduled date being the last Friday of each month at 12 o'clock, or whenever it is necessary to solve an urgent situation. These meetings are announced on the radio, in the local newspapers, on TV and according to the law on the notification panel of Town Hall. The list is missing the town website, which is quite decent and is updated regularly, but this information is not posted there yet.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education I'll be back with current information after I attend the meeting on the 25th of June... High School Reporter, Szabó Zsolt The Local Council Meetings, http://miercurea-ciuc.reporterdeliceu.ro/?p=714 On June 25th I attended the monthly meeting of the Local Council of Miercurea Ciuc. Thanks to our high school teacher, Zsolt Orban, a member of the Council, I managed to create an overview of the work of this group. First, I want to correct number of members; there are 19 members, two more than I announced in the first article because recently the two deputy mayors joined in. Arriving at the town hall I felt that something was happening there. Smart cars began to arrive, but many came on foot. The cleaning ladies have made the necessary modifications and served coffee on the table of the meeting room. Of the 19 advisers, 12 are members of UDMR (Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania), 7 are representatives of the Hungarian Civic Party and this antithesis is nicely out-sketched through differences, conflicts and contrasts between the opposition (PCM) and the power (UDMR). There were 16 points on the agenda of the meeting that I attended which, according to Mr. Orban, is not too much. For example, these points included the building insulation project, full renovation of the street where I live and approval of the application of the LIDL supermarket chain to bring into town trucks with a total weight greater than legal weight. All proposals were approved. The points were not discussed in detail, some because they had been under analysis for a long time and only small corrections and changes were required. The biggest conflicts and debates are at the beginning of the year when the town budget must be approved and allocated (approx. 20 million Euros) and those bills and projects where a majority of two thirds is required, so all the votes of UDMR are required plus one vote from PCM. Almost all bills have been challenged by the members of the PCM and all abstention from voting was from the PCM. Because of a misunderstanding there was an argument between the mayor, Ráduly Róbert Kálmán, and a member of the PCM, but so far it seems to be a sign of healthy opposition. Only one person who was not involved in any discussions attended the meeting with me, and this is not good, because many people whom I told about the meeting were not aware of this possibility of being allowed to attend the debates. Overall, apart from a few people who are passive and are eager to get a reputation, the vast majority of advisers are wise people and they are doing their job for the good of the society. Text and photos, Zsolt Szabó Coordinating teacher: I was nervous about the presence of Zsolt in Local Council meetings; now I wouldn't be, but it all went away when he told me with the nonchalance of a reporter - teenager or a teenage reporter that everything went perfectly normal, as if he had been the most important reporter there! I think that it wasn't us the coordinating teachers or the others in the project who gave them confidence to do it, but the other way around - they are the ones who provide us with moral support when we want to see if they have what it takes. And they always do, but we must encourage more than we think! That it's it. Prof. Maria Sturzu 1. MANDATORY TOPIC - Miercurea Ciuc - LOCAL COUNCIL Coordinator, Ana Maria Suciu The two articles written by Zsolt on the Local Council of Miercurea Ciuc show exactly how things work in the local public government. The reporter has a simple approach; in the first article he


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education described the Local Council, what it does, who are its members, what the committee they are divided in, and that there are distinctions between the Local Council and the County Council. Of course, if this kind of information is redundant for people who are informed about the public administration in Romania and at first glance some clarifications are amusing, but if we think about the target group of the blog - high school students, I think it is a welcome approach for those who most likely never had any contact with the public administration. The second article describes a local council meeting attended by the reporter, and we find relevant information on how local decisions are made. In other words, Zsolt states some obvious facts - that there is a majority which decides and a minority which sometimes objects, that the topics on the agenda are not discussed very intensely and that citizens do not regularly participate in meetings. In terms of documentation, Zsolt originally had just a brief presentation of the Local Council, with information taken from the website of the Town Hall. The second article, in addition to the reporter's presence at the meeting, required the obtaining of additional information and additional clarifications from a member of the CL who is a teacher at the school where the reporters study. Thus, this developed the ability to identify sources and to use personal relationships in documenting a topic. ROMAN The “Roman Voda” National College NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS, A MYSTERY? Non-governmental organizations can be defined as private or mixed associations of natural persons or legal entities of different nationalities, associations with legal personality operating under the law of a State, without lucrative purpose. They meet the individual association needs in terms of selfmanagement or autonomy from public authorities, they contribute to the assertion of civil society and provide territorial or professional communities with opportunities for achieving their goals, they increase the chances of effective and flexible delivery of services focused on public good. Let's say from the start that this sector has been expanding and that it is often considered to have profound implications in the field of social organization and in the design and operation of new governance strategies. Let us consider the non-profit organizations in the town of Roman and let us try to answer the questions about their operation and management, about their social, cultural, political or economic impact. The non-governmental sector in Roman According to the Public Finance Administration, in the town of Roman there with about 100 NGOs are involved in solving local problems. The range of services they provide is quite broad and covers various areas of everyday life. NGOs have existed in the town of Roman since 1991, when the Orthodox Association “Precista Mare” was founded; which is an organization devoted to protecting children at risk and drop-outs. The association's pioneering work was focused on the social inclusion policy and equal opportunities. In the 19 years over 3,000 people have been assisted. How efficient are NGO projects? The non-governmental sector has taken over, like everywhere else in the world, a range of responsibilities of the state in the public life. Social projects are predominant. Among the most active organizations in the area is the “Caritas” Association. “The centre for urgent social cases” was founded in 1997 based on the idea of supporting urgent social cases. In 2007 dozens of families which could not cope with the new economic requirements were helped, providing them with food, clothing, school supplies or construction materials. The “Centrul de Ajutor pentru Viaţă” (“The Helping Live Centre”) is a project of this association which was started in 2002 which attempted to take a civic and moral stand against the coalition of the “greatest sins of mankind”: abortion,


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education euthanasia, divorce or abandonment. “Salvaţi copii” (“Save the Children”) is another project, but at the same time the cry of despair of some parents. In 2007 they managed to obtain sponsorship to cover the costs of the consultation for three children with serious conditions. For others, the Association has been involved in solving their local situation. Other projects conducted by Caritas: “Centrul medical de recuperare”, (“The Medical Recovery Centre”), “Hrană specială pentru Azilul de bătrâni şi Şcoala Specială Roman” (“Special Food for the Retirement Home and for the Special School in Roman”) or “Centrul de îngrijiri medico-sociale la domiciliu” (“The Centre for health and social care at home”). “Fundaţia pentru o Viaţă Demnă” (“The Foundation for a dignified life”) is an NGO that aims to promote social activities, educational and training activities, organized in social centres, in its own institutions and schools. Although it was founded in 2008, this association has conducted many projects. Some of the most important are: “Şcoala cu Demnitate (“School with Dignity”) (conducted in January 2009 and aims to encourage young people with intellectual potential not to drop out of school), “Centrul de formare profesională pentru adulţi” (“Adult Education Centre”) (June 2009, adult training courses, accredited by the National Adult Training Centre, “Copii pentru Copii (“Children for Children”) or “Tinerii te provoacă: fii ecologist!” (“Young people challenge you: Be an environmentalist!”). The “Familia şi Viaţa” Association (“Family and Life”) is another non-profit organization which has been actively involved in solving local problems. The main activities are: conducting a counselling course for individuals or for married couples for teaching the natural methods of responsible regulation of births. Then there was “Şcoala Familiei” (“School Family”), a project developed in collaboration with “Casa de Reculegere” of the Missionaries of Traian which hosted meetings with groups of families. Last but not least, they organized a course to train fiancés for marriage in collaboration with the above-mentioned institution. The “Peace” foundation has a project called “A second chance” which addresses people between 10 and 30 years with a precarious financial situation, which lag behind in school education. Currently there are 30 beneficiaries of this project which are taught to write, read, and the rules of conduct. Working with local authorities Often the sincere desire of NGOs to help people is not enough for this to happen. Working with local authorities is a necessary condition given the current socio-economic situation. Opinions on their involvement are divided. There are foundations that have benefited from substantial material support from the Town Hall or from the Local Council. Moreover, decisions regarding the funding of some projects are not always taken on the basis of objective criteria. Political battles often lead to the victims even in the non-governmental area. In addition, an official of an association from Roman told us that “because they do not have sufficient knowledge about their rights, smaller nonprofit organizations get their message across more difficultly, and municipal administrations are falsely convinced that it is not quite legal to work with a non-governmental organization”. Lack of volunteers, a major issue Some of the associations and foundations which we have contacted told us that young people no longer get involved in NGO activities. We all know that the development of the contemporary society cannot be achieved without the positive development of young people. How to lure them into volunteering activities and how to involve them in the issues of the city? The “Familia şi Viaţa” association (“Family and Life”) aims to co-opt young people into volunteer programs. “There was a meeting after which we asked young people to form a group of volunteers to assist us. The adolescents filled out applications but, unfortunately, they didn't show interest subsequently. We hope that next year we'll have more success” said Ms Iuliana Petrus, a founding member of the association.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education What would be the reasons why young people no longer want to be volunteers? First of all, young people and the people of Roman in generally do not trust NGOs. The second reason is the poor promotion which the organization undertakes in the local community. These causes arise from a survey conducted on a sample of 100 people. Here are the results: Therefore, less than half of the respondents have confidence in NGOs. As far as their existence is concerned, 26% do not know of any non-governmental organization, 46% know only one (“Caritas”, in particular), 16% know two, while only 12% know more than two NGOs. Difficulties The lack of money is the biggest problem of the Romanian non-governmental organizations. It is followed by the difficult cooperation with various institutions, the lack of volunteers and the efficiency of the projects conducted. The largest fund contributors - according to NGOs - are the Romanian foundations, followed by the international and Romanian public sector, international foundations and Romanian companies. A significant amount of money for many such organizations comes from the redirection of 2% of the income tax and from membership contributions. Answers? The development of NGOs in Romania in the last two decades has not been constant. Public perception was contained by the limits set by initial distrust and prevailing indifference. Running non-governmental projects depends largely on their ability to access funds and to carry out projects consistently from implementation to dissemination. The issues raised in the town of Roman are also related to the lack of specialists in the field, and to the poor involvement of volunteers. The latter is explained by the lack of a culture of volunteering in Roman overlapping a negative reaction of past generations which were forced to participate in many “voluntary” actions. TIMIŞOARA THE BĂNĂŢEAN NATIONAL COLLEGE WHAT ARE WE DOING? I was already in the midst of the project, with a lot of articles and many plans for the future. The agenda for the following 2 months was set and full of events for us to cover, we thought of a media partnership project, and the feedbacks from Liviu and Călin (our journalism teachers) were positive and satisfactory. All this until the people at the Foundation told us that we must address some issues that really fit into citizen journalism. Given that we were (and still are) always free spirits, and Teach or Oana never put conditions on the articles we write, I was a little reluctant at first to the articles. We were planning on writing about some issues, and so were the Students Council or Career Guidance. Recycling, however, seemed a boring, dull subject, and migration seem irrelevant to the west area of the country. Considering the fact that our newspaper primarily addresses young people, which of them would like to read an article about recycling? At first I tried to ignore the topics proposed, but, after a long meeting, we decided that we should address them. And we wanted to do it in the N.O.I. style. For it not to be boring, or not to present the same widely known information, we chose a different perspective. Nausica: I had been intending on writing about the Student Council, to conduct an interview with Mr. President (a nickname by which Andreea Palfi became known throughout the school) because I was tired of all the criticism against the Student Council, especially by those who never engage in anything, but are glad to find fault with the projects conducted by others. This is how the following lines were born: The Student Council - our defender!


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education When you think about the Students Council, you unmistakably think the CNB Fest, the wonderful activities and the dances it organizes. But few know that behind this Students Council is someone who stays up at night to make programs, to organize the activities, to write different projects and who “fights” everyone when the opinion of students is at stake. This person is the President of the Student Council, which in our school is Andreea Palfi. Andreea Palfi, a student in the eleventh grade, MI 1, is known in our school for her results at the Physics Olympiad, for her activity with the ARDOR (Regional Association of Debate and Oratory, about which she speaks with great passion), but also for the determination with which she imposes her point of view in meetings of the Student Council. During the CNB Fest, I got a chance to talk to our President and I managed to get a brief interview. How long have you been President of the SC? For a year and half and next year you'll have to step down. Probably in the fall there will be campaigns and elections, where students are allowed to vote only once, and finally the new president will be chosen. Why did you choose to run for President of the Student Council? Honestly speaking, I don't know, but maybe because I wanted to change things up a little bit, to impose my point of view and I felt I owe this to the school: I have been a student here at CNB since first grade and I wanted to give something back. One way or another, I think more or less I left my mark on the school. Tell me about the CNB Fest. The CNB Fest is in its 6th edition and this event is trying to empower students, to teach them to engage in any type of activity and at the same time it is also a good exercise that will help them later on in life. During the CNB Fest students are in power, we now represent the management and this organization of ours gives us experience in this field. Is this year's CNB Fest as you had hoped? It's not, but I hope it will get better in the future. Nothing is perfect, but at least we try and that's what matters. We are faced a lot with less and less people wanting to get involved. This year we have activities and competitions scheduled at the end of classes. Last year students had to come in on Saturdays and Sundays, but even so attendance is quite low. How did teachers accept the idea of the SC? I think they accept the idea that, compared to the other schools, we have a certain power and we are organizing plenty of activities. it is already a tradition; it is normal to organize the CNB Fest; some teachers might even be outraged if we did not. When we displayed the fliers with the schedule of the CNB Fest inside the school, some teachers would came to me and ask me when the competitions were scheduled and whether they could participate (Editor's note For example, Mrs. Birescu, our teacher, participated in a karaoke session for the Brown House and Prof. Balica participated in the debate on “Studying Abroad vs. Studying in Romania” for the Blue House). Even teachers are divided into houses. What power does the Student Council have in the school? The SC can really do many things, for example we put soap in the restrooms, we made uniforms no longer mandatory during the CNB Fest and also we are trying to create a more relaxed, informal, atmosphere by organizing thematic work during the year (for Halloween, Easter). Our opinion is actually taken into consideration and as long as we are bringing some clear, sustained changes they will be accepted by all. What is the relation between the SC and the principal?


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The principal, Mrs. Puşcaş, is supporting us in everything we do; we have her full support. In general, she supports all extracurricular activities in our school, such as the SC, the Ardor and the AT4T. What should the Student Council do in the school? What are its activities? It has the role of being the link between teachers and students, of listening to the grievances and opinions of students and of communicating them to the Board of Administration. We are an advocate for students, we also organize events that we consider to be appreciated by students and which help them relax during the school year. Where do you get the money to organize these events? The only money we receive is from the County Council. Last year they gave 70 million, this year 6 million lei. But we make money from the dances we organize, such as the CNB Fest dance, the Valentine's Day Dance and the Freshmen Ball. Are you entitled, as President, to attend the meetings of the Board of Administration? Yes, I am part of the Board of Administration and I have voting rights, but I haven't had the opportunity to participate; I am invited only to meetings on issues related to students. Theoretically I should go to all meetings, but I am not informed about when they take place. The announcements are made in the Chancellery, and I would have to constantly go there and inquire about where and when meetings take place. Who is the coordinating teacher of the SC? What is his or her role? Mrs. Mariana Bosneac is the coordinating teacher. The coordinating teacher is a sort of advocate of the students. She helps us out when we ask for sponsorship, when we need to draft projects and she supports us before the principal or the teachers when necessary. Who is part of the SC? There's a representative from each class, and of these students the Vice-Presidents are elected (one for each class: the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th). We have a secretary treasurer and a president (Editor's note: in theory there should be 29 students in the Student Council, but there are many who will not come to meetings, and in the end there are only about 10 to 15 students who are working). We would like to thank Andreea Palfi for giving us this interview and we wish her further success with the SC in whatever they are organizing. The feedback received immediately after the publication of the article was positive, both from the Liviu and Călin, and those I received from our readers. We were told that we could have been more incisive, especially about the participation of the President of the SC in the meetings of the Board of Administration, which motivated us to return to the topic with the election of new president. Until then, however, the potential candidates sat in the chair at Cotroceni for one day and participated in the debate. What would you do if you were president for a day? “I would change the Prime Minister”, “I would decrease the salaries of parliamentarians”, “I would give houses in Romania to those who went to study abroad,” “Let’s do away with the Ministry of Tourism!”, “I would organize more school competitions!”, “ I would build shelters for stray dogs.” These were, broadly speaking, the measures the 7 students participating in the public speeches competition would adopt if they became President even for one day. The event, was organized with the help of the Student Council of the Bănăţean National College and ARDOR Banat; the jury included Mihai Pomarlan ARDOR trainer, Cătălin Artenie, former CNB student and Alexandru Gyori, winner of the national debate championship.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education “The country has been in decline since the revolution” Young people, although they came in very nervous, did very well before the public, like real presidential candidates. Even if were aged between 16 and 18, the participants were aware of what is happening in the country, of all laws and actions taken by the Government, whether good or bad. Most said they would renovate hospitals and would buy the necessary equipment, that they would build shelters for stray dogs and that they would decrease the salaries of MPs. Some, bolder, they said that all people should be equal and should have the same salaries. In the end, they reached the same conclusion: the health system and the education system should be rebuilt, streets should be paved, and wages must be reduced. People held speeches, ate, gave feedback and discussed many issues. Finally, only one person can represent Romania, and that is Cerasela Bujor, a 9th grade student of the CNB. Who knows, maybe years later, we will see her on television taking important decisions, and radically changing our lives. You can watch on YouTube the speeches of the three girls who ranked in the first three places. First Place - Cerasela Bujor: watch?V=COUms9qwnZs Second Place - Maria Tîrziu: watch?V=SC6BPEZsmmY Third Place - Alexandra Cotuna: watch?V=fGqlPA39DXw We also wrote about the most important project of the Student Council, who marked the takeover of the school by pupils for a week: CNB Fest is starting! CNB Fest, the event that students from the Banatean College look forward to each year, is finally here! The grand opening is tomorrow, 21st of May at 11:00 in the school yard, where the houses will anchor their flags, we will dance to the anthem of the CNB Fest (yes, this year we also have an anthem - They'll call me Freedom, just like waving a flag) and the first competition will take place: Rope pulling. In the evening, we will celebrate the inauguration of the CNB Fest with the dance, at 18:00. As of Tuesday, the school is ours. The competitions and the fun will begin. At 13:00 there will be competitions such as Bobbing Apples, Mime and the CNB Quiz. Wednesday there will be the CNB Cross, cabbage Bowling and volleyball with balloons. Thursday, however, we will participate in classes held by students (11:00), we'll see who is better at the debate between students and teachers (12:00), we'll sing along at karaoke (13:00), and finally we'll end the day with a taste of cinnamonapple-grape-banana-salt-pepper, in the Flavour Contest which will start at 14:30. We will end the working week with Treasure Hunting, where we hope to also see and teachers in action (one may also play football in heels) with a surprise competition and finally we'll relax at a picnic. We are expecting you at the CNB Fest. Hopefully Mother Nature will give us sunny weather all week! Fruit and colours at the Cnb fest Dance With the sun out, after days when we did not know what to expect from the weather, the CNB Fest Dance took place. Organized by the Student Council to celebrate the days of the Banatean National College, the Cnb Fest kicked off - “celebration” which is in its 5th edition. We wish it many more! The school's students were present, but the event was also attended by students from other schools, because dances are trendy among young people. There were also competitions, making everything


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education more fun. The anthem of this year's CNB Fest announced the start of this year's carefully selected and entertaining competitions between houses in different colours: green, red, orange, blue, black and brown. The twister, the orange dance and the spinning banana heated up the event and drew everyone's attention, creating suspense in the audience, but it was also thrilling for the participants. It seems that it was Green House's evening, which won two competitions, one was a tie with the Blue House - the twister, and won the orange dance. But the Orange House wasn't outdone either, proving that it's best at spinning the banana. Congratulations to them and to the Student Council for a wonderful evening! Cnb fest has started. Here at N.O.I., we support it and we are attending it this year. What about you? Florina Crăciunescu And the cup goes to... After a year of competitions and of running after “people” (i.e. students to devote some of their time to playing together with the members of their house), and comments like “require a recount”, the CNB Fest has passed! And I think I can say with all my heart “God help us!” (especially on behalf of the White House, part of the Student Council, which also organized this festival). As compared to the previous years, the CNB Fest lasted for a week during which the houses fought for points in all possible ways: Mime, Bobbing Apples, Cabbage Bowling, Karaoke or Dancing on the carpet (one stranger that the other), of course arranged by the ones running the school for one week: the White House. Discussions, debates... As with any organized event (and not only by Romanians), there were comments. The Brown House, which also won the final battle, was accused by the other houses, which claimed that the Browns (as they are known at school) stolen points or won they unfairly. I asked Cris Zsifkov, the leader of the winning house, what he thought of these “allegations” against his house and he answered: “each point won by the Brown House is justified and correct; we can always prove their origin. Probably the large number of points seems a little strange, but I must remind you that the Browns have been involved throughout the year in various challenges and opportunities to earn points proposed by the White House.” But the “drama” does not end here! After the week that they had to determine the big winner, on Friday, before the award ceremony and the award of the Houses Cup, there was a real madness: did the Orange House win or was it the Brown House. Because there was a mistake in the calculation (or transcription) of the scores, there was a 2 points difference between the Oranges and Browns! What do we do now? Well, the White House thought of a solution that would satisfy everyone: Wednesday, meaning today, or the 2th of June, they thought of organizing a surprise competition between the two houses, to declare, officially and once and for all, the winner of the CNB Fest. After they had to make a chain out of clothes, to build a bridge to support a water bottle, to make a newspaper tower and to guess Mr. George Enescu (and of course after several disagreements: “Their bridge is a cork!”, “We are only 2, there's 5 of them”) the BROWN HOUSE was declared winner! Congratulations! “We are preparing spiritually for the next CNB Fest” Taking her interview with Cristi, a student at our school in tenth grade, and of course, the proud leader of the Brown House, with Razvan Matei (“Where two strength increase” work from them seeing that), I found the recipe success and some links inside. Christ tells us that to win they just participated in “many activities such as the egg smashing competition, the selling of hot chocolate, the campaign for handing out stickers and of course we had a strong involvement in the CNB Fest.” An easy and simple solution which the other houses


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education could also have implemented (why didn't they? ). As a tip for other houses, Cristi proposes to “take care of freshmen, to involve them in as many activities as possible and to show them what CNB Fest is all about.” So have you taken notes? Finally, the member of the Brown House says there will be a party to celebrate the victory (N.O.I. will be there, invited or not!) and that the Browns are “spiritually preparing for the next CNB Fest, which promises to be more competitive.” There are already rumours that a new house will be established! Who knows what next year will bring? Anyway, by next year there are still some votes to be cast, because the students will choose a new President, who maybe will no longer organize the CNB Fest or maybe will organize the CNB Fest to be held for an entire month! US here at N.O.I. congratulate the Browns and wish success them the next year as well! Also I congratulate and respect the members of the White House who organized this much anticipated event flawlessly. See you next year! Nausica Paşca Although the assignments were from the past school year, it was natural to continue to reflect on the work of the Student Council, which is why we have been omnipresent at this year's elections. The SC has a new president! Finally it is that time of the year when even underage students are young adults and great politicians. It is that time of the year when we are called to elect a new president of the Student Council, to “lead” us for the next two years. Two candidates, one stage. This year, the votes were divided between two students of the 10th grade, both with a great desire to win and both making many promises. The official “battle” was on Wednesday, when the two held their public speeches. Alexandra Cotuna (X SN 1), who describes herself as sociable, but easily annoyed, made us think, through her speech, of a typical American school: lockers on the school hall, food vending machines and a wider range for uniforms (t-shirts, hoodies). She also says that her ideas are practical and applicable, and hopes that once she is president of the SC she will be able to attend the meetings of the Board of administration. Roxana Suciu (XF 1), however, came with a different approach to the discourse, a little more “patriotic”, telling us that the SC will not be her voice, but “our voice”. To raise funds, she thought that the school should set up workshops, where students could develop their creative abilities and their works could be sold. As a first project, she wants to send a questionnaire to be filled in on the Internal Rules of the school, where students could share their opinions. X in the correct box. After an election campaign, several small scandals (like the one about the one of the candidates allegedly knowing the questions asked during the debate beforehand), voting booths were open and our former President, Andreea Palfi officially handed the power over to Alexandra Cotuna, who won by only 18 votes. Nausica Paşca Of course there will be many articles about the new president and the activities organized (although we're in the beginning of the year!), and N.O.I. shall follow the organization closely. (We are waiting to see the new uniforms and lockers).


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The eye of the coordinator Oana Vieru In the General section there are also other topics of community interest. Of course, the community is divided into concentric circles, growing increasingly larger. But somewhere towards the inside there is also the Banatean National College community, where the newspaper N.O.I. operates daily. This is a renowned college offering a greater degree of freedom to its students (as compared to other schools in the country) and giving them a say in the activities taking place behind its walls. A great contribution in this sense is that of the Student Council. The reporters of N.O.I. interviewed the President of the Student Council and described the activities of the Council, in case the students did not know exactly what they are. A small number of students with initiative and more perseverance organizes the activities for students and also for teachers (see the CNB Fest), they raise awareness about the issues related to high school students and, in addition, they argue these issues before the school's Board of Administration. They got the support of the Principal and of other high school teachers. The activity of the Student Council is very visible in the N.O.I. newspaper and this is due to the most important event that takes place here during the school year - the CNB Fest, a festival which has been organized for the past 5 years in the Banatean National College by the Student Council, for pupils and teachers. The council gave authority to the students for a week and after five years during which the festival has been organized, the teachers began to be increasingly present and active in the event, and to even demand it! You can see what this festival is like in the various articles about it, before, during and after the festival, which describe all steps. By reading articles written by CNB students, from the first issue of the newspaper until now, one can notice a change of style and of interest, at times, of the four reporters. Moreover, the on-line gazette changed its look, keeping up with fashion, what people wear in Timisoara (in terms of fashion and events), but it became increasingly organized and focused on nationality, while retaining at the same time, the tone of “the CNB”. ŢĂNDĂREI GRUP ŞCOLAR AGRICOL MIGRATION The context We have been asked to write about migration. By the time this topic became mandatory we had already written and posted one article and were preparing another one. So we did not feel it was a topic requiring an extra effort. Why? In Ţăndărei there are many cases of separated families because one of the parents left abroad in search of a job. It is the reality of our town, and also of the neighboring villages, and furthermore it has become a matter with which the students in our high school are dealing too. Moreover, one of the students involved in this project, Dani State belongs to that category of students whose parents left the country. From the very beginning of the project, when asked what she would improve in her community, she would always reply: If I had the possibility to change something in my community, I would do in such way that all the parents who left to work abroad could find a job in our town so that the families could reunite. The cause of migration is unemployment. The town has not developed important industries able to absorb the demand on the labor market. In our town we have a ceramic factory, a water treatment plant, a landfill, two bank head offices, two pastry shops and several stores. Therefore, people have


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education to find work elsewhere, and the neighboring towns - Slobozia or Fetesti- face the same situation as Tandarei. The migration impacts especially the children left at home, who are looked after by one of their parents or by their grandparents. Given that after one of the parents leaves, a part of the responsibilities are taken over by the child and the level of care normally offered to the child reduces, the learning conditions offered to the child change too. That is why changes in the child’s behavior appear or school performance decrease. Preparation, written articles and the feedback The first article published on the topic of migration was written by Dani State, the student whose mother left abroad. The article followed a series of discussions Dani had with a group of students in our high school whose parents left as well. There has not been any prior documentation, only information picked up directly from the sources. Because of the low life standard they had in their country, some people decided to leave and find jobs abroad, leaving at home their children, of small or medium ages, with their grandparents or other relatives. In most of the cases, this decision leads to the separation of the family. After the parents’ departure, children become more and more depressed, they lapse into bad habits and drop school or enter vicious circles. They have no benchmarks anymore. (…) I have discussed with five colleagues whose parents left, in order to gather some impressions. (…) Nicoleta S. says it was much better when her mother was at home because she would offer her all the love she needed, gave her affection or a good piece of advice when needed, they shared the house chores, which fall now under her responsibility. It would have been much better if she stayed home with her. (…) The relationship between children and parents changed.. When parents return home they are perceived like strangers. Alexandru O. says his mother was a "stranger" because he had not seen her in such a long time. But very soon he got used to her being home again: There is someone welcoming him with a hot meal when he comes back from school, there is someone nagging him. Alexandru also says that his relationship with his father, who remained at home, improved. He says they are much close now. And the same happened with Nicoleta. Children admit that from a certain point of view it is better than before, because they have more money and they can buy almost everything they desire. They are happy they can visit their parents abroad. But they also say they are sad when they have to return home all alone. George spent more time in Italy during the summer time. He thinks he could not adapt himself to the life in Italy, he does not speak the language, he has no friends over there. Other things bringing joy and happiness to the children are the presents their parents send them. And the fact that they now have the freedom they did not enjoy before, even if this can cause damage. Marius N. says he speaks with his father on the phone, he has not seen him in nine years, and with loudly he adds that he has no feelings for him anymore. Parents go elsewhere to make money, but they jeopardize a much more valuable thing than money, the love of their children and parts of their life. (Dani State, "Parents abroad, children…”, 4th of May, 2010) When the homework became compulsory, it has been taken over by Daniel Apostol. The articles’ preparation was done with suggestions of the mentors, and other sources as well. Daniel: I have gathered information about migration mainly from sources: interviewed citizens and the details offered by the psychologist where of great help. I have also made some research using the discussions forum, which inspired me with the topics I used for this theme.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The first posted article was about the school results of students whose parents are abroad, an article for which I had the support of the school psychological counselor and the head teachers dealing with such cases. In our school there are 31 children whose parents left abroad, of which 15 girls and 16 boys, according to the deputy director, Mrs Adriana Spânu, and 10 children are from Tandarei and the rest come from other towns. There are 23 children whose mothers left, 6 with both parents left and 2 children whose fathers left. It is not a general rule, but usually these children change, they get more and more freedom because only one of their parents is at home, or they are left with their grandparents or brothers. And they are not too involved in raising the children well, as they are busy with their work or other activities. They get „out of hand”, they have their bodies tattooed, pierced, or they start drinking alcohol, taking drugs, they come late at home, skip the classes and all these lead to bad performance at school. In order to find out more about the school performance of the children whose parents work abroad, we also wanted to have the teacher and psychologist’s opinions, Ilie Georgiana. She identifies 2 categories of students: Children left with responsible persons and children left in the care of persons unable to cope with the situation. Children deprived of one of their parents’ affection become verbally aggressive and tend to start fights in their groups or become aggressive towards those supposed to look after them or they withdraw into themselves and stop communicating. This attitude is noticed in their behavior at school, in front of their colleagues or their teachers. Also, the psychologist Ilie Georgiana listed several consequences to the temporary separation of the family from their children: The child feels abandoned "left all by himself", he misses his parents so much that he starts isolating himself and neglects school. They start spending their nights playing games on the computer or surrounded by improper entourages, and they rest during the day, they skip so many classes that they are expelled from school. They become short-tempered and believe an injustice has been made to them. They lose control over their school situation and life in general. They feel they should show their colleagues they are not inferior and try to impress them by doing certain gestures or by adopting new attitudes. And there is a high risk of alcohol and drug consumption. They do not have somebody to help them in taking important decision and the consequences unfold. With total freedom, they become interested only in material benefits and the lack of parental affection has serious long term consequences. We also interviewed the head teacher of a tenth grade about the underperformance of children whose parents left abroad. Ever since the mother left the country, I had no contact with her, she was the only one interested in her daughter’s school situation. The student has a medium level. Her biggest problem is non-attendance of classes for which she almost had to repeat the year. Her conduct grade was 5 in the first quarter and in the second she struggled for a 7. Actually she is an intelligent girl with no disciplinary problems and she had good results at her admission exam in the 9th grade, but her father did not allow her to come to school anymore as she had to do the house chores, which resulted in a poor school performance and therefore, weak final results. I have tried to help her by supervising her school attendance and tried to convince her not to skip classes. The student showed enough maturity, being aware that coming to school helps her improve her performance and she does not face the risk of repeating the year. The family's situation always influences the child’s behavior in school. It seems that in the case of the children whose parents left abroad, the family is not able anymore to offer the support the student needs and he is not interested anymore in doing his homework and there are many other attention driving factors.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education What is your opinion about this situation? (Daniel Apostol, "School performance of the children whose parents work abroad”, 22nd of June 2010) The feed-back came from Călin Cosmaciuc who noted: I'll make an outline of your article: statistics - point of view - categories - risks - case - conclusion. What is not of interests to us: opinion and conclusion; you can delete them the next time you write an article. When you write that they get drunk or do drugs and that you relate this to the fact that their parents left, this doesn't convince me, because you are not giving me any example - it means that this is what you think. Otherwise, you have an interesting case, the one where the father forbade his daughter to go to school. You could have started with this and discuss it with the psychologist, for the latter to tell you whether there have been any similar situations. Next, there were the other situations/risks listed by the psychologist. The number of children is important if you also mention what percentage of all pupils are in this situation. The title is not the best (it's very blunt, as if this were a formal report), and so is your lead (the first sentence). The following article was about why young people go abroad, except that in this article didn't focus on the situation of children/students whose parents had gone abroad, but they wanted to find out the reasons why the population of Ţăndărei finds going abroad so alluring. About the period of research, Daniel says: If I say I was easy, I would lie; it was a little difficult, because young people didn't really want to talk to me about this topic and made me give up any questions I had initially to write the article and I had to steal a word or two from them by putting down the notebook and the pen and by talking with them as friends. I thought maybe I was scaring them! I did better with the adults: they gave me more details about themselves, about their children and I think we did good by helping them unburden emotionally. Here are excerpts from the article written by Daniel: George H., a young man from Ţăndărei who went abroad and returned recently said: “I went abroad for the same reason as the others, which is money, and I was encouraged by my parents who understood that I was leaving to give meaning to my life because in addition to gaining better than here I also wanted to see for myself if everything my friends were saying, friends who were telling me how beautiful the world is there. I left the country alone, but my cousins and aunts were waiting for me there. Arriving there and I realized that they are very civilized, there is no discrimination based on race or based on sexual orientation, doctors treat you like any other person without you having to bribe them. If you went into a nightclub or a bar, you could have fun with your friends or with your girlfriend without scandals or violence of any kind, unlike here. I returned to the country for two reasons: both for personal reasons and because I was offered a permanent job. I would have made a future for myself abroad, and I think everyone would like to make a future for themselves in any country in the world, as long as you have a secure job and a decent wage.” (...) Other children say that they are going only abroad to visit a foreign country, or to be reunited with their families during the holidays and to spend unforgettable moments with the loved ones, or to study following scholarships received thanks to their intellectual skills, often choosing to remain there after graduation. (Daniel Apostol, “Reasons why young people are going abroad”, 15th of July 2010) Besides these articles, Daniel also wrote an article about migrating from an apartment building to a villa, about the fact that certain age categories prefer to move from an apartment to a house, while trying to see what might be the reasons for this phenomenon. • Conclusions This issue can be noticed in different regions of the country, and it's interesting to see the causes and the effects of the phenomenon. It's not a topic that would involve vast documentation by the student; first the student only needs to become familiar with some uses of the term - temporary


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education migration/permanent migration, causes established by sociologists or effects mentioned by psychologists. For this stage one source of information is the Internet; the results of a simple search are numerous. The main role in achieving the theme is that of the sources: identifying cases inside the school / community and interviewing them. At the same time, this topic is one that could have an impact on the public, in that it aims to raise awareness about some cases which are identifiable in the immediate reality. Daniel says: I enjoyed writing these articles even if they were not too many and I believe that those who read them also liked them; even if there was no change in mentality, I think they did stir some sort of emotion, or something like that, as you could see from the comments on the blog! Alexandra David


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS COUNSELING CLASS Teacher Carmen Mocanu School counseling and orientation is in Romanian school an important part of curriculum. Going through the counseling and orientation classes have as finality for the students the awareness of connections between what they learn and the utility of knowledge and skills acquired for real life. The counseling activity in the educational institution is carried out for the purpose of: - persuading the students to actively participate in the school and social life; - making them prepare for the future educational levels; - helping the students to get more motivated in their actions, to learn, to be competitive in the world of globalization; - forming persons in harmony with themselves, with the others, with the society in which they live, with the world to which they belong. School counseling and orientation has as specific activity the school and professional orientation of the students in the gymnasium and high school. It has three aspects: - counseling for professional and vocational orientation (discovery of vocations, native gifts and talents); - counseling for keeping in the educational system all the students at the age of adolescence (waking motivations and self-esteem); - counseling for school and professional orientation in view of admission in higher education (making the correct decisions). The action of school counseling and orientation can be followed on certain levels: • sociological level: a civic attitude of quality to the community, family, school, group of students, etc. • pedagogical level: a moral attitude to the peers and the self-esteem. The need for counseling nowadays is felt as a necessary and imperative condition for keeping the health of teenagers and keeping the balance of society. During the counseling and orientation classes the students have the opportunity to practice effective communication skills, relation skills, learning skills and to become aware of the possibility of their transfer in different social contexts. The pages of this guideline, contributions of all those involved in the High School Reporter Project represent a concrete support for all the teachers who look for better solutions in the activity of the class master and counseling. The guideline is addressed to teachers will less experience in order to orientate himself/herself in the activity carried out as class manager, but also to the teachers with a rich experience in order to make comparisons and incite to find new solutions. This guideline is also addressed to students or teenagers who carry out activities in different fields. The good practice examples and the case studies presented have a role in the development of the personality of the individual and the transfer of skills and knowledge in real life determines the motivation and interest for learning and involvement.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The use of the materials presented in the guideline with all the themes tackled in the online newspapers of the schools that participate in the High School Reporter project represents experiences and attitudes that have to be learned and practiced in life, practical applications. The intention of this guideline for the teacher is: • to support the class masters in the realization of counseling classes by offering themes for the objectives from the curricula; • to stir the desire to conceive and carry out non-formal educational activities in the classes of counseling and vocational orientation; • to persuade for taking new professional tasks that have as goal the personal development of the youth; • to draw the attention of class masters to the problems of the youth; • to develop open attitudes to the ongoing information activity, permanent education or education outside of the school; • to facilitate the assimilation and use of various communication methods and the effective communication techniques; • to expose the problems that concern the local community and to test the students’ capacity of understanding, management and change as social partners; • didactic material for the components of the curricula: group management, education for health, education of the good citizen, education through and for culture and civilization, education for leisure time, education for family life, self-knowledge for career development, etc. The intention of this guideline for students is: • to develop behavioral skills and competences that facilitate a better adjustment at social level; • to identify multiple means of reaction to difficult situations; • to increase the degree of involvement of the youth in civic actions; • to acquire open and responsible attitudes and relational methods at social level and in special situations; • spiritual education for the observance of the human fundamental rights and liberties; • creative students with a desire to get involved in the problems of the local community; • to use and develop the knowledge collected from various subjects in class; • to explore the universe around for the purpose of improving the day-to-day life; • to understand the complexity of social and economic life of our times; • to get aware that the freedom of expression is possible in any situation, and the access to information and the participation to life and development of civil society is compulsory for acquiring the capacity of reaction to the violation of social and legal norms. A subject suggested by the Foundation and tackled by all the teams of reporters was recycling. The presented articles can be didactic support for the components of the counseling and orientation curricula: education for the environment – education for a sustainable development, education of the good citizen and education for health. By the presentation and dissemination of the information from those articles, the students can acquire knowledge about: - the problems of the contemporary world;


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education - the moral norms, the laws of interpersonal relations; - the importance of the quality of environment for life; - norms specific to this activity for assuring a balance between the society and the environment. The objectives of debating such a subject in the counseling class are: - to know the importance of the quality of life environment; - to get aware of the interdependence between man and the environment; - to cultivate the respect and responsibility to oneself and to the others; - to form the attitude of respect to the environment and to develop responsible behaviors; - to educate the youth to be good citizens capable of fulfilling their civic duties. DIDACTIC PROJECT Object: Counseling and orientation Subject: “Recycling of wastes, protection of resources” Type of lesson: Consolidation, systematization of knowledge Specific competences aimed at: 1. To know the importance of the quality of the environment for life. 2. To form an attitude of respect to the environment and to develop responsible components. Operational objectives: At the end of the lesson, the students will be able to:  To define the terms: “recycling” and “selective collection”.  To identify the qualities of the environment necessary for a healthy life.  To understand the relationship between man and the environment, the interdependence between the quality of the environment and the quality of life.  To understand the regional and global implications in the approach of environmental issues.  To get involved with responsibility in the environmental protection actions. Forms of organization of activity: frontal and independent activity Methods and procedures: Eucharistic conversation, individual study, explanation, observation, debate, case study, brainstorming. Didactic means: flip-chart, flip-chart sheets, markers, A4 sheets. SCENARIO OF ACTIVITY 1. Organizational moment: 1. Organization and preparation of lesson 2. Presence, preparation of didactic material 3. Checking the initial knowledge 2. Catching the attention : The teacher announces the title of the lesson, then makes a short introduction about the content of the guideline (he presents the High School Reporter project, purpose and objectives) 3. Deployment of activity:


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education They read the articles from the guideline about recycling, articles posted in the online newspapers of the schools that participate in the “High School Reporter” project. On two flipchart sheets they write the words: “recycling” and “household garbage”. They define the recycling activity and identify the components of wastes that can be recycled after the selective selection. The students will detail the negative influence on the nature of non-degradable household wastes. They will conduct a comparative analysis of the recycling activity in towns from the country and the town of origin of the students. The teacher gives them explanations about the “recycling” concept and the law in force. (Law no. 132/2010. By the enforcement of this law it is sought: a) to increase the degree of recycling and valorization of selectively collected wastes; b) to increase the degree of information and awareness, and the education of public civil servants, employees and citizens regarding the selective collection and the wastes management). The teacher asks questions:  Is there recycling activity in other towns of the country?  What do you know about the recycling in your community?  What is your opinion about the selective collection in school?  Does it reach its goal? The teacher and the students find answers and explanations to the stated questions. 4.Conclusions and appreciations The teacher concludes that each individual should be responsible for the actions of environmental protection and should assume realistic and achievable objectives concerning the preservation and protection of the resources of the planet. The adoption of a positive attitude to the environment for the purpose of increasing the decisionmaking capacity and the observance of the law in force. 5.Evaluation The students are divided by groups of work and have the task to imagine that they are volunteers in a nongovernmental association that is in charge with the promotion of knowledge, the preservation and protection of the environment and the ecosystems in Romania and Europe. The groups of work must propose activities for the information of the urban and rural population regarding selective collection and to make a campaign for this activity. The task of answering to the following questions: Who? When? How? For whom? They will carry out the activities from the campaign.

CHAPTER TO THE TAUGHT SUBJECT Teacher Aurelia Hiruta The culture understood as all the values, beliefs and symbols permanently accumulated by the human communities has a central role in school curricula for the fundamental importance in the outlining of the human personality, in his individual, moral and affective formation. The knowledge of the spiritual universe of the community in which he lives opens the student a perspective to himself, which is only possible by anchoring in the system of values of the past and present. These


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education are the current premises of cultural education: the correct outlining of oneself and the integration of the student in contemporaneousness. In the complex of components of the culture, a privileged place is the literature. The national literature is perceived as “territory included in the space of universal culture and not as an insular universe”. The literature books make possible the direct contact with the universal values, bringing to the reader’s attention the complexity of the world and proposing imaginary universes that address to the intellect and the affection to an equal extent. In the last twenty years we could see a real “crisis of reading” as it results from the survey conducted by Christian Baudelot and from the observation in the class. Attracted to the virtual world of the computer and the technique tendency of the current society, the students read less and less in the general school, and in high school they prefer to use compendiums or didactic supports made to support the preparation for the subjects for high school graduation examination and admission to the higher education institutions in which the current market abounds, which makes them not get direct contact with the literary text itself. Therefore, the intellectual and emotional subjective participation disappears by not avoiding to read the literary text, because in high school the reading is for most of the students an imposed task that either turns into resignation, derision or indifference, either to refuse, by showing boredom in the frenetic search for meaning and text undertaking. The observation of Jean Starobinski demonstrates how harmful this practice is : « The texts were not written for the philologists. They are purely relished. Reflexive interpretation is an activity that occurred afterwards. It is in advantage if it keeps in memory the more direct experience that precedes it.” Starting from the period after 1997, the reform in the educational system clearly affirmed the mission and vision of Romanian school in the long run. For this purpose in the “Framework educational plans” for the secondary school and high school education from the “National Curriculum” elaborated in 1999 it is stated: “We need a valueoriented education. The relativist mentalities by which any value is related to contexts cannot support profound reforms and cannot motivate the efforts that are essential for performance. On the other hand, the values are manipulated by ideologies, but we do not have enough reasons to disqualify them as values. It is time that we clarified again the situation of values in education. The education for private life gets more importance. The punctuality, veracity, discipline implied by obtaining a performance, the respect for our fellow men as a human being similar to us, the help of the persons in difficulty, the receptivity to arguments are values that deserve to be cultivated in any context and any time in education.” Notes about this subject can also be found in the “Methodological Guideline” regarding the curricular area for high school: “The values and attitudes explicitly appear under the form of a separate list in the curriculum of each subject of study. They cover all the subjects of the high school and orientate the axiological and affective attitudinal dimensions for the formation of personality from the perspective of each subject. Their concrete realization derives from the permanent didactic activity of the teacher, being an implicit of it. The values and attitudes have an equal importance in the adjustment of the educational process such as competences – which cover the cognitive dimension of personality – but are subject to other criteria of didactic methodic organization and evaluation criteria. As you know, this knowledge that is not accompanied by ethics and a sensitiveness with positive effects on the life of the person leads to personal failure and the degradation of social life.” Therefore, the current curricula of Romanian language and literature emphasizes the issues of understanding, on the assimilation of cultural values and on the structuring of an axiological system, which implies the extension of understanding beyond the borders of the strict contents of the subject and the approach of the issues of human existence. The accession to such a dimension is achieved


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education by stimulating the perception through themes designed to challenge and develop the understanding, thus approaching the Romanian language and literature class to the world in which we live and determining its spiritual sustainability. This step achieves the adoption of a modern manner of approach of education, by the formation of capacities designed to give the students access to the fundamental values of existence. Thus, the capacity of abstraction, approach and detailed debate of a problem, of formulation of ideas and checking solutions, the capacity to work in cooperation in groups, the capacity of communicating arguments are final goals of the current education. In modern methods we aim at a new approach of receptiveness of literature in school: from the perspective of attitudes and values specific to humanism. This approach has the general objective of modeling the esthetic taste of students, by automatically including other objectives as well: cultivation of critical thinking and creative imagination, sharpening of the spirit of observation, development of the capacity of expression of feelings and ideas, but especially the edification of moral feelings. The human solidarity, the attachment to the good, the beautiful and the truth, the attachment to the place of birth are fundamental values in the formation of a civilized conduct in society. The process of receptiveness of literature in school makes the reader students aware of literature and capable to adopt a personal position to their readings. Classic but always fresh by the vast extent it offers in the sphere of knowledge, the problem of human attitudes and values is a permanence in the configuration of the current curricula aiming at the study of Romanian language and literature. The effort of updating the values of the contemporary scientific world is a step that co-opted many researchers, because the social life as a whole has as substrate the behaviors, values, attitudes, representations (stereotypes) and social judgments. As such, the update of the notions of value and attitude from the point of view of international dynamics is not only a problem that concerns sociology, anthropology and psychosociology, but the whole educational system of today. The role of the school is to align to the educational trends of our age and to the requirements of the community. The social cultural environment represents the axiological plan of assimilation of values and the formation of beliefs of the young generation, being a differentiated one. According to the current conceptions, Petru Iluţ5 considers that a global structuring of the axiological universe can be achieved at the following levels: - general human values; - values of a social political system; - values related to a certain culture and ethnicity; - values of the large and medium social groups (social strata, professions, etc.); - values of micro-groups (families, organizations, restricted groups, etc.); - individual values. According to the “Methodological Guideline”6 for the curricular area “Language and Communication” –high school, elaborated in 2002 by the National Council for Curriculum, the objectives of the high school are to form a graduate student to be able to decide on his own career, to contribute to the articulation of his own routes of intellectual and professional development, to actively integrate in social life. In order to meet the exigencies of this educational level and the age specificity of the students, the high school must provide the teenager with: - the formation of the capacity of reflecting on the world, of formulating and solving problems based on the relation of knowledge from different fields; - the valorization of his own experiences, for the purpose of an optimal professional orientation for the labour market and/or for higher education;


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education - the development of the capacity of active integration in different social and cultural groups: family, professional environment, friends, etc; - the development of functional competences essential for social success; - communication, critical thinking, decision-making, processing and contextual use of complex information; - cultivation of expressivity and sensitiveness for the purpose of personal fulfillment and the promotion of a quality life; - formation of moral autonomy. As for the conceptual and methodological landmarks that were the basis of elaboration of the “Methodological Guideline”, one of the most important ones was the school time. Due to their significance in the construction of the structure of the school time, we must take into consideration the principles of generation of the framework educational plans: - the principle of selection and cultural hierarchy; - the principle of functionality; - the principle of coherence; - the principle of equality of chances; - the principle of flexibility and individual route; - the principle of connection to social. These principles place the student in the center, as an active subject of education, one of the most important concerns of modern society. In this context, the “new educations” are made in modules or subjects strategically conceived in interdisciplinary plan and represent answers of the educational systems to the imperatives of the contemporary world of political, economic, ecologic, demographic, sanitary nature, etc. It became a commonsense the assertion that a “well-done thing” is the result of a “well-thought project”. Some authors (Jinga, Negreţ, 1994) advance a procedural algorithm that correlates four essential questions, in the following order: - what will I do? - with what will I do? - how will I do it? - how will I know that what had to be done was done? From the “Magister dixit” model to the total freedom of the “active school”, from an autocratic approach to a democratic approach, the learning-teaching activity was regarded by the pedagogic trends of the twentieth century in extremely various manners. All these aspects come to prove the validity of the initiative of Soros Foundation Romania by the “High School Reporter” project. The national competition for high schools – “Be a reporter in your high school! Be an active citizen in the community!” from the “High School Reporter” project gave the opportunity of experimenting for the first time in Romania the involvement of the youth in the community life. Through this project the eight teams involved acquired the technique of realization of well documented feature reports, the means of documentation on the tackled subjects, the exploitation of new subjects of general interest from the life of the local community.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The students thus came in direct contact with the institutions of the local administration from Bistriţa, Mayor’s Office, Prefect’s Office, County School Inspectorate, NGOs, local counselors, etc., managing to understand and know concretely the paths of communication between them and the youth, the need for knowing the levers of functioning of the society-individual relationships. The students understood how to ask and defend their rights, how necessary it is to be correctly informed, what is the path they can follow in order to get involved and make things right. The project gave them the opportunity to make themselves heard and to see that they are not alone in an empty universe, that they can make themselves heard and they are important. A great achievement was for them to see that there are laws that defend the citizens’ interests, but the people must know the means by which they can make them work and it really is in their power. The High School Reporter Project demonstrated the need for increasing the degree of involvement of the youth in civic actions and offered a non-formal framework of learning, by using civic journalism and the specific new media tools (WEB 2.0), by strengthening the connection between the school and the community. I consider opportune the realization of a chapter called “Civic journalism – a form of active communication between the student and the community” in the subject of Romanian language and literature that I teach just as in other subjects such as: history, geography, social human sciences (philosophy, logic, psychology), biology, economics, physical education and sport etc. The writing and publication of feature reports from the activities of the school (including meetings of the Board of Directors, the Teachers’ Council, the Students’ Council), from the actions of the institutions of the local public administration (including meetings of the Local Council) and from events from the community became without any doubt the most original and effective lesson of language and communication. Soros Foundation made available to each team, on its own server, a Wordpress platform that the teams personalized. The teams received online advice, which improved the quality of the materials made by the students, who could see directly the importance of the written word, the observance of the general qualities of style. The prominent use of the feature report, by avoiding the conflicting positioning determined the approach of this species and the assimilation by the students of an ethics necessary for the communication of civilized people. The observance of the truth of the facts narrated and the good faith, along with the basic principles of journalism are useful elements to all the youth, not only to professional journalists. The team work and the addition of other types of articles, for instance, the interview, gave the students the opportunity to widen their scope of expression, the exchanges of ideas, the capacity to solve problems, to formulate clear questions, capable to highlight the truth and the details of the subjects under discussion. The organization of a round table with the local actors from the school and the community in order to discuss the usefulness of the newspaper proved an exercise suitable for the Romanian language class, by presentation of the notion of civic journalism and the debate of the problems of the local community, the need in high school for the creation of newspapers that give the students the possibility to take the pulse to the surrounding world. The team members learned how to use the WEB 2.0 methods (especially the blog) and the notion of civic journalism, by perfecting their creativity, critical thinking, constructive thinking and completing their prior participation in community projects. According to the new orientations from the school curricula, the educational system aims to develop the personality of the student, to develop his correct vision on the career he will embrace, by placing in the center the education for values. As such, “Civic journalism” allows to tackle varied subjects that make the connection between the problem of literary texts and the problems of real world, by making the students see in literature a way to concrete communication with the peers. The instructional and educational activities cannot be limited and standardized in the moulds of exact sciences, as the student is a reflexive receptor that will take in the recent message depending on his moral construction, his general culture, outlined by the social and family environment. That


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education is why the education for values finds its place through civic journalism in the Romanian language and literature class by the whole number of subjects it implies. It is necessary that any high school graduate from the contemporary society should be able to write a non-literary text of the type of feature report on any of the following subjects: - Education for a democratic society; - education for the quality work; - Education for the reception of cultural values; - Education for private life; - education for environment – education for a sustainable development; - education for health; - education for consumer’s protection; - legal education – prevention of juvenile delinquency and the human trafficking; - moral education – resolution of conflicts. The types of activities in which these subjects can be tackled: 1. We can initiate a reading campaign of literary works that illustrates the society at the end of the nineteenth century with a social theme, followed by an inventory of the social problems encountered. We can go then to contemporary society and make a list of the most important social problems of today. Tasks will be allotted in class in order to write feature reports on the social contemporary problems of Bistriţa. The students can make a portfolio that includes – reading sheets, a list of social problems of the nineteenth century and a list of the twenty-first century and will write a feature report. 2. The students can organize a book fair on the subject of health. In order to organize it they can do research in the book shop on the latest publications in the field, a hierarchy of the most read books, of the most famous books, of the poorest books. Then they can make classifications of the authors of specialized literature, author sheets. They can do research in the chemist’s shops in town, at the family doctors and the private doctors to see the utility of these volumes. 3. They can initiate a campaign of denigration of the bad quality or expired products that can be found in shops, by conceiving advertising posters with slogans that make fun of or warn the buyers on the danger of those products. The text of the posters must contain word games that should be an acid irony to the negligence of the authorities. This campaign will be completed by making a feature report on this issue. 4. They can see an artistic film on the subject of inter-ethnic conflicts and then conduct a debate on the subject of tolerance and conflict resolution. After the debate they should report, based on the data collected by students from their town, the concrete problems of the community they are a part of and possibilities of resolution of these problems. Benefits of this chapter: - the use of Web means as modern form of written communication; - Formation of the skill of going directly to the source and follow up the truth of facts; - subjective, intellectual and emotional participation; - understanding the need of information; - Turning the boredom and monotony into activation and motivation of activation; - Stimulation of reflexivity and positive perception of the life experience;


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education - understanding the need of participation effort that is the basis of performance; - Stimulation of the education of the modern man by skills such as: Punctuality Veracity Discipline respect for the peer helping other people receptivity to arguments Ethics All these are ways by which: - we stimulate the perception on reality by subjects designed to challenge and develop understanding. - we approach the Romanian language and literature class to the world in which we live. - we provide the access to students to the fundamental values of existence. - we develop the capacity of abstracting, approach and detailed debate of concrete problems. - we develop the competence of formulation of ideas and checking solutions. - we form the team work capacity. - we develop the capacity of argumentative communication. The school is a small society, and its members are the students and the teachers. Therefore, the school is a place where they can experiment the norms by which Romanian society functions. Here the students are helped to develop their confidence and self-esteem, know themselves, discover their true capacities and feelings and express themselves freely. The school is the place that provides not only a rich baggage of knowledge, but also the formation of new, European mentalities.

ACTIVITY IN YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS Teacher Adrian Simion What are we talking about? In the conditions in which the “High School Reporter” project is at the intersection of several curricula and social and civic concerns (school and community, electoral studies, opportunities of study abroad, etc.), one of the main objectives of this original educational step is to contribute to the development of the interest of youth, especially the high school students, in getting involved in the problems of the communities they are part of. For this purpose, the activity of the high school reporters, even after the completion of studies, in various NGOs, associations of youth, etc., can be an effective solution so that the values, skills, information, etc. are assimilated during the carrying out of the project, not get lost in time. We must also remember that this methodological guideline is a didactic instrument that proposes various means of promotion and implementation of the educational philosophy on which the High School Reporter project was built. Thus, one of the basic ideas that the guideline proposes is the formation in high school students, of competences specific to a high school graduate and the necessary attitudes of a responsible citizen. There is no doubt that the functional nucleus we start from is the way in which each person answers the questions necessary for the evolution of the educational system such as: “What, how, why, for whom do we learn in school?”


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education The present high school students will be the citizens of tomorrow of Romania and of European Union, a space of democracy, stability and security, defined very suggestively by the concept of “unity in diversity”. That is why the students have to know the rights and obligations they will have as future citizens, know how to act legally when their interests are in jeopardy, and their rights are not respected. Romania’s development will first rely on the human resource formed by its citizens. That is why the education of Romanian teenagers must be done in an institutionalized and well delimited framework, such as the school is. The high school students must know well the context in which they will live, in order to manage to adjust fast and to contribute to the development of Romania in the European Union. Romania is and must remain a democratic state, but not one in which the democracy varnish takes the place of the original! For this purpose, it is necessary that every citizen finds his suitable place and the rights and freedoms of each of us are respected. Romanian teenagers have to be the active citizens that are capable to defend their rights and interests. They have to know the significance of important terms in the context of development of a responsible citizen, terms such as: “acceptance of diversity”, “freedom”, “European values”, “initiative”, “responsibility”, “cooperation”, “civic spirit”, “reciprocal understanding”, “tolerance”, “diversity”, “solidarity”, “stability”, “adjustment”, “democracy”, “human rights”, “peace”, “involvement”. That is why we consider that a continuation of the initial “High School Reporter” project is necessary under various forms. And one of them is as I mentioned before, the involvement in youth associations, NGOs, social cultural councils, etc. The activities that these organizations propose under various aspects are organized around relevant fields for the students and representative from the point of view of objectives that this High School Reporter project promotes. The programs of action of such associations are often conceived to encourage the debates on their contents, and the purpose is a stronger involvement of members in the profound study of the subjects in which they are personally interested. If we consider that education has the role of modeling individuals that understand the world in which they live and to change it for the better when it is necessary, we can agree that civic activism is a non-conventional means of education for an active and responsible citizenship, a type of education that is obviously impregnated with certain values. It is about the values on which the philosophy of High School Reporter project is built. The activity in civic associations and even in political parties can provide all the stakeholders various opportunities, many of them being followed in the educational step called “High School Reporter”. What are they? Well, we are talking about: -the development of communication, socialization and social integration skills; - the activity in a work environment in which activate persons close as age; - the possibility of influencing local public policies by various methods of public participation; - theoretical and practical training; - personal development opportunities; - identification of relevant actors in the community; - formation, discovery and/or practice of useful social skills; - the possibility of developing project manager skills; - practical understanding of the important problems from the community in which they live; - development of possibilities of evaluation of certain situations, of the sense of responsibility, of pro-active attitudes, entrepreneurial skills, etc.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education In this kind of organizations the students are incited to get in touch with the members of the community, to learn about their problems, to understand the deep meaning of important events, beyond the official discourse. Thus, these organizations contribute to the formation of youth that are eager to understand what is going on in the communities in which they live, but also what happens to them as individuals. The interest in everyday life, in what is going on around us is an essential premise for civism, for civic participation. The participation in the “High School Reporter” project led to the development in the students of one of the previously mentioned skills and in the future the participation in various youth organizations will develop these skills. They can be essential for their future professional qualification. That is why various activities carried out in NGOs as well as youth activities can be very important, but not only them. Among the competence I talked about previously, we mention: press monitoring, identification of community interest subjects on which ideas of projects can be built on, drawing up press releases of association, defence of press conferences and speeches in public spaces, PR activities (design of brochures and leaflets, content for publications, concepts for events or publications, press announcements, realization of logos, maintenance of web pages, organization of events, dissemination of information, slogans, etc.). Case study: volunteering in PAEM Alba Foundation PAEM ALBA Foundation is a non-governmental, non-profit and apolitical organization that was founded on 20th September 1995. The purpose of the foundation is to identify, conceive and implement actions aiming at the social and economic development at regional level. “We want to be an organization that assures performance in local sustainable development for the benefit of the community and its inhabitants. PAEM Alba Foundation exists by the passion, work and devotion of its founding members, of the 17 public and private institutions – supportive members and our partners. In total transparence and opening, our role is to identify needs and constraints in the partner communities, to propose solutions and it provides investment and financial resources necessary for the implementation of strategies and plans of action created by partnership”, declared the president of the Foundation, Mr. Vasile Voicu Bora. An activity that the students can carry out in this foundation is the volunteering. According to the law in force, volunteering is the activity of public interest carried out by the own initiative of any natural person for the benefit of others, without receiving a material counter-prestation; the activity of public interest is the activity carried out in fields such as: social security assistance and services, human rights protection, activities with a cultural, artistic, educational, scientific, humanitarian, religious, philanthropic, sportive, environmental protection, social and community nature. Anyone who wants can be a volunteer: children, youth, adults, third age persons, persons with and without disabilities, persons of all races, ethnicities, colours, persons of any gender or sexual orientation, persons that are politically/religious involved or not, persons with postgraduate studies and persons without studies or with minimal studies, persons with high, medium and low incomes. A student that participated in a project such as “High School Reporter” project is better at volunteering than a student without such an experience, and the reasons we mentioned earlier take into account the skills that the High School Reporter project develops in those that are involved in it. Anyway, there are many reasons for which a young student can choose to be a volunteer: - he can acquire experience, skills and knowledge for getting a job (or a better job) - a new career can be tested; - he can valorize easier some of his personal skills or knowledge; - he can develop a network of personal and professional contacts; - you can be part of a team, develop team work skills, test your leader qualities.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education What rights do you have as a volunteer? Of course, this is a pertinent question. Well, who chooses to get involved as volunteer in a foundation such as PAEM Alba Foundation has rights and responsibilities. They are defined both by the Volunteering Law and the good practice in the field. If we know our rights and responsibilities, we want them to be respected and by respecting them in our turn, the impact of work will increase with personal satisfaction. Any volunteer has the right to receive a certificate that certifies your capacity as volunteer and describe the activities carried out, the skills or knowledge used, proven or obtained. As for the advantages of any person who activates as volunteer in this organization we can mention: free personal and professional development trainings; experience for a future profession; added value for CV. Conclusions How necessary is a civic education? The question is obviously rhetorical. If we accept that the youth have to know democratic values, but also the way – and the need that – they are implemented in society, there is no trace of doubt that such an education is more than beneficial. We should also take into account a very important element: in the future the school as institution will not be able to create and offer everything about the models of healthy social and civic behavior, it will not be the place where everything can be learned. Or, in these conditions, the alternative sources of education will prove more and more their importance, they can be anytime an effective method of promotion of values and social activeness of individuals.

CIVIC JOURNALISM CLUB Teacher Ovidiu Albert, Roman Motto: “They youth represent the most flexible category of the society, they are the motor force of changes in attitude and social behavior. They are up to date with the development of IT technologies which allows them to get involved in a new approach of civic journalism.” Olga Gordilà, “PromoLEX” Association, Moldova ARGUMENT: The civic journalism club can be integrated as part of the non-formal education in the school curricula. Although it is a less formal activity, the practice of civic journalism by teenagers enjoys formative effects: the widening and completion of the culture horizon; creation of conditions for professional evolution; assurance of the framework of practice and cultivation of different vocations, aptitudes, skills, etc. The relationship between formal education and non-formal education is complementary as content, forms of organization and realization. The activities dedicated to civic journalism are carried out not only under the guidance of the teacher, but also under the guidance of other authorized persons, providers of education. Having a complementary role to didactic activities, they seek to widen and deepen the influences exerted in the educational process, and especially the valorization and development of interests, aptitudes of students, but also the judicious and attractive organization of their free time. As optional activities, the journalism clubs present certain particularities that refer to the participation of students, to their content and duration, to the forms of organization and methods used, to the evaluation of results. The teacher can guide the students, by suggestions depending on their psychological profile, the dominant intelligence, their cognitive interests manifested, their wishes and preferences, but also the availability of the family. The forms of organization of the Club are more than elastic, ingenious and with recreational character. Thus, they offer a field open to the manifestation of the spirit of initiative of the students, the development of their aptitudes and the expression of creativity. For the evaluation of results they


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education use other means than within the lesson. What prevails are the forms of public appreciation in events of popularization and highlighting such as TV shows, conferences, round tables, club meetings, online magazines, etc. DURATION: a semester or a school year. DEPLOYMENT: meetings organized once a week outside the classes. LOCATION: computer room, library, classroom, methodical cabinet. TARGET GROUP: high school students. GENERAL OBJECTIVES: Knowledge and use of materials and different work techniques specific to journalistic activities. Assimilation of specific journalistic techniques. Development of the creative capacity of students. FRAMEWORK OBJECTIVES: Development of communication skills (oral and written); Development of creative skills, skills of exploration and investigation of reality, documentation by using appropriate procedures; Formation of the capacity of computerized editing of texts. OBJECTIVES OF REFERENCE: - to formulate for and against statements about the local events; - the receive correctly the message depending on the conditions of communication; - to show interest in the creation of original texts; - to analyze and objectively appreciate a given situation; - to notice differences in the structure of certain types of articles. ORGANIZATION: The activity of the Journalistic Club can be a part of the school offer of any educational institution and can vary as time of deployment. In a preparatory stage, the coordinator teacher determines an appropriate subject corresponding to the interests and preoccupations of the future members of the Club. The initiative will be popular among the students and parents by various means: participation in educational fairs, press publication of subjects related to it, etc. In the beginning of the school year, the club members shall be recruited. For this purpose, they can choose between a skill test, editing of a piece of news, an essay, etc. In the first meeting of the Journalistic Club they will determine the name and logo of the Club, the components and assignments of the management board, the degree of involvement of each member, etc. In case of presence of students with previous experience in journalism in the Club they can choose to create a counseling group. The activity of the Club will be advertised through its own magazine (on paper support or in online format), school magazine, Students’ Council, local mass media, contests, etc. EXAMPLES OF INDEPENDENT ACTIVITIES:  creation of blogs, websites by using WEB 2.0 technology;  presentation of video/audio materials that reflect a wide interest problem on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter etc.;


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education  comparison of their own opinions, comments to the opinions of other readers from the online medium in order to appreciate the objectiveness of their own statements; 

generation of discussion groups, forums dedicated to the local community;

exercises of argumentation of statements and judgments of value exemplified by facts, happenings;

use of search engines (Dmoz, Google, Altavista, Yahoo, Lycos, AOL ş.a.) for finding the information necessary for the editing of articles;

evaluation and debate of certain events presented under the form of news, feature report, investigation, interview, specialty news by the local mass-media;

the use of online correspondence services (e-mail, Messenger, Skype) for making the interview of sources;

exercices of editing of articles and analysis of articles (see the enclosed bibliography);

collection of data for making syntheses, surveys, editorials, specialized articles, news groups, entertainment;

editing of articles for the school magazine regarding special events from the life of the school, neighborhood or town;

interviews taken to special public personalities from the life of the school or community.

THEMES: The proposed themes have to contribute to the removal of stereotypes, discrimination and automatisms in thinking, as well as the cultivation of a tolerant spirit. Among the journalistic genres that can be approached in the journalistic club there are: feature report, interview, investigation, news, essay, article – debate; portrait; interests/features (style, fashion, health, etc.); reviews; comment; historical article; opinion article. MODEL OF ACTIVITY IN THE JOURNALISTIC CLUB: CREATION AND FEEDING OF A BLOG. A blog (artificial, combined word originating from the English expression web log = net journal) is a web publication (a written text) that contains periodical articles and/or articles with uninterrupted update that usually have a personal character. As a rule, the update of blogs does not consist of the direct change of the existing text, but also additions of new texts, such as a log book, all the contributions are displayed in reversed chronological order (the most fresh ones appear right on top, at sight). This kind of web publications are accessible to the wide audience. If in the beginning the blogs were manually updated, in time there appeared “tools” (programs and methods) that make this process automatic. The use of such a software based on Internet browsers is now a usual aspect of blogging. There are several platforms for blogs, for instance Wordpress (the most well-known and used blogging platform), Blogger etc. The blog is an easy means by which the activity of the journalistic club can be promoted in the local community. From its creation to the posting of complex materials, the blog is an instrument at the hand of Club members that can become leaders of opinion. Suggetions for authors • Be just! The testimonies on the spot can be shown unequivocally and in an adequate journalistic context. • Write accurately. Check the facts, quotations and references. If you do not have time for that, say that your presentation is an expression of what you think of the event.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education • Be incisive! An idea “thrown” in the blogosphere can later on have a high importance given by the deployment of the events. It is not compulsory to have an answer to the problem. • Publish regularly! The creation of your own online “community” obliges to regularity. There is no clear definition of the optimal intervals for publication. • Write well! The postings must correspond both as form and as substance to the expectations of the readers. Usually the insertion of diacritical signs and the observance of the basic grammar rules give safety to the reader. • Post with a purpose having the reader in mind! Not many times, the bloggers “forget” about the online community and focus on their own person. The invitation to reading, the advertising of URL also implies the detailed presentation of the reasons for which the readers should go through the articles from the blog. • Be yourself! One of the obligations of the blogger is to consistently respect his own rules in the act of creation. The norms are usually self-imposed and, in conclusion, they can vary. • Attach a comment policy! The author can reserve himself the right not to publish the comments that have in their content aggressiveness (of any kind), vulgar language, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, offence, slander, bad humour, spamming. Suggestions for the evaluation of a blog. • Themes. The authors that post on the blog have to be consistent in the publication of articles dedicated to the local community. Although the creativity in the tackling of subjects is one of the major advantages of blogging, priority will be given to the themes relevant to the online community of readers created for this purpose. • Quality of information. The informational content of the blog must correspond to the expectations of the readers. In the absence of a professional qualification in the field, the students will have the option of objective reflection of posted information, which will offer credibility to their journalistic approach. • Regularity of postings. The postings will have a certain constancy represented by either the number of the date of publication of the postings. The online community will know exactly the dynamics of the blog. • Form of presentation of postings. The use of diacritical signs, the ad litteram observance of grammar rules, etc. in the postings became a subject of dispute in the community of bloggers. • Aspect of blog. The introduction of audio-video materials by pre-set/imported gadgets is a basic condition in catching the reader’s attention. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Brielmaier, Peter, Wolf, Eberhard, Ghid de tehnoredactare, Iaşi, 1999. Coman, Mihai, Manual de jurnalism. Tehnici fundamentale de redactare, Iaşi, 1997. Manolescu, Marin, Evaluarea, un contract pedagogic, Bucureşti, 2002. ONLINE RESOURCES: http://www.ictineducation.org http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog http://www.polirom.ro/catalog/carte/jurnalistul-universal-ghid-practic-pentru-presa-scrisaeditiaa-ii-a-revazuta-si-adaugit-2498/


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education http://www.tritonic.ro/isbn-Manual_de_Jurnalism_vol_I_editia_2-973-8497-17-5.htm http://www.tritonic.ro/isbn-Manual_de_Jurnalism_vol_II-973-8497-96-5.htm http://www.polirom.ro/catalog/carte/jurnalismul-cultural-si-de-opinie-2369/ http://doinarusti.ro/jurnalism.htm

CDŞ ARGUMENT: WHY (ANOTHER) OPTIONAL C.D.Ş? Teacher Mariana Bosneac, Colegiul Naţional Bănăţean, Timişoara • Because it is necessary, from the perspective of all those involved:  For students – they acquire competences for life – oral and written communication, active democratic citizenship, research and web design; by articles they become agents of change in the school and in the community;  For the school – an optional cross-disciplinary tool that valorizes information and techniques from all curricular areas and by posting on the Internet, it gives visibility and prestige to the school;  For the coordinating teacher – he keeps up with the team and with the events from the community; he collaborates with the teachers from other curricular areas; he develops personally and professionally;  For the community – it encourages the involvement of students in projects and problems of the community and of the community in the school life; • Because it is possible – in the context of democratization of the school and strengthening the autonomy of the educational unit, it is expected to increase the weight of C.D.Ş., meant to differentiate the specificity of the educational offer of each school; • Because it valorizes the experience of a successful project – “High School Reporter” of Soros Foundation gathered at start almost 200 schools from different environments and specializations, which speaks for itself about the interest of schools in this type of activity; the experience of selected teams is an argument for the continuation of activities and the extension of the project; • Because it is attractive – it is carried out in school, but also outside of the school; the students learn and apply immediately what they learned in creative contexts – they have the clear proof that the school prepares them for real life; the students are the independent users of the “tools” and methods acquired through the optional course; the students interact with prominent members of the local community and practice “live” the democratic rights to information, opinion and petition; If I were an English/German/French language teacher, I would choose this optional course because I would like my students:  To practice correct and expressive writing in English, without the usual sighs related to “again essay, again we have to write..” and without the “inspiration from the net or from the classmate’s notebook” If I were a Romanian language and literature teacher, I would choose this optional course because I would like my students:  To express themselves correctly, fluently and expressively in Romanian;


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education  To effectively communicate in different situations of communication and adjusting their speeches to the official/casual register;  To read and write a review with pleasure, without feeling himself forced to plagiarize two or three critics;  To write the chronicle of an event with critical sense, without stereotype praises and template expressions. If I taught about man and society, I would choose this optional course because I would like my students:  To be citizens, not talk about democratic citizenship;  To get involved, to debate, to be interested in the social sphere. If I taught arts, I would choose this optional course because I would like my students:  To be concerned about good taste in everything they do;  To critically analyze the external manifestations and penalize vulgarity and kitch;  To participate in artistic events and to report himself critically and argumentatively to them. If I taught informatics, I would choose this optional course because I would like my students:  To have practical competences in web design and research on the Internet, which they need as much as different programming languages in life;  To know how to creatively apply what they learn. If I were a simple teacher that proposes this optional course, I would start from all the competences above and I would work with all the colleagues interested to see them in real life. CIVIC JOURNALISM Teacher Maria Sturzu, Liceul Teoretic Márton Áron, Miercurea Ciuc The idea that Civic journalism in high school students can take the form of an optional course proposed for CDŞ came after the discussions we had with all the team members of High School Reporter project in the work camp of Sinaia in July 2010 – action organized by Soros Foundation. Among many other interesting approaches that came to the mind of teachers that participated in this project was to give each educational unit the free choice to decide themselves if the stimulation of the involvement of high school students in terminal years in the community life, by using the methods of journalism and the multiple opportunities offered by the internet (with emphasis on WEB 2.0 technologies), as well as the use of an educational package at different classes from the high school curricula – is beneficial or not. As I said in the beginning of deployment of this wonderful project – called this way by one of the team members of MAG ONLINE, http://miercurea-ciuc.reporterdeliceu.ro/, you are what you communicate! You communicate yourself every time you have to say something, do something or not do something. It is our modus vivendi. What expectations we can have as a teacher, student, parent from such a project that became optional and proposed for study in the educational program of a current educational institution? What else if not the creation of another possibility, maybe more complex than others, communication or another pretext to express yourself – for the students that would like to approach this optional course and study it. An attempt of them to give voice to thoughts they cannot say somewhere else, a reflection of their own self with good and bad, but it is theirs, and they are our teenagers! And who else should represent us in the future if not them? We “sculpt” them every day – actually we only want to show them life, to teach them to discover their spirit and help themselves by their own words to make themselves listened to. By any way, either


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education on blogs or on messenger, or in high and dusty classrooms of so many generations of students. I have always got my students used to communicate without fear, without the fear that they do not express themselves correctly, that they do not have a very developed vocabulary, I have always told them that the mistake that slips away today can lead them next time to success, so they will remember that the second time they will be more confident in themselves. They are part of the teachers that use with the students various forms of WEB 2.0 technologies of today; I am not asked for a limitation as some may think, if you know where the measure is. As benefits of such a project, but also future optional course to be taught in high school, first of all I see the involvement of the youth, the involvement in the life of the community around them, because giving them what to think of we can banish the bad things that can come their way. From the very beginning this optional course should be considered as a huge opportunity given to the students to find a vocation, to manage to know real life themselves, the society they are part of, but where their opinion is not always asked for! All of a sudden their life as high school students will become more complex, and this type of optional course can be a support for discovering themselves as they are: beautiful, young, bold, free and sometimes naïve, although they do not like to admit it. And absolutely everything has a single key, the communication skill. The most important skill that they need to gain or the skill they should have access to, for any young person to assimilate – is to be able to communicate in as many languages as possible, with as many representatives from different segments of society, on different themes of discussion – without being complexed or inhibited. The double nature, the interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary nature of this optional course is relatively easy to observe. And its teaching can offer achievements and inexhaustible surprises for a high number of objects taught in school. It would be more useful to have a systematic collaboration between several teachers in order to create this optional course (Romanian, mother tongue where necessary, informatics, foreign languages, history, etc.) – collaboration that in the high school where I teach is permanent even from the time of deployment of the project and not accidentally, but because it was necessary. Moreover, the product, blog or online newspaper will be a pertinent and complex image of the educational unit that anyone – student, parent, teacher, simple member of the community, etc. can access anytime and from anywhere. All the competences that this optional course develops, from written expression, of interaction with the whole community, to the creation of an online newspaper page – are in close correlation with the current life system, with its functional specificity. In order to give viability to this proposal, to look at civic journalism in high school students as an optional educational course, we invite the interested reader to make himself an opinion about a form of CDŞ realized, proposed for approval and presented below by the Management Board of Márton Áron Theoretical High School from Miercurea Ciuc, in which we emphasize the improvement of the act of communication in students. Analysis of the Commission for Curriculum from the Márton Áron Theoretical High School, Miercurea-Ciuc regarding the opportunity of introduction of new activities and/or new optional subjects starting from the school year 2011/2012 The Commission for Curriculum analyzed two proposals of potential optional subjects for the future school year: • to discover together what is behind the news, course developed by Active Watch- Press Monitoring Agency. • civic journalism derived from the “High School Reporter” project promoted by Soros Foundation Romania. . The Commission for Curriculum debated the materials received (announcement of presentation, description of educational packages, evaluation of coordinator of the High School Reporter Project) and formulated the following conclusions and recommendations:


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education 1) Both optional subjects in discussion have an integrative, interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary character, as they can interest especially the teachers that teach subjects belonging to curricular areas Language and communication and Man and Society. 2) By the forecast content and methodology, these optional classes can substantially contribute to the development of the following key competences: communication in mother tongue, in Romanian language – in the units that teach in the languages of national minorities – in the modern languages of international circulation; social, civic and entrepreneurial competences. 3) The objectives of these subjects are compatible and complementary to the school subjects from the common core of the framework plans in force, such as: - development of critical thinking, definition and formulation of current social problems at local, national and global level; - practicing the capacity of analysis and debate and argumentation, based on themes specific to civic journalism; - creation activities: elaboration of a piece of news, of an article or even of a virtual or traditional log; - the promotion of the attitude of active citizen, of direct participation in the life events, engagement in social processes and initiatives. 4) The learning techniques identified in the two optional courses are modern, effective and attractive: learning by discovery, problem resolution, experiential learning, placing first the model of learning by cooperation, as the students can work both individually and in pairs or small groups. In conclusion, the Commission for Curriculum recommends the Board of Directors of Márton Áron Theoretical High School from Miercurea-Ciuc to include these optional subjects in the school offer in CDŞ (Curriculum to the Decision of the School), in the classes with specialty humanities and social sciences, at the level of the third and fourth years of study, with a duration of a semester for the subject Let us discover together what is behind the news and at least two semesters for the course Civic journalism correlated with the High School Reporter Project. Miercurea Ciuc,

Director,

October 2010

Varga László Márton Áron Theoretical High School

An ultimate reason, but not the last one, which should make you think, I found it in the following lines and I think it is best to be known by also other colleagues in the country: (...) the intention of the reform that lies at the basis of creation of CDŞ was to assert the freedom and possibility of the teacher to adapt the projection of learning experiences offered in school to the psycho-behavioral characteristics of students, to the needs and interests manifested by them and at school progress level...5.

5

Professor Carmen Creţu PhD., Şcoala la răscruce, Schimbare şi continuitate în curriculum (School at crossroads, Change and continuity in curriculum), Studiu de impact (Impact Study), 2003, Polirom, Iaşi.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

CONCLUSIONS If what you read in this guideline did not convince you that civic journalism could and should be implemented in schools, here are the conclusions of this guideline as summary. Journalism is a usual practice in schools, in most schools you can find a school magazine coordinated by a few teachers and to which all the students have access. Our proposal is different. Why not take advantage of this practice of school journalism in order to develop civic journalism. What would be the difference? The difference would be first of all the adaptation to the age of participants. The proposal is first of all for the high school students, taking into consideration the need of developing their civic spirit. Where from this need for development of the civic spirit? From the realities we see around us, starting first from the relationship the youth have with the authorities and last but not least from the proposal that school curriculum offers as far as civic education is concerned. We can see thus a more and more defective information about the rights and responsibilities that citizens have in a democratic society. The teenagers, who became citizens with voting right, do not know their rights and duties as future citizens, do not know how to act legally when their interests or rights are in jeopardy. By extending a little the area of reference, we can see that the elders do not always exert their right to free information or the right to make a petition. The role of the school is to improve the situation of teenagers, situation that has its origin to a certain extent in the way the framework plan is conceived. The classes that have civic education are included in the gymnasium and civic education should be done in high school only exceptionally (with the aid of optional courses or by references to other subjects from the curricular area man and society). The result is that the students have deficiencies in the chapter of civic culture. Civic journalism represents an attractive solution in order to remedy this situation. It could be seen that the teams that participated in the pilot project were very different. Different both under the aspect of geographical localization and under the aspect of quality of human resources. On the other hand, the eight towns from which were chosen the high schools that participated in the project cover almost all the geographical regions: West – Timişoara, South-West – Craiova, South-East – Ţăndărei, East – Roman, North – Bistriţa, center – Miercurea Ciuc, Alba Iulia and Caransebeş. On the other hand, the high schools can be divided in two categories depending on the title they have: colleges or school groups (Colegiul Naţional „Andrei Mureşeanu” Bistriţa, Colegiul Economic „D.P. Martian” Alba-Iulia , Liceul Teoretic Marton Aron MiercureaCiuc, Colegiul National „Roman-Voda” Roman, Colegiul National “Bănăţeanul” Timişoara; Grupul Şcolar „Traian Vuia” Craiova, Grupul Şcolar Agricol Ţăndărei, Grupul Şcolar Forestier Caransebeş). We must mention that each of them has something unique: the team from Miercurea Ciuc is made of Hungarian students who accepted the challenge to write a newspaper in Romanian; the team from Alba Iulia has the nucleus of youth that belong to a youth organization, but they learn in college; the team from Caransebeş is made of students belonging to a school group, students from the rural environment, with a poor involvement in vast projects; the college of Roman and Timişoara are prestigious high schools in the areas they come from; the school group from Craiova is developed and has theoretical profile; the team from Ţăndărei is mainly made of students that come from the rural environment, among whom there are children from underprivileged social categories (beneficiaries of “High School Money” Program or victims in the migration process). The fact that such various teams could implement the idea proposed by Soros Foundation Romania shows that regardless of the environment or students, civic journalism can be used in the education of students. The resources of any community are unlimited from this point of view, and the previously mentioned case studies show possibilities of exploration and starting ideas in the


High School Reporter ď‚— Journalism and civic education implementation of civic journalism. Actually, the role of case studies was to prove that regardless of community, themes such as recycling, migration, activity of non-governmental organizations or regional MPs, the meetings of Local Councils or grant law could be approached. Of course, the diversity of participating teams also implied a diversity of the obtained results. First of all, we can make an inventory of gains in the sphere of competences that in the current context, the Romanian education system aims to develop. The European Commission for education made the Framework of key competence, a document in which is described a “European formation profileâ€? that proposes as recommendation title the new basic competences necessary to all the persons in order to meet the requirements of the society and knowledge-based economy and to facilitate their access after school to learning for the whole lifespan. These key-competences, which aim at compulsory schooling are: communication in mother tongue, communication in modern languages, competences in the field of information technology and communication, competences in mathematics, sciences and technologies, entrepreneurial education, civic competences and interpersonal relation skills, to learn to learn/ongoing education, cultural opening/Cultural awareness). Among these, a high number can be developed through civic journalism: communication in modern tongue, digital competence, civic competences and interpersonal communication, ongoing education and cultural awareness. The communication in mother tongue is developed especially in editing by the fact that the students practice writing in a less artificial context than the context offered by Romanian language and literature classes, a context closer to experience. The development of competence in written communication is very important, knowing that this competence is formed with more difficulty than the oral communication skill. Of course, the latter is not to be ignored, taking into account that the students have to interact with various persons in different contexts, from the familiar ones to the official ones (in the project they had a series of meetings in the style of round tables that were moderated by students). Even the journalistic activities (interview, realization of vox populi feature reports implied the verbal interaction between the students and their sources. Digital competence was developed through Wordpress work platform on which the blogs/newspapers were created. In the beginning of the project, we could see that there were deficiencies concerning the correct computer skill at a level of elementary knowledge (especially for the youth used to the new technology). To the surprise of the coordinating teachers, some students did not know how to exploit Microsoft Word program at maximum. This small deficiency was remedied, while the students were getting familiar to the platform used in writing blogs. The civic and interpersonal skill was the stake of the project itself. First of all, the environment in which the students worked was made of persons close as age, and the teams were made of school mates from the same year of study. The interaction was the base of activities, starting from the editorial meetings, and the students developed their team work skills. Beyond this space, let us say familiar, the interaction with the local authorities was important, interaction that had as result the formation or discovery of useful social skills. Depending on the town and the team members, they managed to influence the local public policies through various methods of public participation, which was important for the personal development of the students. It is important that the students got to know better the communities they are part of, they should understand that the social and political mechanisms that lie behind what was to them only an appearance until the beginning of the project: the city life. And the most important thing is that the students learn that their role in society is an active role, which turns them into true citizens of a democratic society. This skill can be correlated to the skill of development of the cultural awareness. The community, especially in cities also implied cultural life. The students took its pulse and made news or feature reports starting from the cultural events that took place in their towns. Where the cultural life of the city was poor, they could make book reviews or presentations of films that show that the cultural life of the city is not limited to the activities carried out in the community, but can be extended to the preoccupations of its members.


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education In the end, the activities from the project, in overview, implied opportunities for the personal development of the students, which was the base for ongoing learning. The school develops with difficulty these skills in the formal framework available. In a relatively short time (April – December), the evolution of the students was considerable. A final question of the reader of this guideline is obvious: The other teachers had the support of a foundation, needed the help of mentors, how can I cope? And at that moment the thought of renouncement appears. That is why I thought of a few possibilities by which civic journalism could be implemented: as a chapter in a taught subject, in the counseling and orientation classes, as subject from the curriculum at school decision, as a circle or a club organized as extracurricular activity or through a youth organization. The examples proposed show that the project can be integrated under various forms, in the educational activity both in the formal framework implied by the school and the non-formal framework implied by extracurricular activities or non-governmental organizations. Actually, journalism in school implies an already implemented practice. The novelty of civic journalism is given by the focus of journalistic activities on what the community offers. We obtain thus a professionalism of the school journalism by the fact that the proposed activities resemble more to the activities of professional journalists: the interaction with the members of the community, whoever they are; the search for subjects in the day-to-day reality, etc. Therefore, the purpose of this guideline was to show that civic journalism is recommended as a form of education either in formal framework or in a non-formal framework. By this kind of journalism they promote the image of the school in the community of which they are a part. The students are seen in the community, their activity becomes known outside of school, the orientation towards the exterior is obvious. Alexandra – Mihaela David


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. General Works: Coman, Mihai, (coordinator), Manual de jurnalism. Tehnici fundamentale de redactare, Polirom Publishing House, Iaşi, 1997 Gardner, Howard, Inteligenţe multiple. Noi orizonturi, Sigma Publishing House, Bucharest, 2006. Gross, Peter, Culegerea şi redactarea ştirilor, “Editura de Vest” Publishing House, Timişoara, 1993. Lauterer, Jock, Ziarul local. Cum să scrii pentru publicaţia unei comunităţi, Polirom Publishing House, Iaşi, 2010. Nedelcu, Anca, Ciolan, Lucian (coordinators), Şcoala aşa cum este, Vanemonde Publishing House, Bucharest, 2010. Portelli, J., Solomon, P., The erosion of democracy in education: from critique to possibilities, Calgary: Detselig Enterprises Ltd., 2001. Rădulescu, Eleonora, Tîrcă, Anca, Şcoală şi comunitate, Humanitas Educaţional Publishing House, Bucharest, 2002. Sandu, Gabriela, Manual de fotojurnalism, Tritonic Publishing House, Bucharest, 2005. Vidal-Naquet, Pierre, Vânătorul negru, Eminescu Publishing House, Bucharest, 1985. 2. Internet Sources: http://europe.ifj.org/assets/docs/093/203/5754d5d-d7fa5cb.pdf http://jurnalista.wordpress.com/2007/07/01/cateva-lucruri-ignorate-in-jurnalismul-dinromania/ http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurnalism http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurnalist http://www.businessmagazin.ro/media-marketing/jurnalism-2-0-1009681 http://www.cyberculture.ro/blog/2009/05/13/jurnalism-online-vs-jurnalism-cetatenescworkshop-lacji/ http://www.dilemaveche.ro/sectiune/stiinta-si-tehnologie/articol/jurnalismul-de-tiin http://www.ghidjurnalism.ro/care-i-treaba-cu-jurnalismul-cetatenesc http://www.ghidjurnalism.ro/category/etica-si-deontologia-mass-media http://www.ghidjurnalism.ro/category/genurile-presei-scrise http://www.ghidjurnalism.ro/category/greseli-in-jurnalism http://www.ghidjurnalism.ro/category/online-journalism http://www.ghidjurnalism.ro/category/sistemul-mass-media http://www.ghidjurnalism.ro/category/tehnici-de-colectare-a-informatiilor http://www.ghidjurnalism.ro/category/tehnici-de-redactare http://www.ghidjurnalism.ro/category/evaluarea-stirilor-gatekeeping http://www.gheoland.ro/jurnalismul-care-este/ http://www.jurnalismonline.ro/. http://www.mcgillreport.org/largemouth.htm http://www.reportervirtual.ro/ http://www.slideshare.net/maddish/jurnalism-20


High School Reporter  Journalism and civic education

Editura „Dobrogea” Trustul de Presă „Cuget Liber” Constanţa, I.C. Brătianu nr. 5, cod 900711 Tel: 0241/582.130; Fax: 0241/619.524 ————————————————————Bun de tipar: decembrie 2010 Apărut: decembrie 2010 Format: 16 / 23 cm Coli tipar: 15

High School Reporter  

The “High School Reporter. Journalism and civic education” guide was born from the ten- month work experience of the pilot project with the...

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