CHILDREN are naturally curious, making them suitable to taking on the role of a journalist. After all, journalists are required to ask interesting and difficult questions every time they do interviews.
Shanghai Daily has teamed up with JJ Tree House, a private education provider, to teach eight cub reporters, aged 7 to 12, the basics of journalism over two days. The course includes everything from site tours and interviews to doing research and finishing the article.
First up was a visit to Shanghai Daily’s newsroom, a hive of creativity and big ideas. Once they understood the basics of how the newsroom works, the cub reporters were taken out into the city to do interviews.
The first stop was Shanghai Shenmei Food and Beverage Co Ltd, a local producer of Coca-Cola beverages in the Pudong New Area. At the Coca-Cola Happiness Factory, the group was given a tour of modern production lines for both canned and bottled beverages. They also got to see how production lines have changed over the years.
Our intrepid reporters showed a great deal of enthusiasm during the tour. During the question and answer session, one youngster asked, “How many kinds of Coca-Cola beverages do you produce?” Another wanted to know “What is the daily production volume?” Someone chimed in “Why is coke so sweet?”
Judie Zhu, who works at Coca-Cola’s department of reputation management and public affairs, said it was an eye-opening experience for her as well as the kids.
“I can see their eyes light up,” she said. “It is really interesting to be interviewed by children. They are really professional.”
Next stop was Shanghai Animation Film Studio, where the cub reporters learned how an animation film is made. They also visited some animators who create the characters for famous cartoons like “Captain Black Cat.” Best of all, the animators gave them a helping hand as they tried to draw the characters themselves.
Once it came time to ask questions, again the cub reporters wasted no time with their queries. “What are your favorite animated films?” asked one youngster. Another piped up with “How long does it take to make a 10-minute film?” And on it went.
The final stop proved popular at an Iceason’s People’s Square branch. With help from Iceason staff, our cub reporters couldn’t wait to scoop out their own ice cream. They were given free rein to make their own creations and select the toppings. One reporter called his concoction “Snowy Mountain” while another opted for “Summer Paradise.” After eating, the kids learned about the different ingredients used to make ice cream and where Iceason imports them from. Staff members asked the reporters to think of some new flavor ideas and they didn’t disappoint when they suggested both lavender and chili-flavored ice cream.
Coca-Cola Happiness Factory
Address: 539 Guiqiao Rd, Pudong Tel: 6104-5648 The factory welcomes kids and families for free tours — available for groups of more than 25 people. Reservations are required.