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Young reporters get their story
By Wang Yanlin

BEING a reporter is many children’s dream because reporters ask questions of interesting people — and children usually have plenty of questions to ask.

The Student Reporter Training Camp, organized by Shanghai Daily, made it possible for kids to get a taste of a reporter’s life this summer.

There were sessions on how to become a journalist and how an English newspaper is produced. Then the students were taken out to do real interviews.

IKEA’s Beicai store was the first stop for these young reporters last month.

Located in the Pudong New Area, the Beicai store is one of 13 IKEA outlets in China. IKEA officials said that as a global home furnishing company, its vision is to create a better everyday life for people.

Very soon, the cub reporters found a news angle — IKEA’s efforts in the area of environmental protection.

The young reporters were taken to the store’s rooftop, which is usually closed to visitors, by Zhang Jianan, a quality control specialist at the outlet.

The reporters were surprised to see so many solar panels — altogether 104 — spread out on the store’s roof.

Questions poured from the students’ minds: “What are these for?” “Why there are so many of them?” “Do they work well?”

Zhang said the solar panels are part of the store’s system to generate electricity and hot water, a green solution to reduce the use of coal-generated electricity that negatively affects the environment.

The next stop was within the store — a demonstration room furnished with IKEA products and full of IKEA’s ideas on environmental protection. The young reporters wondered how they could participate. “Start with your everyday life,” Zhang told them.

For example, it can save quite a lot of energy to turn off electrical appliances at home instead of running them all the time.

The company puts its principles into practice by employing technology that allows it to use smaller chunks of wood for furniture like tables and chairs. Also, IKEA promotes the reuse of plastic bags, and produces creative containers to hold them and make them easy to use.

The store tour ended in a meeting room, where the young reporters asked questions covering a wide range of topics, including the color of the IKEA logo, the welfare of IKEA staff, IKEA’s competition and its future plans.

Vivian Tang, public relations manager of IKEA Shanghai, said she was surprised at the quality of the questions from the young reporters, even though it was not the first time she had hosted young visitors.

“They are professional,” Tang said with a smile.

The training that taught young reporters to ask questions in a straightforward manner and in simple language — and in English — was paying off.

The second destination was Shanghai Shenmei Food and Beverage Co Ltd, the local producer of Coca-Cola soft drinks.

Our young reporters visited the Coca-Cola museum, which gave the history of the popular beverage, and they witnessed how each Coke came together on the production line.

William Deng, director of marketing at Shanghai Shenmei, said it was interesting to be interviewed by children, who were really serious about asking questions and getting complete answers.

It was a memorable day for the young reporters, who also visited the Shanghai Call Center and the newsroom of Shanghai Daily, just as it was a memorable one for the people who were the subjects of their interviews.

Be a cub reporter at Shanghai Daily

Shanghai Daily student reporter training camp makes children’s dreams of being a reporter come true. Children aged 7 to 16 are welcomed to sign up. It shows how to become a journalist and how an English-language newspaper is produced.

Students will take a professional essay-writing class and learn joyful speaking of American English. There will be great opportunities to do real interviews with big names and visit top companies of the world. You will write articles for Shanghai Daily with a cool byline.

Sign up now and you will get four free chances to experience the journalist life.

Address: 18F, 755 Weihai Rd

Tel: 5292-0762, 5292-1116

Call or scan the QR code to sign up.

Customer Service: (86-21) 52920164