Press Pass Student Journalism and News Literacy Programme

Press Pass Student Journalism and News Literacy Programme

Press Pass is designed specifically to enable students and teachers alike to learn all about newspapers and the writing, analysis, preparation and photography that’s involved in putting one together.

Students become familiar with the five language types which form the basis of study for Leaving Certificate English paper one in a very practical way; the languages of Information, Argument, Narration, Persuasion as well as the Aesthetic Use of Language.
Press Pass also introduces students to a variety of texts – among them interviews, news reports, feature articles, sports commentary etc. By reading these texts students will become alert to different language registers and styles and will gain an awareness of language in context.

Press Pass also provides students with an opportunity to focus on current issues, current affairs, current trends – which can lead to interesting debates in the classroom.

Feedback from teachers suggests that Press Pass motivates students to become more critical of the material they read, and, consequently, become more critically aware of their own writing style.

Each TY class is participating again for 2018/19!

On 26 March 2019 the shortlist was announced for this year’s NewsBrands Ireland annual Press Pass student journalism awards.

This year, over 10,000 Transition Year students participated in the Press Pass programme, which develops news literacy and critical thinking skills while helping students to develop a deeper understanding of news media and how it communicates about the world around them.

The highly popular competition element of the programme drew hundreds of entries from across the country with students entering original pieces across five categories: News, Opinion, Features, Sport, and Photojournalism.

The entries were judged by a panel of journalists from NewsBrands Ireland’s members, who had the difficult task of whittling the entries down to a shortlist of 16.

The shortlisted students along with their family, teachers, and friends will be invited to the awards ceremony in Wood Quay, Dublin on Monday, 8th of April, where prizes will be presented in 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

One student will be presented with the Overall Winner’s prize for excellence in student journalism.

In no particular order, the shortlisted students are:

Radisha Fernando, St Mary’s Secondary School, Macroom, Co. Cork

Alice Larkin, Coláiste Muire, Ennis, Co. Clare

Shane Roche, Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal, Blarney, Co. Cork

Weronika Piasecka, Scoil Dara, Kilcock, Co. Kildare

John Flynn, Coláiste an Chraoibhín, Fermoy, Co. Cork

Jessica Moir, Moville Community College, Co. Donegal

Seamus Ó Loinsigh, Pobailscoil Chorca Dhuibhne , An Daingean, Co. Kerry

Leah Phelan, Coláiste Pobail Osraí, Kilkenny

Sophie Rosenau, Pobalscoil na Tríonóide, Youghal, Co. Cork

Maria Finnegan, Our Lady’s School, Terenure. Dublin 6W

Rebecca Keane, Coláiste Muire, Ennis, Co. Clare

Leah Getkate, Pobailscoil Chorca Dhuibhne , An Daingean, Co. Kerry

Aisling Ní Chonchúir, Pobailscoil Chorca Dhuibhne , An Daingean, Co. Kerry

Chloe Coughlan, Jesus & Mary College, Goatstown, Dublin 14

Matthew Hogan, Pobalscoil na Tríonóide, Youghal, Co. Cork

Ellie Raftery, Mount Sackville, Chapelizod, Dublin 20

Since the Press Pass programme launched six years ago, approximately 90,000 students have benefited from it. Participating schools receive free newspapers, a Teacher’s Lesson Plan, and a specially created workbook free of charge. Students are encouraged to engage with the newspapers in the classroom, to analyse them and then to create their own original journalism, the best of which was entered into a national competition.

Along with encouraging the next generation of journalists through the Student Journalism Awards, the main goal of the Press Pass TY Programme is to help students make informed

judgments about the news they read and share online. It is vital that young people are encouraged to develop their news literacy skills and Press Pass plays a positive role in this respect by providing schools with a free and very practical set of resources.

This year’s judging panel members are:

  • Prof Michael Foley (Chair)
  • Fiachra O’ Cionnaith, Irish Examiner
  • Fiona Gartland, The Irish Times
  • Lauren Kelly, The Irish Sun
  • Kevin Doyle, Independent News & Media
  • Ciara Leahy, Irish Country Living
  • Catherine Fegan, Irish Daily Mail
  • Daragh Keany, Sunday World
  • Kevan Furbank, Irish Daily Mirror
  • Gillian Nellis, The Sunday Business Post
  • Dave O’ Connell, Connacht Tribune
  • Conor Doyle, Irish Daily Star
  • Crispin Rodwell, President, PPAI