Thursday, 11 August 2011

The End

Our journalism program had sadly ended. It was a wonderful experience and journey. I really enjoyed myself, and I know my fellow peers did too. On Wednesday, August 10th, we had our awards ceremony where we got recognized for our hard work. However, I think more than us, Ms. Mariya derseves to be thanked and recognized for her time, effort and commitment with us. Without her, this summer and our school newspaper would not have been possible. On Wednesday, our newspaper, The Imtiazian, was distributed to family and friends. It looks great! We are really impressed and proud to have published the first newspaper of Al-Imtiaz Academy.

 And we are eager to continue these efforts in the future. I am grateful to Ms. Mariya and Ms. Kathryn Wesserman Davis for allowing us all this invaluable opportunity. Farewell, teacher! Take care - we'll miss you!!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Reaching the end

My name is Shahbaz and I am the managing editor of the boys newsroom. In mid-July, after our Dawn field trip, we began writing articles for our newspaper, the first student publication of the Al-Imtiaz Academy. Our first task was to decide the name of our paper. In order to be fair, Ms. Mariya asked everyone to come up with at least three ideas after which we voted on the top five. The girls did the same and the names were then exchanged for another vote. Among the top choices were: The AIA Crescent, The AIA Exclusive, Al-Imtiaz Academy News, The Aimers, and The Al-Imtiazian.

In the end, The Al-Imtiazian won.

Writing articles was challenging because we had to apply everything we had learned. We had to interview to obtain information. We researched background information on the Web. We had to make sure we were accurate. We had to verify our facts and double check the spellings of people’s names. We had to be careful we didn’t misquote anyone. And we had to write interesting ledes. We had two weeks to do this before layout—which is this week.

Our biggest challenge, however, was dealing with power outages. When the electricity would go out, sometimes our unsaved data would be lost. Our valuable class time was also wasted because there was little to do without computers. Still, Ms. Mariya entertained us and made use of every minute. We played games, wrote headlines for our articles, took pictures we would need for the newspaper, or discussed announcements.

During the trivia games, there was a lot of competition between the two teams: Rising Stars and Abbot Lions (my team). Yesterday, the Rising Stars beat us by a few points. Our two class photographers enjoy taking pictures of the entire class, which is fun. The editor in chief, Yousaf, and I always make sure the boys are doing their assigned task. The journalism program is about to end, and we are so close to the finish line. We are almost there!

By Shahbaz Saleem

Final Stretch

My name is Shahab Adnan. Last summer, I attended Ms. Mariya’s English classes on figurative language and blogging. This summer I was selected again to participate in Ms. Mariya’s journalism program. I am very lucky to have this opportunity. Before these classes, I didn’t know what journalism was, why is it important, and how to produce a newspaper. After five weeks of lessons, I now have a better idea of all those things. For example, I did not know the proper rules for writing different types of articles such as news, opinions, features, and sports.

My favorite part of the program was the field trip to Dawn office in Islamabad. I learned many things there such as how newspapers are printed with a big Harris machine. There are a lot of steps involved in printing a newspaper including layout, intense editing, and proper machine handling. We also learned other things such as how news are gathered at Dawn, what software they use to print their daily newspaper, and all four bureaus work together. Did you know that one roll of newsprint paper can produce 20,000 copies of a newspaper? These rolls are imported from Russia and cost Rs. 45,000 each. What surprised me the most is that Dawn has never had to print a correction for misreporting—what a reliable and credible newspaper!

This week and next week, we are busy finishing up our articles and editing each other’s work. This is our final stretch and layout is the only thing left for us to do. It is very stressful for us because we do not know how to use Microsoft Publisher, the program we will be using to produce our newspaper. I am Opinions Editor and I have four pages to layout. Yikes! I think Ms. Mariya is more stressed than us because she has to edit everyone’s articles and check all the pages by Friday. We do not have enough time but insAllah we will complete our mission. After all, we’ve worked too hard not to.

By Shahab Adnan