Social Media Journalists Headstart, A New Direction

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The Social Media Journalists (SMJs) were 10 East Londoners, aged 15 – 25, who received training from Fran using social media to report on London in anticipation for the Olympics in 2012.

The SMJs worked with media professionals from leading arts and media organizations including The Guardian, The Create Festival, The BBC and Somethin’ Else. They gained insight and experience, as well as the opportunity to get their voices heard on a variety of platforms.

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Fran has been working with many of the group since winter 2010 when they visited Vancouver, and used social media to document the Winter Paralympic Games from a young person’s perspective.

The Headstart programme

Shoreditch Festival 2011

In 2011, A New Direction in partnership with Shoreditch Festival, commissioned the Social Media Journalists to create podcasts for the Shoreditch Festival website.

Their brief was to create podcasts from the perspective of young people in the Shoreditch area and more broadly how it linked to London 2012 and the Olympic Park where both the Canal and the Festival are located close to.

Bearing in mind the Festival watchwords of ‘Community, Participation and Celebration’ the SMJ’s set off along the canal with a few audio flash recorders.

 As a result, three pieces podcasts were created:

 Canal Life

Jake, Miranda and Joe worked with Somethin’ Else producer Amy Racs – to paint an audio picture of life along The Regent’s Canal.

They went along the canal and met joggers and boat owners, canoeists and cyclists, passers-by and children, wildlife, things found in the canal and collected an audio box of delights for your aural delectation.

The Jogger’s Journey

Bianca, Claudia and Kimberley worked with Somethin’ Else producer Will Gillgrass.

To fit in with the spoken word workshop run by Kat Francois from Apples and Snakes which will be happening as part of the ST festival on Sunday 17th July, Bianca wrote a piece – responding to what she saw and heard on the canal and Claudia and Kimberley voiced it.

They collected the audio you hear underneath the poem along the canal, which compliments it beautifully.

My Olympics

By Nathan Hanson

Investigative thought and interview piece written, researched and narrated by Nathan Hanson with ambient music chosen by Kaspian. They worked with Somethin’ Else producer Ed Halifax to put this together.

Nathan is an amateur athlete – aged 16 who runs 100 meters in just over 11 seconds and trains at Mile End Athletics Stadium – Hear his thoughts about the Olympics coming to his neighbourhood and hear from some fellow athletes and aspiring Olympians at his local track.

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