Journos get to share their views

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ELI MWAI­JUMBA

Young peo­ple around New Zealand have a new plat­form to ex­press them­selves.

Jour­nal­ist Damian Christie has launched a web­site, urs.net.nz, to give bud­ding re­porters a place to have their voices heard.

The New Wind­sor res­i­dent has worked in me­dia for more than 15 years.

‘‘I thought that there was a gap there and tra­di­tional stu­dent me­dia didn’t cater to peo­ple cre­at­ing video. Th­ese days that’s a large num­ber of peo­ple.

‘‘The way we see the world has changed. We don’t go out to the world and write about it, we go out there and cap­ture it while we’re there.’’

He be­lieves giv­ing young peo­ple a way to share their views gets them ac­tively en­gag­ing with the world.

‘‘Those of us who are lucky enough to have jobs as jour­nal­ists and re­porters take for granted the fact that we im­merse our­selves in parts of so­ci­eties that we would oth­er­wise be com­pletely sep­a­rated from. It’s such a priv­i­lege and I think th­ese days we can ex­tend that priv­i­lege to the wider com­mu­nity.’’

New Zealand Broad­cast­ing School stu­dent Alex Ash­ton agrees.

‘‘You’ve got YouTube, but if you put any­thing on YouTube it sort of gets lost in a sea of ev­ery­one else do­ing sim­i­lar things,’’ the 19-year-old says.

YouTube has 72 hours of video uploaded ev­ery minute.

Mr Ash­ton has ben­e­fited from urs.net.nz.

He won a film com­pe­ti­tion on the site and flew to Hol­ly­wood with Mr Christie to in­ter­view the stars of De­spi­ca­ble Me 2 in­clud­ing Steve Carell and Rus­sell Brand at their pre­miere.

Mr Ash­ton says at first he didn’t be­lieve he had won.

‘‘It’s ob­vi­ously an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in it­self; I have never been to Amer­ica. I was al­ways quite keen to do that – it’s just hap­pen­ing sooner than I thought.’’

Mr Christie is now trav­el­ling around New Zealand help­ing young peo­ple cre­ate me­dia and en­cour­ag­ing them to tell the sto­ries that are im­por­tant to them.

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