Sense of humour and a nose for a story added the winning edge on TES Newspaper Day. Nicolas Barnard reports
A study of stressed-out penguins and a recipe for Upland Goose in Cider gave a particularly local flavour to one winning entry in this year's TES Newspaper Day competition.
It took longer for the young editors of Falklands Focus to collect their awards than to produce the newspaper that won it for them. But Stephen Betts, Daniel Fowler and Robert Burnett of Falkland Islands Community School duly made the 8,000-mile and 17-hour hike to collect first prize in the international section.
The annual competition, which gives schools just one day to produce their own newspaper to strict deadlines, has become a truly international event - among the 450 entries this year were papers from Germany, Sri Lanka and the Middle East.
Schools were sent up-to-the-minute news stories by e-mail and fax by UK news agencies for just four hours on March 14 and given access to newspaper Web sites and photographs and data on disk for surveys and features.
The challenge was to organise themselves into a newsroom and produce a paper featuring international, national, local and school news - complete with advertising - ready to sell to pupils on their way home.
The UK secondary school winner was another off-shore publication - the Ryde High School Correspondent, produced on the Isle of Wight.
Ryde deputy head Peter Elliston, who organises his school's involvement, said he had seen pupils develop from reporters into editors over the years.
Reading School in Berkshire and Whitby Community College in North Yorkshire were joint runners-up in the secondary section.
While many schools splashed with the big international stories of the day - chaos in Albania and the murder of seven Israeli schoolgirls - Broadclyst County Primary in Exeter was lucky enough to have a decent story on its doorstep to lead its Primary Pulse.
The arrival of the information superhighway in the form of an Internet kiosk opened by a Government minister at Broadclyst post office helped scoop the primary section first prize - although the headline, "Forward Thinking Tories", perhaps failed to grasp the national Zeitgeist. Second primary place went to the Royal Kent School in Oxsholt, Surrey.
The winners in all three sections won a choice of an Apple or a Risc PC multimedia personal computer. Runners-up won a Casio digital camera.
All prizes were provided by competition sponsor and computer firm Xemplar Education. The competition is organised by Tees Valley Educational Computing Centre and supported by BT CampusWorld.
The prizes were presented by ITN journalist Dermot Murnaghan in a awards ceremony at the House of Commons hosted by MP John Gunnell.
David Budge, assistant editor of The TES, and a member of the judging panel, said the quality of entries was better each year. "My only reservation was there was a lot of death and destruction in the papers - some had a body count higher than the Rambo films."
He liked the Falklands' team's mix of strong news senseand sense of humour.
The exercise gives pupils a chance to grapple with new technology and real deadlines, to work in a team and, most importantly, to develop good writing.
The children of Winklebury junior school in Basingstoke certainly captured the authentic atmosphere of a newsroom. As 10-year-old chief editor Amy Stringer put it: "I liked bossing everyone around and making them listen to me - that was the best bit of it."
Schools awarded distinctions for TES newspaper Day entries:
Greenway School, Horsham, West Sussex
Holy Trinity C of E Primary School, Fairfield, Stockton
Kingsleigh Junior School, Bournemouth
Christ Church Primary School, Perry Vale, London
Downsview Primary School, Upper Norwood, London
Winklebury Junior School, Basingstoke, Hants
St Gregory's RC Comprehensive School, Tunbridge Wells
The Newlands School FCJ, Middlesbrough
Queen Elizabeth Cambria School, Johnstown, Carmarthen
Portway Community School, Shirehampton, Bristol
Perse School for Girls, Cambridge
Manchester Grammar School, Manchester
Magdalen College School, Brackley, Northants
Longbenton Community College, Newcastle upon Tyne
Bellemoor School, Shirley, Southampton
Conyers School, Yarm, Cleveland
Gordano School, Portishead, Bristol
Gymnasium Ulricianum Aurich, Aurich, Germany