Here is the news, read in Gaelic

20th June 2008 at 01:00
It was a frantic day in the newsroom: five hours to file nine stories, almost from scratch
It was a frantic day in the newsroom: five hours to file nine stories, almost from scratch.

The news team at Plockton High managed exactly that, with a radio bulletin that ran the gamut from investigative journalism to a whimsical tale about the difficulty of walking in high heels. Impressively, each piece was written in crisp prose of which seasoned journalists would be proud, free from spin and jargon.

The efforts of the 10 Gaelic-medium pupils in S1-2 were rewarded when they became the only Scottish school to win a UK-wide award for news presenting. The team, one of 300 taking part in BBC News School Report, was "highly commended" and received its award from Newsround's Adam Fleming in London last month.

Each school put together a bulletin on March 13, but the challenge was even greater for Plockton High - pupils had to produce reports in both Gaelic and English, which they did with the help of Radio nan Gaidheal's James MacDonald.

One piece looked at the state of local roads and how they could best be fixed. It included the only pre-prepared part of their project, an interview with MSP John Farquhar Munro. Another concerned a councillor's complaints that she was unfairly penalised because she wore high heels and could not walk long distances - forcing her to pay exorbitant car-parking charges.

Gaelic teacher Donna MacLeod saw pupils become far more informed about how the media work: "They had no idea of what was involved - I think they thought people were given stuff to read out."

Jennifer Ferguson, 13, was inspired by the process of gathering news, although she found it "hard work" at times to produce English and Gaelic versions simultaneously. "I do want to do something in the TV business now," she said.


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