​The Best School Magazine of 2017 Awards, or why not bring extra suitcase next time

For the past two years, our collective school newspapers - The OG Chronicle, OG NOTes and Krognika - have been recognized for top national prizes in the Best School Magazine in the Czech Republic contest. Because there is no alternative at present, we enroll our school newspaper into this "magazine" competition, but this hasn’t prevented us from taking the top positions in many categories. Our newspaper was awared 1st Place in Graphics, 1st Place in the Other Languages category, 2nd place in Content, and 4th Place overall. We couldn’t be prouder of our efforts!

In addition to the award ceremony, the MU Faculty of Social Studies also held a multimedia day with a wide range of thematic workshops and lectures from the most important personalities in media events today. Our student representatives, sexta students Matyáš B. and Darina Lisichkina, under the leadership of Mrs. Pospíšil had the opportunity to attend a workshop and a debate in which the current trends of Czech media were discussed from many viewpoints. Some of the guest speakers spoke about the changing role of the media and as publishers they try to include the viewers themselves in their news.

Another key issue discussed was the way in which media is portrayed nowadays. Does this view offer new viewing angles relevant to a regular viewer? Is not it just about the tactical tendency of the media to get people closer to raising their audience? The media does not lose credibility and does not become a halo of news; instead of popularizing the messages of their misinterpretation due to the biased and uncomplicated views of laymen? These were some of the numerous questions raised in the debate. It gave us a lot to think about regarding the way we treat our newspaper and how we get our news for our classes. The importance of these topics lies in the fact that the media have unreal power and their goal is to inform people. On the one hand, "simplified" news has brought these media companies closer to the events happening in our neighborhoods, but with this comes risks of biased or unbalanced news reporting from local people who may not see issues in their full complexity or how these opinions can greatly influence worldview; therefore, some topics today are losing information relevance. Half of the debate panel argued that the news should be made up of people, reporters and experts who really understand the themes and not those who have very narrow views of the overall issue. We could definitely see both points.

It is significant that the media are undergoing a real revolution and that our school magazine does not remain behind, due to the principle on which it is founded. Students who write in newspapers usually choose only the topics they understand and attempt to inform objectively about their topics. There is also a section dedicated specifically for comments on society and the opinions of the authors. That our newspapers remain in the picture and preserve their objectivity while confirming the thematic diversity amongst other things the medal position in the category of content where these aspects are examined and evaluated.

In addition to appreciating our school newspaper’s valuable content, we received the top prize in the Graphics category for our paper which maintains a playful, yet clever and earnest spirit. On top of that, we were very pleased with the prize for the best foreign language magazine of the year, but it is hard to compete with us as we have a five-lingual newspaper that has something for everyone. Our main competitor in this category was a Latin magazine which also had some interesting content and layout as well, so kudos to them.

And finally, to receive an honor as high as fourth Best School Magazine nationwide (when we really have a newspaper) is a feat in itself. It is a prestigious catalyst for all of us who wish to be involved in our school newspapers and have an interest in journalism.

So our overall impression of the day was very inspirational. We had a chance to see and be inspired by other successful newspapers, and the diverse content of the debates was a reflection for our delegates and confirmed us in the conviction of how volatile the media is and how important it is to maintain objectivity and relevance. What to add? We are looking forward to the next competition!

Matyáš B.