Universiteit Leiden

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Student perspective on the local area

It is multi-media month for master’s students in Journalism and New Media. This means they are on the streets, armed with pen and paper or tablet, smart phone and camera. In the ‘Leiden Neighbourhoods’ project, master’s students are giving their perspective on local area news for the Leidsch Dagblad, newspaper and online.

At the heart of the action

Newsroom with Gerline van de Giessen and Willemijn Sneep. Photo: Joost van Zoest
Newsroom with Gerline van de Giessen and Willemijn Sneep. Photo: Joost van Zoest

Since 7 January, approximately 35 master’s students in Journalism and New Media have made themselves available to the Leidsch Dagblad full-time. The newspaper and the University have in the past collaborated in reporting on the Glass House/Serious Request. Lecturer Sebastiaan van der Lubben likes his students to learn from practice. Which is what they can now to do their hearts’ content in the ‘Leiden Neighbourhoods’ multi-media project, with their own topics but also with assignments from the editorial team. In this way, the students are filling a gap, because the Leidsch Dagblad no longer has any neighbourhood reporters. Last but not least the project 'Leiden Neighbourhoods’ fits in with the American trend towards greater attention for local journalism. And no, neighbourhood news is not all about fire departments and cats stuck in trees. It is about being at the heart of the action.


In the newsroom, small groups of students of Journalism and New Media are operating per neighbourhood. There are three students involved with the Merenwijk, while two other students are on location with a women’s choir. Gerline van der Giessen is working in the newsroom on a solid plan for her interviews with the clients of ‘Raad en Daad’, a financial advice agency that will no longer be subsidised in 2014. Just a topic from the longlist on the basis of an interview with social organisations in the Merenwijk. Joost van Zoest is scrutinizing the ban on breeding of the petting farm. ‘It turns out that the Partij voor de Dieren (Party for Animals) is mostly concerned with raising awareness, because at the end of the season those cute piglets are all going to the slaughterhouse.’ Willemijn Sneep has chosen for a fitness group of white and a fitness group of coloured women meeting to train together. She is already thinking ahead about her article: ‘Maybe integration through fitness?’

(8 January 2013 - MvG)


Leiden neighbourhoods

Merenwijk | Leiden-Noord | Centrum | Bio Science Park | Stevenshof | Professoren- en Burgemeesterswijk

LEIDEN – The petting farm in the Merenwijk will have to stop breeding animals. It can flourish even without the yearly birth of young animals.
This is the opinion of Dick de Vos from the Partij voor de Dieren (Party for Animals). According to De Vos the animals ‘disappear’ as they grow up. ‘This is due to the fact that there is no room for them and in Spring, people once again want t see young animals. Some of the animals can go to another petting farm. You can guess where the rest of them end up: at the butcher’s. The educational function of the petting farm can also be achieved with adult animals.’  

(article in Dutch:  'Ban on breeding at Merenwijk petting farm' in Leidsch Dagblad)

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