The “5 W’s” — who, what, where, when and why, plus how — are the language of journalism, no matter what language you speak.
This past Friday, teenagers in a journalism club in the Moldovan town of Călărași answered all five of these questions with flair when I challenged them to write stories and headlines in just a few minutes.
One student described an imaginary murder. Another imagined a fight in a local store. Others chose more peaceful or funny scenarios. All did a great job of answering the 5 W’s, which are care, ce, unde, cand and de ce in Romanian, plus cum for “how.”
A fellow Peace Corps Volunteer, Shannon, invited me to the club, which she and her Moldovan partner Cristina started recently. (That’s the two of them in the photo below.) One of our other volunteer colleagues, Haley, has also started a journalism club, in Comrat.
Shannon’s group meets weekly in the Călărași primăria, or town hall, where she works. Only some of the participants are considering journalism as a career but all are interested in it and eager to learn. Shannon invited me to lead a lesson and share some of my experiences in journalism and communications.
As you can see from the photos, we had a great time, beginning with an “icebreaker” in which people had to guess the name of a famous person someone wrote on a post-it note and placed on their forehead or behind them.
I also enjoyed traveling to Călărași by minibus, seeing the town, and then returning later that afternoon by rail, my first time on a Moldovan train.
All in all, I can report the experience was wonderful, warmhearted, winning, welcome and worthwhile. Hugely.