A local writer and entrepreneur has created a virtual world for budding young journalists to develop their editorial, reading and writing skills.
Carmel Crawford, who has sold in excess of 12,000 books, is now taking the plunge to embrace technology and along with her team of professionals has created “Newz Monkeys”, an online and app game for young journalists.
“The idea comes from a book I wrote many years ago,” Carmel said, “It was about a microphone who was a roving reporter.
“I wrote a book for the Blackwater Press and it was very successful and I also done some work with a number of educational magazines.”
Carmel then joined forces with Enterprise Ireland in a sales programme and since then her idea of a virtual work of young journalists has become a hit.
“I had backing from Enterprise Ireland and was awarded two vouchers which helped developed the product and I now have two offices at the Regional Development Centre at DkIT and this is where the game has been produced.”
Two local graduates, Christopher McCormack and Brian Mc Aree Murphy, have been developing the game since September.
“It’s a great environment to work in,” Christopher told the paper, “It’s really active and vibrant. The whole concept is great.
“Local schools have come in and tested the game and provided us with feedback. The response has been very good and we then use the feedback to develop the game further.”
Brian highlighted that the pair are lucky to be employed by a local business.
“We are very lucky,” said Brian, “It’s great to be working on a local project, with local people in your hometown. The experience has been fantastic and its shaping up to be a great game.”
Lindsay J.Sedgewick, a journalist and RTE animations writer, is also on hand to offer her expertise to the games newspaper - The Tree Top Times.
Meanwhile, Geraldine Johnston has been dealing with the marketing of Newz Monkeys and has been active in getting local schools involved.
Aidan Browne, manager of the Regional Development Centre at the DkIT, said that this project is a success story. “Newz Monkeys highlights that local people are using local facilities to bring about their dreams and ambitions.
You can check out the virtual world at newzmonkeys.com.