Creating a Children’s Correspondent

Tako Rietveld (Center) interviews children as children’s correspondent.

Most news organizations have their own dedicated “correspondents,” people that report on specific subjects or areas. Examples can be a “Sports” correspondents, “Middle East” correspondents, or “Global Health” correspondents. Even though you have correspondents on all these subjects, there is not usually a correspondent on the subject of children. Tako Rietveld, a journalist and reporter, noticed this and decided to start becoming one himself. This is how he started “De Kindercorrespondent,” trying to involve children more into news and politics.

It all started in 2014 when he still worked at NOS’s Jeugdjournaal, a Dutch TV show that aims to make the news understandable for children. As a reporter there he noticed a lack of input from children in most news media. “Every time there was a story concerning children, they had adults talking about the children, instead of just directly asking them,” Rietveld says. This is most likely the case because most reporters are specialized in their own subject, which is not always related to children. “It can be very tough to interview children, especially younger ones. When you ask them something, 9 times out of 10 you will get a short answer like ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It is definitely something you have to learn,” Rietveld says.

This is why he felt the need to start a movement that specializes in interviewing children and involving them more in the news and politics. He started out by trying to set it up within NOS at first. “I had it all prepared. I made a plan and I was ready to execute it with the people I worked with,” Rietveld says. Unfortunately, NOS did not share his vision. The broadcasting agency said that there was no available budget and that his plan did not fall within the responsibilities of the public broadcasting system. Tako was not just going to give up his dream like this, though. “When I was working on my plan I really put my soul into it. I didn’t want to give that up. That is why I decided to quit my job,” Rietveld says.

De Kindercorrespondent aims to involve children more in news and politics.

After quitting his Job, Rietveld started setting up his new organization “De Kindercorrespondent”. However, he quickly discovered that setting something up from scratch can be harder than it seems. “Before I quit, I had all these people that were saying they wanted to support me, but in the end, only a few remained,” Rietveld says. It took a few years to get the organization up and running, but after finding funding and partnering up with a passionate team of people, “De Kindercorrespondent” is now fully operational and releases content on a weekly basis.

When asked about some of his most memorable moment interviewing children, he said the following, “I was born with only one hand. This is something that can be kind of awkward to some people as they think it is something they can’t bring up or something. For kids, this is very different. A lot of the children I have met immediately notice it, and they tell me so. They start asking questions about how it got like that and how it works. Children are way quicker at pointing out the elephant in the room.”

“At the moment, I’m the only children’s correspondent around, but that won’t be for long,” Rietveld says. He is hoping to expand his organization to other countries like the US and China. All this stems from his bigger dream, which is to let children from across the world be heard. This would certainly be a large task to fulfill, and it will take some time. If anyone will succeed in giving children a voice, though, it would be Tako Rietveld.

 

 

 

From here to Tokyo

Henry Buckley playing a set in Tokyo.

AMSTERDAM – From Tokyo to Las Vegas. From Las Vegas to Tokyo. From Tokyo to here. From here to Tokyo. At the age of 21, Henry Buckley has probably already lived in more continents than most people will in their entire lifetime. Being brought up with the Japanese and American nationality, and having spent time living in both countries, Buckley has developed a unique taste for music that has made him a well-respected DJ and artist within the community of Amsterdam University College.

From here to Tokyo
Dutch expression used to describe long distances.
“I spent the weekend walking from here to Tokyo.”

It all started in Ayase, a suburb of Tokyo, where Kazune Ehara (meaning “peaceful sound”) was born to a Japanese mother and an American father. His father being American, he was also registered an American citizen under the name of Henry Buckley. “Pronunciation of names in English and Japanese can differ a lot, which is why my parents gave me my English name too,” he said. His parents chose to let his Japanese grandfather give him his Japanese name, Kazune, while using the name of his father, Henry, for his American identity.

His dual citizenship is part of the reason Henry Buckley has spent large portions of his childhood living in parts of the United States. Both first and second grade and a part of the sixth grade, he spent in schools in the city of Las Vegas. It was during this period in middle school that he started playing instruments like the trumpet, piano, violin, and guitar.

Music has always been a defining property of the Buckley family. Henry’s mother, who is the daughter of a Japanese pastor, has dedicated a big part of her life to religious music. Besides having taught singing in choirs, she spends her days researching Protestant music, trying to make sense of the sounds that have been played in churches for centuries. His father was the person who was always playing music at home, and even though his specific style is not necessarily the DJ’s favorite, it did teach him how to appreciate different types of music.

This love for music kept on developing through his high school years when he started experimenting with mixing and making music on his laptop. “At. this point I just kind of started playing at friends’ parties and stuff. Nothing serious yet though,” Buckley said. That was until he moved to Amsterdam in 2015.

Henry Buckley posing for a shoot by AUC photographer Andrew Kambel.

The moment he started taking DJ’ing more seriously was after he joined Amsterdam University College, where he met Plamen Valkov, a Science student from Bulgaria. Valkov, who was raised in South Africa, was already an experienced DJ who had made and released several mixes. He taught Henry many of the technical skills he possesses today and paved the way for future successes.

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine an AUC party that doesn’t have “Young Buckley” (Buckley’s stage name) mentioned in the line-up. Having played at events from big-name committees like Solace and AUC Webradio among others. The latter board described his style as “fast-paced and cool,” and said they would definitely organize an event with him again if possible.

In the future, Buckley would like to focus more on other forms of art besides music. Whereas before he liked to focus more on organizing events and promoting others’ art, he would now like to start creating his own works. Things he’s interested in would be painting, paper cutting and making collages, among others. Either way, his heart will always remain with music. “I will never be able to fully detach music from my art”, Buckley said.

Whatever it is he will pursue in the future, one thing that’s sure is that it will involve art. His unique mix of eastern and western influences will continue to influence him and many others around him. Henry and his works will be seen everywhere, from here to Tokyo.

 

This Year’s 73ʳᵈ US Mass Shooting in Context

The shooting that occurred at a Waffle House location in Tennessee last Sunday has marked the 73rd mass shooting1 in the United States this year.

Taking the lives of at least 4 people, the shooting is among 42 other mass shootings with fatal outcomes. With its death toll, it comes in at a shared 3rd place together with shootings in Asheville, Detroit, and Reading.

This map shows this year’s US mass shootings with their respective death tolls. Click the icons to see more information (source: Gun Violence Archive, 23-04-2018).

It also marks 2018’s third mass shooting in the state Tennessee and represents the state’s highest number of casualties as a result of a shooting since the Chattanooga shooting in June of 2015 (6 killed).

This map shows an overview of the mass shootings that occurred in Tennessee this year, together with the 2015 Chattanooga shooting (orange). Click the icons to see more information (source: Gun Violence Archive, 23-04-2018).

1: A mass shooting is counted as an incident with 4 or more victims injured or killed.

Enterprise Proposal

Companies Fishing for Teenage Developers

When I was 16 years old, I built an app with a friend of mine who was 14 at the time. After the app appeared in some news outlets, we sold the app to a company based in Alkmaar that was interested in us and the idea of the app. At the time I had no idea of how to negotiate things, and I was quickly impressed as I had no former experience dealing with something like this. Thinking back there is a lot of things that I would have done differently, that I didn’t do because I simply didn’t know because of my age. Companies, especially ones focussed on tech, seem to be increasingly moving their focus towards younger developers. Apple, for example, runs a program called the ‘WWDC Scholarships.’ Built around their annual ‘World Wide Developers Conference,’ this program allows 300 talented app-making teenagers to fly over to their headquarters in California to visit their conference and see the company from the inside. This program is part of the growing list of teen-oriented ‘scholarship’ programs, all meant to discover talented teenagers, and get them to see and experience the company at a young age. Even though it’s not marketed like it, this is an obvious way to get these kids to build up a certain connection with the company, that can be used later on to possibly recruit them.

A good example is Erik van der Plas, a now 17-year-old app developer from Haarlem, was only 13 when he first got invited to Apple’s WWDC conference. When he went to San Francisco he got to meet the CEO of the company, Tim Cook, as well meeting other executives like Jony Ive and Craig Federighi. After this, he has landed internships at The Next Web, one of the biggest news outlets that focusses on software and technology. He is still working on apps to this day, and plans on going to Stanford University after he finishes his high school degree.

However, success at a young age does not always guarantee success later in life. Peter Schreuder, for example, had it all figured out. After developing an app that provided people with a schedule of events for Queen’s Day (now King’s Day), he appeared on Dutch national television on shows like De Wereld Draait Door and NOS national news. Everything seemed to be going well for him, which is why he decided to quit high school in order to focus all his efforts on making apps. Shortly afterwards, however, he was struck by a severe depression. “I just totally blacked out. The pressure from the expectations of people and business around me got too much,” Schreuder said. After this, he was left unable to do any more work on his apps and software, and since he left school, it is hard for him to get a job.

Cases like Peter’s make you wonder if it’s good to let children get involved in the life of business and media at such a young age. While it can definitely work in their favor later in life when they have a good resume, the added pressure of having to maintain a professional career alongside school life can put a lot of added pressure on these kids which might be too much for them at this age. My idea for this article would be to paint an image of the fascinating world of teenage entrepreneurship (apps specifically), and the ways companies try to tap into this pool of talent that’s emerging. As I’ve experienced it myself for a while, I know a lot of the practices that are common, and I know a wide range of people that have achieved similar things. My aim will be to show that while it can work out very well, in cases like Erik’s, the life of a teenage developer can also be very hard, like for Peter.

From here to Tokyo

Henry Buckley playing a set in Tokyo.

AMSTERDAM – From Tokyo to Las Vegas. From Las Vegas to Tokyo. From Tokyo to here. From here to Tokyo. At the age of 21, Henry Buckley has probably already lived in more continents than most people will in their entire lifetime. Being brought up with the Japanese and American nationality, and having spent time living in both countries, Buckley has developed a unique taste for music that has made him a well-respected DJ and artist within the community of Amsterdam University College.

From here to Tokyo
Dutch expression used to describe long distances.
“I spent the weekend walking from here to Tokyo.”

It all started in Ayase, a suburb of Tokyo, where Kazune Ehara (meaning “peaceful sound”) was born to a Japanese mother and an American father. His father being American, he was also registered an American citizen under the name of Henry Buckley. Since pronunciation of tones can differ a lot between Japanese and English speakers, it’s not uncommon for dual citizens to have two completely different names. In this case, his parents chose to let his Japanese grandfather give him his Japanese name, Kazune, while using the name of his father, Henry, for his American identity.

His dual citizenship is part of the reason Henry Buckley has spent large portions of his childhood living in parts of the United States. Both first and second grade and a part of the sixth grade, he spent in schools in the city of Las Vegas. It was during this period in middle school that he started playing instruments like the trumpet, piano, violin, and guitar.

Music has always been a defining property of the Buckley family. Henry’s mother, who is the daughter of a Japanese pastor, has dedicated a big part of her life to religious music. Besides having taught singing in choirs, she spends her days researching Protestant music, trying to make sense of the sounds that have been played in churches for centuries. His father was the person who was always playing music at home, and even though his specific style is not necessarily Henry’s favorite, it did teach him how to appreciate different types of music.

This love for music kept on developing through his high school years when he started experimenting with mixing and making music on his laptop. Eventually, he even started casually playing sets at friends’ parties. He was still just doing it for fun, however, and his sets were nowhere near professional.

Henry Buckley posing for a shoot by AUC photographer Andrew Kambel.

The moment he started taking DJ’ing more seriously was after he joined Amsterdam University College, where he met Plamen Valkov, a Science student from Bulgaria. Valkov, who was raised in South Africa, was already an experienced DJ who had made and released several mixes. He taught Henry many of the technical skills he possesses today and paved the way for future successes.

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine an AUC party that doesn’t have “Young Buckley” mentioned in the line-up. Having played at events from committees like Solace and AUC Webradio among others. [Get quotes on others’ experiences].

In the future, Buckley would like to focus more on other forms of art besides music. Whereas before he liked to focus more on organizing events and promoting others’ art, he would now like to start creating his own works. Things he’s interested in would be painting, paper cutting and making collages, among others. His heart will always belong to music. “I will never be able to fully detach music from my art”, Buckley says.

[>…]

Notes:
more quotes inline
more quotes from others
Costa Rican influences
kicker

Herring Story Pitches

Inside AUC
“AUC students working to revive Sharood app.”

AUC students and alumni have brought forward a number of successful software projects like Bikeswap, UCBooks, and AUCCurriculumPlanner. Another one of these well-known projects is Sharood, an app released 2 years ago that aimed to connect people within the University’s dorms by making it easier for them to offer and buy pre-cooked meals from each other. The app itself never saw wide usage, however, which prompted Axel Meta and a team of other students to redesign and rebrand the app. By making a complementary Facebook group and a new, user-friendly design they hope to get people to finally use the app as it was intended.

Relevant to AUC
“Dutch government halves legal tuition fees for new first-year university students.”

The Dutch cabinet has submitted a bill that would allow students starting their higher education in 2018-2019 to only pay half of their original legal tuition fees. For AUC students this would mean that they would only have to pay € 2.168 of the original € 4.336. This reduction does not apply to the institutional tuition fees, however, which would still amount to € 11.927. Parties like GroenLinks have expressed their worries about the bill because it doesn’t mention any regulations for international students. Non-Dutch students from the European Economic Area, Switzerland and Surinam currently pay the legal tuition fees but are not mentioned in the bill, leaving uncertainty for many of AUC’s international students.

Chef’s Special (but also still in AUC)
“Group of green-fingered students taking dorms’ gardens through the roof.”

A number of students, most of who are part of the AUC Gardeners group, have taken their time to pimp up one of the courtyards in the AUC dorms. The courtyards, which are barely used outside of Dorm Fest and some occasional activities, have been equipped with small gardens, a place to host bonfires and a boat. While this is already a huge improvement, there are further plans to take these gardens to the roof. Literally. According to Jan Feist, it would be possible to make the dorms a lot greener by filling its roofs with gardens where students could grow their own plants and crops. While talks with Duwo and AUC have yet to start, there is already surveying being done to see if there is demand for such a place among students.

Japanese look at the Dutch to shape their Schools’ Futures

The Japanese people from Core Plus posing for a group photo with the AUC students.

Last Thursday, a group of 20 Japanese people came walking into the Academic Building of Amsterdam University College (AUC). Armed with a range of Sony cameras and notebooks, the group, existing of people ranging in age from 20 to 40, was ready to meet with a group of AUC’s Dutch students to have a conversation about this country’s educative system. This and other meetings were set up by an Osakan non-profit organization called Core Plus. They had just spent the last 3 weeks touring through the Netherlands, visiting a primary school,  a Montessori school, high schools, and a university. Almost everyone being either a teacher or an aspiring one, their mission is to reshape Japan’s educative from the inside out by studying the approaches different countries take.

One of the people that stood out most among the group was Hayato Saito, a 34-year-old primary school teacher and part-time clown from the Southern part of Japan. Being used to the strict way of teaching in Japan, he was surprised at how the Dutch seem to have more room for input from their pupils. “In Japan, the teacher only tells you the information and you have to learn from that. The classes here seem to be more interactive,” Saito said. According to him, this makes it so that Japanese students don’t feel like they enjoy their time in school too much, a problem he tries to solve by cheering them up with his circus acts.

According to Mao Uno, an aspiring English teacher from Tokyo, this problem continues even at the university level. Whereas in the Netherlands you don’t always have to do an entrance exam before you are allowed start your degree, this is the standard for universities in Japan. “Most students in Japan study very hard for their entrance exam and really want to be accepted,” said Uno, “Because there is such a high barrier, however, this makes it so that they are less motivated to work hard as soon as they get in.” Uno also emphasized that this lack of motivation has made it so the students get barely-passing grades and mainly spend time looking on their phone during class. She believes this is a great problem, which is why she is now looking at the Dutch way of teaching for some answers to this problem.

When asked, most Dutch people said they enjoyed the cultural exchange. Even though there was a slight language gap between some of the people, most managed to get a very sensible discussion on a range of topics that ranged from primary school experiences to weed consumption. Afterwards, a group photo was taken and Facebook contacts were exchanged between the two groups. The Japanese certainly seemed ready for innovation in the field, and perhaps they found some inspiration in their visit here.

Portrayed from left to right are 大曽根彬, Jannah Sonnenschein, Mao Uno, Klaas Schoenmaker and Hayato Saito