Article by Jan Dean
Being an editor is child's play for Joanna Liu. In fact, she's editor-in-chief of Voice K, the Mississauga-based magazine that's written by children, for children.
Liu, 24, has tutored kids for years at the Golden Key Cultural Centre, a tutoring facility at 3558 Erindale Station Rd. that's owned by her parents. That gave her space to work and ready access to a team of journalists between 7-15.
"It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to start the magazine," said Liu.
The easy part was the name. Voice K stands for "Voice of Kids."
Some 13 months later, there are 15 young reporters contributing toVoice K, which gets its story leads from about 25 local organizations.
It's been a lot of work for the young editor, who still works for the Golden Key Culture Centre and is also completing an internship in marketing at the Mississauga Food Bank.
Liu, who has lived in Mississauga for a decade, is good at multi-tasking. She speaks Chinese, English and Japanese. She studied arts management at University of Toronto and public relations at Humber College. Along the way she fit in some journalism courses.
At Voice K, she's teaching her cub reporters about interviewing techniques and magazine writing.
"The kids were shy at first about asking questions, but they've learned a lot," she said.
They also love what they're doing. Wendy Wang, 13, is a Voice Kjournalist who says it's exciting to meet new people and see her work published.
The magazine publishes original short stories, reports on events, and assessments of current trends from a kid's point of view.
After publishing online for months, Liu used a $2,000 donation from her parents to publish paper editions of Voice K.
Now she's applying for grants in hopes of building a broadcasting studio for Voice K.
"It would be so awesome to catch our reporters on film actually doing their interviews," said Liu.
Liu has also pitched her idea for a broadcasting studio to the Aviva Community Fund, which backs ideas that are chosen through several rounds of online voting. Those who submit the winning ideas get anywhere from $5,000 to $150,000 to make them reality. The second round of voting started Oct. 22. For more information visitwww.voicek.ca and www.avivacommunityfund.org.