Have you ever fancied playing Lois Lane and Clark Kent, but without the superman costume? Well, now’s your chance, as Hold The Front Page (run by Pearlcatchers Limited) enables you to take on a new identity as a journalist reporting for a top newspaper. Together with your team, your task is to produce the most accurate and interesting news story within your allocated budget. But don’t expect it to happen without mysterious difficulties…
While receiving your brief, lights start flickering, bizarre noises can be heard, a spark is followed by darkness and then a newsflash saying ‘The Aliens Have Landed’. But is this for real or just a hoax? It is your job to find out.
After being provided with information packs, you and your team members will be ‘shipped off’ to work as correspondents for news agencies either in London, America, China, Australia or Africa. From now on, your only link to agencies other than your own will be the intercom relay from London.
During the assignment, reporters get involved in things like trying to break alien codes, finding the wreckage of a spaceship, interviewing ‘experts’, translating newsflashes, bargaining for secret tape messages, examining ‘physical’ evidence and ensuring that London is kept updated at all times.
Apart from the information packs, facts are gathered through three potential sources: newsflash interventions – which may or may not be relevant to the story – press conferences and interviews. If you’re lucky, you might even bump into characters such as Rupert Murdough, editor in chief of the Daily Racket, Peter Paparazzi, a dodgy photographer, Courtney Coverup, an escaped US prisoner with amazing claims, and Serena Scully, a UFO geek. Sounds like fun? If you think you can handle the tension and tight deadlines, this activity is spot on. Not only does it encourage teamwork, but you are also put in a win/lose scenario with colleagues, so you can find out how well they deal with defeat.
Aspiring journalists with empty portfolios or participants wanting a long-lasting reminder of the event should note that finished articles can be combined into a special edition newspaper!