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School reporters

Helen Shreeve Helen Shreeve | 16:44 UK time, Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Nerve-wracking doesn't come into it. I've deployed thousands of news reporters, with no previous experience, to cover the stories of their choice - and given them hours of BBC airtime to do it in.

Thursday 22 March is News Day for the School Report project.

Over the past few months BBC journalists and other news specialists have been working with 12-13-year-olds in more than 100 schools throughout the UK to help them get ready to broadcast their own news simultaneously to a 1400 deadline.

There are teams of students interviewing the full set of five political party leaders including the PM in Downing St.

Other students are reporting live on News 24, Five Live and every local radio station - as well as for BBC Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

And on top of that we’ve created the first news channel dedicated to schools for the day via a webcast – School Report LIVE - to showcase everything the school reporters are doing.

But will it work? Will the students meet their 1400 deadline? Will the forecast for snow in some areas of the country mean I’ve suddenly lost half my staff? Will their news be legal and decent? But, most of all, will it be interesting?

I’ve been really engaged by the reports that have already been filed on crime, and friendship and the environment and even pensions – but will a wider audience feel the same? Tune in and see.


  • 1.
  • At 07:59 PM on 21 Mar 2007,
  • David wrote:

I'm expecting to see 30-50% of your correspondants coming from ethnic minorities. I hope you will be more representative of the UK population than this but I have watched BBC TV before.

I really doubt you're giving the kids enough credit. I'm sure the schools will only select their post mature students.

  • 3.
  • At 09:06 PM on 21 Mar 2007,
  • Calum wrote:

Good luck - I wish I could take part however I am 15 and a few years too late to take part.. shame there isn't a similar scheme for us older kids..

  • 4.
  • At 10:11 AM on 22 Mar 2007,
  • Katie wrote:

Am I missing something?

Who are the 'full set of five party leaders'?

Off the top of my head, I can count at least nine...

Let's get some kids, with a scoop of ethnic minorties, give them a couple of cameras and see how they get on. But don't forget those ethnic minorties, disabled people, people of a variety of ways of life... otherwise, it won't be politically correct (which, of course, matters much more than journalism).

This doesn't sound like news to me. Sounds like Newsround.

  • 6.
  • At 01:34 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Jim-UK wrote:

Why was this on NEWS24 and not one of the childrens channels? I switched the on the news on Sunday and got kids babbling on about nothing of interest to anyone. What's next? the financial reports being read by a sock puppet? what on earth were you thinking of? This was one of those rare occasions I was glad of Sky News. It would be funny if I wasn't paying for this nonsense.

  • 7.
  • At 05:42 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Nutan Thakur wrote:

It is a nice attempt and the BBC must be congratulated for having given it so much emphasis. Whether it really succeeds or not, in my opinion, is not as relevant as the fact that young people are making their best efforts in providing such news and stories which the entire world will be witness to. And which might make a substantive change in the lives and thoughts of many.
In this case, attempt is more important than the end result, though every effort must be made to bring the best out of this young lot.
Nutan Thakur,
Jan Shakti,

  • 8.
  • At 04:56 AM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • jonny wrote:

Goodness, David -- you mean you might be subjected to seeing only 50-70% white children? I can only wonder why it's so important that everything you watch must contain the precise national average of ethnic minorities, or how white people could fail to feel "represented" if there are a few more of them, but it sounds a lot more artificial and politically correct than anything the BBC does.

Hi Helen,

Just a quick note to say what a great job everyone did with this years school report.

I have listened and looked at some of the work and I was very impressed. I've just stumbled across this blog too so I thought I'd leave a message.

Well done to everyone involved and to the BBC for putting it on!

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