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Teenage reporters

Helen Shreeve Helen Shreeve | 15:49 UK time, Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Can the gap be narrowed between how teenagers create and broadcast their own content via the internet and mobile phones and the traditional news broadcasters?

Students from John Fernely schoolYoung people complain that we only see them on the news when they’re in trouble but what stories would they choose if they were in charge? On Thursday 13 March, BBC News is working with more than 250 schools across the UK to turn thousands of teenagers into news broadcasters for the day.

Over the past few months BBC journalists and other broadcast professionals have been working with 11-14 year olds so they can broadcast their own news to a 1400 deadline and publish it on their school website – with a link to our own School Report site.

More than 10,000 have been involved over the year and around half that number will be working on News Day making this a massive journalism deployment.

Stories that have already been filed include items on social networking, mobile phones, living with cancer, and campaigning on Darfur. Other school reporters have covered battery farming, what makes them happy and media images of teenagers.

Students from Greenwood Dale, NottinghamWe have films on what it means to be Scottish in the Highlands, contraception and the state of school toilets. There are teams of students interviewing political party leaders including the PM in Downing St.

Other students are reporting on News 24, Radio Five Live and 40 local radio stations - as well as at outside broadcasts in Belfast, Aberdeen and Snowdonia. And there are web-based radio and TV “channels” for the day being streamed live on the website.

But will the hard work of all the schools, students and professionals involved pay off? What will the audience think of their reports? Tune in and let us know.


  • 1.
  • At 09:56 AM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Andy Williams wrote:

This looks brilliant - an exciting link-up between the BBC's continued interest in User Generated Content/participatory journalism and its public service remit.

Of course. An creative, marvelous and unbeatable movement has taken root in the young generation teenagers. A generation has come to the world today to lead, to be heard, and to find the solution for world crisis. We should not always be blamed for our discrepancies and irreverence because we have great leadership and positive qualities. Miss Helen Shreeve, so nice of you that you have highlighted the true spirit! God bless you....

  • 3.
  • At 02:10 AM on 14 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

Congratulations to the School Report team for a fantastic programme this year. What an adventure for thousands of young people! Stimulating interest in the news, making the news, spreading the news has to bring great rewards in the form of better informed and more involved youth in future. My hat is off to the BBC, the amazing Helen Shreeve and the entire School Report team for their innovative and constructive project. Well-done!

  • 4.
  • At 08:13 PM on 14 Mar 2008,
  • Brian Ridout wrote:

This is really a huge step forward. We are now reaping the rewards of the Thatcher years and finding most of society defragmented and only interested in themselves without the bigger picture.
We need to give young people a voice so that they see some purpose and can be involved with their future.
Schools are a great starting point but we have at the moment at least one post school generation feeling lost and creating problems in their community.
How do we get these onboard? Could the students interview them? This is a project that can grow into a brilliant use of the media but please don't let it become UTube.
The media constantly strives to make us feel inclusive; so make it real this time.

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