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School Reporters meet BBC speakers
15 October 2013
Last updated at 13:02
BBC Business editor Robert Peston, and Six O'Clock News Presenter George Alagiah share some tops tip for getting started in journalism - and explain why young people need to be ambitious.
The first speaker was Robert Peston, the BBC's Business Editor and the founder of Speakers for Schools, a charity that aims to inspire young people by sending successful professionals into schools to deliver talks. Mr Peston visited Acland Burghley School in Camden and some of their School Reporters were there to report on the event.
Sila and Reshma were joined by BBC journalist Elaine Okyere, a former BBC journalism trainee who is helping to mentor Acland Burghley's School Report team in the run-up to News Day 2014. Elaine advised the students to get their notebooks out and suggested they write down any questions they thought of during the speech.
Mr Peston's speech was titled "How my generation mucked it up for yours". He told students that "it's an incredibly tough world" and argued that if young people "don't make the most" of themselves, the British economy will do badly. However, he said he thinks the UK has a lot going for it.
He encouraged students to be ambitious and said that university is a "very, very valuable investment" despite the high costs. However, he also pointed out that university isn't the only way to become successful.
At The Bridge Academy in Hackney, BBC Newscaster George Alagiah spoke to students about his upbringing in Sri Lanka and Ghana and how he came to be a journalist at the BBC. School Reporters Meggy, Yaren, Hamish and Nichelle covered the event for the BBC. Meggy said that his speech was "amazing! He started with nothing and in comparison we have everything we need".
George Alagiah spoke of his experiences reporting on the genocide in Rwanda during his time as a foreign correspondent, and acknowledged that sometimes it is hard to be impartial as a journalist when terrible things are happening, but he added that it was the journalist's job to tell both sides of a story.
The nervous School Reporters were heartened to hear that George said he still gets nervous: "I was nervous before I spoke to you all today, but you have to front it out!"
After the speeches both sets of School Reporters had a chance to interview their special guests. At Acland Burghley, Sila and Reshma had time to look through their questions with Elaine and sixth former Dani, who had been helping them prepare for their big interview.
"The best thing about my job is that I meet lots of really interesting people like you," Mr Peston told the School Reporters. When asked what advice he had for young people who want to be journalists, he said they should "get your stuff out there", suggesting blogging and recording material on a phone can be a great way to get started.
Interview done, there was time to pose for one last photo. Reshma said she was a bit nervous to do her very first interview but that once they got started, she and Sila "just got used to it".
At The Bridge Academy George Alagiah also agreed to give the School Reporters an exclusive interview. They asked him about his job and how he copes with last minute changes to the BBC News at Six. He told them that at first it is nerve wracking but now he is very experienced in breaking news situations.
Nichelle made notes during the speech and interviews to use in her report.
The students were all thrilled to meet George Alagiah, and he told them that he had enjoyed his visit to The Bridge Academy. "All of you are going to do something really special", he told them, "and I can't wait to see that unfold!"
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