Young Reporter FAQs

We’ve compiled a list of answers to the questions we get asked the most. We’ll update this page as often as we can with new information and questions as necessary.

What is the aim of BBC Young Reporter?

BBC Young Reporter aims to educate and inform young people about the news and the world around them by giving them the opportunity to produce their own reports.

It allows young people to inform a real audience about the subjects and stories that matter to them on BBC platforms and programmes.

How do the young people benefit?

Teachers tell us that taking part in BBC Young Reporter supports a range of learning. For example, by helping students to develop their ability to work in teams, manage their time, conduct research, communicate effectively and think critically.

Young people can also develop their media-literacy skills and they get the opportunity to do hands-on media production - from writing a story for a website to recording and editing video.

It is also a chance for young people to discuss the responsibilities involved in broadcasting their work to a wider audience. 

What is there to do as part of BBC Young Reporter?

There’s plenty to do when you’re registered for BBC Young Reporter. You can do as much or as little as you like.

Young people should use their initiative to create the reports on subjects that matter to them all year round as they happen, but here are just some examples of the opportunities we provide to you:

  • participate in the BBC Young Reporter of the Year competition by uploading work and ideas directly to BBC programme makers
  • we’ll invite you to attend BBC events in your area guaranteed to be educational, informative and most importantly, fun!
  • get access to resources and lesson plans (linked to the curriculum) that help teach journalistic and technical skills directly from BBC staff and presenters
  • we’ll send you reminders about upcoming, news-worthy events to report on which you can upload on our website making them accessible by the BBC’s worldwide audience 

Who can take part in BBC young reporter? 

The project is for young people aged 11-18 that are currently in school or college, from a youth group or alternative education including home schools.

Each school, youth group or home school needs at least one teacher, staff member, youth worker or parent to act as a liaison for the young people.

Can we take part if we're not in the UK? 

The BBC is funded by a licence fee paid for by the British public and the money that funds BBC Young Reporter comes from this - we therefore primarily serve the UK population.

However, some overseas British schools can take part provided they are members of the Council of International Schools or the Council of British International Schools.

How many young people do I need to take part? 

This is entirely up to you, although the BBC would like to encourage as many students as possible to be involved across the academic year. Some schools run activities with a whole year group: others with a class: and some have a reporting team or an after-school club.

Youth groups and alternative provision may work with a number of groups out of school hours. Home schooled students, whether that’s through an official council group or on their own (with a parent) can also take part.

What equipment do we need?

That will depend on what you want to do while you’re taking part in BBC Young Reporter. There are many different ways to create reports and none of them require the latest, most expensive equipment.

High-quality video and audio reporting can be done with most smartphones or tablets and there are plenty of free apps to help you do this. The BBC is unable to supply any equipment for funding for equipment.

What help is available to me, the leader of the project? 

We encourage you to use the series of resources and lesson plans on this website to help young people develop their journalistic skills. The lesson plans help explain the news-making process all designed with the national curriculum in mind. Our resources include videos from BBC presenters that offer some helpful tips and insights.

We will also invite leaders to special events throughout the year. By attending these you’ll have the opportunity learn more about BBC Young Reporter by talking to members of the team and learning some skills that you can take back to teach your Young Reporters. 

Do young people have to do everything themselves?

The essence of BBC Young Reporter is that it is editorially led by young people – we want them to make reports on the things that matter to them. However, they can be given different levels of support to achieve this depending on their age or school-setting, etc. For instance, in schools, sometimes the editing is done by staff and in others by the pupils.

What safeguarding measures does the BBC have in place? 

The BBC Young Reporter team takes safeguarding very seriously. All BBC Young Reporter staff and BBC staff mentors have an up-to-date basic criminal record check (DBS check) and undertake training in accordance with BBC's guidelines on child protection. As part of these guidelines we must request that BBC staff are accompanied during visits and should never be left alone with students.

You must ensure that all young people who appear in news reports have parental permission to take part in the project. You can download this form from our website.

You must ensure that only first names of young people (anyone under 18) are displayed or spoken on any reports. 

What do we have to do to get involved?

The first step is completing the online registration form which can be found here. This form should be completed by an adult that takes responsibility for the young people that are making the reports. This could be a teacher, youth worker, or parent.

Then you need to get parental permission for any young person that is taking part in the project.  This can be done by sending this letter and form to the parents. Ensure you keep this on file as we could ask to see it at any time.

You must re-register every year you wish to take part in BBC Young Reporter. We try to run as close to an academic year as possible, starting in September.

Can we visit the BBC?

Every year we arrange several events at BBC locations across the country. Once registered you’ll start getting invitations to our events so make sure you stay subscribed to our newsletters to find out when they are.

In some locations, the BBC runs group tours. These are chargeable to cover administration and staff costs. See the tours website for more details.

We regret that we cannot arrange special visits to the BBC for schools or groups.

Will someone from the BBC visit us?

When signing up to BBC Young Reporter you can request a BBC staff mentor to support you and the young people taking part with your plans for the project.

We actively recruit BBC members of staff from all over the country to support the schools or youth groups signing up to BBC Young Reporter. It’s a proper volunteering scheme supported by all areas of the BBC in the United Kingdom. A BBC staff mentor could come from any part of the BBC, not just broadcast journalism.

BBC staff mentors are subject to availability and we cannot guarantee they will be able to visit you in person. Some mentors may only be able to support you via email or telephone.

Will we be on television? 

By taking part in BBC Young Reporter and uploading your stories you make them accessible to the BBC worldwide audience.

Occasionally we are asked by other teams within the BBC to find schools or youth groups for a programme they are making. There may be significant dates or occasions coming up in the year that programme makers are looking for reports or well researched ideas from young people for. We’ll always let you know when these come up to give you the best opportunities.

Why does the BBC run BBC Young Reporter? 

BBC Young Reporter aims to give young people from across the UK the chance to make their own news and broadcast it to real audiences. The project helps fulfil two of the BBC Charter's pledges:

  • to provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them
  • to support learning for people of all ages: the BBC should help everyone learn about different subjects in ways they will find accessible, engaging, inspiring and challenging. The BBC should provide specialist educational content to help support learning for children and teenagers across the United Kingdom. It should encourage people to explore new subjects and participate in new activities through partnerships with educational, sporting and cultural institutions.

We do this by:

  • engaging young people with news
  • bringing their voices and stories to a wider audience
  • sharing some of the public service values behind content creation, such as fairness, accuracy and impartiality, since so many young people are content creators and distributors.

How can I contact the BBC Young Reporter team?

You can email us at youngreporter@bbc.co.uk or call 0300 020 4022. Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and are included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes from your provider.

You can find us on Twitter: @BBCYoungReport

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