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BBC School Report News Day 2011

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Helen Shreeve Helen Shreeve | 16:20 UK time, Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Tomorrow BBC News will be joined by 30,000 School Reporters. These 11-14-year-olds have been learning about journalism at school with the help of their teachers and the BBC. Their task is to complete their own reports by 14:00 GMT and upload it to their school websites. We're linking to them all so BBC audiences can get the news from more than 800 schools.

Screenshot School Report website

With all that's going on in the world today - the Budget, the crisis in Libya, the earthquake in Japan - what will they prioritise? It's difficult for the BBC to make choices about which news stories to cover so how will the students? If you're an 11-14-year-old living in the UK, what is important to you right now?

We recently conducted a School Report survey which gives an interesting insight into the world of some of our young reporters. About 24,000 children from School Reporter schools completed the questions, many relating directly to the 2011 national census.

The results have been sent to the schools that took part to use on News Day. I was struck by the low numbers choosing the answer "being famous" to the question what do you hope to have achieved by the time you are 30. It's the fifth year for School Report and the young people who work with us always confound the media stereotypes.

The range and quality of stories coming in already is amazing: St Albans School Reporters question England football captain John Terry live on the BBC News Channel and Sky Sports News, Hounsdown School investigates heart unit closures, and 15-year-old Mohammad talks sports with students in Afghanistan.

On News Day, there will be seven hours of live TV and radio coverage through the School Report website and red button. And this year we'll make history with the first live television broadcast from the new Studio Block at MediaCityUK in Salford. In London, School Reporters have interviewed the prime minister at a School Report press conference at Downing Street. Ed Miliband did the same at a school in Lambeth. Students have also interviewed Nick Clegg in his office, and there will be interviews with political leaders in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We'll be updating a live news feed on our website and our @BBCSchoolReport Twitter feed throughout News Day, so please follow what our School Reporters are doing and let us know what you think.

Helen Shreeve is editor of BBC News School Report.


  • Comment number 1.

    What wil these 11-14 year olds focus on??

    I'm all agog!

    If they were to focus on what is wrong with BBC online policy, the BBC might love it - they could Tweet and Twitter and Facebook and MySpace and YouTube and chatter and natter all day long - and the BBC wonks, who must have at least two brains each, could have orgasms of self-validation
    . . . . . but would it still be the BBC?

  • Comment number 2.

    What would be really useful for these young people would be:

    World News.

    This might help them to understand where places are and what is going on there.

    In the absence of proper Geography in UK schools, the BBC might serve a useful purpose.

    There is more out there than just Afganistan/Pakistan, Japan and Libya.

  • Comment number 3.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 4.

    "The results have been sent to the schools that took part to use on News Day. I was struck by the low numbers choosing the answer "being famous" to the question what do you hope to have achieved by the time you are 30. . . . . School Reporters question England football captain John Terry live on the BBC News Channel . . . ."

    I wonder if John Terry featured in the ''Being famous' category, or in the 'Sordidly infamous' category.
    Some people (including BBC Libya reporters, it seems - see last blog's Comments -) can get away with anything,
    and our young reporters are so forgiving - I'm taking bets that, under the close tutilage of the BBC, the school reporters never even broached marital infidelity.

  • Comment number 5.

    Are they to be given a list of all the Things The BBC Does Not Report? For instance, the position at Fukishima remains highly unstable and unascertained, with the very real possibility of an eventual major radioactivity release, I read elsewhere. Where are the factual updates?

    Incidentally, it seems to me that if the first few comments relating to a topic, on this page, are not flattering to the BBC, then a new one appears very quickly to push it down the rankings.

  • Comment number 6.

    "15-year-old Mohammad talks sports with students in Afghanistan."

    Perhaps it would interest to Mohammad to know that in the 1950's, in the East End of Glasgow, we also used to supply our own equipment, such as jackets for goals, and an old tennis ball if we were lucky. We didn't feel a bit deprived, and weren't waiting for top kit to be supplied from Afghanistan either. But, oh, wait a minute, I forgot. There wasn't an Afghan army parked on my doorstep either.

  • Comment number 7.

    Wake up to the VAT already taken on fuel! With the increase in fuel price so far this year, the net result is that Chancellor has given us nothing. If you calculate the extra VAT the Government receives on the fuel price increase this year due to the oil price increases, (excluding the VAT rise) this is more than 1p!

  • Comment number 8.

    'These 11-14-year-olds have been learning about journalism at school with the help of their teachers and the BBC. '

    Mine were either not selected, in that unique way the BBC seems to champion with its 'journalism', or maybe their teachers did not apply, possibly reflecting alternative empathies or priorities.

    History may judge whether this was a bullet well dodged.

  • Comment number 9.

    So the BBC likes 'em young does it?

    A new media academy of eight hundred schools conditioned into believing the BBC is something it hasn't been for a long time, not that many working for the Corporation actually notice. Budding journalists plucked from under the nose of Uncle Rupert.

    At least they will all know facebook and twitter then. This is pitiful BBC.

  • Comment number 10.

    A cert bet that their priorisitation would have to fall in sharp! line with the New BBC's attempted sabotaging of bona fide liberal values.

    And 'Pre-moderated' of course, means immoderate censorship.

  • Comment number 11.

    What with one thing and another, I managed to catch only one such interview. Two young lads interviewed ... hate to admit am not too up on music these days ... a singer (great voice).

    Well, I was thoroughly impressed by the two young lads, and how they conducted the topic with patience, clarity and intelligence. It undoubtedly emboldened anyone with similar problems and insight on how to overcome them. An interview of refreshing delight and I applaud their excellent achievement. Long may it continue lads.

    Hope we get an update on how things are progressing for you both.

  • Comment number 12.

    'We'll be updating a live news feed on our website and our @BBCSchoolReport'

    Not sure if I would be so agreeably enthusiastic for the defiant thinking currently on display before hitting the RT.

    Early days yet, but it will be interesting to see how the follower/ee ratio evolves from the current 567 being followed to attract 240 before too many national projections get made in the polls/surveys that can get used to generate headline news.

  • Comment number 13.

    As a parent, and a former teacher, I loved this effort on the part of the BBC, and the results really were splendid.

    Bravissimi, Students and Teachers!

    Calling attention to the hospitals and farms was brilliantly done, as was the reminder that journalism is a serious and demanding profession that too many take for granted.

    But most, particularly, how impressive -- how invaluable -- to see the Prime Minister himself, and the Chancellor, as well as so many others, taking time to participate and encourage our next generation.

    Years ago, I remember taking part in programmes back in California that had a similar orientation, for example Model UN or Youth in Government days.

    There are so many ways we can include responsible young people, thereby also involving their families and their communities, and providing excellent motivation to all young people to strive to attain their utmost potential, fearlessly.

    For nothing comes of nothing -- doing Something, s trivial as it might sometimes appear to the grown-ups with their stresses ad busy lives -- can introduce a crucial turning point into so many families and young lives!

  • Comment number 14.

    thank u bbc, because they are you going to make perfect citizen of their country.. hads of once again thank u very much

  • Comment number 15.

    It's nice to see that the goverment is actively helping business, my concern is that in their efforts to ease planning regulations, there will be in affect a free for all policy to allow developers to swallow up more precious green belt land and destroy endangered habitat's/woodlands. Are there any safeguards in place in order to stop this from happening I wonder??? - properly not

  • Comment number 16.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 17.

    With nowhere to comment on the most recent Editors Blog posting I have to post here:

    "A year ago, BBC News didn't have any correspondents or reporters who were tweeting officially - apart from Laura Kuenssberg - and only a couple of news programmes with any official presence on the platform.

    We were using the @BBC_haveyoursay account to try to gauge audience sentiment and feed it into BBC News output.
    It was a useful means of tapping into the real-time conversation, but it felt a bit removed from being able to engage more directly with those who were tweeting."

    So, Steve, you were trying to gauge audience sentiment of HYS, but thought it bore little relation to a Tweeting audience!
    My, you really have GOOD researchers! And you now think that we should kill off the old HYS and its audience in favour of the Tweeters.
    Did you learn Nothing At All from the months of research you did on the characteristics of the HYS and its online community?
    In the last two weeks the Editor's Blog reiterated your culpable cupidity to change it to a Tweet community.
    Do you EVER listen to your online community? - I mean REALLY LISTEN.

    Because you conspicuously set a diametrically opposite course to the guidance that it so freely gives you.


  • Comment number 18.

    With nowhere on BBC online blogs available to post on the greatest human disaster of recent times,

    I should like to ask Richard, through Editors Blog to address the following:

    “Mistaken radiation readings given out by the operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear plant were “absolutely unforgivable,” the government’s chief spokesman said on Monday, as work to prevent a catastrophic meltdown faced fresh hurdles.” (Reuters, 28 March, 2011)

    Richard, you produced a blog topic on the Japanese earthquake/tsunami that some said was good - I found it superficial, though full of further links to periferal aspects.

    Now we have "Mistaken Radiation Readings" - this is really 'the dog that didn't bark' and opens up the real agenda that you failed even to address - cover-up and the worldwide 'conspiracy of misinformation'.

    There may be good political reasons for misinformation, but are you, Richard, aware of it? - indeed, are you part of it?

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    It's important to expose children to the news at an early age. I was a child, I didn't like it much, but I appreciate it now as an adult.

  • Comment number 21.

    With all this focus on journalism in education, let me point out some irony:

    I recently toured the BCC in London with 20 fellow students from the Missouri School of Journalism. I can't tell you how disappointing it was that not one reporter, anchor or producer could be bothered to come out and talk to us for 10 minutes. We were not random tourists; we were all journalism students from a well-known university.

    With all the cosmic changes happening in the industry, it's inexcusable that no one from the BBC was available to discuss broadcast careers/advice, except a tour guide with no firsthand media experience. Shame on the BBC for such shabby treatment.

  • Comment number 22.

    Helen, is the School Report survey going to be an annual BBC initiative?

  • Comment number 23.

    @Brian Jarvis - I had a similar unfortunate experience some time back and had decided to request an appointment with an available reporter the next time I went over with my class on their field trip - they were most gracious to accommodate and the experience was invaluable (school kids though not journalism students)! I guess perhaps it's just bad luck we wound up going at a busy time initially when we did.

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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