News School Report is the BBC’s initiative to encourage 11-14-year-olds to become interested in journalism and the news. The BBC offers children from UK schools the chance to make their own video, audio or text-based news at school and to broadcast it for real, with the website becoming a live channel for one day. Launched last year with 120 schools and 3,000 students participating, the successful initiative streamed nine hours of school-based activities and pupils’ news reports, and this year has involved more than 10,000 students from over 250 schools across the country who are all readying themselves for their deadline- of 2pm GMT today, 13th March.
The BBC have also been supplying lesson plans and 200 journalist mentors to share first hand experiences of working in a newsroom and compiling their own stories with the students, and add support throughout the project. The schools will be acting like a real live newsroom, assembling their stories and deciding which order they are to be in by the deadline. They then publish their stories and broadcasts on their own school website which links to the School Report website for today via an interactive map. BBC News has the inside scoop:
Emulating professional journalists, participating 11 to 14-year-olds from over 250 schools are covering breaking news stories and broadcasting prepared reports on a range of topics including mobile phones, anti-social behaviour and body image.
Students from nine schools are holding politicians to account, including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron, Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrat Party, Northern Ireland’s First Minister Ian Paisley, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond and Presiding Officer of the National Assembly of Wales, Dafydd Elis Thomas.
Hollywood actor Dustin Hoffman, artists Rolf Harris and Dinos Chapman, and author Nick Hornby are among the celebrities who have already given interviews. Sport is high on the news agenda and Lord Coe, who chaired the successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and Minister for the Olympics Tessa Jowell both spoke to School Reporters. One group of students met the England women’s cricket captain Charlotte Edwards, while another is investigating the sporting pay scale for male and female athletes.
A dedicated TV channel and radio station is streaming from 9am today on the BBC News School Report site and through interactive TV