Students are given deadlines to produce one article a month between September and April each year, which are published on local newspaper websites. At the end of the scheme, they can submit three of their articles to be judged by Newsquest with winning reports also featuring on the Young Reporter Scheme website.
Ten A Level students from CANDI are taking part in the scheme and their reports have already started appearing on the This is Local London website.
Fatima Blakemore, 16, has had an article published on Child Action Poverty Group’s Don’t Zap the Zip campaign to keep free travel for young people in London, and another on the importance of Black History Month. She said: “Journalism is a career I’ve been interested in for a while. The experience I’ve had on the Young Reporter Scheme has been great. I’ve had the freedom to write about things happening around me and raise awareness of important issues.
“Save the Zip is something I’ve been raising awareness about on my social media for a while now. So, when this opportunity came around I knew straightaway this is something I’d want to write about. For the article on Black History Month I wanted to find a local angle. It occurred to me that Diane Abbott is MP for North Hackney and Stoke Newington and was the first black woman to be elected to the House of Commons, so I decided to focus on her life and the need for more education on black history.
“It’s quite strange to see my name next to these articles, but it’s great to have a platform to write about things I care about.”
Khadijah Kaher, 16, who wrote a report to raise awareness of mental health, said: “I have written one article and another one is soon to be published. I’ve been able to express my opinions, improve my writing skills and share information about events that not all people have knowledge of.
“The idea for my first article came from World Mental Health Day. Mental health is an issue that many people face nowadays, and I wanted to create an article that would spread awareness about it. It’s exciting seeing my article online.”
The Young Reporter Scheme has been running for 12 years and is open to all students aged 14 to 18 and each year thousands take part in the scheme. A selection of students’ articles will also be published on Newsquest’s website.
The scheme was one of a number of student activities arranged by our Careers Service to help further develop their skills for university and boost their job prospects.