A lack of work experience places for school pupils in newsrooms has led to the launch of a scheme which will see hundreds of children given the chance to try their hand at journalism.
The Young Reporter scheme, run by Newsquest’s South London Guardian Series newspapers, works in partnership with secondary schools to give pupils the opportunity to publish articles and pictures on its websites.
More than 600 students are taking part in the scheme from schools in Surrey, London and Kent.
It was launched as it was felt that pressure for work experience places in newsrooms from graduates trying to get into the profession was making it difficult for those still at school to get a taste of life as a reporter.
The scheme will see them research and write stories and upload articles to meet deadlines.
Diana Jarvis, who coordinates the scheme for Newsquest said: “It has been a fantastic start to the Young Reporter of the Year scheme. So far some really fascinating articles and great photographs have been uploaded by the students within the specified deadlines.
“We are delighted that so many schools signed up for this unique opportunity, which allows students to try their hand at journalism working alongside professionals.”
Rod Wycherley, English master at Epsom College said: “The scheme organised by Newsquest is a wonderful and unique opportunity for our students to experience, in a real world environment, what it is to be a journalist.
“It allows them not only to develop a mature understanding of the world around them, but also to foster independent skills and experiences as they build towards a portfolio of different topical articles.”
The best articles and photographs over the coming months will be entered for the Young Reporter Awards 2012, sponsored by Roehampton University.