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Children take on regional editor’s job for a day

The editor of a regional daily was able to kick back and relax after handing over the running of the paper to a group of six young schoolchildren.

The junior school pupils were awarded the chance to run the Norwich Evening News after their club raised more than £11,000 for charity.

Editor Nigel Pickover gave them a speech about the important role a paper plays in the community, before letting the group take over his office for the whole day.

And assistant editor David Powles then talked them through what makes a good newspaper, before letting the children have their say on the biggest stories of the day in morning conference. They chose the launch of a new charity appeal as the splash.

The front page splash chosen by the young visiting editors

The six youngsters all belong to The Aquila Club at Kinsale Junior School in Hellesdon, which raised thousands of pounds for Nelson’s Journey and Children in Need by organising a charity ball in November.

The students said they enjoyed the day – despite it being “a lot of talking and typing” – and even experienced some of the problems faced by journalists, such as people being reluctant to take part in vox pops.

Said Nigel:  “We were delighted to give over editorship of the Evening News for the day to The Aquila Club – it is the least they deserve.

“Here are a group of children who devoted hour upon hour of their spare time to try to help others. It came as no surprise therefore that they continued to do themselves, as well as their school, proud from the minute they walked into the offices of the Evening News.

“They showed great enthusiasm, asked tough questions and came up with some very good ideas.

“By the end of the day they were tired, but happy to have done their shift. They also learnt a lot about how the modern newsroom works as well as what life is like in a busy office.”

Evening News assistant editor David Powles with some of the Aquila Club

One of the students, Rebecca Cator, said: “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was very exciting and we did a lot of things. We had to go out on to the street to do a vox pop, which means getting people’s opinions.

“We were outside for quite a while talking to people because no one seemed to want to stop. We went back to the office to write our reports. Even though we did a lot of talking and typing, we still had lots of fun!”

Their headteacher, Carolyn Baxter, added: “The children really looked forward to this day and they clearly had a great time. They are now in a better position to understand the work that goes into writing newspapers and the importance of making good choices – especially with what is put on the front page.

“They particularly enjoyed going into the city centre to collect people’s opinions to help with a story. I am sure they will remember this day for a long time.”

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  • February 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Is this the model Local World is going to employ in its content review programme?

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