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Budding young journalists take part in BBC News School Report Day

March 20, 2017

A number of local students had the opportunity to sharpen their interview skills when they took part in the annual BBC News School Report Day on Thursday last.

Budding young journalists, would-be news producers, aspiring camera and sound operators and roving researchers from St. Joseph’s High School in Crossmaglen, St. Pauls HS, Bessbrook and St. Mary’s HS, Newry featured on project, which is now in its 11th year.

The programme helps thousands of 11 to 16-year-olds across the UK to make their own news for a real audience and gives BBC staff the chance to share their skills with young people to help them make content and find out more about working in the media.

As part of the project, BBC News NI broadcast journalist and presenter Barra Best hosted a live studio discussion from the BBC’s Blackstaff Studios in Belfast.

More than 300 students were in the audience while invited panelists Jeff Peel, Fergal McFerran, Anita Dennison, Ursula Murphy, James Huish and Dr Victoria Simms fielded their questions on a range of topics including: Brexit, Entrepreneurship, STEM subjects Vs Creative jobs, and Bullying and Mental Health issues.

(l-r) Faith Gibson from Priory Integrated College, Holywood; Niamh Connolly from St Mary’s High School, Newry; Reece Lavelle from St Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen, and Ashley Martin from Lurgan Junior High School, with BBC NI News broadcast journalist and presenter, Barra Best, at a live online studio discussion on Thursday for this year’s BBC News School Report Day

The studio discussions were prompted by the screening of four short films made by students from local schools, with help from BBC newsroom mentors.  One of the chosen films was made by pupils of St. Paul’s HS in Bessbrook and entitled ‘St. Paul’s Does The Apprentice’.

Past pupil and entrepreneur Grainne McCoy, who featured in the recent series of ‘The Apprentice’, returns to St. Paul’s to speak to the Business Studies students and reveals the story of her success. The film includes interviews with Grainne and students who have formed businesses in the school.

Praising the initiative, Barra Best said: “I’ve seen first-hand how keen students can be to develop skills in the world of media.  They get to bring their story to life by researching what it’s about, interviewing those involved, and finally by presenting it to our audience. Personally, it’s great fun working with the students and it’s great to see their stories develop so well.”

Contributions from pupils can be viewed at the following links:  [St. Joseph’s] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-39277274?SThisFB

[St Paul’s] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-39286858.

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