Words by Smiley Team
A social enterprise that lets primary school-age children try their hand at news reporting has reached 1,000 children since launching.
The ‘mini reporters’ get the chance to be on camera while learning how to create, debate and navigate the news.
The pop-up TV studio and newsroom Media Cubs was set up as a project of social enterprise Yellow Jigsaw, and aims to support all children in improving their confidence.
“The club was inspired by my son Jack, who struggled to find a club that matched his interests in media and creativity," says Kirsty Day, the project lead for Media Cubs.
"It is amazing to witness these children grow with confidence and believe that their views and opinions matter. And to know my son Jack inspired an idea that has reached so many children is a dream come true.”
Over the last two years, the child reporters have had the opportunity to take on real reporting challenges. They've reported on Covid news, politics and sports, and have even interviewed big names.
They held a press conference with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and interviewed sports stars, Covid vaccine scientists and superintendents from Greater Manchester Police.
Some of the news reports made by and featuring the school children have even been covered by ITV Granada News.
“The pandemic really showed that children and young people deserve a voice when it comes to society's big debates," says Kirsty. "They really stepped up to have their voices heard by holding their own press conferences with the Mayor and Children's Commissioner for England at the time, and even collecting 300 questions to send to 10 Downing Street."
"Since the pandemic, a thousand children have joined the Media Cubs newsroom to develop their reporter skills and interview role models.”
This milestone has been reached at a time when the club has secured social investment to further expand across Greater Manchester and beyond.
Julie is a 10-year-old mini reporter who has joined the Media Cubs 'board' after taking part in the virtual clubs and interviewing a British Olympian and a palaeontologist.
"Media Cubs isn't just something your parents want you to do, but something that you really look forward to. Everyone is so welcoming and kind”, says Julie.
"When you get put into a team with people you don't know, you really work together. I find that really important and really special about Media Cubs."
SUPPORT: If you're looking for ways to support children in their early years through education, Right To Succeed is a nonprofit that supports communities in areas of high deprivation to give children and young people the best start in life.
VOLUNTEER: Inspire! is an educatino charity supporting young people in London. Find out more about their volunteering opportunities.