Department finds budding journalists in local primary schools

Sheffield primary school children practise their radio interviewing skills

Staff and students from the Department of Journalism Studies have given potential reporters an early start – by working with local primary schools to run taster sessions on radio interviewing.

Broadcast journalism tutor and former ITV reporter/presenter Katie Stewart led the sessions for pupils aged nine to eleven from Shooters Grove and Laughton Primary schools in Sheffield and Rotherham.

Also taking part were third-year undergraduates Wemmy Ogunyankin, Mary-Louise Smith and Tom Pyman, and the department's camera and editing tutor Matt Robson, who filmed the sessions.

Katie said: "It was great to work with such lively and interested children. Once we had chatted a bit about journalism they couldn't wait to get some hands-on experience!

"We gave the pupils some tips on interviewing techniques and brought some industry standard audio recorders for them to use. They loved their first radio interview experience."

Food for thought

Tom was impressed with the children's keenness to be involved. "I was taken aback by how enthusiastic the kids were," he said. "Judging by the kind of curiosity and nosiness that was on show, I think we've definitely found some budding journalists!

"Hopefully we've given them some food for thought, and one or two of them will be in our shoes in a few years."

The sessions were part of the Festival of Social Science, a week-long national event organised by the Economic & Social Research Council. The University of Sheffield ran a series of activities during the week, sharing its research with children and young people in and around the city.

The young people attending also get to meet current social science undergraduates, work with them and be taken on a guided tour of the University.