Year 10 Global youth reporting success
Thomas is awarded Global Youth Reporter accolade by`The Day`
This is the story of my award in The Day’s Global Young Journalist competition and how I got interested in writing and reporting.
By Thomas 10T
In 2022, The Day launched the Global Young Journalism awards incorporating many different categories, with the winners to have their work published and to be given feedback by Journalism experts. The Day itself is a subscription-based newspaper for young people in schools, with a website and a physical magazine sent to – as of 2023 – over 900 schools in various regions worldwide. It was set up in 2011 by Richard Addis, formerly of the Daily Express and the European Newsweek, and has since been providing news to schoolchildren; it is in my opinion a very important job, and one which The Day has succeeded at in its years of existence.
With all that in my mind, a few months ago I entered the Politics section of the competition with an article and carried on living my life. Then, a few months later, whilst on the geography fieldwork trip, I received a very unexpected email from a steward from The Day congratulating me on having been officially selected as ‘runner-up in the Global Young Journalist Awards in the Ages 11-18 - Politics Journalist of the Year` category.
My interest in Journalism started about 3 years ago, Summer 2020 - the peak of Lockdown. A still yet unenlightened 12-year-old sits in the back seat of a car. Some repeat of a comedy show is playing, which I wouldn’t normally focus on, but my phone was out of battery so I thought I might as well. Out of nowhere, I start to enjoy the satire of the show. Before then I had never understood Radio 4 comedy but now, it was coming to me. I guess I had been forced into watching politics in Lockdown, what with the pandemic press conferences and the constant confusion about what everyone was doing/should be doing with their lives. By the Summer, I had come to absolutely despise the politicians who appeared on my television every Monday night, and so the concept of people making fun of their incompetence enthralled me. One thing led to another, and I actually started to enjoy the political sphere and writing about it. Most of my satirical articles in Perspectives school magazine are influenced by the work of comedians like Hugh Dennis and Bill Dare.
Over time I grew more interested in Politics in general, because of the importance it has on the world, and by the spring of 2022 I was fully invested in the decision-making of the country. Around this time, I was also becoming more involved in English lessons in school. Gradually I became more interested, which for me leads to a better performance. This was at least in part thanks to the English teachers that motivated me. I am hugely thankful for what they did to help me become more interested in writing, and in Literature.
The other inspiration I had was probably from David in my form. Back in the Lockdown days, he had set up a magazine himself called the 80 Times, and I thought it was a brilliant idea. So much so that I started to write some articles for it, despite not having really read much news in the past, or even having written articles before really. It was writing during these times that conveyed to me how much I really enjoyed Journalism.
Then it suddenly got announced that David had won BBC Young Reporter, to which I responded with shock and awe – not shock that David had won it, but although it might sound weird, shock in my mind that told me that I could do something like that too. And that was the point where I took Journalism seriously and joined the Perspectives school magazine team. I can’t thank David enough.
My first job at Perspectives was to write something about the UK train strikes that were going on at the time, but I finished it quite early so decided to write something else as well. I thought I might as well do what I’d historically done well, and so I wrote an article about the outgoing Prime Minister, who was at the time Boris Johnson, with hints of the satire from earlier. A few days later I was finished, and I felt good about the quality of the article, so I just kept going in that sense – becoming slightly more satirical as the political merry go round kept spinning.
Perspectives gave me the opportunity to write and express my thoughts like this, which is why I would highly recommend joining it in school.
Then one day, David introduced me to a competition that The Day was running. I had already intended to enter some competitions this year and so I decided to do this one as well. At first, I struggled for content, before coming across a subject in the news on Rishi Sunak’s `Maths until 18` plans. I can’t detail it too much here, but it’s quite a short and snappy article (not what I would normally do), which summarised his plans and my overall opinion of them. I submitted it and didn’t really think too much about it. My sister kept asking me about it, insisting I’d won, to which I would say probably not. That was until the email came in.
My hope for the future is that I can use this, and my work on Perspectives and more recently the school website news, as a springboard to go into professional Journalism. I will probably take Politics and English at A-Level to work towards this, but I’m still taking things one step at a time, because that’s how I got here in the first place.
I would never have predicted this a year ago, but that is how life goes.
This is an amazing achievement for Thomas and testimony to his hard-work, commitment, and the writing skills developed and honed in class, in the extra-curricular opportunities available in school, and in his own time. Well Done!