28/03/2014 Newswatch


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Hello, welcome to Newswatch with me, Samira Ahmed.


School children around the country tried their hand at reporting the


news on Thursday. But how does BBC News serve this age group as an


audience? We'll hear some teenagers tell the


Head of the BBC Newsroom what they want from the Corporation's news


service. Are teenagers interested in the


news? If not, does it matter? And what do they actually consider


newsworthy? It could be a problem for the BBC if there's a generation


growing up without the habit of accessing news on its various


outlets. We saw some examples of that generation, not just consuming


news, but making it, for Thursday's BBC School Report Day. More than


30,000 children from over 1000 schools created content online, on


radio and on TV, including an interview with Michael Gove in which


he demonstrated his rapping skills. We asked some of those School


Reporters from London's Richmond Park Academy to tell us what they


think of BBC News. A lot of the time it is sort of


aimed more at adults. It hasn't got a lot to do with teenagers.


Most of the things aren't really for our age group. It's quite hard to


understand what it's all about because I'm not very into the news.


In a typical day, I wouldn't really watch news programmes or look at the


BBC website. I get my news from the Metro.


I don't really enjoy the news that much. It doesn't really target me.


In a way, I think it's just something my parents should know


about. That lack of engagement with


traditional news bulletins represent a challenge for the broadcasters.


But the BBC News app and mobile and online news in general are embraced


more enthusiastically by these teenagers.


With the app, it's really easy because you can choose which variety


of news you want to read. UK news, international news, education and


health news. You get to choose what you want.


For School Report, these students have been making TV, radio and text


reports on subjects such as exam pressure and homophobia, filming and


editing them themselves. And there is more evidence that this is a very


media`literate generation. I took part in a scheme where we


managed to create an app and design an advert for it. We also did an


advert for the sixth form. I studied digital media for a year, so that


helped. I think that now, my generation do have to know about


media because everything relates around it.


No surprise then that they know their way around different media


outlets. If I had to focus on the news


changing and laws changing and things like that, I would normally


watch BBC free speech. Because they tend to have a lot of opinions going


about. It has debates and people get to project their opinions about what


is going on. How they feel the news is maybe biased sometimes.


Unfortunately, the debate programme "free speech" is on BBC three, which


will become an online`only channel with reduced content next year. And


there is another problem for this group. The way teenagers are


represented on broadcast news, in reports like this.


REPORTER: the teenage killer, here wearing a baseball cap...


They are portrayed in a really negative way. There isn't much good


news about them. Most news is about fights or someone getting stabbed


and it's mostly teenagers doing it. But actually, it's just a minority.


They are not taking into account the other teenagers who are actually


doing something with their lives. The desire for more inspirational,


positive stories, featuring role models such as Malala Yousafzai,


reflects a wider discontent with the subject matter of TV news.


They focus on one thing in particular. Then they string it


along for too long and don't really move on. Adults think that things


like celebrity gossip isn't news but it still kind of is and that is what


my age group mostly read or listen to.


I guess I'm just more interested in what is happening around me, so


politics, anything that could affect my life.


Plenty to ponder then, for executives and editors, who want to


ensure that this doesn't become a generation lost to BBC News.


Two of the School Reporters featured there, Rose and Tippi, join me now


in the studio, along with the Head of the BBC Newsroom, Mary Hockaday.


We asked you to look at a bulletin from Wednesday. It featured energy


companies and the cultural separation and the teacher strike.


What did you make of it as a piece of news?


The energy News will apply to me when I am older about it is not


something that affects me at the moment. I have school to worry


about. The teacher strike does apply to me. That is something I would


like to know about. That affects my education. I am coming into your


ten. I am more interested in the other side of it. The politics, so I


was quite engaged with the gas story and the cuts story. If you care


enough about the actual subject matter, I believe teenagers would


also be engaged. It is interesting. We know that


young people want celebrity news. Some adults really hate this. This


is a dilemma. Programmes like the main bulletins


have a broad audience which features older people as well. We're trying


to do a summary of what we think are the main stories of the day. But in


a way that we hope is interesting to a broad audience, including a


younger audience. Howl about how young people are


portrayed? There is a perception that you see teenagers wearing


hooded tops and they have committed crimes. But we don't see positive


portrayals. I would hope that across the range


we do show teenagers in lots of different lights. Some examples


recently where talking to young entrepreneurs, including a guy who


made a new Zap aged 17 and has managed to sell it for huge amounts


of money. I would hope that in the round, we are talking about the real


lives of real young people. I would also say that as well as the main


news, there are some services which are really for young people. You


guys may be growing out of Newsround.


What you think about specialised content? Newsround is aimed at those


aged up to 12. There is also BBC Three's free speech. But of course


that channel will become online. Is there enough content for you? I


think it is unfair that the kind of skip out our age group. Newsround


goes up to 12 years old and then... It is more celebrity or sports which


might not appeal to our age. Then suddenly it goes to more serious


content. There is a big space for our age. Unless they check online,


they don't have something that they can watch.


This idea that you should go online, there are different applications, is


that the answer? That is a great way for people like


me to access the news. But it would be nice if there were TV news shows


specifically for teenagers. I agree that it kind of skips our age gap


aged over 12. You offer a lot of platforms, but


actually people want a bulletin aimed at them. They are neglected.


You're not the first people to see this. It is interesting. We have


been thinking hard about this. I think there is a gap between the


Newsround audience and the main news audience. And then there is BBC


Three. There is also news be, a radio service. We know that not all


young people listen to the radio. We're looking at ways to take more


of the Newspeak journalism, of which you are the target audience, and


make it available not just on radio, but in video, on digital platforms.


I think that we will be able to do that in the next few months. We


should have something exciting. We're also doing something with


putting new stories onto social platforms like Facebook and


YouTube. We always leave you to tell us we're due are going in which


platforms you spent time on. Thank you very much.


And you can see stories from the students of Richmond Park Academy


and other young reporters from around the UK on the BBC School


Report website: bbc.co.uk/schoolreport.


Just time before we go for a couple of your comments on this week's news


coverage, which has featured prominently the ongoing and tragic


saga of the missing Malaysian airliner. On Monday, the airline


said their assumption was that the plane was lost, with no survivors,


and news bulletins showed the reaction of relatives of those on


board. Gillian Hugh`Jones was: "Appalled and incredulous that you


keep showing video of the anguished and devastated families and friends


of the passengers. You could have given them the dignity of privacy at


this time." And on Wednesday there was news of


the "conscious uncoupling" of celebrity couple Gwyneth Paltrow and


Chris Martin, if "news" is the word, which ` according to Gill Brooks `


it isn't. "Is this really so important to the


British public?" She asked. "It certainly isn't to me. This is


frivolous showbiz gossip. If every marriage break`up was reported on


the news, there would be no room for anything else."


Thanks for all your comments this week. You can share your opinions on


BBC news and current affairs by ringing 0370 010 6676 or e`mailing


[email protected] We're on Twitter and do have a look at our website,


bbc.co.uk/newswatch. That's all from us. Join us again


next week. Goodbye. Thunderstorms have kept going this


evening across parts of the Midlands and stretching into other areas.


Some hail being reported.


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