Page last updated at 10:21 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 11:21 UK

School Reporters have their say

Brentside High School students broadcast
Brentside High School students broadcast on the World Service

For the first time in the history of the global news discussion programme, World Have Your Say was taken over by children during School Report News Day.

The show on the BBC's World Service was presented by students from Brentside High School in Ealing, London, with contributions from students around the world.

Pupils decided on three discussion topics for the two hour-long programme, broadcast at 1800 GMT on 26 March:

  • Is the portrayal of teenagers in the media fair?
  • Does sex education encourage teenage sex?
  • Should children follow their own dreams or live those of their parents?

The School Reporters from London discussed these issues with four students in the BBC's Johannesburg and Budapest bureaux, and two students in the Netherlands.

Portrayal of youth

At the beginning of the show, students in London said they thought the media made people afraid of teenagers.

Matias talked about being followed by security guards when he went to a shop, and thought it was because of stereotypes created by the media.

South African students voiced similar experiences and a conversation followed about whether such negative attitudes to teenagers could be changed.

Follow your dream

The next debate concerned aspirations; whether children should follow their own dreams or live those of their parents.

Some argued that many are forced to follow their parents' hobbies, or desired career choices, to make up for the adults' lack of success.

Others thought listening to your parents' advice was always helpful, sparking a lively debate.

Making use of web-based communication, students at Brentside High read out emails sent into the programme.

Hands off

While World Have Your Say presenter Ros Atkins, was on hand to mentor the students, his voice was only heard occasionally.

During the second hour of the programme, he didn't say a word, giving the students an authentic broadcasting experience; one of the central aims of School Report.


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