Goldsmiths backs scheme to give local children a voice in journalism

A new scheme backed by Goldsmiths, University of London, will allow school pupils in London to take part in journalism with the hope of improving their literacy skills.

Goldsmiths in Lewisham has teamed up with The Student View, an online publication written by children aged 11-15 years.

The college is hosting a workshop on May 27 where the young people can learn about how to write news stories, working with lecturers and students from the BA in journalism.

Solomon Elliott, a teacher at the Kingsdale Foundation School in West Dulwich, founded The Student View in September after seeing several of his students struggling with reading and writing.

Now hundreds of school children across 10 different schools in London write weekly articles about topics of their choice.

He said: “I just think it’s incredibly important to have young people feeling like they’re involved in society , they’re leading a change in society and they’re doing that by having their voices heard. The Student View is great to have as a platform as it allows young people to express themselves, so I get a real kick out of seeing that on a daily basis.”

Professor Angela Phillips, a lecturer in journalism in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, who is running the workshop, said: “Student View is improving literacy and news knowledge in schools. It also raises awareness of journalism and its importance to democracy. We support these aims and hope that it will also contribute to improving diversity in future news rooms.”

Goldsmiths is also funding Elliott and two of his colleagues so that they can participate in Goldsmiths’ 10-week summer online journalism course, where they will learn essential skills which they can pass onto pupils.

Clara Vazquez, 14, is one of the 30 students at the Kingsdale Foundation School and contributes one to two hours a week to The Student View. She said: “I have always had a passion for the news and the media. It’s always cool when you can make a difference and let people know what’s going on, especially if they can do something about it.”

Elliott sees a huge potential in his students. He said: “I think they’re very gifted readers and more importantly gifted writers. You can really hear their voices coming out, so I definitely think they’ve caught the bug, watch this space!”

Video production and writing by Eir Nolsøe and Grant Muir

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