Top BBC journalists interviewed by Jill Dando reporters

Story and photos by Jill Dando News

Wonderful Jill Dando reporters aged 9 to 15 interview senior UK journalists with nearly 100 years of experience between them

The reporters from schools in The Priory Learning Trust alongside Ashcombe Primary School asked a range of questions via Zoom over two 40-minute ‘interviews’.

Olivia Finch, 15, of Worle Community School Academy (WCSA) hosted the talks and introduced one student or pupil at a time to ask questions of Nigel Dando, Katherine Smith and Branwen Jeffreys.

Nigel worked for 48 years in journalism, while Ex PCSA student Katherine and Branwyn work together at the top of the BBC. They visited Priory Community School Academy (PCSA) back in 2015. (Pictured).

BBC with Neville Coles and student reporters in 2015.

Students involved included Aimee Braithwaite, 14, of PCSA, and Dawson Panter-Wray, 12, of The King Alfred School Academy.

Students asked their questions while Principals and teachers watched on via Zoom. They asked the trio how people can cope during the coronavirus crisis, ‘do we need more positive news’ and about the future of journalism.

The Jill Dando News Centre initiative was started at Jill’s old school, WCSA, in 2017 and has spread to other schools in The Priory Learning Trust (TPLT) and also to Malawi.

Olivia Finch, 15, who has been a Jill Dando reporter at WCSA for three years since the project started, said: “We have all really enjoyed interviewing some senior journalist with so many years of experience behind them.”

Neville Coles Executive Principal of TPLT said: ”The students had a wonderful time interviewing such experienced journalists and found out some amazing answers. We are great very grateful to Nigel, Katherine and Branwen for theIr time.”

The aim of the Jill Dando News Centre is to train children to find and write stories in Jill’s style, which then go into the Media and Social Media – filling people’s minds with positive news in an era of bad news.

The Jill Dando reporters were the first journalists in Britain to interview new Prime Minister Boris Johnson inside Downing Street back in August.

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