How to Educate a Journalist

Plonking myself down at my computer after a trip out interviewing Geordies and exclaiming ‘this 11-year-old just told me…’ is becoming a bit of a theme. So I thought I’d start a blog with the show-stopping lessons I’ve learnt from children.

22nd November 2011: Child Poverty

“A 14-year-old just informed me that public sector cuts are cutting the North and Mr Cameron needs to invest in jobs….while a 16-year-old piped up that Nexus isn’t working and we need to re-market the under 16s card. I swear I wasn’t that on-the-money as a teenager”

29th November: Public Sector Strikes

“An 11-year-old from Libya – now living in Fenham – just told me she’s annoyed she’s missing out on a day’s education tomorrow but she’s more annoyed that no-one talked to the children about why they were missing a day of school, or asked what they thought about it. When I asked if she knew why she couldn’t go to school, she said she did but she was a bit confused. She’d like someone to explain strikes and pensions cos she wants to know.”

Meanwhile, a 6-year-old informs me she’s going to mummy’s work at the hairdressers tomorrow to wash her doll’s hair – but what does mummy’s work think of that? “They’re not that happy about it cos I’m quite noisy”

17th November 2011: Durham Lumiere

A 7-year-old says she likes art because it makes her feel free and she can express herself in a way she can’t do with words.

November 2011: Youth Unemployment hits 1million

A 17-year-old who’s just got engaged and is on the dole tells me his ultimate dream is to stack shelves – but he just can’t get a job. He’s applied for hundreds of jobs a week but now doesn’t bother half the time.

November 2011: Children in Need

An 11-year-old-girl tells me the youth project she loves tends to just attract the good kids so it isn’t really doing what it’s supposed to do – but it’s still great it’s here.

And a 16-year-old tells me what it’s really like to sign up for benefits as a homeless youngster; “you just need to know someone”.

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