Sheffield schoolchildren learn about journalistic integrity with help from The Star

A group of Sheffield schoolchildren have been learning about journalistic integrity with help from Star reporter Alana Roberts.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 3:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 10:51 am

Members of the school council at Malin Bridge Primary School, on Dykes Lane, took on the role of the interviewer on Tuesday, January 21, to ask the specialist reporter about fake news and ways to counteract deliberate disinformation in the media.

It formed part of their half-term topic focuses on being honest, trustworthy and taking responsibility.

Carmen Kalnars, communications and marketing manager at Malin Bridge Primary, said: “Throughout the year we are learning about different aspects of citizenship. I thought journalistic integrity would fit well into this topic, so speaking to a journalist was a great opportunity for our kids.”

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The Star's Alana Roberts being interviewed by pupils at Malin Bridge Primary School

The afternoon began with the group asking pre-prepared questions to learn about the role of a journalist.

The topic then turned to fake news and the children were intrigued to discover how members of the press substantiate any claims made to avoid misleading the public.

Speaking of the visit, reporter Alana Roberts said: “The children were engaged and eager to learn about how journalists create stories. When I mentioned how I’d visited crime scenes their eyes all seemed to light up.

“It’s great to know they’re learning about fake news at such a young age. We live in the 21st century and although social media is a great thing, it means that stories or information can be shared quickly without the ‘facts’ often being verified, it then spreads and people begin to believe things which often aren’t always accurate.

The Star's Alana Roberts being interviewed by pupils at Malin Bridge Primary School

“It is the job of a journalist to verify information with organisations such as the police or the fire service and having a picture always helps. If someone, say an organisation or an individual, is being criticised in a story then we give them a right of reply to defend themselves against any claims. There are also partisan websites or outlets that may have an agenda and hoaxes can often be shared.”

Afterwards, the children questioned Alana about her favourite holiday in order to create their own fake and real news stories.

The Star's Alana Roberts being interviewed by pupils at Malin Bridge Primary School