The Gazette’s looking for newshounds!

Mereside primary pupils visited The Gazette offices to find out about writing for a newspaper. Below: Jon's debut in his local paper and (bottom) Katie upton, aged 10.

Mereside primary pupils visited The Gazette offices to find out about writing for a newspaper. Below: Jon's debut in his local paper and (bottom) Katie upton, aged 10.

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THE Gazette today launches it’s new Junior Reporter’s Club.

We are on the lookout for youngsters – aged between seven and 14 – to write for the Fylde coast’s number one newspaper.

Jon's debut in his local paper

Jon's debut in his local paper

Many years ago The Gazette had an army of young junior reporters who all took up their pens and notepads and wrote stories on a whole host of topics.

And today IT’S BACK!

Whether you want to be a journalist or just love writing stories we want to hear from you.

Has something happened in your local neighbourhood which you think readers of The Gazette would like to know?

Gazette reporter Katie Upton back in her Junior Reporter days

Gazette reporter Katie Upton back in her Junior Reporter days

Has your school team won a big game or have you or your friends done something which deserves a write up?

Or perhaps you want to write about your grandparents. Why not interview them and write about something that has happened in their lives.

Our new Junior Reporter pages start in The Gazette next month and we want as many young writers as possible to feature.

Gazette Editor Jon Rhodes explained: “All children love to write stories and so we want to give them the chance to show off their talents across the Fylde coast by featuring their reports in The Gazette.

“I clearly remember the first story I ever got published in my local newspaper. It was five lines about a police dog visiting a school.

“Twenty five years on I still recall the buzz I felt when I saw my report (titled ‘It’s a Fur Cop’) in print.

“It sparked an interest in writing which has stayed with me. I still proudly have that first cutting... so does my mum!

“From there I wrote sports reports about my school team and eventually got a job on my local paper.

“We know a number of schools – several who have visited The Gazette offices – are doing projects about the media.

“The interest and enthusiasm is amazing and so we thought it would be perfect to start a Junior Reporter’s Club and give youngsters the chance to see their work in The Gazette.

“And our junior reporters can literally write about anything they want to... even police dogs!”

To join the Gazette’s Junior Reporter’s Club could not be more simple.

All young writers have to do is complete the registration form to the right.

We will send you your very own Junior Reporter’s Press Card. All we ask in return is you start writing.

We are looking for pieces of around 200 to 300 words on any subject. It could be local news from your neighbourhood or school.

Have you been on holiday? Then write a travel review about what you liked.

Do you play in a sports team or watch one? Then write a report on how the team did.

Or do you like music? How about writing a gig review or a report on a school production or charity event.

The list of topics is endless.

Our club is free to join and you could win prizes, have your birthday featured on our Junior Reporter birthday board and, of course, get the thrill of seeing your story in print.

So join up today, start writing and be a star of The Gazette.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A REGISTRATION FORM

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Inspiring young writers

ADVANTAGES of being a Junior Reporter extend far beyond just writing.

Teachers and parents know the value of literacy, but the confidence gained by youngsters when seeing their work in print will translate to other areas.

Pupils from Mereside Primary School in Blackpool, learned about interviewing, planning and photos, among other skills, in a short session at The Gazette offices in January.

The team picked up the basics of reporting and impressed not only the journalists but those they interviewed while finding a new passion to pick up and run with.

Sarah Coldbeck, deputy headteacher at the school, said: “One student was so enthused and inspired, she is determined to be a journalist. For her to get that ambition would be impossible for us to inspire on our own.”

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From classroom to newsroom

by KATIE UPTON Former member of the old Gazette Junior Press Club

TO say my career kicked off at the tender age of 10 wouldn’t be too far off the mark.

When The Gazette last had a Junior Reporter programme – in the 1990s – I jumped at the chance to be involved and I’ve not looked back.

Having always been nosey, and a lover of words, journalism seemed like the right career for me.

It didn’t take long for me to sniff out my first scoop – about a conservation area being created in my primary school grounds, no less.

And a few years later I saw my first front page, aged just 17, while on a weekly placement at the paper.

Now as a fully fledged Gazette journalist it is always cheering to see budding young reporters come in, fresh faced and ready to report on local news.

It’s likely I’ll get nostalgic and emotional presiding over the next generation of Junior Reporters, but why not when I know where it can get them –who’d pass on the chance to land their dream job?

Were you an original member of The Gazette’s old junior press gang? We would love to hear from you. email Katie upton at katie.upton@blackpoolgazette.co.uk