Pupils scoop visit to Leader office

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Mackie Academy pupils, along with teacher Gerry Lock, visited the Mearns Leader office recently as part of their BBC School Reporter’s elective class.

The second year pupils quizzed senior reporter Rachel Campbell, as well as sports reporters Martyn Simpson and Scott Milne, about the work that goes into producing the Leader.

They have written an article about their visit:

“On Tuesday, June 6, pupils from Mackie Academy’s BBC School Reporters elective class, visited the Mearns Leader’s Stonehaven office to interview Rachel, Martyn and Scott to ask some questions about creating the Mearns Leader for a research project.

“Our class of six are researching about use of media and local news. To find out more we decided to pay a visit to the Stonehaven reporters at the Mearns Leader.

“Eventually, we will take part in the BBC News School Report. BBC News School Report is an annual event in which over 1000 schools across the UK create news articles and videos which they publish online in March.

“We were surprised at how small the building was but we were given a warm welcome and sat down to discuss our questions with the reporters.

“We started off by asking what a typical day in their job would involve. We were given a descriptive response, with the reporters telling us that it was their job to write, collate and edit all the news from the area, with Scott and Martyn telling us that they wrote about sport, and Rachel saying she took care of other news.

‘‘We were shown a template of the Leader before the news is added, and told that the newspaper has to be ready for publishing by 5pm every Wednesday.

“After telling the reporters about what we were studying in our class, Rachel told us that it is the Leader’s job to take care of local news, not national news. However, they told us that they often find themselves writing stories about the effect that some national news can have on the local area.

“Throughout the rest of the interview, the reporters told us that they think the best part of their job is getting to attend exciting events and meet new people, and they told us about how they got into reporting.

‘‘Overall we enjoyed our visit to the Mearns Leader, and appreciate the time the reporters took to answer our questions. We feel that we have gained lots of valuable knowledge about reporting, and hope to visit again sometime in the future.”