Local youngsters to take over Thornton Heath Chronicle

Young people from Croydon spent the day at Selhurst Park ahead of their Thornton Heath Chronicle takeover. The budding journalists, photographers and designers aged 13-24 were given training by Chronicle Editor and Palace for Life PlayMaker Andrea Perry about all aspects of producing a newspaper.

The team gathered together in the Selhurst Park media suite

Perry shared her motivation behind encouraging young people to produce their own issue of the newspaper:

“I wanted to give young people the opportunity to write and produce their own edition of the Chronicle so that they can have a voice locally. The youth edition will enable young people to have the chance to write about what is important to them – promoting their views, dreams and ambitions.

“I hope it will challenge a lot of stereotypes and negativity around young people. We have already made a great start and have a fantastic team of young people working on the project who are passionate and driven. Our first brainstorming session has thrown up some really exciting and insightful story ideas.

“I am very much looking forward to reading their finished articles.”

This special edition will also feature Palace for Life’s Business Support Officer Zaynab Osman as Editor, co-ordinating the content. She said:

“I will be working closely with the young people, not just on the content of their articles but also on the skills they would like to gain or improve.

“It’s great to be able to put young people from a range of ages and backgrounds in a room and watch how their common love of writing, design, or photography brings them together in such a creatively explosive way!”

The day included a mock press conference, with the youngsters getting an opportunity to sit in the Palace media suite and ask questions to Foundation CEO Mike Summers and Deputy CEO Donald Forde.

The young reporters ask questions to Foundation CEO Mike Summers and Deputy CEO Donald Forde in a mock press conference

Other activities during the day included one-to-one interviews, and brainstorming ideas for stories.

One of the young people involved, Sabrina Mohamed, was delighted with the experience:

“I really enjoyed the press briefing… the feel of it, the environment, the CEOs, it was so real. We’re being given a real opportunity.”

Chardonnay Henry hopes having her work published in the Chronicle represents her first steps towards becoming a journalist:

“I want to pursue a career in journalism and this will help give me the platform to further a career. I plan to travel in the future and this opportunity will give me the confidence.”

Another member of the team, Dinesh Sanassee, shares this ambition:

“I am looking forward to writing the paper and getting it published. It’s kind of a big deal. I am doing a degree in journalism and I want to put my theory into practice.”

The team will have regular meetings until publication in May, and will begin researching and writing their stories right away, before designing the newspaper itself in late April.

To find out more about the Foundation’s PlayMakers programme, click here, and for more information about this edition of the Chronicle, please contact ZaynabOsman@palaceforlife.org