ITN launches My News in 65 journalism competition for school children

  • My News in 65 competition launches for children aged 7-14
  • Children are asked to enter a 65 second clip about an important story in their life
  • Mary Nightingale, Jon Snow, Ayshah Tull, Charlene White and Sian Williams will judge the entries and decide the winners
  • Competition opens November 2 and closes November 23, 2020 at 00.01.
  • Find out more at

To mark ITN’s 65th anniversary, we’re inviting children between 7 and 14 to become roving reporters and create short news clips that will be judged by top journalists from across ITN’s newsrooms.

ITV News presenter Mary Nightingale, Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow, Channel 4 News reporter and former BBC Newsround journalist Ayshah Tull, ITV News London presenter Charlene White, and 5 News presenter Sian Williams have all signed up as judges for the contest, My News in 65.

To encourage the next generation of broadcast journalists, the competition asks entrants to make a 65 second news clip – one second for each year ITN has been on air. We want to hear the stories that are important to them framed around different themes: happiness, change, inspiration.

The competition opens on 2 November and aims to open the doors of journalism to a wider range of people by encouraging children to start thinking about a journalism career early on in life. As a second national lockdown comes into place in England the competition is also a chance for children to consider learning a new skill.

During the first lockdown viewers flocked to ITN-produced news programmes across each of the three channels, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. In addition, youth-skewing services on social media, including ITV’s The Rundown and Channel 4’s YouTube channel, saw a record number of views.

One winner will be selected from children aged 7-10 and another will be chosen from children aged 11-14. The competition opens on 2nd November and closes on 23rd November, with the winners announced on ITN’s news and social media platforms.

The winners will be given a mentoring session with one of the judges, an invitation for a newsroom tour and a chance to practice their presentation skills in the hot seat, as well as an iPad.

ITN CEO Anna Mallett: “Our 65-year anniversary is a chance to highlight to children the opportunities that lie within journalism. We hope the My News in 65 competition will also help facilitate discussion with teachers, parents and peers about the importance of accurate news, how to recognise fake news and the role of social media in spreading, or sometimes distorting the facts. Ultimately though, we want them to have fun crafting their own story to be judged by some of the most experienced journalists in the industry.”

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow: “I hope this competition gives children the belief that they can also go out and tell stories now and in the future. I’ve done it for 44 years and it is a fantastic job. ITN’s 65-year anniversary is a brilliant opportunity to encourage children to engage with journalism and I am delighted to be judging the entries.”

ITV Evening News presenter, Mary Nightingale said: “A momentous occasion like ITN’s  65th anniversary warrants an equally momentous celebration, and what better way than sharing the spirit of ITN with some of our youngest viewers? For children, the coronavirus period may have led to school closures but whilst at home we also saw time and time again the amazing creativity and ingenuity that they possess. Whether that be through raising money, looking after family and friends or just finding a way to have fun in lockdown, we saw how much they could achieve and the passion they had to do so. And now it’s their turn to tell us. I can’t wait to hear the stories that emerge when the lens is turned for our competition.”

Charlene White, ITV News London and CITV presenter, said: “I was inspired from an early age by Sir Trevor McDonald and having worked recently with young people making IRL with Team Charlene, I know the breadth of creativity our next generation of journalists possess – and their thirst for truth and passion for questioning. I can’t wait to see the entries and I know we’ll be spoilt for choice.”

5 News presenter Sian Williams: “I’m so proud to be a judge in this initiative. Journalism has been my life for 35 years and perhaps it’s never been more important to tell a story well, which connects and has real meaning to your audience. If YOU have a story that needs telling – tell it to us! And have a go at engaging in one of the most exciting, challenging, creative careers out there.”

Channel 4 News reporter Ayshah Tull said: “I realised I wanted to be a journalist at 15 (I know, super old!) but as soon as I went on a field trip to a newsroom, I knew that’s what I had to be. It’s such a rewarding and fun profession. You get to be creative, write, talk to loads of different people. I hope this competition gives kids the belief early on that they can do this, and I can’t wait to see what they all come up with.”

The competition is part of the Unlocking Journalism initiative ITN is organising as part of a range of events and activities to mark its 65th anniversary.

For the wider initiative ITN is partnering with Broadcast publisher MBI and PressPad to offer a number of online events for teenagers and students considering a career in journalism. The events will start in November and will aim to offer insight, application tips and interactive discussions for those considering apprenticeships, as offered by ITN and Broadcast, and other opportunities.


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