FEATURE: Trinity Buzz gets the inside scoop
It's getting close to deadline.
All around the room, journalists are frantically keying stories into computers while, nearby, the editor rejigs the final layout.
There’s not a moment to lose and everyone has one eye on the clock – welcome to the hectic newsroom of Trinity Buzz.
Unlike most newsrooms there is no pot of coffee in the corner; that wouldn’t be appropriate as most of Trinty Buzz’s reporters are still of a single-digit age.
I’m here to be interviewed about my career as a journalist, and on taking a seat I realise that the combined age of my four interviewers are not much more than my age.
“How did you know you wanted to be a journalist?” one girl asks me seriously, pencil poised.
“Have you ever met anyone famous?” another chips in over her shoulder.
“How much do you get paid?” The girl next to me throws down the winning question and the others all forget their own questions, leaning in a little closer to catch the answer. Which is sidestepped like a well-trained politician.
“Not enough.” How I wish I possessed their unapologetic 10-year-old confidence when asking the truly interesting questions.
Trinity Buzz is the brainchild of South Yorkshire teacher Claire Pease – also acting editor – who while I’m mid-interview, fielding questions from her little reporters, dispatches them to do interviews and take photographs and somehow keeps the high-spirited office running smoothly.
“They’re brilliant kids,” reveals Claire, with a big smile.
“It’s always madness and we’re never short of things to fill the paper. It’s just a case of trying to get it all done in time, but we always pull it together.”
Claire, aged 32, of Barnsley, has been teaching at Holy Trinity C of E Primary School in Wakefield for 11 years and launched the newspaper at the school 18 months ago.
“My own kids go to school at Horizon in Barnsley and they have a school paper there, which is brilliant,” says Claire, who teachers year four.
“I decided a newspaper would be a great way for us to keep our parents, teachers and pupils informed about all the wonderful, positive things going on at our school, so I got some advice from the Horizon teachers and we printed our first issue in September 2014.”
Claire’s assistant editor is 11-year-old Ben, who tells me he is going to be real journalist someday.
“I like interviewing, I enjoy talking to people and getting the information I need, then writing it up,” he says.
“I also enjoy helping Mrs Pease, it gets quite exciting when we start pulling everything together at the end.
“I think I’d enjoy working in ‘hard news’ – I’d love to do this as a job one day.”
Nine-year-old Amy has been working on Trinity Buzz ever since it began and she tells me she loves writing about things she’s interested in.
“My favourite story I wrote was about one of our teachers doing some ballroom dancing, as I love dancing,” she grins.
“I like interviewing people, I think it helps make me more confident, and I love typing too.”
Trinity Buzz is printed every half term, meaning the team of 12 children – which meet every Monday after school – is always busy creating enough content to fill the paper’s eight pages.
“We don’t really struggle, as there is always so much going on,” Claire says.
“We get lots of information from other pupils and teachers and our paper has even had some good little scoops!”
Of course, like any other newspaper today, Trinity Buzz faces competition – from the school’s own radio and TV stations, which broadcast every day.
School sure has changed in the last few decades.
“We do sometimes get scooped by the radio or TV stations,” admits Claire.
“But our paper gives fantastic detail and so people still buy it – we can sell anything up to a hundred copies of every edition.
“It’s only 50p so we’re a bargain.”
And Claire is the first to admit that life as an editor is sometimes tougher than she thought.
She said: “I face some long evenings in the last week before we go to print, proofing and sorting layout.
“But it’s worth the effort and the kids are always so proud of their finished product, and rightfully so.
“It helps that I’m working with a great team of budding journalists.”
And if you should happen to miss their latest edition, there’s no need to fret; it’s all published on their website.
“It is 2016,” Claire smiles.
“Of course we had to make the move online.”
THE INSIDE SCOOP
Trinity Buzz were kind enough to send through a copy of their article about The Star’s visit:
“Exciting happenings in Trinity Buzz, as a real-life journalist Nik Farah came to visit us.
“She told us how her newspaper career began when she worked for Barnsley Chronicle; she now works for The Star in Sheffield. She used to write hard news, but she now writes more features, as she loves writing and talking to people.
“In her opinion she is not paid enough, but she really enjoys her job. Plus she can do shorthand which is like another secret language.