Have you tuned in yet to the race for president? If the record-breaking voter turnout and close-call primaries haven’t been enough to hold your attention, consider this: Amid the pack of journalists at the debates, campaign rallies, and victory parties, students your age are reporting the whole scene from a kid’s perspective.
Outfitted in bright red shirts and armed with microphones and notebooks, the Scholastic Kids Press Corps has 80-plus members ages 10 to 14 from all over the United States.
Their stories at Scholastic News Online (www.scholastic.com/election2008) include everything from the candidates’ ideas about education to interviews with their children.
They’ll even tell you about behind-the-scenes stuff, like a security dog sniffing its way down a line of people before an event.
Before they started, the Kid Reporters got tips from professionals about how to cover a story. But it’s up to them to come up with questions and write up what they hear and see. (See the questions in the box at the top of the next page.)
“The first time [I was] trying to speak to a candidate, I was nervous and it was difficult for me,” says Hana Knowles, a fifth-grader at Beaver Meadow Elementary School in Concord, N.H.
She thought it would be scary, but when she started talking to the candidates at a debate, “it felt like just talking to [an ordinary] person,” she says. “They treated me nicer, because they let me have extra questions, but other than that, I think they treated me like a real reporter.”
That’s because she is a real one. “Their copy [another word for story] is treated just like any other professional journalist’s copy is treated,” says Suzanne Freeman, editor of Scholastic News Online.
Sometimes the kid reporters turn heads as they set up alongside much taller journalists. Photographers focus cameras on them, but these novice newshounds keep focused on their mission.