Young reporters are putting public figures in the spotlight thanks to a new partnership with the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) – starting with the Deputy Mayor. 

The youngsters from age seven up to 18 who are part of Media Cubs have already been busy in the newsroom and have conducted their first interview with Bev Hughes, Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire and young people who were involved in the I Am Greatercampaign. 

You can watch the full interview here: 

During the collaboration with Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit, the Media Cubs young reporters will be holding online and in person press conferences where they will take control and lead interviews on key issues that the VRU is tackling along with partner organisations across Greater Manchester.  

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Ben, one of the lead reporters on the Media Cubs team, said: “It was fantastic to be the host of the first interview with the Deputy Mayor and the young campaigners involved in the I Am Greater campaign – speaking with them is not something that I thought I would get the opportunity to do. 

“It is important for young people to understand what is being done to reduce crime in our city and the boroughs and be able to ask big questions of those people who are making changes to help our future. 

“The Deputy Mayor and the young campaigners were very open and honest with their answers to our questions about what they hope to achieve and didn’t shy away from some of our tricker questions!  

“Our views and opinions matter, we might be small – but we should always be a part of big conversations and might ask questions or think of a good way to do something that a grown-up doesn’t – so I think it is great that we are getting to hold press conferences.” 

Established in October 2019, the Greater Manchester VRU brings together Greater Manchester Police (GMP), Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the National Probation Service, health and education professionals, youth justice and local authorities to address the underlying causes of violence and work together with communities to prevent it. 

Bev Hughes, Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, said: “It is fantastic to see young people being given the opportunity to ask the questions that are important to them to the people working to reduce violence and improve prospects for young people in Greater Manchester.  

“Right across Greater Manchester, the police, health and education professionals, local authorities and voluntary and community organisations are working hard to make a difference in the lives of young people. It is important that young people are part of this work, and their voices are heard.  

“I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with the young reporters and even answering their trickier questions! I look forward to watching and reading more of their content through the collaboration with the Violence Reduction Unit.”  

Media Cubs is the creation of mum-of-two and journalist Kirsty Day. The young reporters take part in digital and media challenges – from photography and filming, comic strip-making, TV presenting to newspaper reporting – so they can create, debate, and navigate news with confidence.  

Kirsty said: “We are delighted to have joined forces with the VRU to give young people the opportunity to have a voice and ask the questions that they want the answers to.  

“We often find that young people are left out of big conversations as they are underestimated in what they will understand or have to offer, so we are pleased that the VRU do not think that way and a big thank you to them for giving them the opportunity to put their reporter skills into practice, supporting them to increase their understanding of what the VRU does and helping them broadcast confidence – all of which will aid them to be fantastic adult citizens in the future. They can’t wait to put more members of the team in the spotlight during the press conferences and tackle subject matters that are important to them and their communities.” 

Out of 308 young reporters that Media Cubs spoke to as part of their latest impact survey, 91% feel more confident after attending Media Cubs, 97% said they learned something new and 87% said they feel like their views and opinions are important.  

For more information on Media Cubs go to www.mediacubs.co.uk