BBC Young Reporter is welcomed to Wrexham

Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Young people from across the region spent the day behind the scenes with the BBC as part of a special media skills day hosted at Prifysgol Wrecsam/Wrexham University.

Hosted in collaboration with the BBC Young Reporter team and Wrexham University, high school and college students took part in a range of workshops and interactive sessions, in a bid to learn new skills and gain some insights about what it’s like to work in the media industry.

As part of the day, the young people heard from a host of industry professionals, including Megan Davies, Senior Journalist at BBC Wales, and Paul Brown, BBC Verify Journalist, who led a news workshop, where they put students to the test in working out how to spot whether a news story is factual or whether it’s based on misinformation.

Students were also treated to an inspirational ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ masterclass, where they heard from two of the Emmy award-winning documentary’s stars, Mark Griffiths – lifelong Wrexham AFC fan who has commentated on the club’s matches for 35 years – and Michael Hett, lead singer of Wrexham band, Declan Swans – the band who created the anthem ‘Always Sunny in Wrexham’. 

The pair discussed how the series has impacted the football club, city and wider community, and took questions from students. 

The ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ masterclass featuring Mark Griffiths – lifelong Wrexham AFC fan who has commentated on the club’s matches for 35 years – and Michael Hett, lead singer of Wrexham band, Declan Swans – the band who created the anthem ‘Always Sunny in Wrexham’.  

During the session, Mark gave students some advice for building a career in the media industry.

He said: “Always back your instincts. If you think you’re doing something or you’ve got an idea that’s good, back yourself. Being involved with the football club, particularly in these last few years, has taught me that anything can happen – even here in Wrexham, especially in Wrexham!

“My advice is be brave wherever you are, don’t be afraid to approach people and make contacts. It’s so important.”

Other sessions which took place throughout the day saw students have a go at podcasting, making their own short-form TikTok video, trying their hands at mixing and sound effects for film, theatrical make-up and more.

Students from Maelor School in Penley, Wrexham taking part in the podcasting session, as part of the day.

The day rounded off with a talk on inspiring careers – featuring insights from Megan Davies; Robert Corcoran, Filmmaker and Artist; and Steffan Owens, Musician & Lecturer in Filmmaking and Creative Technology at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA). 

Amber Hughes, a Year 13 student at the Maelor School in Penley, Wrexham, said: “It was a really interesting day – it’s been great to try out some of the different elements of media, that I haven’t tried before, including podcasting. It’s been a good insight, I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Kully Khaila, Executive Producer at the BBC Academy, said: “BBC Young Reporter is a project run by BBC Academy, which engages with young people across the UK – and we we’re thrilled to have brought it to the young people of Wrexham. 

“Days like this are essential – for the BBC, it’s also about engaging and connecting with young people that probably don’t always see the BBC as being for them. While for the young people, it’s about building their skills and making them think about the potential of a creative career in the media. 

“It’s been amazing to see how engaged the young people have been, and also build up our connection with the University and Wrexham AFC.

Ben Kibble-Smith, Student Recruitment Manager at Wrexham University, added: “We were delighted to host the BBC Young Reporter team and provide a day centred around building young people’s media skills and knowledge, and hopefully, inspire some media professionals of the future. It was an inspiring day and young people from our region’s schools and colleges engaged brilliantly with the sessions.

“A huge thank you to the BBC Young Reporter team, Wrexham AFC and the ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ team, as well as the schools and colleges who made the journey over to us for the day.”