Spies, crazy scientists, professional footballers and a whole host of colourful characters were interviewed by primary school reporters competing to put out the best newspaper.
Crookhorn College of Technology hosted a nail-biting competition last week that saw six teams of youngsters from Morelands, Queens Inclosure, Waite End and St Peter’s Catholic primaries, as well as Hartplain and Purbrook juniors, vying for the best scoops and most captivating interviews.
The youngsters didn’t have to go far to find great stories, with Year 10 drama students from Crookhorn posing as interviewees ranging from a Glee actress (Danielle Watson, 15) to talent show opera contestant (Gareth Wenman, 15).
Even better, they had the chance to quiz real-life police community support officer Lee Collins, 22, and special constable Daniel Bell, 21, about a stolen Ferrari.
Overall winners were the Waite End newsteam, who produced the 60p Waite End Weekly with fun stories about an injured Pompey FC footballer, a lottery winner spending his money on a chocolate factory and a ‘Not so POP-ular popstar’ whose acid tongue had upset a few others in the industry.
Tianna Smith, 11, said: ‘We all worked together well – a couple interviewing, a couple typing – and it all came together. I’m glad we won.’
Kieran Tobitt, nine, said his favourite task was interviewing.
‘I liked Zelda, the moaning old lady, she made us laugh when she talked about annoying kids.’
Jubial Khan, nine, added: ‘I might want to be a journalist when I grow up. It was fun, but very hard work.’
Charmaine Reed, 14, who played the unpopular popstar, said: ‘It was interesting to see how far some of the “journalists” got compared to some of the others, depending on their questions. I’m glad I got involved.’
Claire Weeks, Crookhorn’s head of English, said: ‘The quality was phenonemal. With the Waite End Weekly we were convinced we were reading real news stories. We had to pinch ourselves to make sure they were junior school students!’