It's my story: helping care-experienced young people give effective media interviews
SCIE Guide 26
Published January 2009
About this guide
Care experienced young people have a key role to play in shaping the way the care system should be run. The media can be a useful tool to help care experienced young people influence the way journalists represent issues that are important to them. Giving media interviews about their experiences of the care system can also help care experienced young people challenge negative stereotypes.
Who is this for?
This guide is written for social care workers who want to prepare and support care experienced young people who choose to give interviews to the local or national media. It is also intended as a useful resource for workers in any organisation seeking to provide media interview skills training to marginalised or disenfranchised groups.
What do we mean by ‘media’?
There is often confusion about what is meant by ‘media’ because this word has such a broad context. Roughly speaking, ‘media’ covers any medium we use to communicate with the public, such as radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs and social networking. But in the context of this resource the term is being used to mean journalists and people who work for those publications, programmes and websites.
NB: If you advertise a course on media training you may find that young people come along wanting to find out how to make videos or set up their own radio station! So you need to be clear that you are talking about giving interviews to journalists.
How to use this resource
The material provided here will enable workers to provide an opportunity for young people to:
- explore ideas about media values
- learn more about how the media works
- learn how to present an argument effectively
- discover ways to feel more in control in interview situations
- experience a safe opportunity to test out whether they want to give interviews.
This resource focuses particularly on developing skills for radio and television interviews, because this is the area in which young people and other marginalised groups often feel most disempowered, but these skills are also transferable for giving interviews to print media – newspapers, newsletters, magazines – and their online equivalents.
- preparation for workers wanting to deliver media training
- training materials to use with young people
- handouts to give to young people
- sources of further useful information.
Assumptions are often made that young people are, or have been, in the care system through their own fault, or are bound to have difficult or anti-social behaviour. This resource was commissioned by SCIE to help address some of the media’s negative stereotyping of such disadvantaged and disempowered groups.
One of the key aims of this resource is to help people from disadvantaged groups get the best out of their contact with the media and speak about the issues that affect them
How it was developed
This particular training resource has been developed on behalf of SCIE by Henrietta Bond, an experienced media trainer who specialises in issues affecting looked-after children and young people, with assistance from Brenden Keane, a young people’s involvement worker who is care experienced. Brenden provided the filming and technical support for this project.
This resource draws upon a range of training courses and materials developed by Henrietta Bond to help people in the not-for-profit sector communicate their messages via the media. It also draws on information and some visual and audio examples from two training days for care-experienced young people, which Henrietta Bond and Brenden Keane delivered and filmed in early 2008. These training days were organised and funded by SCIE and took place in London (for young people from A National Voice) and in Cardiff (for Voices from Care Cymru).
Help with editing the resource was also provided by Ian Peacock, managing director of The Talk Consultancy.
Thank you to all the young people who took part in the training and to the following organisations that have contributed to the development of this resource:
- A National Voice
- Voices from Care Cymru