Essex pupil named Young Journalist of the Year

PUBLISHED: 11:40 13 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:37 13 February 2018

ERphotographer, Thinkstock

ERphotographer, Thinkstock

ERphotographer

Essex schoolboy Rory Lewis was recently named Young Jounralist of the Year for 2017, so Essex Life couldn’t resist giving him the chance to see his work published in his local county magazine

Rory LEWIS, 11, has been named as the winner of the national STABILO Young Journalist of the Year competition. The Essex school boy, who attends King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford, was picked out by a panel of judges after writing a column about public opinion, persuasion, making your own mind up and having your voice heard – no matter how old you are.

With hundreds of entries, the competition was more popular than ever, but Rory wrote his way to success against tough competition with a piece that was extremely well written, captivating and interesting.

Rory said: ‘Winning STABILO’s Young Journalist of the Year feels absolutely brilliant. It is so wonderful that the judges thought my article was worthy. I have always loved reading and writing, and I enjoy keeping up with what’s happening around the world, which is why I read First News. At my last school, I launched and edited a newspaper.

Rory LewisRory Lewis

‘I really enjoy everything behind writing about current topics and discussions, even the research. I would love to be a writer or a journalist when I am older. For the competition I wrote about a subject that I feel very passionate about – young people making their voices heard and forming their own opinions.’

Now in its fifth year, the annual writing competition, which is run by STABILO in association with the children’s newspaper First News, aims to find the best young writing talent in Britain. As the lucky winner, Rory will have his column published on the First News website, an announcement in the paper and win £1,000 worth of STABILO products for his classmates.

Vanya Hunter, marketing manager at STABILO, added: ‘The talent of our young journalists surprises us every year. It is such a joy to read the children’s work, and is extremely difficult to whittle it down to just 12 finalists, let alone one winner.

‘The standard was the highest it has ever been, with some truly inspiring articles and stories. Congratulations to Rory and we hope that he and everyone else who entered the competition continues to write.’

Here is your chance to read Rory’s entry to the competition.

Be a Voice, Not an Echo

Words by Rory Lewis

How often do your parents read a newspaper that they do not agree with? Do they go out of their way to read views different to theirs? In the rapidly changing world that we live in, people may not want to hear about the opinions of others, only listening to views and opinions that they agree with, within their echo chamber.

An echo chamber is a metaphorical term for when beliefs, views and ideas are reinforced. One person will express their beliefs, and many like¬minded people will then reinforce this belief several times, exaggerating and distorting it along the way. These people will have reinforced this idea so much they will be unwilling to read, hear or learn about contradicting beliefs as they now only agree with that one belief.

In the EU referendum, the Leave campaign targeted their campaign at the people who were Eurosceptic and persuaded them to vote leave. People who had been persuaded to vote leave told their friends and family about the perks of leaving the EU, reinforcing and exaggerating facts, creating an echo chamber. Leave ended up winning largely due to this.

The social media sites that children and adults alike use target information and news at certain people, restricting various sites attempting to persuade them to believe or do something. This means finding different beliefs to ours is becoming harder, and we are becoming unwilling to read and learn about views challenging ours, creating an echo chamber that we are reluctant to disagree with.

You may be wondering how this related to children and pupils like us. But you might be in an echo chamber of a different kind yourself. Do you ever listen to the views of people who you don’t know as well? Only you can change your views.

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