Young reporters aspiring to become professional journalists have highlighted the need for more trustworthy news sources and to tackle misinformation in the media. The comments were made at the International Children’s Press Centre, one of the features of Football for Friendship (F4F) 2019, an international children’s social programme created by Gazprom six years earlier.
The Children’s Press Centre gathered journalists aged between 10 and 15 from around the world who dream of becoming professional journalists and sports reporters. The 32 selected participants take part in a media-like environment where they report on events related to F4F, all under the guidance of professional journalists.
The main goal of the initiative is to cultivate positive values, as well as promoting respect for cultural differences, all through, of course, football.
Young journalists get exclusive — and otherwise rare — reporting opportunities, such as interviewing football legends like former Real Madrid defender Roberto Carlos.
The junior reporters spoke about their “love” for F4F, but also about the current state of journalism.
“There are many news channels, but they are all biased, and there’s a lot to improve,” said Ananya Kamboj, a 15-year-old published author taking part in the initiative.
“In many countries, the agenda is based on race and gender, and that is not fair. We want a place where everyone is treated as equal, and this programme reminds us of that,” she added.
Nikita Chiosa, a 12-year-old aspiring journalist from Moldova, said journalism is very important these days, but flagged the need to tackle misinformation.
“There are way too many fake news and not enough trustworthy sources,” she said.
“We are trying to be the new journalists of tomorrow, we are trying to make a better world without fake news, and bring truth to the world.”
Football for Friendship encourages the strengthening of nine universal values: equality, fairness, health, friendship, peace, devotion, victory, traditions, and honour.
It’s these merits that many of the young journalists see could change the world for the better.
“These apply to everything, including journalism. We could even end wars with these values,” said Kamboj.
The Football for Friendship social programme is proud of its mission to boost children’s confidence, and also of providing a space for insight and reflection on the power of social initiatives and moral values.