It’s a programme that’s survived 50 years as the beating heart of children’s news programming and Newsround is showing no signs of slowing down.
A staple of any child’s morning routine, the programme has had a wide range of on-air talent over the years and has covered a multitude of stories from the hard-hitting and the difficult, to the lighter ‘happy’ news, the show has brought children up across the country for the past 5 decades.
The show is based at the heart of Salford Quays having moved into the dock10 studios in MediaCity following time being broadcast from London.
Ahead of the celebrations of the 50th birthday of the popular programme, presenters Hayley Hassals and Martin Dougan spoke about life at the helm of the biggest kids current affairs show.
Hayley said of her role: “I think we’re all so different on the Newsround team which is what makes us all so special and skilled at different areas, but I think one thing we all have in common is were empathetic to young people and we all wanna listen, I’d say that’s the main thing that possibly we all do.
“With all journalists you need to listen to what they tell you, because for Newsround, children are at the heart of every story and they often inform us, it’s less that we are informing them and it’s more we are going out to find out what they’ve got to say so yeah the main skill is listening to kids.”
The team at Newsround reflected on the difficulties that comes with reporting on news and issues for children such as the current crisis in Ukraine as well as covering events such as the Manchester Arena bombing.
Martin Dougan said: “The Manchester bombings was the first time in my Newsround career where I covered a story like that, that directly impacted kids, it’s kind of like Ukraine now but it was the first time something really terrible had happened at a kids concert.
“It was a real challenge but it’s funny because when something like that does happen, Newsround really does come up because it’s horrible to say but people often come to us when it’s the darkest stories”.
Reflecting on the same time period Hayley added: “On that day we responded massively because there were children in schools across the country who had freidns there or at least knew people there and they definitely knew Ariana Grande and so it was definitely on their radar.
“I was in at 5 in the morning and we ended up not only going out to the scene to report on it for Newsround but we were on every news outlet talking about how children will be worried and how they can find help and reassurance on Newsround online and we went to countries across the world talking about how we are helping to reassure children, empower them with the knowledge but also report on what’s happening.”
Newsround have continually proved their commitment to telling stories for children by following up on the tragedy for an extended programme a year later to take a look at the real impact the attack had, had on children.
Newsround is still going strong and they are set to launch three new longer-from documentaries throughout the year to explore more topics in-depth, including examining The Queen ahead of her platinum jubilee later this year.
Newsround continues to be a success and at 50 years old it’s certainly showing no signs of slowing down!