Lyra McKee despaired about trying to get in to the media. But then she was rescued by an e-mail from Channel 4 Television, no less.

Channel 4 runs a media site called which is aimed at those people who want to launch a career in music, art, media, performance, and graphic design. In collaboration with Belfast City Council, they will be holding a workshop next week on print and online journalism which I have been accepted onto as a participant!

However, what especially impressed me was the fact that Belfast City Council is to pay for my place at the event. They have put their hands into their pockets so that I can have a few hours with some of the best journalists in the UK. For that I would like to publicly thank them.

There was, I felt, no real open door policy.

Only two months ago, about the time of my last rage against the injustice we rookie hacks face, I wrote an article on how few opportunities there are for young journalists. There was, I felt, no real open door policy.

Since then, I have found that this training day is only one of many initiatives across the UK encouraging young people to consider a career in journalism and the wider media. Many organisations are on the lookout for fresh, hot-blooded young people like you and me to educate in the black arts of print, radio and television. The moral of the story for me is that I should think a little more before I speak or write.

Look at our very own wonderful Reach For The Sky website. Here, you can find tips on reporting and how to make a living out of it. The recent Young Journalist awards are also a great way of recognising cub reporters for what they are; young journalists.

Before I won the Sky Young Journalist of the Year competition I didn’t think anyone in the UK, aside from members of Children’s Express, was familiar with the concept of young people writing for newspapers and websites, etc.

Now it is more obvious to me that there are those in the media industry who will acknowledge our presence and savour and respect opinions. This is extremely heartening for many people like me. And all thanks to the Children’s Expresses and Reach For The Sky’s of the media world. So three cheers for them and long may their interest continue towards a brave new world.

About this team

This article was written by Lyra McKee, 16, from our Belfast newsroom in 2006. It was published on the Reach for the Sky website.

Lyra McKee was a previous participant of Headliners in Belfast and more recently a trustee of Headliners (UK). She was killed in Derry/Londonderry on the 18th April 2019. You can read the statement from Headliners (UK) here.