Skye pupils impress in Cuillin FM and Free Press media day

Class acts: Luke Eveling, Joe Jones, Lauren Cromack, Molly Jamieson, Carla Hunt with their certificates from the media day. Suzy Lee, Roddy MacLeod and Adam Gordon were all impressed by the students’ efforts. Photo credit: Willie Urquhart.

High school pupils in Skye immersed themselves in the world of radio broadcasting and news reporting during a media training course held last month.

The course, which was run by the Skye youth development arm of Highlife Highland, saw five pupils from Portree High School spend a day learning the ropes of radio from Suzy Lee of Cuillin FM and news writing from Adam Gordon of the West Highland Free Press.

The pupils got their first taste of radio presenting – and were also given the chance to produce a podcast and create jingles – as Suzy Lee provided a platform for the next generation to cut their teeth on the airwaves.

Suzy said:Cuillin FM were delighted to be part of the Highlife Highland media day, inspiring and sharing new skills with students from Portree High School. Our training for the day included making a short podcast including producing their own jingle, learning interview techniques and presenting skills as well as becoming confident with their own voice.

“It was wonderful to see them enjoying using the brilliant facilities we have here at the station and encouraging them to come up with ideas for radio shows. We also saw their confidence grow – particularly when several of them mentioned that they were normally quite introverted but felt that being behind a microphone brought them out of themselves.”

She added: “We were really proud of what they achieved in a few hours. This is exactly the type of workshop we want to do more of at Cuillin FM, and we look forward to building a strong relationship with the schools all over the island.”

The Portree High Pupils enjoyed their time in the Cuillin FM studio. Photo credit: Suzy Lee.

West Highland Free Press Adam Gordon gave the students an introduction to news and sports reporting and talked about some of the key aspects of political and feature writing.

During the session, the budding reporters were asked to consider how they would report on news, sports and features pieces for different platforms such as tabloids, websites and social media. They were also given an overview of some of the legal aspects to be aware of while reporting.

The students were really enthusiastic, attentive and asked some excellent questions which showed a good understanding of many aspects of journalism,” Adam said.

“I think it’s extremely important to give young people the opportunity to find out what’s involved in different jobs so they can work towards something they enjoy and are passionate about.

The Free Press would love to develop this connection with the local schools going forward. I really enjoyed teaching for the first time and hopefully, the session will have sparked further interest in writing and journalism among the group.”

Roddy MacLeod, youth development officer for Highlife Highland, said: “I’m delighted at how all the young people who took part really engaged throughout. As it was an in-service day at the school, it meant they wanted to be there so that was also a plus.

“This was my first real event as the new youth development officer for Skye, so it was great to have two experienced professionals volunteering their time to help us deliver this for young people. All being well, we will run the course again next year and try to make it just as if not more appealing.”