Behind the News
Kidzone went behind the scenes at Behind The News to asked host Amelia Moseley what it’s like investigating and presenting stories on every Aussie kids’ favourite news show.
Kidzone: What’s a typical day like for you on the job at Behind The News (BTN)?
Amelia: It depends which day! It’s such a fun job in that way. One day is mostly spent presenting the show in the studio, another day is all researching and writing stories, and another is out filming, talking to kids or experts, or dressing up and acting in a scene you’ve created.
Also, since news changes constantly, you can rarely know which stories you’ll be working on and learning about the next day or week. But when you do report on it, you have to become an expert in whatever topic it is; from natural disasters, war and politics, to Egyptian mummies, space races and crocodiles!
How do you and the BTN team decide which stories make it onto the show?
We put heaps of thought into it. We have producers that make the final decision on what goes into the show, but as reporters we’re all expected to contribute our ideas each week (or daily on BTN Newsbreak). It’s about making sure we’re covering topics that kids care about, should know about, will be wondering about, or that will affect you or involve you. We also have an education advisor who helps us work out how our stories might be helpful at school, because that’s where most of our audience is.
How are stories investigated and researched?
As reporters, we write and research all our own stories and it’s important that we make sure they’re accurate. Sometimes we do make mistakes (did you know BTN reporters are humans, too?), but since we’re educating kids around Australia and we’re part of the ABC, there are a lot of people watching us! The ABC is a trustworthy news source, so we use a lot of groundwork done by other ABC journalists. Otherwise, we make sure to always check our facts and sources by seeing where a story comes from and how many other people are reporting it to make sure it’s not fake or misleading news.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Trying to work out a creative way to present info that’s, umm, a bit boring, basically! OK, very boring. I shouldn’t say that, but sometimes it’s true! For example, the Australian Federal Budget isn’t the most thrilling read in the world lemme tell you, but it’s super important for running our country. So, we find ways to present the story using graphics and acting and costumes and interesting information.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
Everything! There aren’t many jobs like it. OK, you want me to narrow that down, right? I think I’d say these things: Getting to write, dressing up in costumes, meeting cool kids, and going out to film interesting things like koalas wearing Fitbits, or taxidermy at the museum! They were some weird, fun stories.
Sadly, not all news is good news. Sometimes watching the news can be a bit upsetting. What should kids do if they’re upset by something they see in the news?
You have to know that news is news because it’s unusual. It doesn’t happen all the time and that’s why you’re seeing it and hearing about it. If you’re ever feeling upset or worried by upsetting news though, the best thing you can do is talk to an adult or friend about how you feel. It’s also good to remember that wherever and whenever there are bad things happening, there are also good things like people helping each other and caring for each other.
Do you have memories of watching BTN when you were a kid?
I sure do! BTN’s been going for 54 years this year and we’re the third longest-running TV show in Australian history, so adults of all ages watched it! I remember my teacher wheeling in a TV in, like, Year 6 I reckon. We all crowded around. I remember really liking it, but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d be the one presenting it all these years later. I wish I could tell my 10-year-old self that. I wouldn’t believe me.
What’s it like knowing schoolkids in classrooms all over Australia tune in to see you and the team on BTN each week? Do you hear from fans?
Best feeling in the world. It makes it all worth it knowing that kids in Australia, and even some overseas, are watching what we make and are learning to be curious about the news and what’s going on in the world around them. Yup, I’m not gonna lie, we do have quite a few fans out there! Being recognised by kids, teachers and parents is still the funniest, but best, feeling! Especially kids who are literally speechless. I’m like “Who am I? Beyonce?” Haha.
Tell us about ‘Ask A Reporter’ (AAR) and ‘Rookie Reporter’… these are such cool ways for kids to get involved with the show!
Yes, we love those too! AAR is all about kids being able to ask our reporters questions about one of the stories in our show. Ask us questions LIVE online, that is! We stream it on our website every Friday and we have a really fun time trying to answer as many kids as possible, although Jack and I get very distracted sometimes. Rookie Reporters are incredible! They are kids who take over the reporter role (with a little help from us) and tell their stories in their own words from Australia and around the world.
Head to www.abc.net.au/btn/ to catch up on episodes, find out how to become a ‘Rookie Reporter’ or submit your burning question for ‘Ask A Reporter’!
What’s your advice for kids who want to dig deeper and learn more about a news story?
Watch BTN! Depending on the story, you can also ask a trusted adult if you have more questions, or you can do your own research online (maybe avoid that with upsetting stuff though!). Make sure you remember to check where the news is coming from and that it’s true though. I always support learning more about topics you’re curious about and we can only cover so much in a three-minute story, so go out there and learn, learn, learn. Maybe one day you’ll find yourself on the other side of the screen too, like I did!
Amelia and the BTN team work hard to make sure to give kids true and accurate information about. To find out more about a story, they check facts, research and go straight to the source whenever they can to make sure what they’re reporting is true.
How do we dig deeper to find out more about God and life? Become an investigator by researching and reading the stories about God and his people throughout history in the Bible. You can even go straight to the source by talking (praying) to God and asking God to help you discover what is trustworthy and good in life. “Give me good judgement and knowledge, because I trust your commands” (Psalm 119, verse 66).