Journalism students with Delilah and Kim Dawson from the Daily Star at the BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra Hackney Academy.

The BBC took up residence in Hackney in June, when the Radio1 and 1Xtra Academy, designed to inspire and equip young people to build a career in media, opened its doors to 10,000 local young people.

Hearing a live performance from Rita Ora before the chance to interview her.
Quotes gathered by trainees feature in The Independent.

BBC Radio 1Xtra Hackney Academy

Poached Creative and YH World were chosen to run the journalism sessions for the Academy, working with BBC Learning to provide about 200 young people with practical training, supportive mentoring and valuable industry opportunities. 

Our workshops were part of a vibrant programme covering music, fashion, journalism, film and web and the fast-paced journalism sessions sat alonside performances, live broadcasts, interactive training sessions and Q&As over a period of three weeks.

Students had the opportunity to work with journalists from the Daily Star, the Independent and Grime Daily; to interview rising stars such as Rita Ora and Delilah; to create a double-page spread for the Hackney Gazette and to set up and contribute to an official blog at

There was a potent mix of talent and determination amongst the Academy's youth community, as observed by our industry and celebrity guests. 

Achievements  and outcomes

  • 10 workshops delivered covering writing, design and illustration, interviewing, starting your own blog, vox pops and presenting
  • 200 young people trained and supported through our workshops
  • articles and photography from students in the Independent, the Hackney Gazette, Hackney Today, the Hackney Citizen and on the Route 38 blog
  • interviews with Rita Ora, Delilah, Josh Osho, Paloma Faith, Trevor Nelson and vox pops with the public
  • guest training from professional journalists, writers, photographers and illustrators: Oliver Duff, Amol Rajan, Jerome Taylor , Nina Lakhani, Ian Burrell and Susannah Ireland from The Independent; Kim Dawson from the Daily Star; Pierre, Sketchy and Poet from Grime Daily; Daniel Kaluuya from Skins; Malcolm Starbrook from the Hackney Gazette; Agenda; Katy Dawe; Alake Riley and Bish
  • work experience secured for 7 young people with Grime Daily for the Radio 1 Hackney Weekend, the Daily Star, Tim Westwood and YH World
  • training opportunities highlighted with Poached Creative and YH World
  • future partnerships forged with the BBC, the Independent, Grime Daily, the Daily Star and the Hackney Gazette.

In numbers

20 hours of training and mentoring

8 industry partners collaborating

200 young people taking part

7 young people gaining further work experience

30 plus pieces of unique, high-quality content by young people published in print and online

21 industry professional sharing their skills

6 young mentors paid to assist in the workshops

1198 likes on the Academy Facebook page

134,794 views on the Take It On YouTube channel


"Thank you so much. The session was really good and I really enjoyed learning everything I've learnt."

Erica McCoy, journalism session participant


"I really enjoyed it, and learned so much. The insight into journalism that you provided has made me want to strive harder to achieve a similar career for myself."

Zoe Crook, journalism session participant in a letter to Kim Dawson


"They wanted inspiration and they wanted to be heard. Every year and in every area of the country, we need an Academy."

DJ Trevor Nelson


"I come from Hackney and a lot of people seem to stereotype the area with a lot of negative things. For me, if more events like this were to happen then it would encourage more young people to do something positive with their lives. It would help them to get somewhere."

Academy participant Winifred Boansi, 22


"Thank you all for the hard work that you put in to making the Academy such a success. It was an absolute pleasure to work with you. Please also pass this on to your amazing team."

Marie Baer, BBC Learning


"Thanks for having me in – I think we've got a potential little star!"

Kim Dawson, Daily Star Playlist

Background to the Radio1 and 1Xtra Academy and our involvement

The Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra Academy was part of Take It On, Radio 1's commitment to encourage young people to get inspired and involved in order to 'take on' their future.

BBC Learning worked with Radio 1 to create its "biggest ever programme of social action and outreach." Their mission was to offer 10,000 young people across East London the chance to gain skills and experience and to be inspired by leading people in their fields. 

The Academy opened in the run up to Radio 1's Hackney Weekend,the station's biggest ever music festival, and festival Ambassadors Leona Lewis and Plan B attended the academy alongside celebrities including Labrinth, Dizzie Rascal, Adam Deacon, Riz Ahmed, Paloma Faith, Fearne Cotton, Gemma Cairney and Trevor Nelson.

Poached Creative and YH World (now Mediorite) worked with BBC Learning to develop and run the journalism sessions, finding opportunities for students to watch exclusive live performances, interview the talent and work with some of the biggest names in the business.

Published work

The Independent

Paloma Faith article and photo from young mentors published in the Hackney Citizen

Article on Rita Ora published in Hackney Today (see page 3)

Double-page spread printed in the Hackney Gazette, approx. reach 31,000 people.

Route 38 blog concept and content created by Write and Get Published trainees:

Hood English video featuring YH World volunteer Jenkins:

BBC coverage


Paloma Faith