Realising that you can do it

30.09.2020 - 15:45 | Christian Possa

Who can say they have helped plan their own radio programme by the age of 12? Tobias can. He is one of nine participants in the Mobile Reporter Programme run by the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation.

tobias_-_mobile_reporter_-_stiftung_kinderdorf_pestalozzi
As a mobile reporter, Tobias learnt how to carry out interviews with complete strangers.

Tobias has a broad range of hobbies. He likes karate, kite surfing, watersports in general, he reads a lot, spends time playing computer games like many of his generation and is fascinated by remote-controlled things, which is why he regularly sends his drone soaring into the sky. On the subject of heights – the twelve-year-old is certainly aiming high professionally. «After high school I want to go to graduate school. I’ll wait and see what comes after that – perhaps I’ll become an actor, a heart surgeon or a businessman with my own company.» Tobias is certainly convinced that doing radio programmes will set him on the right path. «As a radio host I’ve learnt to express myself in a way that makes people listen.»

And how did this boy from the Canton of Thurgau come to be on the radio? Through technology. His mother sent him and his brother to a Digiweek event at the Children’s Village. There he encountered powerup_radio and a spark was lit within him. The technical aspect is not the only thing that appeals to Tobias – he likes using recording devices and cutting programmes too. The music is perhaps even more important for him. «When you create a report and look for suitable music for it, you can discover a lot of new things.» There is also a third element of working with radio that fascinates him: the opportunity to make other people aware of your own interests through a report and to explain the context. «I want listeners to understand how something works.»

Tobias is currently preparing a ten-minute report for the next broadcast. It is about computer games, and more specifically about how they are programmed. It is no simple task. Tobias likes a challenge, however, and learned from the workshops at the Children’s Village how to simplify complex content and what aspects are worth focusing on in an interview. This particular report is intended to be a purely explanatory piece. Tobias gives a very frank explanation for this. «It has been very difficult», he says, «to find a proven expert on this subject. And I haven’t had the courage to go and ask companies. » This admission should not overshadow the many challenges that the twelve-year-old has taken on in his nine months as a mobile reporter. His Project Officer – Radio Projects and co-organiser of the project, Mariel Diez is delighted that he carried out a live interview in English at the Children’s Village. «The moment when our mobile reporters try something new instead of saying ‘I’d rather not’ is always something special.»

Susan Hamilton has given the project her full backing and supports her son diligently. «Since he started working for the radio in November, Tobias has become noticeably more independent.» She initially helped him with working out the structure right from the outset, however, he wanted to work alone – and accept the consequences of doing so. «Fortunately, he proved that he had what was needed and asserted himself,» she reflects. «I think this is a valuable learning experience because he’s realised that he can manage tasks by himself.»

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