The Under Age was a fortnightly online newspaper written entirely by Victorian high school journalists, created by Express Media in partnership with The Age. The Under Age program ran from 2011 – 2015.
Each fortnight, the group of 13 young people met to workshop their story ideas with each other and selected industry professionals. The newspaper included articles on news, sport, politics, art and culture, and was edited by a Project Coordinator, an active professional journalist who mentored the team of writers.
The Under Age gave high school students a taste of what it’s like to work in a newsroom and helped them to improve their writing and research skills in a collaborative environment. The program also gave participants the opportunity to write on issues they were passionate about and to share their thoughts, ideas and opinions with a wider audience. Many pieces published by The Under Age went on to be re-published in The Age online and in print.
The program was coordinated by Bhakthi Puvanenthiran (2011), Rebecca Harkins-Cross (2012 – 2013), and Benjamin Riley (2014 – 2015). Across the 5 years of the program, there were a vast array of guest speakers and mentors. In 2015, these included Lawrence Money, Henrietta Cook, Shane Green, Adrian Lowe, Jill Stark, Liz Flux, Michael Bachelard, Rania Spooner and others.