Lee McConville is a 22-year-old from one of the most disadvantaged areas of Birmingham. Until recently, he had no journalism experience, but last month he reported on the G8 summit in Germany for a documentary made by the Community Channel. Summit About the Boy, the programme featuring McConville, was screened on 30 June. McConville was put forward by youth charity Fairbridge and was mentored by Philip Webster, the political editor of The Times.
The two were matched as part of a youth mentoring scheme launched by the Community Channel's parent charity, the Media Trust. The programme brings young people from socially excluded backgrounds into contact with media professionals.
Katie Simpson, head of youth media for the Media Trust, says Summit About the Boy focuses on the relationship between mentor and mentee. "We really want to show how mentoring is a valuable thing for people who might not have had role models like this," she adds. Simpson says that McConville, who had previously viewed politics as irrelevant, was prompted by the experience to suggest that "politics should be incorporated into the education system".
The documentary was chosen to launch Charge, the Community Channel's new interactive platform for young people. Adam Perry, head of programmes at the Community Channel, says: "Charge will be YouTube with a conscience."