JERSEY CITY, NJ - It's often said that chasing news is a young person's game. That's good news for 12-year-old Mujtaba Raja, a 7th Grader from Jersey City, who is one of nearly four-dozen newly named reporters working with Scholastic Kids Press.

The award-winning Scholastic Kids Press program has Kid Reporters aged 10–14, covering “news for kids, by kids.” Bringing a unique perspective, they offer coverage of current events, breaking news, entertainment, sports, and more from their hometowns and on the national stage. 

Raja earned his position based on demonstrated writing ability, interviewing skills, and attention to detail. We had a chance to catch up with him between deadlines and get his input on the state of journalism.

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TAPinto Jersey City: What's your beat?

Mujitaba Raja, Scholastic Kids Press: "My beat is anything that educates citizens today about ongoing issues in our world that can be resolved with the voice of the people. The platform that I currently have with Scholastic Kids Press gives me the opportunity to raise awareness to others about issues in our world. To illustrate this, just a simple article can change citizens’ viewpoints in society and help them educate themselves and others around them. I like to cover topics such as racial inequality, global warming, and environmental concerns, as they are all issues we can resolve with the help of the people. I want to write stories that inspire readers, spark a change, and possess 'that special something.'"

TAPinto JC: What do you plan on doing with the experience you gain as a Kids Reporter?

MR: "With the experience I gain as a Kid Reporter, I plan on thoroughly utilizing my experience by continuing to be able to express ideas on situations and raise awareness about the continuing challenges our world faces to my friends and family on a regular basis. In the future, I would like to participate in other journalism programs that give me the opportunity to express my ideas just like the Scholastic Kids Press did."

TAPinto JC: What do you think are the biggest issues facing news reporters today, and how would you like to see those issues addressed?

MR: "The biggest issues I personally believe news reporters are facing today in society is the lack of trust within the media and the search to find trustable sources—in simple words, fake news. My priority as a Scholastic Kid Reporter is to provide true information to the people from which they can educate themselves and raise awareness to others around them."

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Welcome to the fight, Mujtaba. Keep it real...

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