The Guardian has come under heavy fire on social media for offering a five-day long summer school program for aspiring teenage journalists for £599 – while News UK offers a similar one for six days, free.
Based at the home of The Times, Sunday Times and The Sun, News UK’s News Academy Summer School says it is looking for sixth formers to teach them how to seek-out stories, write, edit and publish them in their own newspaper.
The corporation is also including free accommodation and food in London for the 15 lucky students.
In contrast, the Guardian Summer School is asking for almost £600 for the five-day period in which students will complete one short news piece and one comment piece.
“In addition to featuring your writing on our website,” The Guardian says, “we’ll print it in the format of a Guardian article and install it in a temporary exhibition at Guardian HQ.
“You can even invite your family and friends along for a showcase event.”
After the story was covered by the Press Gazette, angry users took to Twitter to vent, with one calling The Guardian “liberal hypocrites” and another asking the paper to justify the price of the course:
News UK runs free summer school for teens. So does the Guardian - but they charge £599! http://t.co/CwGS0RcT1v; The subeditor (@subedited) July 1, 2015
In retaliation, however, The Guardian defended its decision by highlighting the fact that it has two dedicated full-time teachers in a ‘Guardian classroom’ who, last year, provided free classes to over 6,000 people – including schoolchildren and university students – in the UK and abroad.