Tommy Burchell, 8, is the sole reporter and editor of his own local publication, The Morning News, which he delivers around Stoke. Photo: Jonty Dine.

‘Extra, extra’ – Tommy finds the scoops in Stoke


The Nelson Weekly has some fresh competition in the form of junior journo Tommy Burchell’s start-up community news publication in Stoke.

The eight-year-old Nayland Primary student has always had a fascination with news and is getting a jump on his career as the editor of his monthly newsletter ‘The Morning News’.

Tommy covers everything from sport to movie reviews and even creates his own comics.

“I want to be a journalist when I grow up.”

He delivers his newsletter to the houses on his street, his teachers and to the shops in Stoke. “They really like it.”

It’s becoming so popular that the young newshound is already getting commissions for work.

The Pantry Door have agreed to give him a free ice-cream in exchange for an advert in the next copy of The Morning News.

He says he has a range of sources for stories.

“Sometimes I hear about it, sometimes I see it in adverts. If I like the shop, I will put it in my news.”

Tommy says it takes him about two to three days to complete an edition.

“He gives himself a deadline and stresses trying to get it all done,” says his dad Keith.

The chief editor has already learned the harsh lesson of missing a deadline.

“It was the second issue, I used the wrong paper so it couldn’t be photocopied. By the time I got it done it was past the morning, so I just changed it to September 1st.”

Tommy dreams of being a newspaper reporter covering the breaking news in Nelson.

Keith says the newsletter is gaining plenty of attention in Stoke.

“It’s all his own work. He has complete editorial control. He decides what goes in, the format, the typesetting, pictures, everything and I think it’s just going to get better.”

Keep an eye out for The Morning News’ Christmas edition, due out in January.