Jill Dando’s living legacy: Newsreader’s brother speaks out ahead of blockbuster Netflix documentary
In the week that Netflix revealed their three-part documentary on Jill, Nigel Dando said it is vital that she is remembered for her incredible character of kindness, positivity and humility, and refreshingly brilliant journalism – and not her murder and death.
Since 2017, Nigel has helped pioneer the ‘Jill Dando News’ project that ensures her legacy is kept alive and expanding daily through the lives of thousands of young people. The children find and write ‘real’ local, national and global good news stories with kindness, positivity and brilliance – just like Jill herself in her sparkling journalism career.
The scheme began in Jill’s former school, Worle Academy, part of The Priory Learning Trust in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, where she first started writing news stories aged 13 for the school’s magazine ‘Merlin’.
Since then children aged 8 to 18, trained by Nigel and other professional journalists have expanded the scheme across 12 schools which have over 6000 students involved. The trained students then themselves do ‘Jill Dando Journalism’ talks in assemblies for younger children and in primary schools – promoting kindness, positivity, aspiration and brilliant journalism.
There is even now a Jill Dando News base in Malawi, Africa, with more lined up. In 2019, several Jill Dando Journalists aged 9 to 13 became the first journalists of any age to interview new Prime Minister Boris Johnson inside Downing Street.
Jill Dando’s legacy shines bright
Already this year the Jill Dando News scheme has been hailed by a host of world stars including Sir Richard Branson, Sir Cliff Richard, Alan Titchmarsh, and Fiona Bruce. It has also partnered with Business Leader to interview top entrepreneurs, millionaires and even billionaires.
Its first graduate Alex Crowther is now 23 and thriving in his career after securing a First Class Broadcast Journalism Degree and becoming one of Britain’s youngest football club board members. Olivia Finch, now 18, the second graduate from Worle Academy after starting aged 12 is just starting a Degree in Medicine from Bristol University.
Nigel said: “Jill Dando News is a fitting tribute for Jill, an expanding living legacy that children worldwide can take part in. With children finding positive good news stories with kindness, positivity and brilliant journalism, this is what Jill was all about.
“The Netflix documentary will feature the murder in great detail but the bigger story is that so many growing numbers of young people are becoming wonderful people and brilliant journalists like Jill was, from England to Africa.”
The scheme was dreamed up by Good News PR which also founded a national/world newspaper the Good News Post, which is a unique one-stop-shop of News and Happiness where students could post their stories before going to the wider Media and social media.