Nine-Year-Old Blogger 1, Bad School Food 0
For the past two months, one of my favorite reads has been Never Seconds, a blog started by 9-year-old Martha Payne of western Scotland to document the unappealing, non-nutritious lunches she was being served in her public primary school. Payne, whose mother is a doctor and father has a small farming property, started blogging in early May and went viral in days. She had a million viewers within a few weeks and 2 million this morning; was written up in Time, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and a number of food blogs; and got support from TV cheflebrity Jamie Oliver, whose series “Jamie’s School Dinners” kicked off school-food reform in England.
Well, goodbye to all that.
This afternoon, Martha (who goes by “Veg” on the blog) posted that she will have to shut down her blog, because she has been forbidden to take a camera into school.
At which point the Internet erupted.
Today, Wired comes back with this update:
So much happened overnight:
- Huge amounts of public support, including from Jamie Oliver (who tweeted “Stay strong, Martha!”) and Neil Gaiman.
- 214 news articles worldwide in the past 12 hours.
- Another half-million pageviews at the NeverSeconds blog (and almost 1,000 comments on her Goodbye post, up from about 150 when I posted last night).
- The Guardian proposed that people take pictures of their lunches and tweet them #MyLunchforMartha
Also today, the Argyll and Bute Council, whose decision it was to ban Martha’s photography, relented. Back to Wired:
…[T]he leader of the Argyll and Bute Council, Roddy McCuish, [just] went on the BBC’s World At One program on Radio 4 and announced they were backing off the ban in response to a request from Scotland’s education minister along with vast pressure from social media.
Lesson: Don’t mess with a nine-year-old blogger.
Image: Martha Payne’s lunch from May 25, via NeverSeconds.