So on Thursday I had the pleasure of attending 'The future of journalism conference' at News International by the 'Young Journalism Academy'. I had the chance to see the itinerary in advance and do my research on some of the guest speakers, which included Gutto Harri, Samira Ahmed, Gordon Smart, Brendan O'Neill and Tim Montgomerie just to name a few. I was really excited to get the opportunity to attend; as I knew the conference would definitely be my cup of tea!
The day started early in the warm and sunny east side of London with a complimentary breakfast offering a variety of drinks,pastries and fruit. The conference began with an opening plenary session where Ally Ross gave humorous/personal accounts and views on his career. Samira Ahmed followed; from the moment she started speaking I thought Samira to be a bubbly and comical woman as she opened with responses she had received via twitter from tweeting 'Why be a journalist?' which made me and the rest of the room roar with laughter. What struck with me most during Samira's talk, was her personal account about filming in South Africa on the issue of rape. It was her proudest moment, giving victims families a voice. Gutto Harri was the last speaker for the first session and he was very inspiring, telling us 'You're only as good as your last story'.
The next session was about celebrity gossip vs 'public interest journalism' which was really interesting as it was about current celebrity news and scandals with guest speakers Gordon Smart and Brendan O'Neill. Brendan came up with an interesting concept on how celebrities are adored and admired so much that they maybe turning into 'Gods' by their fans. Also how celebrity life is being spoken about a whole lot more than ever before, even by politicians. Gordon on the other hand spoke about how he got the Stone Rose piece and morals in the world of journalism. Through the Q & A we got to see a more compassionate side of Gordon when he shared a personal account.
Debate section- two fellow sixth formers from my sixth form competed against another sixth form about 'social media improves our understanding of major world events'. The debate was not only heated but really relevant to what is going on in society which made it more interesting to watch.
The final plenary session included Mick Hume, Tim Montgomerie and Sarah Baxter who were all final guest speakers. Sarah on first impressions was a softly spoken, articulate woman,who shared a few personal accounts. Tim gave a charismatic speech that engaged the audience and a few gags that made everyone laugh. Mick was very interesting and felt strongly that the public should decide what is in the public interest and also used a quote from Karl Marx that stuck with me ' You can't pluck the rose without its thorns'.
Here are 2 top tips, I have learnt from the conference:
- It is important to get paid for your writing.
- Get involved in your local area e.g. writing for your local newspaper.
And look at the view from the conference window, isn't it a beaut !
Thanks so much for reading
Until next time lovelies