The Student Media Summit 2018 took place at the Amnesty International’s Headquarter in London and was a two day eventful conference with various exceptional speakers, such as Nawal Al-Maghafi from the BBC Newsnight, Sue Turton from Channel 4, Ian Hislop from Private Eye with many other exceptional individuals and panels providing a first-hand insight on a career in media.
It started off with the NUS’ Vice President, Ali Milani addressing the significance of journalism in shaping the public narrative especially in a time of turbulence in politics. Straight after, the keynote speaker Lindsey Hilsum (Channel 4 News), spoke about war reporting and gave some sterling advice on journalism.
The workshops throughout the day covered various topics across radio, print and digital publishing. The speakers leading each session were very interesting and engaging. Each participant had the opportunity to choose from four workshops and attend two - I decided to opt for ‘’Today’s Media Landscape’’ for broadcasting led by Louisa Compton, who is the Commissioning Editor for Dispatches on Channel 4. This was an insightful workshop and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My second workshop Interview Skills with Ronke Phillips, presenter for ITV News, this session was fantastic and during the session we went through the various ways presenters can interview, we were given a small task on what relevant questions a good presenter would ask someone who is most likely to be charged with murder. This session was one of my favourites.
Furthermore, throughout the day there was a Race and Diversity in Media Panel, which was chaired by a speaker from Black Ballad and the Guardian, it was a thought provoking session as both speakers gave detailed insight on the challenges in relation to diversity in Media. There was also a panel talking about issues relating to journalists under threat, which was covered by Paul Conroy (Freelance photo journalist) and Rossalyn Warren. At the end there was an effective question and answer session.
Another keynote speaker was Nawal Al-Maghafi from BBC News, this was another exceptional speaker who covered her experience covering the Middle East, Yemen, for the BBC. This was the most relatable speaker as she studied something different at university and got into journalism after a holiday in Yemen recording the war there.
Another panel was the Women in Media led by speakers from the BBC, Broadly and the Telegraph. The panelists reflected on their time in the industry being a woman, and how to handle the industry, which is quite male dominated, also the panelists spoke about the changes that they had observed throughout the years.
The two final keynote speakers were Sue Turton, who was absolutely amazing and reflected on her time in war zone countries such as Syria and Afghanistan. She spoke about her time with the Taliban and the leader of the Yazidees in Syria, who the media deemed to be a terrorist. She spoke about whether to trust the media or not. Although all speakers was amazing, I felt that Sue Turton was absolutely outstanding. Ian Hislop (Private Eye) brought the conference to an end, he reflected on his career within student journalism, satire and the art of investigative journalism.
I believe the highlight of the conference was the creation of Totum, which is a replacement for the NUS Extra card, a student orientated product that brings everything together under one roof, including, student venues/events, discounts all on an App.
All in all, it was a very productive, insightful and interesting event, met many other staff from the SU of various universities. It was a good experience for someone who would want to have a career in journalism. At the career fair on day two, there was someone from Sky News who mentioned that they need reporters with a business and economics background, which resulted us exchanging details. I thought this was very helpful in getting a career in the media in the future.