Posted by: Ciaran | May 23, 2010

The world of student journalism

Rosie Taylor’s Ones to Watch project, which launched at the end of last week, is a brilliant aggregator of the best news in the UK’s student media.

Students are often derided as slovenly, good-for-nothing boors who live for lie-ins and happy hours – but the commitment of some of them to university journalism is a great counterpoint to such negative criticism.

I was lucky enough to edit my student paper, Forge Press, at the University of Sheffield.

We came up with some great stories, including protests, Union officer phone bills, and a great exclusive from Martha Kelnerwhich got picked up by the nationals – about a controversial in-house publication by the university’s officer training corps (OTC).

Done well, student journalism is just a micro version of local news – it’s all about knowing your audience and targeting them very specifically.

Like any form of journalism, building community is integral to success – there’s no point producing great copy if people aren’t actually going to pick it up and read it.

Fortunately things like the NUS Awards and the Guardian Student Media Awards offer the opportunity to celebrate some of the best of student journalism, but they only touch on a few of the many and diverse publications which are out there.

That’s why Rosie’s project is so good – it’s filling a gap in the market for a space to keep on top of what is going on in the world of student journalism.

And in my experience, that world is getting more and more like the real thing.

When I was editing Forge Press, we converged all our platforms with the students’ union (print, radio, TV and online) under one umbrella – Forge Media – to get across the message that the future of journalism is multi-platform and so people who are going to be a part of that future have to be multi-skilled rather than one-dimensional.

We were lucky to be well provided for financially, and I know there are other unions up and down the country which do not have that luxury.

But even if all you have is access to a computer then you have everything you need to start getting some news output going within your university.

So embrace the future, and get involved in student journalism – become one of the Ones to Watch.

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Responses

  1. It’s refreshing to see someone looking forward. I’m an old geezer that believes in today’s young folks. They’re sharp and the best educated world generation. My one word of…caution??? I see the 20 to 30 crowd in the US who have all the gifts and energy to become true journalists, all to often too influenced by professors and agenda and not by truth. Don’t lose contact with that and you’ll help shape the world for a better tomorrow.
    Sandy

    • Thanks Sandy. Not as well up on the picture in the US as a whole but – in my experience at least – the teaching here is very good.


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