Top Journalists Gather to Advise Edinburgh Students

by Luke Rajczuk

Edinburgh University launches its Creative & Cultural Careers Festival and invites a panel of journalism industry specialists to a lecture dubbed Insider Insight.

Young aspirants gathered at University’s Appleton Tower Lecture Theatre this Wednesday to hear what the veterans of the media world had to say about hardships and survival issues in the difficult era of the fast changing media sphere.

Image: Luke RajczukHigh achievers such as Susie Forrest who is one of the Scotland Bureau Chiefs for BBC Network Newsgathering or Hilary Wardle – Scotland Editor for viral news and entertainment website BuzzFeed UK told their stories and explained how vibrantly the news gathering world is evolving. They also gave advice on how to make first steps on the career ladder.

Interesting to watch and listen were the comparisons made between the two ladies on how their work methods differ and yet the goal is similar – high numbers in viewers, followers and ‘likes’.

BBC lady expressed her worry about the growing competition of social media news delivery platforms and public journalism whereas the rapidly growing BuzzFeed network editor never showed much concern towards the issues.

Other speakers were a successful science blog Bitesize Bio owner Nick Oswald, former Political Editor of the Daily Record, Executive Editor of Scotland on Sunday and Head of Comment for The Telegraph Chris Deerin and Sky News Assistant Editor Peter Diapre.

Image: Luke RajczukDeerin expressed his strong feelings on the necessity for the press to have its freedom of opinion in as many areas as possible and stated that without these core values the ‘journo’ world would rather remind of those news engines under a strong censorship and dictatorial rule where freedom of expression is non-existent.

The Sky News Editor strongly emphasised that it’s important to deliver news stories with ‘strength’ behind them.

Overall advise to students was to go all ways possible and stand out from the crowd with emphasis on starting their careers as non-paid volunteers and never surrender the fight!

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