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Student Media Conference 2015: A Round-Up

Friday 10 April 2015

Organized by the Union on March 17 and 18, the Student Media Conference offered students the opportunity to discuss careers and the media industry with recent alumni and professionals. Guests gave a unique insight into the sector and useful tips and guidance on how to build a successful media career, through workshops, seminars, Q&A sessions, panel debates and networking.

One of the highlights of the conference was the keynote speaker and QMUL alumna Kasia Madera from BBC News and BBC World News, who not only delivered an inspiring session on the industry and her career to date, but was kind enough to stay long into the evening to ensure as many students as possible were able to ask questions and meet her individually.

The programme featured, amongst others, renowned political commentator John Rentoul who spoke about political journalism; a scoop on the journey from student to national radio from Grace Hopper (Broadcast Assistant, BBC Radio 1/1Xtra); a talk by Julia MacFarlane (International Reporter for BBC News & The Independent) who specialises in reporting on conflict and humanitarian issues; and a session on life after student media with recent QMUL graduate Matt Taylor, now Digital Production Editor for The Times and The Sunday Times.
In addition to the eight speakers, we had the pleasure of welcoming the national Student Publication Association to the event.

The evening of March 18 ended in the Students’ Union Hub with canapés, drinks, lots of networking and a student media expo showcasing the outlets’ creative work this year.

Speaking at the event, CUB Magazine Editor in Chief Becky Hipkiss commented, ‘the Student Media Conference was beyond what I expected. The speakers were amazing – both inspiring and knowledgeable and surprisingly eager to share their stories. It was with refreshing honesty, painting us a clear picture of the industry. The keynote speaker in particular, Kasia Madera, was fabulous. I even walked away with a contact from The Times, and the potential of work experience. Such a diverse panel, catering for every need: journalists, broadcasts, radio stars and even publication designers.’
Davey Brett, Editor of The Print, was equally full of praise and has since been contacted by a number of our speakers about potential opportunities. ‘[It was a] fantastic evening. From a student's perspective, it is exciting to hear such inspiring and intriguing insight from people in the media, proving that the future is bright and there's opportunities to be had!’

Following the overwhelming success of the event, the SU are scheduling a repeat in winter 2015, with additional weekly training sessions throughout autumn.

If you are interested in getting involved with one of the eight student media outlets, please contact Jak Curtis-Rendall, the Student Activities Coordinator on j.curtis-rendall@qmul.ac.uk. More details about the Student Media Conference, plus profiles of all the speakers can be found at www.qmsu.org/mediacon.

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