Coventry Conversations has returned this academic year with guest speakers Darren Parkin and Jeremy Pollock, prime examples of what can be achieved in a successful media career. Taking place on September 27th 2011, they spoke about how the world of media and journalism is undergoing a significant change, and how they are the people facing the consequences and pressure of this adjustment.
Mr Parkin, editor of the Coventry Telegraph, described the media as entering the “dawn of a new age” as the internet continues to grow as the world’s primary source of information. Media outlets such as the networking site Twitter are taking over as a tool of communication between the media and the public and for journalists this is a revolutionary practice. Events such as the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ were first reported not through television or radio but through twitter, sparking a greater interest and connection between the internet and the media. Darren expressed his interest in this way of reporting, but also felt as if the media was at a crossroads as he explained his dilemma of if he should “sacrifice print for internet hits”. The Coventry Telegraph has faced a reduction in newspaper sales of 7%, the online version of the paper has experienced greater traffic causing the paper to look at the way they report their news.
Jeremy, managing editor of BBC Coventry and Warwickshire explained how the radio was also undergoing a transition into the digital side of media, connecting to their audience in a different way. He described the advantages of internet in production but also the scepticism it has faced before gaining recognition as providing opportunities and possibilities to those using it, yet explained the need for the media to be open to change and adaptation.
Jeremy also said that networking was becoming increasingly important and renowned as a means of connecting with people and would be a key tool in meeting new people and aiding advancements in careers. Both guest speakers had a lot of advice for students wanting to pursue a career in the media, explaining how much the competition for jobs has increased and that personal employability has never been more important. A particularly memorable piece of advice was to “be all things to all men” and that you should “do what you need to do” in order to get to where you want to be. Darren and Jeremy focused on networking and seeking opportunities, even advising students to badger editors and people of authority for placements and experience. Jeremy also advised on the importance of focusing on the particular aspect of media that interests you the most and pursuing that specifically in order to increase your chances of a prospective job within your preferred medium.
The next Coventry Conversation “Making Our War” featuring Executive Producer for BBC 3/1 will take place on October 1st in the Ellen Terry building at 1pm. Entry is free and open to the public. For further information contact John Mair on firstname.lastname@example.org