NUS Student Media Summit - Calhounnah Bain guest post

Tuesday 20-09-2016 - 10:13

In August, NUS UK and Amnesty International UK hosted the annual Student Media Summit, bringing together student journalists from the UK, to build on their skills, prepare for their next step into journalism, and networking opportunities with professionals from across the industry. Calhounnah Bain, Editor in Chief of Robert Gordon University's Radar Magazine, wrote about her experience at the summit.

Calhounnah and James at the summitPrior to starting the new academic year, Robert Gordon University Radio station manager James and I were given the opportunity to attend the NUS Student Media Summit, held at Amnesty International in London. As this is my first year as the Editor-in-Chief of Robert Gordon University’s student magazine, Radar, I had not considered exactly what the job entailed. After attending the conference I left with more ideas and ambition for the year ahead than I previously thought possible. 

NUS and Amnesty International have been working together for a number of years, but the conference (in conjunction with the likes of SPA and NaStA) was a first. The event was developed with the view that students across the country would have the opportunity to speak with professionals and other student creators to make valuable contacts, gain knowledge, skills and share information that may not have been provided by their University. 

It is believed that student media is a time-consuming aspect of University life and interest shown by students during fresher’s week is almost always short-lived. In fact, student media is rewarding in a number of ways. Not only do you obtain valuable work experience and make links with some of the best writers, designers and creators at your university, you are also able to generate a portfolio to use in the future. An idea that I previously did not consider, is that people working with student media do not necessarily need to follow a traditional media, journalism or film course to be involved.

At the event we were able to speak with and ask questions to employees to some of the biggest British media companies including VICE, Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, the BBC, Channel 4, the Guardian and Sky News. We had the opportunity to find out about fellowships, internships, placements and bursaries provided by such companies that are available to any student following a career in the media business after graduating.

Some of the best advice we received included: how to attract new contributors, how to work with other student media groups, how to use social media to our advantage and how to measure the success of strategic marketing during events such as fresher’s week. 

Events such as the Media Summit help to highlight the passion that students have for their Universities Student Media. After meeting many new faces I came to the conclusion that students from across Britain often receive little to no support from their University and struggle with annual cuts to their budgets. On the other hand, we are lucky that RGU celebrates the success of the magazine, radio and television groups that are available to students. 
Student Media is without a doubt an important aspect of University for Britain’s future journalists and should be given as much support as possible.

Calhounnah Bain
Editor in Chief of Radar Magazine (RGU) 

NUS UK is recruiting paid student journalists. Find out more, and apply, here: 


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