This week, the Carnegie Club of St Andrews brought together a panel of four media experts for the St Andrews Media Conference 2013: The Future of Media in a Digital Age.  The discussion was extremely interesting and informative for those interested in the media industry. The Carnegie club was established in 2012, with an aim to provide an open platform for the discussion of a wide range of important topics of current interest and concern. This event got their semester two programme of events off to a great start.

Carnegie club president, Mona Tiesler, began by introducing the panel to a packed Parliament hall. The panel was made up of 4 speakers:

  1. David Wilkinson, a former St Andrews student and Assignment Editor at CNN London
  2. Tim Marshall, a former Head of Events group at the BBC and current CEO of Janet, the UK’s powerful world class research and education network
  3. Simon Bucks, Associate Editor at Sky News
  4. Julian Calvert, a senior Lecturer in Journalism at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Each speaker was given 8-10 minutes each to present their view on how the industry is changing with the new developments in digital media. They discussed the changes brought about by twitter, the rise in online journalism and whether more traditional old media can survive in this new climate.  The panel also gave some useful tips to the audience about how students can get into the world of media.  It was very refreshing to hear industry experts speak so openly and honestly about what a career in the media can offer. They also provided a few laughs and a light-hearted atmosphere, as they told some interesting anecdotes about their careers, such as Tim Marshall’s tales of dragging a news crew out of a bar to get some shots of former Tory politician, Cecil Parkinson, in his dressing gown.

The floor was then opened to questions from the audience. The questions focused on work experience, post graduate courses and recommendations on how to break into the business. The panel agreed that students should look to get work experience in student media and in local media during vacations.

Discussion chair, Matthew Short, brought the conference to an end with a word of thanks to the speakers and invited the audience to have a drink and to speak to the panellists individually. Although this was a nice opportunity to speak to industry experts, it was unrealistic to expect that over 100 students would get a chance to speak to just 4 panellists. A few lucky students managed to grab their attention for a brief chat, but many left soon after the questions ended.

The event was certainly very interesting, and the panellists made some really great points about the future of the media industry, particularly in relation to twitter and the idea that journalism is now open to everyone through social media and camera phones. Although the discussion lasted for over an hour, the panellists were easy to listen to and kept the attention of the audience throughout. Overall, this was a very informative and enjoyable evening, and a great start to this semester’s Carnegie Club calendar.

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