Impact’s Media Conference 2021

Felix Hawes

On the 13th of November Impact Magazine hosted a Media Conference in the Trent Building. The star-studded line up included BBC’s North America Editor Jon Sopel, Channel Four News’ Faye White, Guido Fawkes’ Sabrina Miller, The Sunday Times’ Katie Tarrant and The Daily Mirror’s Natasha Wynarczyk.

The University was also delighted to welcome back Rhys Thomas, Zoya Sheikh and Josh Rom. Since graduating, Thomas has contributed to The Guardian, British GQ amongst others and is now a columnist for VICE and The Face. Sheikh is now a junior writer for the Gay Times and Rom is now the Entertainment reporter for GB News after previously working for the BBC and talkRadio amongst others. Thomas and Sheikh took part in an alumni panel, informing students at the University of Nottingham and external students how they got from where they were to where they are today.

The day started with a talk entitled ‘Breaking into the Industry’, where the panelists offered their advice on how to get involved in both print and broadcast journalism. ‘Behind the Scenes’ and ‘Production and Social Media’ panels followed, offering insight in how information gets to us, both on print, TV and social media.

The afternoon saw ‘Print Journalism’ and ‘Writing for Nationals’, were contributors from across the political endorsement spectrum of journalism spoke. An interesting take away from the talk is that quite often writers of newspapers do not agree with the line that they are taking, noting the importance of writing for the audience. An article about Kim Kardashian is likely to do well for the Cosmopolitan but go down like a lead balloon for the Times.

The day continued with the ‘Empowering Women in Media’ panel spoke of the struggles that the panelists have faced in the industry due to sexism, but also drew hope that times have improved in their careers. Additionally, Lucie Kon explained how the BBC’s Panorama programme is made, showcasing how long it takes to make an hour documentary.

Arguably the star of the day was Jon Sopel. Sopel spoke to the conference from the USA after just interviewing the new Republican Governor of Virginia. Sopel spoke of the difference of covering the Trump campaign to Biden’s. He said covering Trump was ‘like smoking a crack pipe everyday whilst Biden was like having a half a lemonade shandy a week’. Niamh Robinson, Impact’s editor in chief, asked Sopel about the rumours he was replacing Laura Kuenssberg as the BBC’s political editor to which he replied with a class politician answer of saying he ‘did not know.’

Thank you to Impact Magazine for hosting such a wide-ranging, engaging and informative conference.

Felix Hawes

Featured imgae courtesy of Impact Magazine via Twitter. No changes were made to this image.

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