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MDX Journalism Conversations connects students to industry

Upcoming guest Jon Snow joins a prestigious past line-up including January’s guests, Huw Edwards and Mark Daly

MDX Journalism Conversations recently kicked off its 2018 series by welcoming BBC News at Ten presenter Huw Edwards and award-winning investigative journalist Mark Daly onto campus for a live interview with Professor Kurt Barling.

Speaking to an audience of students and staff from across the University, both Huw and Mark discussed the changing media landscape while offering advice to aspiring journalists.

Mark emphasised that the principles of journalism don’t change regardless of the scale of the story reported - journalism strives for the truth and reports for the public interest.

Huw encouraged Middlesex students to work hard and try out different roles, reminding them that he didn’t become a news anchor overnight.

Connecting theory to practice

The event is the latest in a series which puts students at its heart, with opportunities for them to contribute to the editorial board as well as directing the conversations themselves.

MDX Journalism Conversations founder, Dr Sophie Knowles, explains that the series exemplifies the ethos of journalism at Middlesex by cultivating links with industry while connecting theory to practice.

“I started the Journalism Conversation series for our journalism students,” she says. "They benefit hugely from getting to practice the skills we teach them - they take part in editorial meetings, pitch in from the research and planning stage through to the production itself, and take part in the output of content.

“They also get to learn from some of industry's finest and take tips away to start their own careers. Moreover, they network with high-profile individuals, which develops their confidence and soft skills.

“A series like this really demonstrates what our students our capable of and illustrates the passion of our journalism staff.”

Representing a world in transition

Professor Kurt Barling has also been instrumental in establishing the series. With over 30 years of experience as an award-winning journalist, he sees MDX Journalism Conversations as an opportunity to introduce established colleagues to students who will become fellow practitioners in a changing world.

“While contextualising the heritage of the journalism profession is important, we live in a world that’s in transition, and different voices are helping to shape it,” he says.

“We have a duty to reveal these alternative narratives, and encourage our students to find value in their own experiences. Getting involved with MDX Journalism Conversations helps them to find confidence in the perspectives that they can bring to the field.

"They also learn to embrace the opportunities of the contemporary digital eco-system, and the importance of networking in a world beyond university.”

The next Journalism Conversations invites Channel 4 presenter, Jon Snow, to Hendon on 27 February - register your attendance on Eventbrite.

Upcoming events also include a digital/data journalism symposium on 14 March, and an interview with the Cambodian Spring director in October.

Find out more about studying journalism at Middlesex

(Image credit: Aumid Umary)

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