My University Life
Second year journalism student, Chiara, talks about studying journalism at City University London and the opportunities she’s had.
“I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon,” stated Tom Stoppard in 1988.
If I had to list the best things that happened in my life, one of these would certainly be my choice of studying Journalism at City, University of London.
During the first year, our main modules were Politics & Current Affairs, History of Journalism, Introduction to Journalism, British Media, TV Journalism, Radio Journalism, Media Law and Web Journalism. We also have the possibility to study a foreign language, choosing it among French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese.
The Journalism Department at City University London is made up of a TV Studio, two Radio studios and several recording studios. We have many computer laboratories, where we meet for our workshops or seminars.
As students, we have an active role in the university: we take part in interesting group projects, such as “Journalism Idol”. We often take part in conferences with important journalists. Among the journalists we had the possibility to meet and to talk to there are Caroline Scott, senior reporter at journalism.co.uk, Rhodri Phillips, Business Editor at the Sun, Jonathan Pearce of BBC, Daisy May Hudson of Vice News, Dimitry Shishkin, Digital Development Editor of BBC World Service and many more.
To our surprise, Dimitry Shishkin focused a lot on the importance of data in journalism: he underlined that nowadays we are all digital journalists and we have to take innovation into account in order to work properly and to keep up with the times. Since people need to trust journalists more, we need to be very precise, that is to say, we have to report exact information, relying on trustworthy sources. Dimitry also underlined that audiences want journalists not only to tell the news but to give them potential solutions to the issues reported. Being part of the BBC World Service Group, he also addressed the importance of languages: the more you can speak, the better; this is one of the reasons, indeed, why City offers us the possibility to study foreign languages.
During the first term, we visited Parliament with our Politics & Current Affairs professor: we had the possibility to enter both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and to witness first-hand the places where the most important decisions for the UK are made.
Also, we visited King’s Place, where The Guardian is produced and we met Jon Henley, a senior editor who was a source of inspiration for us. During his lecture, he explained us the basic principles of Open Journalism, for which The Guardian is a pioneer. He also talked about the importance of social media in the field of journalism and he showed us “Firestorm”, a multimedia project carried out by him and other journalists working for The Guardian. In order to succeed in our career, we need to be aware of the different platforms that surround us and to be “open” and willing to learn from every aspect of life.
During the first weeks of the second term we went to News UK, at London Bridge, where The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times are published: on the 14th floor of a magnificent building, we had the possibility to listen to some of the major journalists working for those newspapers.
The location of the university is unique: many important parts of London, such as King’s Cross, are located at a walking distance. One of the most exciting places around the university is Fleet Street, the historical seat of the major national newspapers: its proximity to university makes our studying even more fascinating, as we know we are in the centre of a very vibrant city!
We are a close-knit group and I like feeling part of this community because one of the best things I learned at City is that journalism is a team job.