Whether you want to write, edit, design, take photographs or present TV shows, the thriving nature of Oxford’s student journalism scene means there’s a space for everyone to get involved. Two weekly newspapers – The Oxford Student and The Cherwell – are both put together by a student-run editorial team; they are always looking for keen writers to contribute, so pitching your ideas is less intimidating than it might sound. Oxford is also home to some truly beautiful and interesting magazines, from Bang!, the science magazine, to ISIS, the oldest student publication in the UK. New student media sprouts up all the time, and broadcast and online journalism enjoy a growing presence in Oxford. For creative writers, the Poetry Society and the Failed Novelists’ Society meet throughout term for readings.
I wrote my first article for The OxStu having pondered over it for absolutely ages, and always a bit worried I wouldn’t be good enough to write for a student paper – but my editors at the time loved it, so I got into writing for the Comment section of the paper regularly and really enjoyed it. I decided to then apply to be a deputy editor for the comment section, and I’m so glad I took that decision – it was a really fun experience.
I guess I could say there have been two favourite experiences – a brunch with my wonderful editors and fellow dep-eds when we first started out, and the fact that my tutor, who always disagrees with me, actually agreed with my article about collections being useless (score!).
I have been lusting after a career in the media most of my life, so it obviously was something that I thought could ease me into understanding how a paper worked, but I also think it’s a fantastic way to get to know new people and it helped me with time management; you need to be quite quick in writing articles and in getting them on the website! I also developed a bit more courage in tackling topics that were somewhat controversial, such as writing about why certain charity campaigns were no good at the same time the whole uni was getting involved in them – it took a bit of nerve, but I don’t regret it at all. Trying to find arguments for whatever I was writing about even ended up coming useful in tutorials!
I first got involved with student journalism when a friend invited me along to one of the OxStu news meetings that they held every week. After writing a couple of articles, I applied to be involved the next term and was appointed editor of the section – a post that saw me live-tweeting from the centre of a protest against French fascist Marine Le Pen’s appearance at the Oxford Union, breaking news about local bomb scares and seeing my name on the front page almost every week. Student journalism is one of the best ways to get to know people from all walks of life across the university, and the satisfaction of seeing your name in print never goes away. It’s something that pretty much anyone can involved in, whether they’re interested in music, sport or drama, and the people I’ve met working there have become some of my best friends.