Over 350 aspiring journalists attended a conference last Monday to mark the launch of a new initiative established by News UK. Held at Pierhead, National Assembly for Wales, the conference saw the creation of the News Academy which will aim to support the next generation of news makers.
The students of 13 educational institutions were in attendance, including Cardiff University, as were the Welsh First Minister and several prominent media figures.
The day‘s events incorporated networking, debates and speeches, as well as panel discussions and Q&A sessions in which students could participate. Notable speakers comprised Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, the Editor of The Sun, David Dinsmore, Guto Harri, Head of Communications at News UK and Welsh Assembly Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM.
Perhaps the main event of the day was the First Minister‘s speech on “politics and the media”, during which Mr Jones stated that he was in favour of lowering the legal voting age to 16. Other highlights of the day included a discussion on “youth disengagement and the media” by Sunday Times Education Editor, Sian Griffiths and Western Mail columnist Abbie Wightwick, and an interview and Q&A session with David Dinsmore. Much was made over the potential establishment of a new office for The Sun newspaper in Cardiff, which peaked the interest of many budding journalists.
Director of Communications at News UK, Guto Harri, also a distinguished former BBC correspondent, said “There are plenty of good stories in South Wales; two teams in the Barclays Premier League, it’s the seat of government and there are also the social stories. There are plenty of good reasons that justify having an office in Cardiff,” before going on to more broadly comment that “the News Academy in Cardiff aims to inspire the next generation of news makers who will ensure a sustainable future for world-class journalism.”
David Dinsmore said “I am determined that The Sun reports, and reflects, every part of the United Kingdom. The News Academy is a great way for young people from across Wales to learn how they can contribute to the future of their media and their country.”