How to get involved in Student Media and why you should

Photo credit: Cardiff Students Union

As a first year, there is so much to get to grips with and so much to do, endless amounts of societies and socials, that it can be very overwhelming. Some sink their teeth into every opportunity, making the most of them, but for others like myself, it seemed very daunting to try and join a well-oiled community such as Cardiff Student Media. Now as a second year, I have found my feet and get involved with 3 of the 4 platforms available through CSM, and next year I want to try them all. So how do you get involved?

Well, it couldn’t be easier to get involved with Cardiff’s student newspaper, Gair Rhydd. There is no membership fee to pay, you just simply join their Facebook group ‘Gair Rhydd Contributors 2017/18’ to contribute to the magazine. As you probably already know, the newspaper is distributed every Monday, and editors post articles available to members of the group. You find one you’re interested in, write about it, send it and just like that, your work is published and ready to read online and on paper. It’s such an easy and rewarding section to take part in if you love newsgathering or expressing your opinion.

You can also contribute to Quench, Cardiff’s student magazine, in the same way. Quench release 5 issues over the two semesters but also publish content online throughout the year. There’s opportunities to give advice, recommendations and opinions as well as the chance to review shows, gigs and restaurants (all for free!) so there’s something for everyone. For those of you who are familiar with Photoshop and InDesign, perhaps you would prefer to design the pages for Quench? Even if you haven’t got experience with this software, the team at Quench are happy to help. I hadn’t used InDesign once before my 2nd year, but now with thanks to the Design Editor, I design several pages each issue. Being able to see your work pieced together with everyone else’s contributions is such an achievement.

Cardiff Union TV also have a lot of great opportunities whether you’re experienced or not. You can help out with presenting, filming or editing and like with Quench, the team are eager to welcome new members and show them how to use the different software and equipment. They regularly post projects that require help from members on their Facebook group also. There’s also the opportunity to get exclusive access to specific events with CUTV. Just last week I was working with a great team of CUTV members at the Welsh Varsity in Swansea. It was such a great experience being given the chance to record and interview the players throughout the day. At the Liberty Stadium, the team were able to record in the stadium’s own TV studio alongside Swansea University’s team and get exclusive interviews with the players on the pitch right after the game!

Xpress Radio, like all of the other stations, has a large community of contributors. Again, they have their own dedicated Facebook Group to keep members posted. Members can propose their own show ideas to the coordinators and be part of the weekly radio schedule, interview different music acts and create their own podcasts all in the CUSU’s recording studio in the CSM Office. They also attended the Varsity in Swansea, keeping students updated with live scores.

So there you have it! Join the groups and get involved! And make sure you do as soon as you can, because university flies by and Cardiff Student Media is just too good of an opportunity to miss!

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