While many Uni of Sheffield students were enjoying their Reading Week, possibly doing anything BUT reading, the students from the Department of Journalism Studies had the International Journalism Week 2017 to attend. And every minute spent in the lecture theatre instead of chilling at home was totally worth it!
From 6 November until 10 November, the Department of Journalism Studies in the University of Sheffield welcomed a few guest lecturers. Professor Jackie Harrison, Joint Head of the Department, joined freelance journalists, editors and representatives of British media organisations and organisations which defend freedom of speech, to give lectures on the topic ‘Journalism in High-Risk Environments’.
Some of the lectures focused on specific examples of challenges that journalists face today. Sarah Clarke, from PEN International, commented on the current situation in Turkey, where journalists are being imprisoned without fair trial for doing their job. She presented the topic in a compelling way and managed to create discussion, which continued outside the lecture theatre.
Gillian Phillips, media lawyer working for the Guardian, focused on the legal and ethical challenges which investigative journalism faces in the digital era. The various points of view from which the idea of ‘high-risk environments’ was presented clearly showed that it is not only limited to reporting from war zones but is rather an inseparable part of good journalism. This, however, made the life and job of journalists even more attractive to the students.
Postgraduate and undergraduate students from the Department actively participated in the International Journalism Week. In small teams, they prepared and presented case studies focused on countries where journalists face exceptional challenges or on organisations which support journalists and defend freedom of expression. Their presentations were judged by a highly competent jury and the best performing teams were awarded.
As part of the event, an individual student competition also took place. Students prepared essays, blogs or other materials to illustrate their view on the topic ‘Beyond the Flak Jacket: what should news organisations take into account when sending journalists into hostile environments?’ The best performing were awarded a visit to top media organisations - Channel 4 News, Press Association, the Guardian and BBC Five Live News.
The International Journalism Week takes place every year at the University of Sheffield. The lectures are open to all students, although the seats in the lecture theatres are limited. If you are interested in journalism, this event is a great opportunity to get to know something more about it in a unique way.
Be sure not to miss International Journalism Week 2018 next year!