News Academy at Croke Park by Keith Thompson

25 March 2014

The DFEi Journalism classes attended a "News Academy" conference in Croke Park on March 25th 2014.  The aim of the conference was to "invest in the future of journalism, to help and inspire the next generation of those who might one day work in our industry," according to conference organiser Viv Regan.

The event, hosted by "News UK" featured guests from the broad pantheon of Irish journalism.

The conference was a chance for young aspiring journalists to gain some insight into the profession.  It also gave secondary school students who are undecided about their future an insight into the multi-faceted role of the journalist.

News UK is part of News Corp, a worldwide corporation that included high profile publications such as The Sun, The Times and The Sunday times.  They also work closely with The Young Journalists academy (YJA).

Guest speakers included political journalist,  Deaglán de Bréadún, former Washington correspondent for the Irish Times and Justine McCarthy, senior writer for the Sunday Times Irish edition.  The interests of aspiring sports  journalists were heightened by the advice of sports editor for the Irish Sun, Cathal Dervan and senior sports writer for the Irish Times Denis Walsh.  The world of business and finance was represented by the editor of the Sunday Times Frank Fitzgibbon.  Jennifer O'Brien of the Irish Sun gave a professional overview of criteria needed to become an efficient entertainment reporter.

News academy is focusing its encouragement on your people from the age of 16 to 18.  Students from secondary schools around the country had the opportunity to sit in small groups and ply guest journalists with questions.

Justine McCarthy advised fledging journalists to "start writing if writing is your thing, get your stories together and start badgering editors."  Frank Fitzgibbon drew students' attention to the fact that publications are in need of good business reporters and writers.  He went on today that "if you have a business degree or even an insight into the subject and have a flair for journalism, slamdunk, you've got a job."lure

Overall, News Academy excelled at the general presentation of the event and promoted their objectives in an affable atmosphere.  Every effort was made for guests to feel welcome, with the additional allure of free breakfast and lunch.  They know us students too well!