Having just graduated from the University of Birmingham, I am ever-jealous and bitter of those remaining, and those who are just starting as freshers. I honestly think I could do it all again, I enjoyed it that much, and I reckon I’d probably get better grades in first year as well. No more eating Super Noodles for a week and getting struck down with the world’s worst fresher’s flu. No more all-nighters running around student accommodations in the snow in December. No more finishing essays drunk. Or, d) all of the above, times by ten, because it was SO MUCH FUN.
Either way, there are constant reminders that I am no longer there, and one of these is the ever-growing and impressive presence of my old student newspaper, Redbrick.
I’m using Redbrick as an example now of embracing the digital potential. As in, ACTUALLY digging around and seeing what can be done with digital, and being innovative. Many big-name, national companies pale in comparison by simply opening a Twitter account and claiming that they utilise the digital world. It’s not that simple. I mean, I know next to nothing about digital media and tools, and I know it’s not that simple.
However, I do know that it’s an opportunity – a new door to open, if you will, in terms of careers. Particularly journalistic careers (obviously. I am muchos biased). Now, I don’t want to shoot my mouth off about something I know very little about. I have a technology-centric boyfriend (well, there’s a nicer way of saying ‘geek’, right?), so I know a little – I could name various computer parts, with a very vague idea of what each bit does, and I know that a computer language is something equivalent to parseltongue for all I understand it, and I know that my phone has a capacitive touch-screen, not resistive. So there.
But tomato, tomarto. Regardless of my pitiful knowledge, I am fully aware that the mere existence of the internet means that my desire to be a features journalist is not going to wither in the dust along with print journalism. Not that I believe print will EVER die out – I love me some tangible stories – but I’m fully aware that with the right learning, my career potential can double. This is crucial when the job market seems to be shrinking fast, along with everyone’s career prospects.
Online, rather than being second best, is now an entirely independent and abundant world for magazine journalism. And not just for features journalism, but other media forms also – take London Fashion Week, currently flouncing about in all its glory in Somerset House. I’ve already watched several shows, live-streamed from the runway, and simultaneously kept an eye on Twitter, where keen fashion-digital enthusiasts have live-tweeted and blogged their way through the week. Whist last year I had to apply for a press pass, with a letter of recommendation, and then beg at the feet of dozens of PR companies via email, this year I have witnessed some of the spectacles of fashion live in the comfort of my pyjamas. I momentarily joined the elite, who found out at the same time as me the inspiration for Mary Katrantzou, Spring/Summer 2013 (postcards, stamps, pennies). Digital is not only boundless and exciting, but democratically accessible, if you are willing to give it a try.