Joanna Hynds (in red), with fellow Northern Ireland delegates Maisie Linford (left) and (right) Chelsie Kealey and Joy Kennedy

Joanna Hynds was a final year Masters in Journalism student at Ulster University when she took part in Future News Worldwide in 2019.

She is now living and working in London, having bagged a job at the global news network, CNN. We chatted to her about the experience and what made her want to apply… 

Why did you apply for the programme?

The Future News Worldwide Conference was something I was familiar with from previous years and students past. I saw it advertised as I was approaching the end of my master’s in journalism, where I was already frantically applying for every journalism opportunity to fill my summer with.

The opportunity to learn professional skills and network with industry experts and like-minded students doesn't come often and I was eager to land myself a spot. Not only did I want to go for practical learning reasons, but I also saw it as a valuable asset to add to my CV, at a very crucial time in my career.  

How did you find the experience?

The experience was an incredibly accelerating action-packed few days surrounded by vastly intellectual professionals and vibrant young students from every inch of the globe.  It was a privilege to be picked out of 3,000 applicants, and represent Northern Ireland, one of 53 countries taking part. We attended lectures and workshops throughout the day at media powerhouse, Thomson Reuters at their headquarters in Canary Wharf . Our workshops ranged from meeting experts, covering issues on ethical journalism to learning about open source techniques and even how to use Google News initiative.

We gained dynamic perspectives from a range of speakers from home-grown journo stars like Sunday Times Foreign Correspondent Christina Lamb, to international role models like Sonny Swe, a journalist in Myanmar who was imprisoned for his role as a journalist. In our spare time we squeezed in some sightseeing of London.

We were even treated to a dinner on a boat on the River Thames with Guest Speaker, Channel 4 veteran, Jon Snow. I had high expectations for the conference, and yet Future News Worldwide still completely blew them away. 

What was your favourite part of the experience?

We got a TRUE London experience by having our first dinner on a boat on the Thames, with Guest Speaker Jon Snow. It was a truly magical experience, with a prosecco reception where we could watch the sunset over the London skyline talking to new-found friends and networking with some of journalism’s biggest names. And of course, to learn from the knowledge, wisdom and wit of Jon Snow, the longest running presenter of Channel 4 news. He encouraged us all to work hard and follow our goals, telling us to "be true to how you see the world." I won't forget this night!

What did you learn from the programme and do you feel it has helped your journalism career?

The experience was once in a lifetime – it dared me to learn from people that are culturally diverse, inspired me to be like glass-ceiling breakers Christina Lamb and Jon Snow, and taught me transferable practical skills.  I was reminded of the importance of fair and honest journalism in an era of fake news. 

Beyond learning a lot of skills, I took a way a golden ticket that  would make my CV stand out and be a great talking point in interviews.   It will be one of the most valued opportunities I have seized as a journalism student.  

I also learnt that the future of news is in safe hands from meeting a global bunch of competent and hard working journalists.  

The experience was enriching and enlightening and encouraged me to apply for jobs in London. I am now living and working in London for one of the biggest news companies in the world, CNN.  

About Future News Worldwide 2020

Future News a partnership programme between the British Council and some of the world’s leading media organisations, including Reuters, CNN, Facebook and Google News Initiative. It aims to identify, train and support the next generation of global journalists. 

 We’re looking for 100 of the world’s most talented, motivated and passionate young media makers to join us for an exclusive conference taking place in London on 14 and 15 July 2019.

Here, they will receive coaching from some of the world’s most high-profile editors, broadcasters, writers and reporters and will make connections with other young global journalists. 

This is a fully funded opportunity. All costs involved in attending the conference, including travel to and from London, accommodation and board, will be covered by the British Council, so there is no cost at all to the successful students.

The programme is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students of any degree discipline aged 18-25, who are passionate about journalism in any form.

The deadline for applications is Friday, 14 February, 2019 - find out more and apply

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