Jenna Gardiner (right) with fellow Northern Ireland delegate Zahra Baz at last year's conference

Jenna Gardiner was a final year Masters in Journalism student at Ulster University when she took part in Future News Worldwide in 2018. 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 cropped up at an uncertain time for me and was just what I needed. I was approaching the end of my Masters in Journalism and on the lookout for whatever relevant experience and advice from professionals in the industry I could get my hands on - so a few days filled with extra training and time with veteran journalists was a dream chance to me. Also, with awareness that I would soon be facing job interviews, any opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and network with other aspiring journos, sharing similar experiences and hearing first-hand what editors were looking for in their staff - I was determined to bag myself a spot for 2018.

 How did you find the experience?

I can honestly say I enjoyed every moment of Future News Worldwide. If I wasn't taking part in insightful workshops led by successful journalists, I was exploring what Edinburgh has to offer with the friends I met along the way. The whole experience was organised perfectly, each day filled with classes, activities and plenty of opportunities to network with others also. The delegates travelled from all over to attend, meaning there was an interesting conversation to be had with everyone on the opportunities and challenges of being an aspiring journalist in their country. Future News by far exceeded all of my expectations and was worth every minute.

 What was your favourite part of the experience?

For me, heading to The Hub on Edinburgh's Royal Mile for a traditional Scottish meal in the most beautiful setting, where we were greeted by the sound of bagpipes and marched to our tables was a real highlight. Alessandra Galloni, Global News Editor at Reuters shared her knowledge and wisdom from the stage, and allowed us the opportunity to ask plenty of burning questions. The whole evening was a pleasure, with so much to take in from both our surroundings, the peers with enjoyed our meal with and Alessandra's speech.

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

The programme covered pretty much anything from what to expect from life as a Journalist to practical lessons.

Whether it be the inspiring session on mobile journalism with Yusuf Omar, the workshop on trauma reporting- a vital component of any young journalists training, or a discussion on the ethics behind the profession with Donald Martin, we learned about it all.

Something that's stuck with me though, was the inspiring talk we had with Carrie Gracie, former BBC China Correspondent. Carrie opened up about her time reporting on China, and taught us to strive to immerse ourselves in the culture of our subjects. Her words on female equality in the workplace, after famously resigning from her role at the BBC over the matter, also empowered me to always know my worth.

Attending Future News Worldwide has been like my secret weapon. During every job interview i've attended since (and there's been a few), I’ve been asked about the conference and given the chance to list the insightful and wonderful experience of my few days in Edinburgh.

About Future News Worldwide 2019

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 16 and 17 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.

Applications for 2020 will open soon via the website

See also