A hundred would-be journalists from 20 countries gather in Scotland this weekend for Future NEWS 2015, a unique event to inspire the next generation of professionals in a rapidly changing media industry.
Industry leaders will give the 18 to 25-year-old undergraduates — the editors and journalists of the future — briefings on everything from press freedom to writing, the use of social media and practical video skills.
The event is at the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh on Friday to Sunday, 4-6 September.
An exciting line-up of other senior media executives taking part come from CNN, BuzzFeed, Facebook, the BBC, STV and a consortium of Scottish media companies, including the Herald & Times Group and DC Thomson.
The future of news will be on display with newsgathering drones, virtual reality headsets and the latest technology to give the young would-be journalists a taste of things to come.
A highlight will be a dramatic presentation from Sue Turton, a war and foreign correspondent currently on the run after an Egyptian court convicted her in absentia for alleged terrorism while working as an Al-Jazeera reporter.
Leaders of the top British journalism schools will show how Britain is a world leader in media education and research.
The British Council selected 50 of the participants from countries across the world. Given the rigorous selection process, many can be expected to become the editors and opinion formers of the future in their countries.
Karen Cunningham, Director, Future NEWS said: “ Future NEWS 2015 aims to inspire talented young people with media ambitions to become journalists with a passion for freedom of the press and a belief in media integrity. We hope bringing these aspiring young journalists to Scotland, and our iconic parliament building, will reinforce the importance of an independent, diverse and thriving press to a democratic society. The event will help secure Britain around the world as a centre of excellence in media values and training."
Tom Thomson, Conference Director, Future NEWS said: “This fantastic partnership between Britain’s leading media companies has allowed us to assemble a distinguished array of speakers. We hope our participants leave feeling inspired to enter one of the most worthwhile and stimulating careers there is. We particularly hope that they leave Edinburgh with a sense of what fascinating working lives they can have and what pinnacles they can reach with ambition, drive and ability."
Dr Lloyd Anderson, Director of British Council Scotland said: “British Council is proud to ensure that this golden opportunity for students to engage with some of the UK’s leading media groups is an international one. It will allow the finest young journalistic minds from around the world to attend and contribute to an important forum being held in the Scottish Parliament. Developing global standards of journalism that reinforce its role in protecting freedom of expression, democratic government and public accountability is more and more necessary in a fast changing and interconnected world.”
Future NEWS 2015 is supported by the Scottish Government; the British Council, the UK’s international cultural and educational organisation; international media company Reuters; and the main UK journalism schools. Other partners include BBC Scotland, Tinopolis Interactive, STV, CNN, DC Thomson and the Herald & Times Group.
The participants come from countries including the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Jamaica, Lebanon, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and the four UK home nations.