OXFORD MEDIA SOCIETY
For our first event of Trinity Term, we hosted the iconic Eve Bennett at Oriel College for a discussion about her career and her advice on breaking into the media industry. Throughout her conversation with our president Freya, Eve shared valuable insights into her career’s past, present, and future — from Youtuber to Cherwell Editor to a 6-month training programme at the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), and now to her upcoming position as a producer for Sky. Her trajectory has been highly impressive, and it was clearly no small feat: Eve emphasised the importance of good timing when discussing her social media career, but she also cited tenacity, proactivity, and dedication as cornerstones of her success.
The talk went on to consider the bubble created by student journalism. While it offers wonderful opportunities to build experience within the world of news and media, student journalism is ideally conscious of its inherent locality and its comparatively low stakes. Eve maintained that NCTJ modules such as media law and the ethics of journalism allowed her to build from these experiences and develop a broader, more nuanced perspective — in the same vein, we discussed the benefits of gaining work experience with local news outlets, whose staff often consist of seasoned industry professionals who tend to be more willing and able to pass on their tangible skills than larger media corporations.
We also considered the necessity of self-promotion for journalists and media figures. The increasing saturation of the industry means that those looking to succeed in it must become comfortable creating space for their own presence through outreach and proactivity. In this respect, Eve left us with three pieces of advice. Firstly, use LinkedIn: it might feel self-aggrandising, but it’s your best friend for job applications. Secondly, be cocky: reaching out to companies or outlets you would like to be involved with can rarely do any harm, and often leads to unexpected successes. Thirdly, never fear rejection: it’s an inevitable part of establishing one’s own presence, and it’s a necessary step on the path to acceptance.