5th Week Newsletter: The TikTok Revolution

For this week's first newsletter, Priya Mahan from our marketing team talks about how Tiktok is revolutionising journalism — especially how Sophia Smith Galer, who will be joining us for a Q&A later this week, has been using the platform in innovative new ways.

Social media has given our generation unprecedented power to circulate images and information as a channel for free speech, communication, and education. The rise of social media has changed the way that people access news, steering the culture of professional journalism, the business of news and even the political environments in some parts of the world. This week, the Oxford Media Society is delighted to welcome the multi-award-winning journalist and VICE World News reporter, Sophia Smith Galer, who will come to speak on Tuesday the 23rd May. Named as one of Vogue’s ‘Most Influential Women’ in 2022, she was the first BBC journalist to be on TikTok and has amassed over 135 million views. She tapped into TikTok as a new medium for finding and then platforming stories, with videos reaching global audiences. She has broken stories over the Ukraine war, how TikTok has been used for presidential campaigns, gun violence and sex education. Whilst traditional broadcast and print media may still create the news agenda, it is platform companies who have transformed which audiences can access it. Sophia has helped establishment media connect with the Gen Z audience through new platforms, including TikTok. 

We also look forward to welcoming Stephen Bush to come and speak on Thursday the 25th May. Stephen Bush read History at Balliol College and is now an associate editor and award-winning journalist for the Financial Times. He has also written for The Guardian, The Telegraph and New Statesman. His daily newsletter, Inside Politics, closely analyses UK politics and policy. Recently, he has covered stories on Rishi Sunak’s five-pledge strategy, anti-monarchy arrests following the coronation, local council elections and the questions of racial equality prompted by the new Netflix depiction of Cleopatra. 

The mortality rate of print news is no longer shocking, and both speakers this week have experienced the changes in how politics is covered, reported, written, and edited. Instead, new business models of online media have cultivated talent and worked to retain public interest in political media. Sophia’s innovative reporting represents the dynamic changes occurring in the world of journalism and we welcome any questions you would like to ask our speakers this week. 

Priya Mahan,
Marketing Team