TODAY’S journalism students can be a huge influence on the future of the industry according to former editor of the Guardian Alan Rusbridger.
Alan spoke to journalism students at Harlow College about his recent book, Breaking News, and told them this was the most exciting time to enter the profession.
A former journalism student at Harlow College, Alan has agreed to join journalist and broadcaster John Stapleton as a patron of Harlow School of Journalism.
During his visit to the college he was asked what advice he would give to student journalists. Alan replied: “You don’t want to go into journalism to write rubbish. You want to go into journalism to speak the truth.”
Alan also spoke about the ethical responsibilities of journalists and the rise of social media. He said: “A survey shows two thirds of adults can’t tell the difference between a good news source or a bad source. There are so many different types of journalism and we expect the public to be able to differentiate between them.”
Alan firmly believes in the future of journalism, and urged students: “Go and be a journalist in the field that you want to work in or are passionate about.
“Previously the only way into the industry was to work for a local newspaper, but there are so many other entrances now.”
Alan also had strong opinions about the future of print journalism, saying that he believes that the future will see the survival of weekly and monthly publications, but a continuing decline in national newspapers.
He also commented on the most surreal moment of his career, when a German band sent an LP to him in the post, entitled ‘Alan Rusbridger’.
Alan studied English at Cambridge University and then worked for the provincial press, including the Cambridge News. He spent much of his career at The Guardian, working there from 1995-2015 and launching its Weekend Magazine and G2 sections.
He is now principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, is chairman of Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and is on the board of the National Theatre. His publications include the 2018 book Breaking News about the industry and its future and he has written a screen play Fields of Gold.