Coventry Conversations; a series of speaker programmes at Coventry University, celebrated its 4th birthday last year. 2011 will take the scheme forward again.
Upcoming events include, Jon Snow (@jonsnowC4), Channel 4 News Broadcaster, and social media advocate, will talk about his journalistic story on Feb 1st, and on March 9th The BBC College of Journalism will talk Investigative Journalism as part of the Fourth Cov Con.
Founder and Inventor John Mair (@johnmair100), brings together renowned and respected Journalists, Academics and Entrepreneurs offering advice, questions and direction for students of media and broadcast journalism. It strikes me that the events appear to be an example of an open-data approach to media education.
I will be attending, tweeting and live-blogging from the first discussion ‘Working the Media’, led by Professors David Bailey (@djbailey) and Simon Chadwick (@prof_chadwick) of Coventry University, on January 20th.
Over 2.5million people worldwide have downloaded recordings of the media debates by podcast which are available through Coventry University’s website, and Mair is quoted as saying he is keen to take the events global as a brand, driven by a world-wide “appetite and intelligent talk about the Media by serious movers and shakers.”
The Guardian’s Dan Sabbagh writes that ‘collaboration is the third part of the equation‘ to be added to creativity and commercialism in order to achieve journalistic success. Designers, businesses and artists in the fashion industry for instance, have long found success through collaboration and it’s a trend that seems hard to ignore.
What about emerging Creatives, Writers and Designers? I would advocate and promote a collaborative approach to development, support and business mentoring for graduates working in creative industries; to fill the gap left by the closure of public bodies being closed under government cuts. But are there other approaches and what are the effects of our current economic state to this process?
The funding crisis affecting Universities is also felt in the business support services for the creative and media industries. I understand from media reports that Business Link will close this year, and when speaking with Birmingham office I was told Creative Launchpad, a scheme funded by the organization to help startup creative businesses, has already been terminated due to funding cuts.
It is clear that getting the mentoring or support that would have once been available to business startups or enterprises will be more difficult in 2011. However, the optimist in me says, success will be found in those that engage, converse and excite their audience and market, and these events are exactly how information and ideas can be fed to graduates; and knowing how to work the media isn’t optional if your business or scheme is to succeed in a multi-platform, digital world.
What do you think?
I’d be keen to hear from any students and/or graduates, about their experiences of the events, or their views about relationships with media and communicative digital technologies.
See Coventry-Conversation-lineup-for-2011 for a full diary of events
Information about live-blogging from the event will follow, get in touch if you wish to participate.
Follow my Twitter feed for more information and discussion of international media, design and culture