BCU MA Multiplatform & Mobile Journalism students attend International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy

“I am so very grateful to my MA Journalism professor who provided us with this amazing opportunity to partake in this journalism festival trip – I truly gained so much more knowledge about the field of journalism.”
-Freelance Journalist, Jessica Noel Quinlan

Investing in my future

Freelance Journalist, Jessica Noel Quinlan

During my studies at Birmingham City University, my MA Multiplatform & Mobile Journalism Professor Paul Bradshaw – presented, to my class and I, an opportunity to go to Perugia, Italy for the International Journalism Festival from 3 – 7 April 2019. 

It was an opportunity I knew I could not pass up, because I was going to have the opportunity to network with possible future employer’s, gain more knowledge about the field of journalism, and gain a deeper understanding about the industry I am trying to get into. 

The International Journalism Festival in Perugia consisted of many conference discussions. One of my Professor’s – Diane Kemp – recommended for us to bring business cards, so that we can easily connect with the professionals who were going to be there; therefore, I had some made before going to Italy so I could do just that. 

Journo Jess with two Journalism Professors – Paul Bradshaw & Diane Kemp – Plus Data Journalist colleague Pauline Roche
My International Journalism Festival Pack – business cards, Press Pass, and Portfolio with notepad and pen
Materials I collected from conferences: itinerary, pamphlets, and stickers

The Conferences

Crowd standing in line to see a International Journalism Festival discussion

As many of us Journalists’ attended the many discussions at the festival – sometimes even standing in the rain at times to see certain discussions – I got to see many discussions, which I was very excited to see – such as the Solutions to Journalism in Europe,  Impact Measurement: tools, frameworks and case studies, and #UnbiasTheNews: how diversity can save quality journalism

Honestly, it was overwhelming at times just how many conferences they had going on in one day for us to choose to choose from – for example, there was over 600 speakers  and 250 events to choose from. And not only that, we were also overwhelmed at the superb amount of knowledge we were gaining at each discussion – these are all positive things of course.

Even though it was difficult to decide which discussion I wanted to see, I still managed to figure out which discussions that I either absolutely could not miss or discussions that just simply intrigued me. 

For example, I attended a discussion called Journalism on the Frontlines: The Case of Ukraine. This discussion in particular seemed like it was going to be interesting, which it was. I learned a lot about the differences in the ways in which people from Ukraine view Journalism and how they believe different approaches should be taken in the field of journalism, such as “rethinking the media space.”

Video featured below: Clip from the Journalism on many Front Lines: The Case of Ukraine discussion.


Every discussion I attended truly helped me understand journalism on a deeper level.  It opened my eyes to things I never would have even thought about and how I could possibly implement what I was learning into my journalism practices. 

Another discussion I attended – Tech companies hiring Journalists to … be Journalists – was another interesting discussion between the panelists. One  of the panelists – Gabriella Schwarz – said one of her colleagues asked, “why are you leaving the news?” In which she responded, “I’m not leaving news. I’m just going to work at a tech company, which does the news”.  

Video featured below: A clip from a discussion I attended – Tech companies hiring Journalists to .. be Journalists.


Another conference I really enjoyed was the Solutions Journalism in Europe discussion. This was a discussion – in particular – I was excited to see, because Solutions Journalism is something that I am highly interested in. They discussed what Solutions Journalism is and exactly how it can be conducted best in the broadcast industry.

And lastly, another discussion I really enjoyed – Reality Journalism: A new format taking the world by storm – I got to personally speak with TV anchor and Journalist Janet Mbugua-Ndichu. Moreover, she told me about her different approach she has taken in her career in journalism and how important it is to find and follow your passion in your career in journalism. 

My Takeaway of the International Journalism Festival

Journo Jess optimistic about future

As I gain more knowledge at each Journalism conference trip I embark on, I am learning that there is truly so much more to the field of journalism than I could have imagined. There are so many more things that I must consider when writing stories, in which the world must and should know about. But not only that, I also learned so much while I partook my Journalism Masters Program. I learned so much about myself – personally and as a Journalist. 

I was so very grateful to my MA Journalism professor who provided us with this amazing opportunity to partake in this journalism festival trip – I truly gained so much more knowledge about the field of journalism. 

Even though we may be living in unprecedented times currently, I look forward to engaging in more conferences  – like the International Journalism Festival I participated in – in the near future, so that I can continue to grow even more so as a Journalist. 

Journo Jess with Journalism colleagues
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