Student Journalism is Cool. – OurWarwick
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Student Journalism is Cool.

Luke James United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Luke James | Politics and International Studies (PAIS) Contact Luke

I recently won an award.

Or, let me put this differently, I recently played a key role in helping The Boar win a Student Publication Association award.

Although, before I get into this, I should probably explain what The Boar is. Well, it’s the University of Warwick’s independent student newspaper. It’s a society within the Students Union – but remains editorially autonomous.

What does that all mean? Well, The Boar can write whatever it likes. The University can’t tell the newspaper what to publish, nor can the SU. It isn’t a mouthpiece for anyone apart from the students who write for it.

The bottom line is this. The Boar is by far my favourite thing about Warwick. For the price of an expensive cup of coffee per year, you can join the newspaper and write for any of the departments you like. The society, in addition to publishing in print and online, also runs social events (of which I rarely attended).

I was The Boar’s Sport Editor for 2020/21, during which time I fell in love with journalism and decided that I should probably study it at postgraduate level.

This brings me to the SPA, which is an association for organisations like The Boar. Each year, the SPA holds an award ceremony. And we won!

To be more precise, we won the award for Best Sports Coverage based on a submission that was anchored by my coverage of the Elite Series (an ice hockey tournament Warwick’s local team was involved in).

Why am I talking about this? Well, a few reasons.

One, I’m incredibly proud of it…

Two, it’s one of the defining moments of my student experience at Warwick…

Three, it shows the power and importance of getting involved in societies during your time at the University.

In order to be The Boar’s Sport Editor, I had to win an election. (For the record, I lost the vote in 2019… but thankfully won a year later!) After that, it was my responsibility to run the section. And it was hard work.

We published an article everyday for a year, covered in-person events… and had to battle through the pandemic. We started a podcast, worked with professional sports teams, and went to press conferences. We did proper journalism.

It was hectic. But it was great.

And that’s the thing. Being on a society’s exec (leadership team) is (at times) like a full-time job. You learn so many things, go through periods of conflict, and (hopefully) make a positive impact. My role with The Boar looks great on my CV… but that was never the reason I spent hours editing other people’s work.

I did it because I loved it.

And, in my view, the most important part of being at university is working out what comes next. Who are your friends going to be in five years’ time? What industry will you work in?

I think societies play a huge role in answering both of those questions – which is why you should try as many new things as possible when you arrive at Warwick.

Hey, you might even win a national award.

Luke James United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Luke James | Politics and International Studies (PAIS) Contact Luke

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