Assembly Speaker – Polly Curtis, Editor in Chief of Huffpost
Polly Curtis the editor in chief of Huffpost and also an ex-Camden student, gave a talk for the sixth formers on Thursday 6 of September about journalism.
She began by talking about how she got to where she is now. She studied biology, geography and art at A-level and then did an art foundation, an unusual basis for a journalist. Then after travelling she did Development Studies at Leeds University. During her time at University, she started to realise she was more passionate about politics. While she did feel out of place within the political discussion at first, she decided to take a risk and changed her degree to politics. She worked on her university newspaper and advised the Camden students that if they wanted to work in journalism they should do the same.
When she first started as a journalist it was in print and there was very little feedback from readers, and the journalist simply provided the narrative. The digital age has disrupted this and reading and responding to the news has become much more interactive but also more problematic in some ways. People now can get news from anywhere and at any time, some is reliable and some is not, which Polly believes has weakened the trust in journalists.
She advised that if you want to be a journalist you need to read deeply and she also told the students to be aware of the way they are presenting themselves online, as an individual's online presence is something that more and more employers are looking at. She was asked many questions by the students, for example about how people are starting to not trust news due to fake news; in response to this she pleaded with the students to not give up on the news (though to always be sceptical and discerning about what they read) as many journalists are working hard to get the story right and to win the reader’s trust. She outlined how for her as an editor, journalistic integrity and trust from her readers are paramount.
It was an extremely interesting and informative talk.
Mia - Senior Prefect