On Thursday, March 28th, The College Tribune, with the help of the University Observer, hosted a UCD Media Day. The event featured talks, panels, and workshops with some of Ireland’s leading journalists, all of whom are UCD alumni.

The event, which ran from 11 am to 5 pm, aimed to educate students who are interested in pursuing a career in media. Over forty students bought tickets and gathered in the Red Room at the Student Centre to hear from professionals in the industry.

The day started with a discussion about ‘finding your niche’ with Samantha Libreri, a Multi-Media Journalist with RTÉ News & Current Affairs, and Aoife Rooney, the Assistant Editor of Weekend Magazine at the Irish Independent. Both of whom wrote for the University Observer while at UCD.

Gavan Reilly at the UCD Media Day - Hugh Dooley
Gavan Reilly at the UCD Media Day – Hugh Dooley

This was followed by a panel of young journalists. This panel was comprised of former Observer writers who are now working as journalists full-time, they shared advice with students on how to network and find contracts with leading national newspapers. The panel members were David Kent (Irish Examiner), Dylan O’Neill (Irish Examiner), Azmia Riaz (Irish Independent), and Saoirse Hanley (Sunday Independent).

Daniel McConnell, the Editor of the Business Post was interviewed next, he wrote for both the College Tribune and the University Observer during his time at UCD. His interview explored ‘what it means to be an editor’, he spoke about journalistic integrity, ethics and the commercialisation of the media.

Gavan Reilly, a journalist from Virgin Media News, spoke about his career to date and led a news writing workshop where he taught students how to dissect a press release and turn it into an engaging news article. Reilly wrote for the University Observer during his time at UCD.

Donie O’Sullivan, a CNN correspondent who was the News Editor of the College Tribune in 2012, virtually joined the Media Day to discuss his career to date. Among other things, he spoke about his experience interviewing Trump supporters and his work investigating the rise of conspiracy theories in the United States. He also spoke about the importance of digital literacy and identifying misinformation on social media.

Donie O'Sullivan and Emma Hanrahan at the UCD Media Day - Photo by Hugh Dooley
Donie O’Sullivan and Emma Hanrahan at the UCD Media Day – Photo by Hugh Dooley

The event concluded with an interview with Jack Power, a News Reporter, and the Acting European Correspondent for the Irish Times. He taught ‘Investigative Journalism 101’ and explained to students how to submit a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, how to develop a trusting relationship with sources, and how to locate a good story.

Thank you so much to everyone who attended and took part in the UCD Media Day. We were delighted to showcase the journalistic talent that has come out of UCD and to educate and inspire students to pursue a career in journalism.

Emma Hanrahan – Co-Editor
Photos by Hugh Dooley