What A Manic Year 2009...

It's been freakin insane! And with it being impossible to summarise 12 months of my life (in a single blog) - have a read here to get the ins and outs of me and the hectic world of Ctrl.Alt.Shift; the UK-based experimental project set up to engage the next generation in the fight against social and global injustice... think BNP-crushing, DRCongo corruption awareness, Palestine stories, HIV stigma killing, global poverty-decreasing, news, news and more news (check up the site, and you'll get the jist!).

From Mauritius, to East London (born and bred in Newham), expanding my journalism horizons at the University of Central Lancashire, and hitting the ground galloping back in L-Town for Ctrl.Alt.Shift - now you can follow my blog (for today is the birth of my new blogsite) for in-depth updates of the life and fast times of this London journalist. I'll be bringing you reports from the big city, to the anecdotes of my travels from Vancouver to DRCongo, Milan to Paris, and beyond...

This may not give as personal insight to my social, sport-mad, love etc. side of my life - but it's a start, and a new year, new chapter is about to hit - so stay tuned.


Guardian Article: The UK Youth-Led Media Summit 2009

Never stop losing faith in the next generation, never patronise, speak down to, assume you know what they know, need and want, never NEVER suggest "video games" as the answer - meet young people half way and they'll surprise you, that much, I promise.

And that is basically what I came to say at this year's Youth-Led Media Summit in London. Daunting, ever so slightly, yet privileged I felt, to represent Ctrl.Alt.Shift on a panel that consisted of various big players from the UK media world (from Channel 4 to BBC). Our audience, ready and geared up for a grilling, were some of the most exciting media-focusing prospects from across the UK, brought together for the first time all under one roof; each and every aspiring mag and newspaper writer, radio, TV and digital media presenter and producer coming to the forefront to voice their worth and thoughts on how the future of their industry will play out...

There was a heavy mix of opinions flying about, some of which I jumped on in defence of my peoples - for example, I got this uncontrollable urge to grab the mic during the panel discussion, hearing claims that youth-media could be "dead in 40-50 years" and that my suggestion of possibly having a youth-led media page in every mainstream publication was not viable - due to target audiences and consistency factors. Big bag of bull I thought, given the falling numbers in readerships facing various media orgs, the look of disdain on the reacting faces of the summit's young and passionate attendees, and the fact the audience themselves held a combined readership of over 2 million young people (all of which would like more opportunities and better representation from the mainstream).

Yet beyond the banter and rumbling debate did come progress, with various individuals stepping up throughout the day's workshops and presentations to prove they will be pulling strings in future years. The bottom line - the next media generation will continue to strive, hustle, and push to get that hard-earned reward of a foot in the door - though perhaps that door just needs to be swung open.

From past memories of sitting in cold auditoriums at some patronising and terribly mundane university speaker seminars, I think the main objective of the conference was met - to listen, and learn, and for my own peace of mind, I learnt the media of tomorrow rests in very safe hands.

Below is a snippet from the review of the summit I wrote for Guardian online:

Youth Led Media Summit Intro from Leo Bridle on Vimeo.

A Positive Face Of Youth In The Media
Today's Youth-Led Media Summit brings together enthusiastic young people from around the UK who want to determine their future role – and dispel the image of dangerous hoodies...

I grow ever tiresome of seeing news surrounding our youth decorated with hoodies and knife crime. Yes, teen stabbings do happen, and I love my Y-3 hoody, but there's a need for a balance. So, what better way to change that pre-selected image and harness the next generation than to get more than 150 inspiring media enthusiasts from around the UK in the same room; all of whom want to grab the concept of their industry by the horns and determine their role in the future of the media.

I'm talking about the first Youth-Led Media Summit 2009 today.

The Institute of Global Ethics UK Trust has invited a mass of talent and potential, including representatives from various youth magazines, newspapers, radio, TV and digital media groups (with a combined audience and readership of over two million young people) – all to The Rich Mix in Shoreditch, London, to voice their ideas and concerns regarding their generation and the media. I will be basking in the ambiance of my peers, who will soon be bringing you tomorrow's headlines...

Read the full article here