External Guest Speakers

Posted: 10th February 2021

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Written by Raika (Year 9):

This week we’ve attended two very different guest speaker talks, both from Journalists. On Monday we spoke with Kay Oliver, who has worked on local and national newspapers and radio. She told us that from a young age (14), she realised she wanted to be a Journalist, and applied for apprenticeships from 18, learning how to write shorthand and how to keep people talking on a range of topics from Crime to Health. She told us that often we need to find the hero inside us to see us through difficult times. As part of our Art studies we’ve been looking at Conflict Photography, and so during our lesson on Tuesday, we met Ayman Oghanna. He works as a journalist, covering the conflict in the Middle East for the New York Times, BBC and Vice. During the interview, he gave us a brief overview of his career. He started off as a photojournalist following his studies at Columbia University, and later came to realize that photography was not appreciated as much as it used to be, and so moved into film. He spoke about how having the purpose of taking photos, thinking about the focus, resolution and composition, keeps him calm even in the most life-threatening moments. He also talked about how the job has become very difficult for people like him, because often they work freelance and so do not have the support and the safety net of news organizations in war zones anymore, because of financial constraints. He also said that the pandemic had ‘added another layer of difficulty’. When Ms Kenny asked him for advice and managing his own well being, he said it is important to reach out for support and that he sees someone regularly to help, something that people should feel they can do, when they need it. A valuable lesson I managed to take from the interview was that in any career path you take, talent will make your work easier, but it takes hard work, a sense of purpose, and being able to communicate effectively with lots of people to succeed.