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20th February 2019

Preview: Women in Media 2019

Isabel Oldman looks ahead to the fourth annual Women in Media conference which will be held in March, here in Manchester, she speaks to Co-Chair Bella Jewell about what to expect from the event and all the different talks which are on offer.
Preview: Women in Media 2019
Photo: Allie Liu

In March 2019, The People’s History Museum will once again be hosting  the Women in Media conference. Now in its fourth year, the weekend-long event will be showcasing the best and brightest women working in media today and will be offering expertise from women from a variety of backgrounds.  The conference, which made its debut in 2016, is entirely organised by students from the University of Manchester, all of whom are members of Manchester Media Group, based in the Students’ Union.

The conference is open to all those interested in pursuing a career in media and as Co-Chair Bella Jewell explains the conference is not just for those looking for a role in journalism. “We pride ourselves on the sheer variety of events we have to offer [and] there will be a mixture of panels, workshops, and speeches, which cover a diverse range of media-related careers, for example, PR and Comms, Cinematography, Presenting, Radio, and Music, among others.”

This year’s conference boasts a varied line-up of women from a diverse range of industries and will include interviews with guests such as the BBC’s Deputy Editor of Social News, Ciara Riordan. In addition, it will be welcoming other industry professionals such as Tina Moran, the training manager at Press Association, Social Media influencer and blogger, Sophia Rosemary and CEO of Art of Podcast Emma Houlton.

The team have also organised panels filled to the brim with industry knowledge, and those attending the conference this March will have the opportunity to watch discussions on a wide range of media-related topics, including a guide to self-publishing, a discussion of LGBTQI+, Women in Tech and Investigative News.

Events at the Women in Media Conference this year have also been streamlined to ensure their attendees can gain as much possible from the event.  They have even added a CV writing workshop to take place over the lunch break, perfect for those who wish to polish up on the more practical aspects of finding a job.

“Our keynote speaker this year, Clare Rewcastle Brown, will be a fantastic addition” adds Bella “Her work, investigating the deforestation of Sarawak, Borneo, and the dispossession of its people, led her to follow a trail of corruption taking her to the heart of Malaysian politics and to Prime Minister Najib Razak himself. Determined that the public should know the truth, she started a blog, which became Malaysia’s go-to news outlet for information that the government was trying to suppress – and whistleblowers wanted to get out.”

For those looking to get a leg up in the industry, to make contacts and connections or to simply find out more about the world of media, The Women in Media conference will be an excellent placed opportunity and one not to be missed.  

Alongside being an excellent space for learning and mingling, Women in Media also has the power to inspire. A previous attendee of the event, Kizzy Bray, says that the conference “was an important step for [her] in coming to terms with what it means to be a woman in the media.” She was particularly impressed with a previous guest, war journalist Alex Crawford, “she challenged every preconception I had about serious war journalism. She spoke about how becoming a mother made her a better journalist because it made her understand the importance of care and responsibility. It really was something I’d never heard before, especially in journalism.”

Lucas Hill-Paul, who also attended the event last year, spoke to me about how empowering the event is, and that men can be just as involved; “Women in Media was a crucial, eye-opening event as a male student who has consistently experienced the perspective from my own gender at these kind of conferences.”  He was particularly impressed by the high standards of the event, “each year the team attracts compelling speakers to remind you that women in all fields of media still have some of the strongest voices in a male-dominated landscape. The MMG’s work to provide a platform to educate and inspire the next generation of journalists, editors, and documentarians was undoubtedly among the most enriching events I had the pleasure of being a part of.”

“The conference is important as it places female talent at the centre” explains Bella “something unusual in an industry which tends to be male-dominated. The annual conference celebrates female media talent to the aim of empowering the next generation of aspiring women in media. Not only will it allow the best women in their industry to have a platform to speak, but it will also provide vital networking opportunities to women interested in media careers, to learn from those who have made it, and to meet other like-minded attendees. Students will gain the opportunity to interact with and learn from the experiences of nationally acclaimed and influential women in the industry.”

The Women in Media Conference will take place at the People’s History Museum on the 2nd and 3rd of March 2019. Tickets are available at and all proceeds go to MASH.  


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