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Thursday 21 August 2014

Journalism students cover major UK festivals

This summer, students from the BA (Hons) Popular Music Journalism were asked to get their wellies on and produce official editorial coverage for some of the UK’s biggest music festivals.

From helping to run social media at Glastonbury to filming artist interviews at Blissfields, the budding music journalists had a chance to work with some of the biggest names in the business whilst getting their first taste of life as a professional music journalist.

Out of all the amazing projects being worked on by the music journalism students this summer, one of the largest was the production of the official magazine for the Isle of Wight Festival: Isla.

Journalism student Niamh Moore after an interview with pop rock band Lawson

Crammed full of interviews with the artists, organisers and punters that made this year’s Isle of Wight Festival a success, the magazine was distributed digitally though the official festival website and social media channels.

The team of students, led by popular music journalism associate lecturer Jacqui Smith, got the chance to rub shoulders with some of the music industry’s most influential journalists and PR professionals.

Everyone the team met was full of praise for the effort they put in over the weekend and the festival organisers were very pleased with the finished magazine.

A PR representative from Sony Records, home to the Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters and Bob Dylan, said that it was “an absolute pleasure working with the music journalism students at Southampton Solent University. Their professionalism matched any experienced journalist that I’ve encountered and I look forward to working with them when they take their first steps into the working world.”

Niamh pictured with Pete and Patrick from Fall Out Boy

Despite their inexperience, the students failed to be star struck when confronted with some of the world’s biggest acts. A representative from Halestorm PR was particularly impressed with their demeanour while interviewing what he described as “two of my biggest artists”, stating that they were “as competent as many of my experienced contacts.”

This all comes amid an already busy year for the music journalism students. Their long list of achievements so far include rebranding the University’s music magazine ‘The Sound’ as ‘Stylus’; turning the course magazine ‘Audio Addict’ into a hugely successful multi-platform publication; and organising the biggest SMILEfest in the event’s six year history.

To take a look at the digital version of Isla, use the magazine reader embedded above. To find out more about journalism courses at Solent, be sure to visit our undergraduate journalism degrees page.