Media Student Spotlight: Sam Bradley, University of Edinburgh

SAM Bradley is not studying a dedicated media course, but is hoping to embark on a media career. Indeed, he’s the elected student rep in the Edinburgh Freelance branch of the National Union of Journalists.

He submitted this on Monday, March 3.

What course are you studying?

I’m studying English Language (MA Hons) at the University of Edinburgh.

What inspired you to choose this course ahead of all the others on offer?

I’ve always been interested in learning about language itself, but one of the things that studying linguistics or English Language teaches you is how language can be manipulated and crafted for certain purposes.

The authors and journalists that I admire all use language in innovative, clever ways, and studying language offers an insight into that.

I didn’t want to take a journalism degree, and the width and depth that a traditional degree course can offer appealed to me.

At what stage are you at?

I’m in my fourth year; I’ll be graduating in July.

What have you most enjoyed about the course so far?

The sheer variety of fields and subjects that you can study in English Language is brilliant. During the last four years, I’ve translated Old English poetry, managed my own dialectology fieldwork projects and studied the biological evolution of language itself. And right now, I’m writing an essay about David Cameron’s 2013 party conference speech. Of course, I can’t read an advert or an article without thinking about the semantics of a comma, so it’s swings and roundabouts.

What lies ahead and how are you preparing yourself for it?

I’d love to pursue a career in journalism – ideally as a local news reporter – but I’m currently also looking at options in the publishing and marketing sectors.

Are you currently using any of your new-found skills in actual ‘media work’?

Just a bit. I’d done a work experience placement with Cheshire Life before I came to university, so I was already very enthusiastic about continuing to pursue a career in journalism.

I’ve been a student reporter throughout my time at university, working as news editor and features editor at The Student (which is the UK’s oldest student newspaper), for about three years. Until recently, I ran a local music blog called Dauphin, which had hundreds of regular readers. I’ve been lucky enough to take work experience placements at BBC Scotland Radio and the Edinburgh Evening News, as well as working as a freelance writer for Cheshire Life, Living Edge and the International Business Times.

Right now, I’m a semi-regular reporter for the Edinburgh Reporter, press officer for the 2014 TEDx University of Edinburgh conference and the managing editor of a brilliant online magazine called Counterpoint (which has been featured by allmediascotland).

What next, after you have no doubt successfully completed your course?

Well, hopefully, I will have found a job. Failing that, a nice cup of tea.

Any single piece of media studies advice you want to share?

Don’t just carry a notebook – you’ll need a pen, too.