UQ students report live from Woodford Folk Festival

23 Dec 2016

The University of Queensland will team up with the Brisbane Times to showcase a pop-up media outlet at the Woodford Folk Festival.

This unique initiative offers UQ journalism students the opportunity to take part in a real-time newsroom at a major cultural event.

For the second year running, students will work as journalists for the duration of the festival, creating media which will be published the same day on the Brisbane Times website. 

This partnership presents participants with excellent opportunities for development and growth. 

Students work with a chief of staff from the Brisbane Times who is also on-site at the festival. They write and submit an average of five articles a day. 

Some topics are delegated, others are chosen by the students. Articles focus on everything from cultural aspects of the festival, reviews and performance, key-note speakers and community leaders, human interest stories and topical issues. 

Students provide both copy and images - taking high quality photographs to accompany the articles which are then edited by a Brisbane Times staff member and published in real time, as it is in newsrooms around the world. 

Daniel Seed was a participant last year and said it was a phenomenal experience which really encouraged him to step-it-up for his final year. 

“This project is real-world journalism," Daniel said.

"It was amazing, one of the best things I’ve done during my degree. 

"You are working with a real media organisation, with real deadlines," he said.

"You have an hour to edit your copy and get your images in; there is a real sense of urgency.”

UQ lecturer and project instigator Anthony Frangi said this is a great partnership that is a win for all involved. 

“It is amazing how much a student can grow in just five days when they are told they have to meet deadlines, work to guidelines, use a style guide and deliver with a professional organisation – some are exceptional, some are challenged, but all walk away better for their efforts,” Mr Frangi said. 

"The students are excited to work in a professional environment – not just attending a festival, but taking on a challenge, putting their skills to practice, working alongside specialists who have been doing this for longer, and establishing a published body of work for their portfolios. 

"This opportunity allows them to really confirm whether they want to work in the field, he said.

Daniel ended up working on a fairly big story which ended up being published in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, earning him a 10-week internship at the Brisbane Times later that year.

Story by Nadia Okorn 

WATCH the video here