Over the weekend, a good friend invited me around for tea. Actually her best friend's son wanted advice. He wants to go into the media. At 15 it's a fair bet this fleetingly prepubescent ideal was a whim. For all 15 year old males have an insatiable desire to think about the ff as career choices
a) play football - chase girls
b) go into music - chase girls
c) Chase girls - as a main profession.
But I'm bound by a warped notion to change the world. He wanted to be a journalist. Couple of things to sort out.... ten minutes later it was obvious, we had a lot of work to do in this quest.. Not surprising, but when you have trouble convincing a 15 year old that Bill Clinton did not play funk, or that George Bush is not a slang insult.. yep tme to re-engage.
It soon however became apparent that a new quest could be photography. We got past the glitch that Lachapelle was not a comedian, but then got our groove. Have a look at Rankin, Type in photography into google and just wander around. If you want something that might give you a few restless turns at night go to Yannis Kontos.
Do you have a camera?
A muted yes followed.
Well then take pictures and do the Flikr.- Glazed look
Oh never mind.. go to myspace
15 year olds, I know aren't homegenous. At one web 2.0 conference, get a load of Jane and John. A little passed 15 but savvy enough to have all the brand managers chew their fingers. Whispering: "Did that kid just say they don't download, but bluetooth the video to each other F***!"
John and jane could be journalists - not, you know tradtional ones. In a decade, like the climate the journo as we know will incontrovertibly be alien. John and Jane are the power rangers of the new world.. anything digital is a jelly doughnut about to be wolfed down. They facebook, twiki, text at speech speed and radiate sunflower confidence.
My humble 15 year old did none of the above; keen, but on the timid side.
Did you know according to BBC Radio 1 somewhere in the region of 10,000 students will graduate ( can't remember the exact figure) but only 2000 on average will grab those jobs going into the media on first base. Trouble is 80 percent odd students want to work in the media and journalism scores high.
Mike Eboda, an editor of the UK's Black newspaper New Nation tells me of an incident on an estate. Couple of hooded young black boys gathered around his jag x something futuristic.
What they really wanted to know is how he could own one of them and wot did he do, sort of thing?
I'm a newspaper editor and there on he attempted to explain to the young men what a newspaper editor did to abject amusement and bewilderment. Two stayed on out of a dozen.
YCTV a media school for urban youngsters gets 15 to whatever age to learn about the media, but centres like that are few and far between. The media, journalism is a very middle class affair.
Hurumphing.. going on now.. Yep you still might be the barrow boy from east london preserving the community about you, but those that open doors in the profession do so to others who tend to mirror their sensibilities.
So back to our 15 year old. There lies an uphill struggle, but he is young and impresionable and I have handed over my contacts for him to tack me down. His task. I'm not going to let him go without setting him a task is to blag his way into the marketing department on his work placement. Then we'll speak again.
With any luck, I might have spotted the next Rankin.. Isn't that cynically why we help these young uns