Future News Winners

We are proud to present the Future News 2015 winners!

The British Council Caribbean is delighted to present our nine (9) delegates from around the Caribbean who have been selected to participate at the Future NEWS 2015 Conference.

Future NEWS is a conference aimed at young people who aspire to be the next generation of world-class journalists.
The event brings together more than 100 students aged 18 to 25 from across the world. It is a great opportunity to hear from leaders in the media field and get hands-on advice and support from the experts.  The range of speakers this year includes media groups such as CNN, the BBC and Reuters.

For more information, please visit the conference website: http://www.futurenews.org.uk/

Caribbean Delegates reporting from Scotland

Alliesha Andrews, Trinidad and Tobago

Alliesha Andrews is in her senior year of a B.A. in Mass Communications at the College of Science Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago. 

Alliesha confidently positions herself as ‘the Future’.  She attributes this to her ‘passion for new experiences and a knack for wanting to know what’s happening and why’. For Alliesha, journalism needs her ‘simply because we are living in a time where we have the platforms to share information and speak out about so much that is happening in the world but it often gets lost in all the noise’.
Alliesha recognizes that there are ‘so many differences in the way journalists function’ and is excited for this opportunity to interact with international journalists: ‘often times it is easy to believe that what you have to say, no one would listen to it or it is not even worth sharing. However as journalists we are able to give people that voice.  Everyone wants to be heard. Becoming a participant in something which can open many doors that literally leads to the future is worth being aligned with.  Future news can be that push in the right direction’.
 
As a future journalist ‘I would want to see journalism take back its place of being the voice of the unpopular and not just falling in with the status quo’.

Anastasia Reesa Tomkin, Trinidad & Tobago

Anastasia is a Senior, B.A. French and Spanish at the University of the West Indies.

Anastasia acknowledges that her identity is rooted in Trinidad and Tobago ‘the land of oil and music, of raucous laughter and quiet hope.

Here there is beauty in simplicity, resourcefulness in hardship. The threads that weave the fabric of our     tumultuous history have somehow created a tremendous tapestry of resilient, outspoken and witty people. It is from this batch that I emerge, a butterfly moulded by the cocoon of my struggles’.  This young aspiring journalist describes herself as the type of person who goes after what she wants, and gets it, because she sees failure as a learning opportunity. She has won chess tournaments and topping ‘weekly test’ in primary school to being a finalist in both writing and modelling competitions, The Allen Prize for Young Writers 2011 and The Face of T&T 2014, respectively. Anastasia recently returned from a sabbatical year in France working as an English Assistant at a boarding school for disadvantaged youth.  She describes this as ‘the most dynamic experience of my life’.

Her passion, since childhood, is writing: ‘Words are my art, they are the mirror of my mind, they are the     expression of my humanity. Writing, and by extension journalism, is the vehicle that transports ideas, facts and opinions, from one person to another, and I believe this is what I was born to do’.

Scarlett Ivette Rodríguez Silvestre, Dominican Republic

Scarlett is a final year student in social communication at Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM).

Scarlet describes herself as ‘a creative, outgoing and determined young woman’ who holds dear to the mantra that great things come to people who sacrifice. Scarlet believes that Future News 2015 is a unique academic, and life experience that will enrich her in several ways. Also, it would help her acquire and develop the best possible abilities in her field of study since in her country (the Dominican Republic), the area of journalism, literature, broadcasting and communication is generally very limited.

This experience would mean ‘contact with a new environment, a different reality and an opportunity to learn about a new culture, relate to other students with different perspectives, improve my media and journalism skills, and create memories that will last for the rest of my life that all could not be otherwise, but because of this initiative’.

Scarlet advises that ‘aspiring young journalists have to be aware of how transcendent is our work, how important is our social commitment and how demanding this market has become. To survive and excel in this industry it’s necessary to be critical and to adapt to the information society, and its challenges. With this said, I believe I have what journalism needs; and journalism has what I need’.

Glorimar Urena Nunez, Dominican Republic

Glorimar is currently a sophomore in Social Communication at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra.

From a young age, reading made Glorimar, ‘feel joyful and excited about life…You often forget about the reality the world faces every day’.  From the age of thirteen Glorimar knew that she ‘was meant to be a journalist’.

She has acknowledged that ‘journalism has evolved, and it has come to a point that when journalists speak, people listen…..that we are the voices of the voiceless, the moderators, the entertainers, the informers, and the advertisers…..we promote public dialogue and we protect, at all costs, our democracy. Journalism matters because it gives people the opportunity to express their opinions’.

It is Glorimar’s dream ‘to be able to participate in this prestigious conference in Scotland and to learn so many things that will help her country’. She is fascinated to ‘live in a country where journalists feel protected, secured and free to say what’s on their mind, and that is something we would have never believed forty years ago’. She is hopeful for the future, and ready for what is to come. ‘Journalism is the place that I fit in, and will always feel safe’.

Brian Walker, Jamaica

Brian is a second year Journalism major (and minor in psychology) at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.

For Brian, ‘it is always thrilling to sit down and watch the BBC or read news clips from Reuters or the Associated Press as their reporters creatively present compelling stories’. He is inspired by these journalists and is certain that this conference ‘will further affirm my interest in journalism by offering a stimulating and globally-infused experience’.

As an enthusiastic and aspiring journalist, Brian has been exposed to print, radio and television journalism as well as social media. He has been ‘nurtured along the way by high school teachers of history, literature and modern languages and veteran journalists through internship stints at The Gleaner Company, CGR Communications and CVM Television’.
He sees this as an exciting time ‘to enter the industry’ as he ‘has the tools and the bold personality needed to be the quintessential 21st century reporter’.

Kristeena Monteith, Jamaica

Kristeena is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.

Journalism, to Kristeena is ‘the science of connecting people with information in an efficient manner so as to empower the masses to navigate society and live their lives to the best of their ability’….. (as such)…..journalists (must) possess the capacity and willingness to be virtual story-tellers, web designers, photographers, videographers, editors and programmers……my generation demands to stay in the know. We want our journalism to appeal to our eyes and ears as well as our intellect; we want video, music, photographs, beautifully designed webpages and apps, and we want them on our smartphones in our pockets now’.

This ‘tenacious, intelligent young woman who is committed to becoming a journalist’ has worked in Media as a Production Assistant, Television Producer, Radio Producer, Production Coordinator, Writer, Copywriter and Story Editor.
 
She believes that we ‘are in an industry that has always been exceedingly important and can only become more essential to life and we have the advantage of advances in technology that equip us with new skills, tools and tactics to connect the world to the
information’.

Sarah Paz, Cuba

Sarah is a graduate student in Journalism at the Communication Faculty of the University of Havana.

She is proud of journalism teaching in Cuba because “the first thing you learn is that it's a profession not only to communicate facts but to think them deeply. It is an exercise of thought, committed to people”. She can't explain precisely why she decided to become a journalist, but she does not regret: Even if this degree were just an incentive to look at the world differently, it's so powerful that you can't never stop. I enjoy investigating and telling stories on television”.

For Sarah, Cuba has an extraordinary potential in the media field, especially because there are well trained young writers in the universities and brave experienced journalists leading the discussions about the press responsibilities.   
       
She thinks that Future News 2015 is an opportunity to learn from important media actors and practices around the world. She also hopes to meet aspiring journalists as herself.

Ismario Rodríguez, Cuba

Ismario is in his senior year of Journalism at the University of Havana. He is working in a documentary film that will be his diploma thesis.

He has skills in a wide spectrum: he knows the digital world very well and is well acquainted with photography and audiovisual media. He has had work experience in the digital environment as community manager.

Since he was very young he knew that his destiny was to become a journalist. He sees journalism as a public service. Moreover, journalism for him is a noble mission that needs sacrifice, constancy and integrity.

For Ismario, Future News 2015 is a great opportunity to interchange experiences, opinions and points of view about the future media.
At the moment he only wants to be an excellent journalist and he believes that meeting some journalist of the best media in the world (BBC, CNN and Reuters) could help him in this purpose, because the knowledge and experience of them is fundamental for any young journalist.

Don Antonio Alleyne, Bahamas

Senior Don is a Senior, B.A. Media Journalism at the College of the Bahamas.

As a young aspiring journalist, Don believes that ‘in this era of the converged journalist’ that ‘the pressure is more intense because journalists must be able to have a concise idea of what is transpiring not only in their country but in other countries and regions across the globe’.  They are now required to be multi-skilled: ‘to write for the newspaper, social media platforms, know how to execute a radio and television broadcast, edit and take photographs’.

Don asserts that ‘journalism is more than simply writing words or appearing on camera but it is a tangible way to change societies and mindsets’. To him, this opportunity as a delegate at the Future News Conference will showcase him as ‘a symbol of a new generation of young successful Bahamian men…..to have the chance to be a voice for SIDS…..and have the opportunity to learn even more about this noble profession, journalism’.