Why am I the Royal Television Society’s biggest cheerleader?
When I learnt of the Royal Television Society (RTS) bursaries in 2015, I knew I had to apply. Any organisation actively committed to the diversification and inclusion of underrepresented groups within the British media will always hold a place in my heart. Plus, being part of the RTS is a great opportunity to network with media industry leaders - an opportunity that I was very unlikely to stumble across as a young black woman, from a low-income family.
As well as access to exclusive media and television events, the £1000 per year while studying has been so helpful. My first year’s bursary went towards my DLSR camera. That camera helped me explore the world of videography and visualising stories, which then birthed my passion of video content. So, in some ways, I can thank the RTS for fuelling my creativity.
The bursary also contributed to my accommodation and living costs, meaning I did not need a part-time job during my first year of university. I initially struggled with the knowledge gap between A-Levels and studying Journalism Studies at university so I needed all the study time I could get! I was also able to pour my time and effort into other creative activities. I took up photography a few months after getting my camera, grew my blog and YouTube channel and did several short-term media placements alongside my studies.
The annual RTS Student masterclasses are one of my favourite events. The experience is invaluable. I met my mentor - Channel 4’s Dispatches reporter Tazeen Ahmed - at an RTS event 2 years ago. She was facilitating an interview with ITV’s Rohit Kachroo. As she left the stage, I ran and spoke with her and we ended up exchanging email addresses. The RTS has enabled me to mix and mingle with such people.
This academic year has been my industrial placement year; I am the international digital recruitment intern at The Body Shop’s head office in London. While I have not received my bursary this year, because I am not studying, the RTS has continued to make a conscious effort to stay in touch with me. Our Facebook group is the hub for amazing (and often exclusive) opportunities. I’ve met Prince Charles twice this year! His Royal Highness is the patron of the RTS.
I am always ‘shouting’ on social media (and in real life) about the RTS. It has been amazing!
Paula is in her placement year as part of her BA Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield.