I have just returned from my first lecture of the year ‘Reporting politics’. It was a good day for it I suppose with the Labour party conference in full swing and newly elected leader Jeremy Corbyn delivering his first speech at conference. I was a speech clear in message if not in policy. That isn’t to say it was policy free just that there is obvious work to be done.
As a journalist I thought that a warning had been sent out; Jeremy Corbyn is not afraid of those in my profession and will decide on his own terms who he speaks to, pointing to a drive in social media to deliver his message to people as opposed to media outlets or the press. Whether or not this will work remains to be seen but it is a bold move from the man only recently elected to lead the Labour party.
He made reference to several points or in his words ‘key issues’ that were of interest to me. As a student I often feel that the rise in tuition fees has led me and many others to scrutinise what is now seen as a product. Instead of being content with the learning and support provided to students the money paid to universities has many students, myself included, wondering how the money is spent and what on.
Asked if anyone had heard of Maya Angelou after Corbyn had quoted her in his speech, I was a little disconcerted when my lecturer confused the American poet and author (just two of her many wide ranging talents) with Aung San Suu Kyi. It is not that I expect my lecturers to be the font of all knowledge but to ask a question and then tell a student that they are wrong when clearly they are not did get my back up a bit. People will read that and think well don’t be such a know-it-all but we are talking about two very different and equally brilliant women and I have always been told by my lecturers that accuracy is crucial.
I won’t let it get to me though. As the late great Maya Angelou said: “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”