Recent Journalism graduate and Jason Mohammad Academy alumni, Taite Johnson, joined this year’s BEYOND team as our Roving Reporter. Here’s her take on the event.
At this year’s BEYOND conference, one theme that was apparent throughout was the importance of the younger generation and their role in the future of the creative industries.
Sophie Howe and Michael Sheen agreed that children throughout the U.K need encouragement from the education system at a young age to explore their talents in creative subjects. Sophie’s aim is to make the Welsh curriculum focused “less on Latin and more on life”, while Michael believes that pathways need to be created for children as early as possible, as they are for sports such as football.
As a young person just leaving education, the subject of the importance of my generation is close to my heart. Throughout my time in education, I was encouraged to aspire for a career in an essential field such as teaching or doctoring, that was until I got to college.
While studying journalism at Cardiff and Vale College, I also took part in the Jason Mohammad Academy. The academy was the first time I had been able to express my ambition of working in the media industry and feel that it would be possible. During my time working with Jason in the academy, I learnt new skills such as reading autocue, producing a podcast, writing and presenting a news reel and filming a radio show, tv segments and recording a podcast.
Taking part in practical activities under time constraints that resemble the media workplace, made me even more excited for my future career as well as giving me more drive to aim high and work towards my dream job within the creative industry. Jason’s constant encouragement and his belief in my abilities helped grow my confidence in my work, allowing me to become a freelance journalist as well as working with BEYOND as a roving reporter at this year’s conference.
To wrap up the first day of the conference, Jason brought me on stage to speak about my experience venturing into the creative industries and the troubles I have faced. I was honoured to talk alongside Jason to an audience of creatives who were willing to listen to my story.
Jason and I both grew up in Ely, so Jason is able to completely understand that being brought up in a deprived council estate; being successful does not seem like an option. Before I met Jason, I did not know anyone that achieved their dream job, therefore I aspired to break the mould. After listening to speakers at the conference and talking to delegates, I am even more passionate about working within the creative industries because I know it is filled with like-minded people who want to make the future a better place.
Various creatives agreed that the storytellers on our screens as well as behind the scenes, need to represent a variety of backgrounds so that no community is silenced. After talking on stage, many people have told me that I am an inspiration which is a word that I had never heard used to describe me before. I will never forget this year’s BEYOND conference, as it is a place that not only did I feel heard but I was listened to.
Follow Taite on Twitter @TaiteJohnson12
About the Jason Mohammad Academy
Radio and television presenter and broadcaster Jason Mohammad (@jasonmohammad) launched the first ever Jason Mohammad Academy at Cardiff and Vale College (@CAVC) in September 2021, for young people who are interested in a career on the airwaves.