After an unfulfilling first year under the pandemic, I was compelled to get involved with as many things as possible in my second – perhaps to make up for the lost time. Having been keeping up with the student newspaper Palatinate and occasionally penning articles for them, I noticed that they had branched out to another form of media, something in the name of PalTV. In October last year, I officially joined Durham’s student TV station as a graphic designer, later advancing into the role of head of marketing and publicity which I remained in for the rest of my second year. This was, undoubtedly, the best time I’ve had in uni yet!
A bit of background about PalTV
In fact, PalTV had only just started operations in my first year! Despite being incredibly new, the team has expanded and grown exponentially, even winning the title of UK’s Student Broadcaster of the Year 2022 against many other established University TV stations. PalTV has gained over 600 subscribers on YouTube over the past year (sorry for the stats, I was in marketing after all!), with content ranging from student life to the wider Durham area. More recently, PalTV’s footage regarding the student housing crisis was picked up by BBC News! If you are looking for a career in journalism, or just to make an impact, PalTV is the absolute perfect place to be.
PalTV is sectioned into departments including marketing and publicity, cinematography, broadcasting etc, but everyone works together as a team to create content. I would like to stress that no experience is needed for any of the roles, anyone is welcome as long as they have the enthusiasm and are willing to attend training. We generally would be split into sub-teams where members with various roles would come together to develop video ideas. As marketing, we were in charge of publishing and promoting these videos.
I typically have around three meetings per week: one with the other section heads where we have an overview of how the station is running; another with the entire team at PalTV where we discuss new ideas and the progress of current ideas; the last one with the marketing team where we examine social media analytics and develop marketing ideas. It sounds like a lot but the meetings are always productive, they also invoke some inspiring conversations.
With marketing, there was a bit more flexibility as to what my role entails. I remember handing out flyers at Lumiere, tagging along to filming sessions to post teasers for upcoming projects, getting priority access to events with my press pass, reinventing our brand image with my team… the list goes on! The best part about all of this is being able to meet incredibly talented and motivated individuals who all want to tell the stories that matter. Also maybe the press pass.
In the end, PalTV is about giving Durham – whether the student population or the local community – a voice. Not only will you gain experience in areas like presenting, video editing and producing, but you’ll also get a more nuanced and dynamic view of Durham through the projects you get involved in. I really enjoyed my time at PalTV and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to enrich their uni lives too!
Find out about student enrichment opportunities at Durham here