Join the herd! What Yak Media is about and why you should get involved
From mild-mannered reporters to design gurus and marketing extraordinaries, what is Yak Media about? I catch up with my colleagues and chat about what Yak means to them, what they get out of being part of the herd and how you can get in on the action.
Like many of you, I would imagine that our eagerness to test our newly developed skills is frequently stymied within the confines of our courses. Like a prized horse wanting to burst out of the gates; our enthusiasm is often tempered by marking rubrics and course guidelines. Luckily though, it doesn’t have to be a dead end, enter Yak Media!
For communication students, a creative outlet that enables them the opportunity to perfect their craft has invaluable benefits. Providing a platform to practice what they have learned and build a journalistic or creative profile enhances the student experience whilst studying at the University of Newcastle.
One of many student clubs affiliated with the University of Newcastle Student Association (UNSA), Yak Media provides students studying towards a career in the creative industries and the media, as well as students who have an interest in media, creativity writing, and content creation with the unique opportunity to be a voice among our university community. Akin to an independent media outlet, Yak Media report on a variety of pertinent topics that directly affect students and the broader Hunter-New England and Central Coast region.
From lifestyle and culture, sports, national events, cutting-edge news, and student life; each article is researched, composed, edited, and published for students by students.
Do you have to be a Comms Student to be a part of Yak?
Absolutely not! Contributing and Social Members represent a diverse range of disciplines available at the university and bring their passions, experience, knowledge, and skill sets developed within their respective courses, to the team at Yak.
Contributing Members can pitch ideas and play an active role in content production. Social Members form part of the larger Yak community and are often present at several social events held by Yak throughout the year.
How does Yak operate?
Yak functions the same way news outlets operate. We have a variety of teams that each play a vital role in producing and promoting our content.
Our editorial team is made of budding journalists and writers who routinely create articles for publication. Researching topics, and collecting interviews as they get to the heart of cutting-edge stories, sit at the very core of Yak Media.
Editorial team member and Managing Editor Sophie Jaggers initially joined Yak to become more employable, but has gotten more out of her experience than she bargained for.
“I joined Yak in 2021 during my second year of uni as apart from my actual degree, I didn’t have any relevant experience in journalism or writing. Yak is an amazing opportunity to be able to have your work published while studying, and has allowed me to create a public portfolio throughout my degree.
Working with a supportive team of like-minded students has done wonders for my writing confidence. As well as helping to make me more employable and experienced, Yak is also a great social group to be apart of – have you really had the authentic uni experience without having been part of a club?” Sophie said.
Capturing the eye of our audience is a must, which is why Yak is proud to have a team of talented graphic designers who work alongside their editorial counterparts to generate content to be distributed on a variety of platforms.
Design team member, Yasmina El Mrabet has found Yak to be a great way to meet fellow students.
“When I started uni, I didn’t know many people, so I thought joining a club would give me the opportunity to socialise. I joined Yak because of my keen interest in communications and I think it is complementary with the Visual Communication degree I am pursuing! On top of that, I got to meet students from other degrees which is a great way to open your mind and learn to work collaboratively. Yak is a great playground for my creativity!” She said.
The news is more than just words on a screen. Budding photojournalists and videographers produce content alongside their editorial colleagues.
As a budding photojournalist myself, I find this part of Yak an excellent opportunity to keep testing my skills, putting new techniques into practice, and playing a visual role in reporting the news and capturing content that compliments my editorial work and that of my colleagues at Yak.
Coming soon to our media production team will be our new podcast channel. This exciting platform is a new endeavour for Yak. Broadening our engagement across multiple mediums; Yak is in the process of producing its maiden podcast. Expected to be released this semester, if you are a budding podcaster we are on the look out for charismatic and talented podcasters to join our team. Reach out and get on board this exciting opportunity!
Getting our content out to our audience and engaging new readers is a vital part of news syndication. Our promotions team employs strategic concepts to promote content and make it resonate with our audience.
Leanne Elliott from our Promotions team reflected on her involvement with Yak.
“As I was studying Communications, joining Yak Media was a great way to put what I was learning into practice. It also provided a space where I could get some real life experience and create things I was passionate about, in a range of formats.
Being part of the “Herd” was an awesome way to release my creative flare, to create a social network and to work alongside a supportive and diverse team. It also gave me an opportunity to gain extra experience, such as being on the Yak Committee. Overall, volunteering with Yak Media greatly benefited my university experience and the led to better employment opportunities and outcomes,” she said.
So, if being apart of an creative, active club is something that interests you – come and meet the team during Semester 2 Orientation at Callaghan (6th July) or NUSpace (7th July). Alternatively, reach out to the team on our social media platforms or at email@example.com today and join the herd!
Feature Image by Sophie Jaggers, Yak Writer