Oliver Duff talks to students at Orleans Park School about why voting matters

5 March 2015

Oliver Duff, i paper EditorAs part of the national Election Special talk series, Orleans Park School hosted the i paper Editor Oliver Duff for their first Speakers for Schools talk.

Oliver began by pointing out that as a student, 45 minutes from Orleans Park, he was no different from those in the audience. He never dreamt that one day he would become the youngest editor of a national newspaper in Britain, or that journalism would take him to as faraway places as Syria, Las Vegas and Sierra Leone.

With the students’ curiosity piqued, Oliver told the students why he felt voting was so important. Drawing on examples of the poor representation afforded under prominent dictatorships, he stressed that voting was not only a privilege, but something truly in the interests of young people.

“Policy matters, and who wins the election could affect your lives in the not far off future. It could affect how much tuition fees you pay, how much debt you leave university with, how long you have to live with your parents, whether you find a house to buy and how much the minimum wage is”.

When asked how to get into journalism without knowing the “right people”, Oliver assured the students that the industry is fast paced, without time for “airheads or people there just to fill the room”. While individual merit is key, he recommended looking for a backdoor route by getting work experience through local papers. If you have great curiosity for the world, love writing and want to get hooked on the thrill of that “crackle in the air when a story breaks”, he urged the students to persevere forging a route – because there is no one route – to success.

This talk is a part of the charity’s national #S4SNextGen “Why I Vote” campaign to engage and inspire state schools students on the upcoming election. See the launch debate hosted with Rick Edwards and special guests.

You can read Oliver Duff’s 5 reasons for voting as shared with Orleans Park students in his Letter From the Editor in this week’s i Paper.

Oliver Duff with students from Orleans Park