THEO Davies-Lewis hails from Bryn in Llanelli. He is the son of Roseanne Lewis who in turn is the daughter of Raymond Lewis, who many people will remember as one of the town’s main florists.
Theo is a former St Michael’s School pupil and some may remember his partnership with Ed in bringing a student version of Question Time to Llanelli. He has been at Oxford University for the last two years. During this time he has certainly not allowed any dust to settle under his feet. He quickly became involved with Oxford University’s radio station, Oxide Radio and now appears to be destined to take Oxford University to the wider world through reinventing the Media Society.
The Oxford University Media Society links the university’s student body with the UK and the world’s media industry. It host speakers every week from major outlets, ranging from editors and CEOs to journalists and presenters across all different forms of media.
The society is dedicated to ensuring that young people have the opportunity to engage with media industry experts at least on a weekly basis.
Not content with getting what had become just another a tired and oft forgotten University Society off the ground along with a team of other students, he has ambition to bring together some of the U.K.’s leading journalistic lights and has already signed up former editor-in-chief at the Guardian Newspaper Alan Rusbridger as a senior member of the society.
Speaking about the involvement of Alan Rusbridger Theo said: “Every society wishing to be accredited by the University of Oxford must have a Senior Member who supervises and endorses the aims and objectives of the society. For a media society, which is focused on drawing attention to the new issues and opportunities that are visible today in the media landscape, we are very fortunate to have Alan Rusbridger as our Senior Member.
“Alan is recognised as one of the most prominent British journalists of his generation. He was the editor-in-chief of The Guardian, taking up the post in 1995, having been a reporter and columnist earlier in his career, and served two decades at the head of the British newspaper when the newspaper industry was completely transformed by the digital revolution. He is now Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and Chair of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
“Alan has been instrumental in assisting the committee organise the relaunch of the society and meets regularly with all members of the committee to discuss current progress and future directions for the society.”
The schedule for guest speakers has rapidly been filled and the society is attracting sponsorship from former students. The list of patrons may go some way towards attracting more interest in the society. It is a veritable who’s who of industry, academic and political notables.
Theo is optimistic about the future for the society and the role it might play in bringing together people from the media industry to debate the future of journalism. What a future it might turn out to be.
The likes of Yusuf Omar have taken the rule book and everything one thought one knew about journalism and torn it up, put it through a shredder, set light to it and used the ashes to create the beginnings of 21st century journalism where 10-year-old children use technology to record conflict in war zones and beam them back to a ready and waiting news hungry network of online journalists, see #OurStories.
The child journalist with a mobile phone in a war zone is a far cry from the dreaming spires and Bridge of Sighs at Oxford but Theo insists that this is something he will be putting on any agenda for discussion and debate for the Media Society.
We caught up with Theo at his family home during a short break in his studies. Here is what he had to say: