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Music writer Lisa Durrant talks fake news and music journalism with Levenshulme High School students

Around 200 students at Levenshulme High School for Girls gathered to hear how music writer Lisa Durrant worked her way from shifting vinyl in Manchester’s Piccadilly Records, to writing for the bands who played on the discs.

The year nine students, who had just started studying media literacy and learning about writers’ viewpoints, heard from Lisa how they can identify those views and compare different perspectives.

Lisa also explained how they can navigate through media bias and the dangers of fake news. A practical exercise Lisa shared as part of her online talk helped to illustrate the differences in types of communications content.

Lisa also spoke about her career journey, which began at music magazine The Fly. Lisa, a true music buff, moved on to become a publicist for an agency representing a diverse range of musicians, where she honed her craft writing copy for a variety of well-known and emerging artists.

She then used this expert knowledge and insight to establish Just the Type, a consultancy which supports musicians, songwriters, record labels, publicists and music industry managers by providing press releases, biographies, printed material, web and social media content.

During a Q&A, Lisa described the challenges and highlights of her journey into music journalism. The best question, she says, was being asked how long it took for her business to be established and if she got help with it.

“It was really great chatting all things music journalism with Year 9 at Levenshulme High,” she said.

“They asked me some brilliant questions and it was great to hear about their passion for music. If just one of them starts a music blog or podcast the world will be a better place. Thanks StateTalking for arranging it.”

Careers lead at the school, Ayesha Qureshi, helped the English department to organise Lisa’s talk.

She said: “It was an incredibly engaging virtual session for our girls who thoroughly enjoyed hearing Lisa’s story about growing her business as a music journalist.”

State Talking offers state schools in Greater Manchester free inspirational talks from relatable role models. Contact us at info@statetalking.org to find out more