Investors give Brum student £40k to establish business
He was invited to the BBC and the US embassy
At the University of Birmingham, 2nd year Political Science student Benji Fisher has received £40,000 from private investors to combat political apathy. Fisher has used this investment to launch his own website Just Debate which is a student run publication aimed at getting more young people informed about political issues.
Just Debate reports on key political issues in an impartial manner. It works by contacting experts from both sides of an argument and laying the information out side-by-side to ensure readers are getting the clear picture that might not be traditionally offered by the wider media.
When we spoke to Benji about the project he said: “I could see many young people were tired of imbalanced reporting and media bias so I decided it that rather than lecture my peers on being apathetic to politics that I could help address the wider issue.”
The principle of Just Debate is not only to engage those apathetic to politics, but also to challenge those who are engaged but only read one side of the story. Fisher told us that it is not for him and his team to try and tell his readers what to think, but simply to encourage people to think about the issues and have an open conversation about the ideas and issues we face.
Although a fresh project, the team at Just Debate have already been to press events with President Obama during his recent trip to London.
Just Debate currently employs 40 volunteer student journalists from across the UK, and Fisher has already been invited to the BBC, the US Embassy, and met with Director of Diversity at Facebook, Maxine Williams, on behalf of them.
The team are currently working on a series of articles on the ongoing EU referendum debate.
They’re also running an electronic cafe discussion in conjunction with “Bite the Ballot” on their site on Wednesday 1st June at 9:30-10:30pm and Sunday 5th June 9-10pm.
Wednesday’s topic for discussion is “’Being part of the EU diminishes my British Identity” and Sunday’s is “Are young people disengaged by the EU referendum campaign?”.
If you’re interested, give their website a visit or find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/JustDebate/?fref=ts
Web link: http://www.justdebate.co.uk/
Twitter handle: @JustDebateUK