BBC Director General Mark Thompson thinks the current generation of journalism students will be entering a world that is full of opportunities.

Last night Thompson delivered the second Bob Friend Memorial Lecture at the University of Kent, which awards a scholarship in the former Sky News presenter’s name to a first-year undergraduate student every year.

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This year’s winner was Daniel May, who will have his first year tuition fees paid for by Sky News and spend a month working there in the summer.

"When you read and hear about what’s going on in media it can sound like getting a job, getting a foothold is harder than it’s ever been,” Thompson said. The prevalence of social media will benefit the very people who have grown up using it, he said.

Three years ago sites like Facebook and Twitter were not even mentioned in the BBC’s strategic review. Now they are a key part of what the corporation does, Thompson said.

“I think this is going to be a time of opportunity. I think as things change and in particular media organisations realise they’re going to need people among them who are part of these new generations and understand this media from the inside rather than the outside."

He ended by saying that despite all of the doom and gloom, Daniel and his fellow students can emulate Bob Friend: "I think it’s going to be a wonderful world to work in and a wonderful career. I hope that you find your place and find fantastic vibrant careers and that your careers can be as varied and as valuable and as memorable as the career of the man who this lecture is named after."

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Journalism students will enter a world full of opportunities - BBC Director General Mark Thompson