When I think of the BBC, I think of the professional corporation that captures the attention of the nation for hours at a time. As a representative for the BBC, David Hayward did not fail to impress. Mr Hayward began his presentation by discussing his love of debates and what he believes the future will hold for journalism in the BBC. He definitely captured the attention of the room like someone who is used to speaking in front of people, he looked comfortable and assured of his abilities. His PowerPoint presentation was professional and full of facts, charts and interesting information, but this would have been nothing without his funny, laidback approach to presenting it.
David talked about the BBC College of Journalism with particular enthusiasm and described the exciting new operation at Salford and the big opportunities it presented for the up and coming journalist. He beguiled his audience on the glamorous side of broadcasting and what is yet to come with regards to the BBC. David’s presentation was very much about entertaining us and motivating us to be the best journalist we could be.
David engaged us with his account of the changing face of journalism and how the heart of journalism has got to be breaking those key stories and holding power to account. Informing us of all the mediums we need to be aware of to help us, as journalists, to tell a story. He stressed importance of social media; how blogging, Twitter, Facebook can all influence the news, allowing viewers to engage and how it makes the life of a journalist easier and connecting to world news more efficient.
David was able to show the difference between generations and the correlation of news consumption with the help of a line graph. These visual aids helped his presentation along and ensured the understanding of the information he was presenting.
Mr Hayward was able to, indirectly, illuminate aspiring journalists of how important contacts are. His presentation mentioned accounts of high ranking journalists and their experiences. Each account held a different angle that would inspire different types of students.
Even though Mr Kingston stopped being a journalist in 2009, he still holds a lot of insight into the ferocious industry that is journalism. He has worked for local and regional newspapers and has written for well-known papers like The Daily Mirror, The Times and The Telegraph. Like little children at story time, we waited eagerly for his account.
A softly spoken man, he spoke of his retirement and how he wanted to do something else in his career and apologised that his presentation wasn’t as polished as he’d like.
Peter then went on to describe his experiences at the beginning of his career in journalism. In 1979 it was such a struggle to get even a foot in the door in the world of media. Becoming a journalist was no easy feat. He spoke about one of his most unpleasant weeks of his life, an amusing tale of his time in Guildford. Peter was given the task of writing about the Guildford Four trial, a very prolific story at that time.
Sitting at the front of the room, he fervently described the classic scene of a 1980’s newsroom, smiling at this. Cigarette smoke, shouting, typewriter tapping, a hive of activity. Peter told us of frustrated mornings spent standing in a phone box, trying relentlessly, to relay a story back to the copytaker. The phone boxes often smelled funny and were surrounded by other competing journalists. He confessed to us the unglamorous, grotty locations, the endless piles of carbon copy paper and of having the exquisite skill to dictate a story straight from the notebook.
Although not as prepared as he should’ve been, Peter still presented an inspiring, eye-opening account of journalism. Peter’s talk gave us an exciting insight into the life of a journalist and gave us a glimpse of what we could expect. And I can guarantee we weren’t expecting some of the things he told us about!
Jeremy Seabrook, originally from Northampton, has written more books than you can shake a stick at. He is an articulate, well dressed, older man who shared his memories and experiences of being a writer and being part of the Northampton community. Jeremy was able to give the audience a totally different aspect of their degree. It made us realise there’s a lot more than just reporting and radio, being able to write well is vital also.
He reminisced about the old Northampton, back when it was still known as a shoe and boot town where the people were stingy, grudging and suspicious, but also honest and dependable. He spoke of how Northampton has always been an inspiration for his writing.
Mr Seabrook mentioned that he had written his first few books based on his own life and relationship with his mother. While talking, he was looking away from the audience, smiling, almost as though he was thinking of a secret but not wanting to share it with the audience. This definitely gave Jeremy’s talk a mystical element that helped him capture his audience.
He spoke of a more ethical way of writing. Jeremy is persistent and has continued to commit to the downtrodden and poorer side of society, through to the wider society in the UK and the rest of the world. Stuttering he confesses he tries to always write from the heart.
Jeremy’s highlight in his career was meeting with Prince Charles and Kensington Palace to talk about his article on unemployment in Scunthorpe. His imitation of Prince Charles was charming! He spoke of how rewarding his writing is, both on a personal level and in a professional aspect.
Jeremy Seabrook stood nonchalantly, his hand in his pockets, fully relaxed as he read a snippet from his book. Akin to that of a storyteller, he enchanted the audience with his rendition.