JOURNALISM DISCUSSION GIVEN BY JOHN WHITBREAD

By Abby Rugg

Journalism can be an unpredictable career for reporters and editors as they are often faced with difficult yet surprising challenges within the world of news.


Photo used under Creative Commons by thatgirl


 So when John Whitbread gave a talk to NCTJ Journalist students at Brighton City College today, it should not have come as a surprise when he mentioned how a man chased him with a carving knife after he was asked for details on a certain story.

 Even though the topic of that particular story was rather tough to deal with, [a teenage girl had gone missing] John talked about how he gently approached the story and even when looking for facts he didn’t intrude on a personal level.

 It seems that the man thought something different! He turned up at the paper where John worked and threatened the editor but was luckily escorted out by “two large printer workers”.

 John chatted more about Journalism in its past and present days, informing the students on the wonders of typewriters back in the twentieth century.

 Hearing how journalists had to deal with different equipment made us realise how much we depend on computers and the internet yet it was interesting listening to the tips John dished out at the end.

 “Make it [a story] accurate,” he said. “Always double-check things, including people’s names.

 “It’s amazing to see how you get huge stories in, yet you always get at least one complaint about a wrongly spelt name.”

 He added: “Once you get the story, do not write it immediately. Imagine you walk into your home where your boyfriend, girlfriend or mother is and tell them the story.

 “That should be your introduction. Nine times out of ten that’s how you should write your introduction.”

 In this day and age it was interesting to realise just how Journalism is still the same as it was many years ago: typewriters, however, seem to be the only things missing from the  business – it’s the reporters that remain irreplaceable.

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