Sadly, today was our last day of classes for our trip. Its been an amazing 5 weeks, and although I’m happy to get home to my family and my bed I am going to miss the UK a lot. For our last lecture, Jean Mackenzie, a broadcast journalist for the BBC. She came and talked to us about what the BBC stands for with their journalism, a typical day for her, as well as the future of the BBC.
Jean started off by telling us BBC’s three main values; accuracy, impartiality, and taste and decency. All three of these things have helped the BBC become the journalistic powerhouse that it is today. They want to be fast, but have the right facts. They want to stay as impartial and objective about their stories as possible so the audience gets the truth, and they want to protect their audience from any damaging or horrible images or video that may be associated with their story.
A tidbit of advice she gave us about journalism and interviewing people is that every question must lead to an answer and every question should be fed by an answer. To do this you have to be engaged in the answers of the interviewee and not focusing on preplanned questions. To really just go with the flow and be engaged and the answers and soundbites you want will come from that.
Jean also talked about the growing struggle of the internet and what that has meant for the BBC. Their website is one of the best in online news, and the pride themselves on that. They put a lot of resources into the website, and their output leads to tons of traffic on their webpage a day. However, they faced the question: how do you create more content, for less money, and not lose the quality that they are known for. This is something that they are still working on today and will continue to work on in the future.
I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of this study abroad trip and I wish I could come back every year!