How starstruck I was seeing famous film and music stars walk around us during our visit to ITV doesn’t come close to comparing to how excited I was to hear from Jean MacKenzie today. I had been anxiously awaiting this day since we got our itinerary back in the spring. Simply put: Jean has my dream job. Needless to say, I spent most of her lecture in awe.
Jean highlighted so many of the things that I agree so much with as far as the journalistic code of conduct goes. Her motto, as well as what the entire BBC believes, is that broadcast journalism is about informing the public of the full truth and that accuracy comes before speed. A news organization needs to develop a trusting relationship with their audience; this is something the BBC has done a remarkable job at. Like Jean said, the BBC is the largest and primary news source for most of the public. This adds a higher level of pressure and responsibility for them to provide nothing short of the best version of the news.
Jean’s advice when asked what skills she recommends strengthening in order to stand out in the journalism field is also something that I’ll keep locked in my brain, along with bits of advice she gave throughout her lecture. She preached the importance of being versatile, knowing how to do any task that you’re asked to do, and being independent when producing your stories. They’ll hire someone who can edit, shoot, and put together an entire package on their own far before they’ll hire someone who is unable to do more than conduct an interview.
Journalism is, in the end, simply about accurate story telling. It’s about informing the public and keeping them up to date on important happenings and things worth knowing. I can’t say enough that being a part of this process one day is a dream that Jean just helped show me is possible.