This is a guest post by UCLan journalism student Nigel Barlow. He blogs at Thoughts of Nigel and you can follow him on twitter @nigelbarlow. If you’d like to write a guest post for Preston Blog check out how you can Get Involved.Advertisement
At the third attempt Jon Snow spoke to a packed theatre of journalism students at the University of Central Lancashire on Thursday 19th March.
Met by a rousing cheer as he entered, he spoke about how his appetite for news was fostered by a meeting with Harold MacMillan at an early age when the former Conservative Prime Minister had more important things on his mind (such as his wife’s affair with Bob Boothby)
Snow radiated an great enthusiasm for the journalism profession as he outlined his early days working for commercial radio and for ITN. One of the early stories that he covered was the IRA’s bombing campaign in 1970’s London making use of what for journalists today would be primitive technology.
Journalism backed by the onset of technology was at the cusp of a golden age and today’s journalism students were well placed to take advantage of the opportunities.
He also had some advice for the students. Journalists he said, should not simply want to tell the story they should want to change the world. He also questioned whether it was enough simply to leave university with a journalism degree without having an experience of another subject.”Knowledge of how to play the latest computer game was not enough”
However, asked about today’s industry he said that good writing will still differentiate the good journalist from the rest of the pack, “good journalism will not be based on an ability to electronically edit. “
Whilst adding that the problems of who will pay for the content will be found. The news industry has always reinvented the business model. People will pay for quality.