Monday, 27 February 2012

Leeds Trinity Journalism Week 2012 - Jon Snow and Harry Gration

It's another week of high-profile journalists and media experts visiting Trinity University to guest lecture to students, staff, and various sly operators who have finagled a guest pass.

Whoever planned the schedule must have done so at the conjunction of the solar system, because we began with the undisputed heavyweight champion of broadcasting, Jon Snow of Channel 4. He spoke with the authority of a man who began with actual magnetic film, went through reel-to-reel records and the lethal radiation-leaking ENG cameras to the modern media of today.
He glanced once or twice at the Twitterfall being projected behind him, commenting on the immediacy of contemporary news reporting - and diplomatically overlooked the hijacking of our hashtag by the spambots.

Jon's qualifications were slipped casually into conversation, but he has spoken with such names from history as Jim Callaghan, Harold Wilson, Idi Admin, and Margaret Thatcher - with whom interviewing was "a joust you always lost."
When I asked him if we should be making an effort to engage young people in politics, he countered by saying it was the politician's job to reach the young - not ours. And if they didn't, well..."let's have a coup."

I honestly believe Jon Snow just encouraged us to revolt.

Jon Snow ducks to avoid a storm of spam tweets and counter-revolutionaries

He was followed by his country cousin - Harry Gration, beloved face of regional news BBC Look North. Harry tapped a seemingly bottomless well of comedy anecdotes, recounting the many times he'd slipped and fluffed whilst starting out as a sports commentator. However he also made a heart-wrenching reference to the fire at Valley Parade stadium in which his own uncle was killed - and on which he attempted to report. Never forget the importance of detachment, he stressed to us.

A proud Yorkshireman, he lauded the construction of the BBC's Media City, and in the Q&A spoke positively about breaking the Londoncentric tendency of modern journalism. The corrupt tentacles of the Leveson Inquiry haven't reached regional broadcasting, so perhaps it's a move for the best.

That's just the very edited highlights from my seat on the sLinkecond row. For constant coverage, check out #ltjw and follow @JournoWeekLIVE, bookmark and watch the entire thing streamed live - including nervous questions - at

Talk about multiplatforming.

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