Four times winner of the Royal TV Society Journalist of the Year award, Alex Crawford visited Coventry in a Special edition of Coventry Conversations to discuss her story in Libya. Formally based in Sky’s Dubai bureau, Alex has reported on the Gulf and the MIddle East, most recently covering the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Libya.
Alex’s name became a household one when was the first reporter to broadcast live from Green Square as rebel forces took over Tripoli. Arriving in the capital on the back of a pickup truck with a rebel convoy, Alex’s reports were broadcasted to the world vie manually operated satellite signal and a camera plugged into a cigarette lighter charger.
Written by Tsvetomir Valchev, Second Year Journalist
Stephen Cole, Presenter of Al Jazeera English was the very renowned speaker of the Coventry Conversation held last Thursday.
He gave the audience an insight into what Al Jazeera was all about: “We are the fastest growing network, taking centre stage in recent times and Africa is important to us”.
He reiterated that Al Jazeera has nothing to do with Al-Qaeda as people like to suggest. The US government however has a tensed relationship with them, with former President Bush expressing that he wanted to bomb them. As to whether that was a joke, they are not sure. Nonetheless their offices have been hit twice by troops and this they believe was a deliberate attack.
He explained that the Americans changed their minds after seeing their broadcast on Bin Laden. US viewers, who are becoming more interested in Al Jazeera, watch the channel by other means. This new alliance has been a transformative impetus. Writes Nana-Ama Akpoblu…
The best and brightest of British television journalism turned out booted and suited at the London Hilton for the Oscars of their trade-the Royal Television Society Journalism Awards-this week. Eighteen went away with a plastic trophy to enhance their career (mine is on the shelf at work. Nobody notices it). Many did not. That ‘RTS’ can make a difference to job, pay ,respect and so much more. But just how do you get an RTS?
First, it pays to have talent and ability at your job. That is a sine qua non. Talent shows on and off-screen among reporters and producers. It shines out from an early age-look at John Irvine on ITV news or James Reynolds at the BBC. But talent plus hard work is a winning combination. The hard work is a necessary quality. Laziness shows on-screen. Writes John Mair…
Phil Riley and Steve Orchard talked about their successes and challenges as they aim to keep commercial radio alive at last week’s Coventry conversation.
Steve Orchard created an air of mystery placing his ear by his bag to check if the content ‘was still alive’ and this certainly kept the audience listening. When he unravelled the mystery item it turned out to be a 1946 Bosch wireless radio given to him by his grandmother when he was still a teenager.
This has been the catalyst that propelled him into radio as he believed the appliance would take him everywhere in the world, in terms of news coverage.
“To own a radio station and run it successfully, you have to indeed be the last man standing as there is a dramatic change in radio listeners and also the competition to get as many people listening to a particular station is fierce’’, said Phil Riley.
This competition has driven quite a number of local radio stations to go national. Smooth FM, which was once a local radio station, has gone national. Heart has also experienced a reduction in its local programme from 10 hours a day to 7 hours and Galaxy, now Capital FM, is hoping to take on Radio 1. Writes Nana-Ama Akpoblu…
It was a truly global media event; the rescue of the 33 miners from the San Jose mine on Tuesday 12th October; the biggest Globe-watch since 9/11 nearly a decade before. Billions watched it live worldwide but one man media managed the whole event and came out smelling of roses – President Sebastian Pinera of Chile. He’s just finished a European lap of honour meeting the British Queen, the Prime Minister and the leaders of France and Germany, giving them all souvenirs of ‘his’ rescue. Pinera’s media management was masterful.
One should not be surprised. In his previous life Harvard educated Pinera was the owner of Chilevision, a network of TV stations. He understood the importance of media. Right from the start he understood the importance of rescuing the miners too, leaving his dying father in law to go to the mine in Copiapo on August 7th. Once it was established that the miners were alive with that note to a probe ‘Estamos bien en el refugio, los 33″ – on August 22nd,it was all systems go from the Chilean government to rescue them and to bask in the glory of it all. Writes John Mair…
Nick Owen opened the TV Studio at Coventry University. Photographed by Dean O'Brien
Last week’s Coventry Conversation hosted BBC Midlands’ main presenter, Nick Owen, where students had a lot to draw from his 32 years of screen experience.
With an impressive career, starting from ITV where he had the once in a life time chance to anchor the Olympic Games in 1988, World Cup in 1990 and many other sports events around the world, one would expect Owen to be used to the thrill and nervousness right before going on air. “You still get keyed up when you concentrate like hell when you’re about to go on air, but I’ve had lots of variety so I’m very lucky with that’’, he explained to the audience.
An important topic touched upon during the conversation was BBC’s plan to make all regional programs just the same as the national ones, making it that way impossible for the programs to be distinctive of one another. “The branding is seen as a very important part of it. Even the lightest stories, which sometimes people enjoy more, are being semi pushed aside. I think that’s a pity but that’s the way it is.” Writes Natasha De Silva…
Jeremy Vine. Photographed by Dean O'Brien
Today Jeremy Vine is top of the broadcast journalism food chain. He presents an eponymous show on BBC Radio Two every lunchtime, fronts Panorama on BBC One every week and plays the all-important graphics role in the BBC’s Election Coverage. But it was all so different in 1986 when Vine started out as a bright-eyed 21-year-old trainee on the Coventry Evening Telegraph… Writes John Mair