News Director, International News

News Director, International News

I’ve been in the BBC
for about 23 years now. And I moved from
radio production, through into TV production, and then multi-skilling,
so both radio and TV. And then I moved from
reporting to directing. So it’s a varied career. And it was actually the
general-studies course at school, was a
media-studies lesson. And at the same time,
the local radio station, Radio Gloucestershire, was
opening up, and I went along to earn some pocket money,
and the BBC offered me a job. And then at the end of the year,
when I was finishing my A levels and just about to
go to university, they offered me a year’s
contract to be a reporter, so I thought I’d take a
year off from university. And here I am, 23 years later. Being out here in America
is a definite career change, because I was on the upwardly
mobile step of management and decided to take a step
backwards, take a downgrade in my career, and go back
to the coal-face of directing, because of a great
opportunity to come abroad and direct in America. I like America. I like the political
system here. I was going to be covering that. I think too many people
get stuck in a rut and expect the BBC to
manage your career, when in fact you should
be managing your career. The BBC has always
been, basically, the trainer for everybody
in the industry, and I think that’s still true. When I think, over
the past 23 years, of how many people
I’ve worked with and where they are working
now, I would say the majority of people I know who are
working outside the BBC used to work for the BBC. I’ve always worked from the
BBC, from the age of 17. But occasionally in my
career with the BBC, I’ve been contracted
out to other companies, such as Pearson TV and Reuters, to work with them
on certain projects. And the BBC is much more
of a family, I would say, and much more support
with your colleagues. Up until now, my career has
provided a sense of security. It’s almost like a civil-service
job, where you join from a young lad and
you can end your career with the BBC when you retire. That’s probably going to change. In the future for people,
they’ll have several careers. I’ve had my several
careers within the BBC because I’m willing
to be flexible. And that’s a great
advantage, I think. If you’re willing to be
flexible, the BBC is willing to be flexible with your career. I actually quite like the
idea of retracing my steps. So I moved from a
local-radio assistant reporter, into reporting, slight
presenting; then moving into television,
picture editing, producing, then reporting; then
moved across to directing. I would quite like to go back
into regional television, maybe as a reporter or a picture
editor, producer, and then end up in my retirement
presenting a programme back on Radio Gloucestershire. I think that’s quite a
nice circle of opportunity.


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