Before the lecture I was excited to hear about what the media was like from Huw’s perspective as someone who has one of the best jobs in news broadcasting, I thought it would be interesting to get his take on how news and the media as a whole has changed since he was at University and applying for his first media jobs. In the lecture Huw started off by explaining how technology has changed the news, he explained how viewing patterns have changed especially over the last five years and they are continuing to do so, and people are now accessing news in different ways that weren’t available to the viewers before such as news apps provided by the BBC and their competitors, which has allowed viewers to take the news with them wherever they go and made it more portable compared to watching the news on the TV or visiting a news website.
“You’ll be walking into an industry that will have changed again when you break into it”
Huw talked about trying to break into the media after graduation, one of the first things he mentioned in his guest lecture was that production is a growth area in the media, he also mentioned that the media will have changed again by the time that we (as students) will be breaking into it, this surprised me because it showed how fast technological and other advancements are changing the face and the workings of the media and there’ll many more changes over the next few months. Huw said that if you want to be successful in the media the three main things you need to be are versatile, have a willingness to learn, and flexibility. This is similar to what I’ve been told before in the sense that flexibility is key and if someone asks you to do something always say yes, it’s also about being as indispensable as possible in the hope that at the end of a work placement or internship the company you work for provide you with a job or extension , and ensuring that you can get the most out of the work placement as possible and learn some new skills along the way.
Later in the lecture Huw gave us some advice on how to succeed in the media, he said that you need to learn to keep calm when people are losing it and not to let others side-track you or your work, an example that Huw gave is that his producers in the gallery could be having a meltdown but as the face of the station it’s important to keep calm and concentrate on your job. Preparation is a key skill needed to work in the media for example preparing for if something goes wrong such as a VT not working and knowing how to react in the situation and carrying on, or in terms of sports broadcasting preparation is key to keep some variation in the content and the interest of the viewer/ listener.
As media professionals Huw said that we needed to have a clear brand that showcased who we are and what we’re about, for example the BBC is one of the most trusted brands in the world and is known for its impartiality. Huw mentioned that building and maintaining support networks are key as they could land you your next job or promotion, proving that you are versatile and can do different things, for example Huw also presents Welsh language shows on S4C as well as a variety of history programmes on the BBC. If you want to be successful you have to keep reinventing yourself to show to employers that you are still relevant and valuable to them to ensure that you stay employed.
Huw said that the five key skills needed to keep in mind to be successful in the media are
- The ability to adapt
- Good communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
I gained a lot from Huw’s guest lecture and it gave me an insight into what it will be like for me in the coming months when it comes to applying for jobs, work experience, internships etc. The lecture reinforced some points that I had heard previously such as ensuring that you say yes to as much as possible, and if there’s something that you don’t know how to approach it’s never a bad thing to ask someone else for help/guidance. However I didn’t think about selecting work experience based on what I could get out of the experience myself except from another piece of work experience that I could add to my CV.
Picture taken from: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01567/Huw-Edwards_1567384c.jpg