Read this: Media Masters - Julie Etchingham
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Media matters with Paul Blanchard welcome to media Masters series of one-to-one interviews of people at the top of the McGee Again by Julie Etchingham award-winning anchor of ITV News at Ten and tonight programmes since 2010 Julie has played a major role in a BAFTA winning news coverage including the general election the EU referendum and the US election and is fronted news reports on everything from royal weddings to terror attacks in a career filled with first she was the first woman to conquer a UK election night programme moderator General Election leaders Debate and in 2014 security division interview with Pope Francis as patron of anti-slavery international she has served on the committee of women of the Year foundation for the past 8 years becoming the president in 2018 to late.
Thank you for joining me lovely.
It's a great time to talk then you cycle seems to be relentless this year at it.
That was quite exciting toucan of and a big challenge to boil down.
You know all of that onto a
Nike News Bulletin this year I mean, I think any of us have been working in news in the last three four years it just don't seem to have stopped.
It's extraordinary know where the looking back to 2015 General Election to the EU referendum debate 2016 all of the news stories, which cat has so busy last year 2017 snap election terror attacks grenfell United just it's been utterly relentless really I mean in in terms of the scope of the stories of course it's it's kept all extremely busy, but it is really stretching newsrooms about it and we got to the middle of last year and they were there were you know quite a lot of exhausted journalist by The Samurai think but you know that is that that is the job and it's a privilege to do it you know it's Christmas be involved in it shows any sign of letting up at all.
It doesn't seem too eager a maniac in the white house and lot of things happening it seems insane.
It doesn't it doesn't appear that it's letting up anytime soon.
I think we now know can reflect on the fact that almost every News Bulletin will have an element of brexit in it for the foreseeable future is his extraordinary you sometimes get these big news stories that happened at you know they are punctuation points mean.
I think that 13 of the 9/11 attacks for example at all the difference of news stories that spread out from that you could see you know things that traceback to 911 for years and years and years and still you know it still happens to a degree brexit is another of those punctuation points which have been a point of view you have a bit but almost every News Bulletin I think the years now will have an element of that in it and I think it presents you got a particular challenge to a News Bulletin like music 10 because you know we have to lead people through it we have to understand.
How people are responding to the story and interpreting at themselves, but we got a duty to try to make it clear.
I mean let's face it and I don't know about you, but I don't.
Stevie reading things about the detail head just to make sure that I've absolutely got it straight in my own mind before we unpack it one night at lino for an ice on News at Ten the next night on News at Ten so it's it's a uniquely challenging time.
I think in that regard because the first challenge of course is that you have to understand these things used LV Huddersfield to communicate to others and the thing is to remember as well as you know we because we are dealing with it day in day out.
We know a lot of fun of gritty detail about it, but isn't always absolutely necessary to feed into every news report in our mean.
I suppose that's been one of the criticisms of news in general.
Is that it's very easy for the people in the voices around it who are close to Westminster tube to get a nose is too close to the story in a way and what we have to do everyday is to make sure that the reports that we're putting out give people a clear big picture sense of where.
Where are you now? And it's a it's a daily challenge really because is not a great picture story.
Let's face it you can pick it quite well.
If you've got sort of four or five minutes of radio for example or you acres of newsprint but to boil things down for a for a television news bulletin is is pretty challenging and it difficult is as you said there to cover something like brexit from the television point of view because it if the local library burns down.
You've got images of the library burning and end of Fireman putting out of it being rebuilt.
It's done and dusted Donald Trump says something there is the video footage in on the Pudding saying things will brexit quite technical its ongoing it must be quite a challenge really yeah and that puts the onus on our fantastic little correspondence are political editor Robert Peston to make sure we're telling that story very clearly I mean if it's a two-way interview with one of the correspondence or indeed with Robert it's got it's got a big it can be to the point is going to make sense and it's got to be super clear at every turn because this is a story which is incredibly picture challenge so we have to work out very carefully.
How to cover I mean sometimes you need to have a clear graphic but just takes you through the reminders of what backstop is for example but also and vitally we have to make sure we're interpreting that story in the field in the Communities that are and can be and will be affected by it so there is a real you know it's really important for us to be outside of that Westminster bubble and out in the Communities that we are serving with our News Bulletin to understand.
How their reacting to it, what their concerns are about it, and what they got the possible impact might be in the US seems to be more divided than ever as a society times of trump, but like in the UK with brexit issue.
It's hovering around the 50/50.
You're always going to get half the audience that perceives that you're not being fair to them journalism seems to be under attack as never before that not only you going to report the news but half of the audience are going to think you're being unfair to their point of view well.
I mean there's no two ways about it in a database on social media about everyone's new.
Coverage around brexit, is is pretty high octane at the moment, but what I mean what you have to do every single day is start your day thinking right.
Where is the clear lines through this to tell this story fairly and you just have to keep that challenge in your mind as a present and I think that's that you know that that is one of the most testing elements of this with this new Cycle and of this story in particular because we know how in a high passions are running around this issue and are only like this run high as we reach these really crucial weeks ahead, but in the of fake news do not feel under attack as a journalist as never before the day.
We can't even seem to agree on a factual position that facts that were once agreed upon as still in dispute even though this clear proof either way.
Yes, because you know you it is trying to get some of the facts in the centre of this debate around brexit absolutely male down for an audience have been hard others haven't been and it's navigating your way through the
The Debate that has been the biggest challenge for us.
You know I mean we don't always get it right but we are absolutely Duty bound to get as near to the truth as absolutely humanly possible and you'll have to sort of find your way through this sort of jungle in motion around the subject and just look at the cold hard facts and make sure that you're allowing them and in the year of 24-Hour rolling news.
You know I'm going relentless topic like brexit in suitable for that, but how do you distil it into Anakin of an appointment to view bullet in at 10? Well, I suppose the beauty of these appointment at the bulletins that we have whether it's the other babe and I understand Channel 4 news, is that in the idea the key idea with News at Ten is that we are aware that our audiences have been listening.
I will have been picking up Snapchat of the news throughout the day.
They might be absolutely on their Twitter feed all day.
They might just be getting a few bits and pieces on the car radio they might be there might have read a couple of pieces in the newspaper on and Webb
That morning our job is to pull all of those strands together and try to make some sense of it at the end of the day and and I'm sure my colleagues at BBC News wood would say that you know that that is our challenging at 10.
I mean even though you can still have stories evolving and goodness knows with brexit.
We do late in the day.
You know there is an opportunity in the evenings to sort of take one step back and say right.
How do we make sense of what has just happened in the last you know 24 hours since we were we last sat down and we are basically there to give people a good guide through what has happened in their day if they are just sitting down before they go to bed to the News at Ten in our job is to make sense of all the hell round of news that they may have picked up during the day.
I'm old enough to remember when Martin Lewis and Michael boat used to visit the BBC 9 news and as a news junkie.
I used to watch that and then switch to such as a prayer for the tower sportsmanlike the BBC to move there.
Is that healthy in a democracy of the two major bulletins compete against each other about unsportsmanlike they saw a gap in the market and which we had left open at that point and I think you know there are a lot of pressures at that stage as well with evening schedules for TV programming about how you drawing your biggest audiences and you know we left a gap open and they they took it.
You know it is a competitive industry on what I would say about us going head-to-head is that yes, they are our competitors.
We provide news.
I think in a slightly different way.
We are reach a slightly different audience to we have more women watching our bulletin for example.
We have you know people around the country outside London stay supportive Furious of News at Ten and we very mindful of that you know we got ITV Heartlands in places that innervate the Granada patch the Old Granada Pacha ITV North West
And there in a week.
We think about that very carefully when we're doing our program and I think we striker a different voice in some ways.
I mean Tom in particular is greater in his very relaxing his style and MOT some people college music Tom Daley and very relaxing but it has a different voice you know I think we just we just off of people in a choice at 10 which is good because the way you present a new interview must resonate because you've had heard and wave of elections leaders debates and referendums that you've been fronting the coverage for yes, and you know it's been one of the biggest privileges of my career to do it so I have to say I'm when I did the leaders debate in 2015.
I didn't think I'd necessarily be doing quite as many of them quite so quickly afterwards because we then of course he knows span into the EU referendum and we had to Bates around that and then we had the snap election last year so I just feel like a big debate central for the last couple of years, but it was one of those moment.
Are in 20 sitting around the 2015 General Election where you know you get your call from your boss and he sits down inside right ok? I hear something.
I want you to talk about you know we're going to be doing a lead astray, and I would really like you to fit and is one of those moments where you're genuinely torn because there's party that just incredible what a great been at what a great thing to be able to do and there's also party that is completely terrified doing it because it's a big challenge and at that point as well when I first knew about it.
I didn't realise that would be having 7l on the stations along going so it was started as one particular challenge and then became quite a different one other technical Challenge for you in in in shepherding and marshalling 7 leaders because you not take me to completely different ball game from standing in front of a camera reporting.
What's happening on reading the autocue.
This is where you know your ability to Marshall and corollas people give everyone a fair hearing you on your own chocolate mini.
Find moments and that's one of the things that actually quite challenging about it because you in in a way you have to suspend your ordinary way of operating because you know if you hear somebody say something controversial your instinct is a journalist is to get stuck in and ask ask a quick question.
Where is a course the whole point of the debate is that the the candidates in the Debate do that to one another so you have to be slightly at one remove and doing actually quite a technical job if you say so you know it's one of those points where I got countdown clocks on my and podium at the front of the set.
I've got people counting down the seconds in my ear on every single answer and if one person in particular haven't had as many seconds is another within a particular part of the Debate then would have to you know you have to try and Weaver in so it looks like some sort of Extraordinary maths Chaffinch as well and anybody knows what my abilities like with numbers would realise of how challenging that is for me particularly, but it was you know there's a lot of technical stuff.
Going on there whilst you're trying to draw out something that is also a bit of a good argument a good debates and make sure that you're getting to the new answer.
What the policies these politicians are trying to present working out but there's also there's a whole host of technical staff forget argue about beforehand you knowing when we had the Severn way, debate across you got quite a disparut in height between Nicola Sturgeon I'm sure his butt Nicola Sturgeon and Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg you know so even just the height of the podiums that they were standing behind had to be or calibrated.
So you didn't look like somebody got particular advantage it was extraordinary and then you draw lots to see who gets which podium and then you really been a quite mind-bending and you also is a Two hour-long program.
So you have to be have to factor in a break in the middle of it so we had fantastic young producers and run as work in the program.
Just timing how long it would take one of the candidates to get out to get.
The loo and get back in time and we had two instead of March I look at marshalling and behind-the-scenes running backwards and forwards to make sure that they were on set back in time.
You know we had an advert 1AD break in the middle of two hours and then yes, it was bonkers hopes bonkers.
What does it that draws you to television using particular because I will go to recreate shortly but with the difficulties with televisions.
You've said this technicalities that the ability to get imagery how to articulate it visually not to demean.
What people doing radio in print, but it it is it as it's less of a kind of bureaucracy in a massive amount of infrastructure to get to hair isn't it? If you love working TV news.
It's the pits the power of the it is the power of the reporting in the image of the energies and ultimately.
I'm not just I just come back from a trip to Lebanon in the last few days and with a brilliant cameraman, and you know it is in that situation.
It's the pictures that he or she is able to gather fuel News Bulletin that will cut through to people and it's 10 years.
To complement our pictures and tell us story alongside these images of the day and when we know so we are utterly reliant on you know the incredibly skilled camera Crews that we have bringing in eyewitness reporting and if you marry that alongside a fantastic correspondent of of which we are in a we have so many ITV News you know you can really put something into somebody's living room that you know actually touches them and makes them think and I suppose that's what I love about TV news and when we're writing their the headlines the News at Ten all the songs this week and you know it's what is the best picture of the day.
What can we bring two people that will make them sit up and go look at that look at that and then it's for us to complement those images with what we've script alongside them to to give a bit of some double whammy if you like, but that's what I love about TV news.
Is that you know the really big stories.
There will be defining images in them and
Work in a team of people that is responsible for bringing that best coverage to an audience's is really quite thrilling.
You know and it's an element to the job that I really love just having been out filming for last 3 days.
It's been wonderful is it quite lonely job in so far as once you on there and you're in the student isn't going to floor manager there isn't any universities but other than that if something goes wrong.
You can have to give a typical things like all week looks like we can go drive to Beirut now, and you have to add live well.
It's not as lonely as it looks and because you got that magical thing called an ear pieces connecting you to a gallery with you know some fantastic people and I mean yes in the end if you are sitting there and a report goes down or line the goes down.
You're the one that's got to you know make sure you can move move move smoothly to the next section of the program and but in the end.
You are really they're absolutely spot your beauty might be the front person for that team, but you are part of that team.
And the back up in the gallery, is is the crucial bitter mean? I always say when people say what's it like having people chattering in your ear all the time.
It's amazing how you get used to it and that you can also learn to tune in and out of which bits you need to really be worried about in which bits you don't need to be worried about that.
I can tell you now, but the frightening moment is when it goes silent because then you've lost contact with them and you are absolutely on your own and you've got to try and navigate to program, but thank you that hasn't helped too often.
What's a typical day like for him? What's the typical week? So that for example when you presenting the 10? Are you on the 10th that day and you're involved in the production of the program then? Do you have days when you're off when you pursue other projects like the Tonight program and you said you went to Beirut recently.
How does it all go in the mix? Well? I'm very fortunate because I have a really great mix now.
You know I do one or two night stay Newton I used to do four nights a week on News at Ten and but with a young family.
It was quite it was quite pressure there.
Isn't a single day.
That is a typical News at Ten day, and it's really interesting cos it's still happen.
To me that are in I might be in a cab and it sort of 10:30 in the morning and the cab you're saying what you going in there for you know what you guys.
Don't you just need to pop in at about 9 and really ought to hear a piano and it said it's not know we don't think we have an editorial meeting in the morning.
You know right from you know early morning.
Where usually are being contact with the program editor for the day and if it's a reasonably quiet day.
I'll be in the office usually for the editorial meeting at 11:30 in the morning and then working very close to be got very small team on News at Ten and working very closely to constantly think about are we doing it with leading in the right story all of those added to our conversations and we work very close is 18 right until we're on are and how we have a fantastic lead writer call David Stanley and but between the program editor David Stanley myself.
Will write the headlines will discuss very careful about how we're what voice we want for the pieces.
They're filming of the BTS that wish.
Knowing our audience that night, but they're not there other days when we might have a big into that day.
Where I'll be out really early Doors to get an interview in the car and I'll be involved in the Edit for that as well and it can be quite fine it can be quite hear it.
There are the days when I'm out filming sections for the Tonight program for example and then I'll come and pick coming a bit later and do news at 22.
So it can be all sorts of things but the the lovely bit about the job at the moment is that I get a bit of space to go to see projects for the Tonight programme for the exposure program on assignment and other things I've got a really lovely make some very fortunate to have it.
Is it from early morning editorial conferences can have thrown out by the afternoon.
Cos stuff has happened quite a lot actually because it is Sky News on his channel unit is used to everything has been thrown out and then the camera just stuck on the embassy waiting for someone to emerge out the door, but you can't do that in a bullet in your have to decide surely.
Are we going to give his new bit of use 3 minutes and that must come up.
Expensive Samia ghadie planned yes, well.
I mean it's a really good question because actually you can have constructed a really sort of you know.
I mean there's there's never the perfect bulletin cuz there's always things you'd like to have got two or in a shop that somebody else's got that we didn't get but you know you do try to build it carefully so that you are giving somebody who's watching a sense of what has happened to the day and wrap up of the day and occasionally doubt you will get a breaking story.
I mean I was on and I was doing News at Ten when the Paris terror attacks happened and I think we first got Musa dust about 20:50 and I just remember there's that there's that sort of moment where there's always a bit where you look your program editor in the eye and you said anything right ok? We need to think really care for now because this is the information is coming in pretty fast and this is clearly a really big story and it was a Friday evening and I think along with a lot in his newsrooms Friday evenings tend to be a little quieter staffing wise than they they might be honest on a midweek.
And fewer sober people to calling at very short notice, but we just had that moment worry just thought right.
We've just got to throw everything out.
We gonna throw everything else and do as much as we possibly can on this and that's where you absolutely you know you're calling your your produces on the ground.
You're calling your fixers in Paris you getting onto graphics to make sure that we got Maps a minute isn't no you just need to give people and take them through what you're getting in our mate.
Try to make sense of the material that's coming in while you're on there and done and I was very fortunate even we've got a fantastic correspondent Juliet Bremner and she was basically she just say right keep across everything come and sit in the studio and alongside me.
It means that she can be looking at the incoming at information about the attack whilst I'm in about 2 linking to somebody in Paris or we're just looking at them at trying to make sense of where these attacks have happened and it was genuinely a nice where you use order through everything in the air because this isn't.
An enormous story you know and even though you're literally writing the headlines as you're sitting in the Studio with a few minutes to air but you know what audience is get but it's a breaking story then you know you try to make it clear nail polish as you can but you know the nature of a breaking news story is that it is raw and it is rugged and it is your job as an anchor at that point to be looking at the news wise thinking right.
That's relevant cos we could build take us here and you're trying to sort of makes sense of things while you're on here.
You've also got been a fantastic producers in The Galleria doing the same thing in your ear piece but I suppose I did I did 8 years at Sky News so you know I had some in a good trading and hat really from having worked there and obviously it was it a tragedy and you take no pleasure in it.
Obviously is it as a person but as a journalist is it quite thrilling that that centipede Rennie when something does break that you then got to do it or is it something that you can have just got to get through of course is adrenaline because that's it.
You know the address.
When is there to make sure that you are trying to be as accurate as possible without inflaming a situation or basically going down roots that aren't aren't necessarily accurate or corrected that stage.
I think the challenge with the breaking news story like that and it happened also on the Westminster Bridge attack which you know I got sent down to the Studio with a few minutes notice to get in the student get onto that story and you've got to get the tone right because you know the story that you're handling is a story of enormous tragedy for many people and I'll be people tuning in Holby horrified to see what's unfolding and you're very conscious of the people whose lives are on the line that those moments when you're telling the story and your unpacking it for your audience so I think the adrenaline is there.
Yes to give you complete focus on sticking to the facts and avoiding speculation but also to give you a sort of.
Active in your voice and your attitude destroy to make sure that you are really getting the tone right at the other projects and programmes that you involved in another to make Robin Thicke sample seems to be the opposite of breaking news long-form investigative journalism is actually sometimes with with throwing things in the air with that as well, but yes it is generally generally most of the time you tell the others were then how you fit them into the schedule well.
We've got two teams that work on the tonight at Strand fair.
ITV 1 team is based off in Manchester and another team is based in our Newsroom the ITN team and they work very closely together, but it means that we get out all over the country and and picked subjects that are really close to our audiences heart and the program goes out at 7:30 on ITV on Thursday evening just after Emmerdale from prime time so we pick up a whole range of subjects, but we think very carefully about what are audience at that time of the evening and is going to be interested in so I've reported on everything for.
Can we do the programme about 10 Lena very controversial subject around transgender children I did worked on a piece last year about the surgeon Ian Patterson Hood carried out a necessary breast surgery on patients which is called a herring on to work on when we had also the big debate around you know me too.
We did a couple of programs actually on discrimination against women and sexism against women and you know verbal and physical abuse of women in workplaces and really put that out to our audiences.
Odyssey where they were at on it as works quite interesting me some to the panel discussion one evening about would you consider this scenario here we played them some middle scenarios and so would you consider this an acceptable way to the Haven and it's quite interesting to have gauging about around where people were at with that subject but then when we've had huge stories like grenfell for example or both the Paris and Brussels terror attacks.
We've done fast turnaround programme so my news colleagues are out in the field and I'm there sometimes the Tonight program, and we will get out there and try and turn around 1/2 hours shaped program and as quickly as possible night, but they can be quite stretching but they have incredible to work on here.
So it it has a really good mix.
I mean we disappear example couple of years ago.
We did a programme about in the menopause in the workplace and it's coffee one of those subjects which doesn't get a great deal of airing but our audience responded to it in a way that I had never seen on the Tonight programme.
It was extraordinary did a Q&A session of the back of it and we were absolutely inundated we suddenly realise that we tapped into part of our you know female audience.
They would desperate to talk about this you know so it's quite an eclectic mix training.
I'm fronting Harry and meghan's wedding was rather different but you made a great success of that is all that was like why Charlie Innocence wishing well other than the technicalities.
You look lovely.
They look at my great time.
Extraordinary day it was really and in the thing is with those stories that even though I'm on the front of it.
You know it's it's a it's a very jolly story and a lot of people are very interested in that you still have to do that for you.
Can't sort I just think because it's her a happy story that you no give us the nation a bit of a lift after the some pretty heavy months and he can't prepare for it any the lesson.
I'm now suppose there's just a lot of homework.
If you're going to be on there for 7 hours.
There's a lot of homework to be done and you know we did everything from walking the roots of the carriage procession we went and learnt so much about Windsor Castle in the chapel and you know I was watching episodes of Suits I mean, I'm not going to try pretend at this is the hardest research to be doing that you know all of the aspects of Megan's life that we're going to be interesting to our audience all of the you know of course very well understood and reported on the aspects of Prince Harry's life to be.
You just got to be across all of it because you're aware that you're on there for hours on end basically and you need to have the details still at your fingertips and yet again.
You know you've just you just want to do a good job.
So you know I quite like that element of it.
You need to sort of touch yourself away with your books for a bit and get your head down and close the door and it's quite it's quite satisfying thing to do and then it's like cramming for an exam.
Where you become a total expert on Harry Meghan and everything from a weaker than you could ever forget about it, but you do you do have a certain bank of knowledge about something which I was thinking are you sort of front load Your Mind with it and it also trains out of the back when you when you're on to the next story you know you've got a big responsibility to deliver that well for your audience but again just to get the tone right as well.
I mean I think that morning we were all episode 430 5 that morning before you're on there and we came out of the hotel.
We were staying in Windsor and it was just the most glorious sunny day.
You know not a cloud in the
Sky even though it is as the sun was coming out his beautiful and we got in our Littlewoods we had a little buggy that took us quickly down to our studio position and the crowds were already out there were sitting on the grass.
There's quite a lot prosecco out over breakfast not for me.
I have paste into had at that stage and you know there was just a really lovely sort of countryside party feel about it was extraordinary and and you know you sort of tap into that a bit ready and working on the side Phillip Schofield in oh that's a different partnership for me and it's great fun.
You know where they're bringing different things to the party if you like and who needs in the Broom cupboard doing as the presenting something that's clearly a story because it is human nature that negative stuff is the stuff that makes the news when you're reading the news is largely.
I can predict that.
It's not gonna be good stuff.
Yeah, it's a huge choice.
Do it because you just as I say you're just your feeding off there.
Mystery around you you're not presenting in a little bubble and actually to go back to go to the other royal wedding of course of that William and Kate we had a brilliant produce of that program.
Who are no you've spoken to answer this podcast cristina nicolotti and you know we took a very clear decision to make sure that our studio was at ground level.
So then it was all open to the unit was a very open a studio at ground level so that the crowd had gathered on the mouth will literally over our shoulders, so you could feed the atmosphere of them out into the program itself and I think it works really well.
It was one of those technical decisions to get snake made by directors and producers that has a distinct editorial impact on the program and I thought that was a really smart Move by them to just put it in that spot because you could hear and see everything and people will sort of shouting out to fill open you know you could get a sense of how people having a bit of a knees-up for the day and we just made sure that we had that as part of the program you also present of women of the year.
Hopefully women newsreaders are getting equal pay now with their male colleagues #meetoo #bbc with his hit the headlines for gender pay gap.
I think I'm across this industry.
We know there's a lot further to go yet.
Yes, I'd like to think that women newsreaders are being paid fairly and I think it's very easy for prominent women and to have their names with destroyed yet, which inevitably is going to happen, but I think all of us in that position know that it's for the women who are you in all of our newsrooms at all levels that this really affects you know when you have you know bad headlines about gender pay gap which doesn't just affect the women in senior positions, but further down the line to in a Dutch where we really need to raise our voices because it's utterly unacceptable you know these illegal to pay a man and a woman differently for the same job.
You know only just a no-brainer.
And yes, ITN is now the moving in the right direction of some difficult headlines last year, but you know it's charming just been I just think just pay men and women the same for this job and can we just get on and do it you know it just you just wanna be thinking about other stuff not this that she know that people been fighting for this for decade.
I just don't you know I just like all of my female collie.
She just want to tell your hair out really.
It happens in just get more women into senior jobs pay women fairly and let them get on with the jobs.
It seems to me to convert Dee perform in society that if we have the lead Anchor Bar flagship ITV News at Ten bulletin that has two campaign to be paid fairly with others that that this is a problem in our society that needs to eat as much deeper than merely what we pay on his readers of course.
It is and I know we really need to shine the spotlight on all sorts of walks of life and jobs where women are being paid unfairly and the Fawcett Society which does an amazing camp.
Any round this issue as some statistics out this week.
I think I'm saying that one in three men and women don't understand that it's illegal to pay met discriminate between men and women doing the same job.
You know there's a there's still a lot of work to be done on that and I think that those of us who in a privileged position and who are paid well for what they do.
It's on us to make sure that spot light is shone on those Industries and jobs where you know it will be a long time before men and women get paid fairly at these women need to find a way of making sure that their voices get heard.
We're in a very privileged position another housewives of different Industries and professions and workplaces where you know that's just get it sorted as mad.
Did you always want to be a journalist? How did you start your career did yours wanted to be there? Do you want to be replaced the Trevor McDonald back in the day, but I did always want to be a journalist spotted it before I'd even thought about it properly.
I kept a diary from a very young age of soda five or six and the older I got the more I would could have mentioned news stories in it and actually we know when I got into my late teens and early twenties.
I was sort of keeping news cuttings in the diary as well as a sort of you know alongside it but my mum is spotted that I was a bit of a keen diary writer rather.
Hope she wasn't reading them, but she knew I was right and that's a and she just suggested to me one day.
She did he think you think you might like to be a journalist and I seem odd but I don't know 12:30.
Maybe a little bit younger.
It was such a significant moment.
I can't even remember where I'm standing when she said it and it was a absolute lightbulb moment.
I just thought that's it.
That's that's it.
That's what I want to do.
That's what I want to do now.
I didn't come from family again this my family and ideal teachers in fact.
I didn't know anybody in the industry.
I didn't know how her if I get my toe in the door or anything like that, but I was very fortunate that I had a mum who was perceptive enough to just see what.
Should have might like my thighs you like so it was just from that moment.
I put ok right what how do how do I go about this and then a bit later when I was old enough to go to get some work experience my mother handed me a copy of the Yellow Pages I mean be quite a lot of our audience that might not even know what that is the right.
Well then if you want to organising work experience you better find out the phone numbers of the local newspaper and their local radio stations and you need to pick up the phone and organise it yourself again fantastic fantastic advice which stands me in good stead ylang now literally run your finger down the Yellow Pages find the number for Leicester Mercury find the number for the BBC radio station locally and the Independent Radio station and after I start my own levels.
I've got the bit of work experience at the summer holidays and that was it then I was off for have loved it will come on if we may going to eat career, but just as a brief aside it.
Do you think that people starting out in at Media spider Media journals.
Have it harder or easier these days?
Someone sent anyone can write a blog.
I do a podcast there's lots more opportunities to be noticed on the other hand everyone's got a blog and a podcast and Liz and how do you stand out and there fewer jobs in The Newsroom now than ever before and I think there are significant challenges to young people coming into this but they have also got an opportunity to accrue and some really significant experience and technical skills, but before they really choose that as a career path.
I'm in one of the things that you know when I was a BBC News training I was the news trainee for BBC Midlands Today and I was struck by the amount of technical stuff that we had to learn to do with editing and all the rest of it, but I think now when I look at the junior producers in in my office that technical set of skills is incredibly impressive min editing stuff in use at 10 at their desks.
I can go out then how to use the cameras then I had to do the whole bit and I had an element of that when I came into that but it came into this job, but you know they have an opportunity really to learn all of that they can bring quite a lot to the party.
But the jobs in network newsrooms across our highly competitive and they are really know they're really difficult to to make sure that you're at the front of the queue for but well.
I would always say to young aspiring journalists and TV journalist, is that you know if if not you who else why shouldn't it? Be you so just have them.
Just have the persistence and the confidence to really push for the jobs and always put yourself as far forward as possible, so was that your first big rung on the ladder than that you mentioned there the BBC journalism the news trainee scheme.
Yes, it was I mean.
I kept my journalism going through my time at universities.
I used to work at the local radio station now and didn't student radio program, but really loved my time University because I was reading I was doing English literature so I just felt with this is this one spelling my life and I could just completely and dolls that passion for English literature and kept the journalism going and then put put in for the BBC News trainee scheme of the regional news training.
BBC Midlands Today and was fortunate enough to be picked for it and they each region selected a trainee and and we were all sent to BBC Bristol from training and I was the only woman in the mix with 6 other guys, so it gave me quite early heads up on what What I Might experience a little later on but it was a fantastic well for less now.
I mean it's completely different now really but it was you know it's actually quite well for the fact that you might often be in a situation where you might be the only woman on the team for example of the only woman roundtable of the only woman in her in a meeting until you got there by merit, but did you was there a sense from maybe the others sometimes that you were the talk and woman that you were vetted to fill a quarter actually no in all honesty.
No, I mean I was you know I was being trained alongside some really amazing young man who were you really committed to their careers in journalism.
I know all of us felt so incredibly privileged to be going.
BBC News traineeship because it was no gold standard, it was the last day and they still are so actually no, I mean one of things that is quite interesting is that when your you know you're in a room full of trainees and somebody brings in the coffee and as a woman.
I think I I just used to deliberately sit on my hands as I'm not going to be the one to get something for the coffee here or whatever you know you just quite aware that you're the only woman in the mix and match they know we all just rub belong together very well and turn it wasn't as a fantastic spending my life actually so you did the training at Bristol anyway back to the the Midlands was it and then how did that what came next? I had a fantastic spell working Midlands today because of course it's in the middle of a brilliant news patch apart from anything else.
I mean I remember very clearly arriving there in the middle.
There was a news blackout around the dreadful kidnap of Stephanie Slater and Interiors of it was fascinating to be there as a junior journalist at that stage because I was working Longsight and quite senior correspondent and just seeing how that we.
That you know that an interaction between the police and The Newsroom at that stage was absolutely fascinating and so there's some really big stories on our patch at that time as well, but the other great thing about that.
Course is that they were training you it was a by mediacorp.
So they were training you in radio as well as TV and I had a wonderful news editor call Peter Lowe who's now it's sky and he said right you've had you know you've had a few months in a really great news patch with lots of inner urban stories and challenges stories that going to make network, but it is not just the regional needs programming get something.
I think you know there's another great news patch that wanted to cover and it's Radio Shropshire so I sent out into a beautiful Shrewsbury with a completely different sort of news pattern different challenges, and it was a good it was a great way to be trained really because you just learn to tell stories absolute grassroots community level I think when shit when you've worked in a region whether it's a local newspaper or regional news you always have an attachment to that part of me was my home patch as well because I grew up in Leicester
But you always sort of know a bit about the Politics of the patch.
What makes the people tick you know what's a reception.
You like me to get to be picked up there with a camera and going vox pop in I really still think those days and think it was a really brilliant grounding for TV news, but did you have a sense of ambition at that point that London was was calling in somewhere? I actually really loved my time in regional news and I had no idea how I might get into network news.
I really haven't got very much for planner tool and then bizarrely there was an advert in the media cotton for a new presenter of Newsround and I wasn't remain I'd never thought of Newsround as a possible next Korean ratio and so it came up and I just thought well actually made it might not have been the roots are considered to try to make a move to London but why don't why not go and see what happens and then I was very fortunate to get it and didn't know quite what to make of it really but of course the beauty of Newsround is that it still covers all the big stories, but you're carrying them.
Prayer for different audiences better show me what is explains well it explains its audiences and remember stats from back then saying quite often the audience would be half to two-thirds adults in our parents watching their kids and we get free bucks in will you explain the news to a cou wouldn't do a story on Newsround about Northern Ireland for example without having a few lines, but am a very simple straightforward lines to say why we are at the stage where I actually that's quite a lot of what most people would win 10 PC now.
So it was a real lesson and education in learning to write a learning to write a picture to learn to write sparing clear scripts for television news and I had an absolute bull there is fantastic.
I am I arrive there.
We went straight out to South Africa and did a film about the you know the children of the new South Africa was Nelson Mandela elected president.
I was you know Hong Kong for the
Andover covers I mean so many stories politics international film with the elephants in the Kruger National Park and mountain gorillas in Uganda and it was just it was a remarkable program and much-loved and sew essential so essential.
What came next Newsround I then moved to BBC Breakfast news as a reporter and so it was you know it was is one of those things that she is quite funny on the same floor at the BBC there was Newsround and Newsnight and we shared editors and camera Crews with Newsnight so you have a slightly to two different ends of the scale programs, but working quite closely together then on the same floor 2 and there was BBC Breakfast news and I just have an opportunity.
They gave me a try out as well as a reporter on that so I became at that fat ban report her for a few years which is great fancied.
Spend a week in the office planning stories and setting them up.
It was UK based and then you spend a week on the road of the
I'm doing sort of and I live hits into the Breakfast news program.
Which is slightly sort of Bridget Jones you know you'll find yourself doing all sort stuff and decent story on it was about when sky came calling them because that's a different job entirely isn't a year old.
Are you in the studio all hell breaks loose hair on her flowers again.
It was one of those things that I've never really thought about working at Sky News and I was actually but I got to the stage at the BBC work.
I couldn't quite see where I was going next didn't seem to be quite happening for me.
I was also at the stage of my life where I wanted to have a family and actually know what bit helps being same room as your husband occasionally, so I'd definitely looking for a change.
I didn't feel that I was making the progress that I wanted to the BBC and I was on there one morning on the Friday morning breakfast news and Annie I have my email inbox open and an an email just dropped into my inbox from Nick Pollard who was then the head of Sky News saying hi Julie fancy.
Show me in for a chat and I thought you know I think I might actually because I can't quite see where I'm going next here.
I'd let you know I suppose I set out to work at the BBC I'd been there for nearly 10 years loving it but I hit a bit of a walker realised and suddenly he was an opportunity Anthony contemplated coming up so I went to see neck and he offered me over presenting slot on Sky News which apart from the fact that it's a brilliant job offer and it's fantastic news organisation to work for I just thought you know this spell in my life where I quite like to try and find a bit of a more regular pattern to working this all this all work very nicely on both levels career-wise and it was presenting their son Rise program.
So it's still make getting up.
It's in a stupid, quickest sparrows mind, but I actually think it was probably one of the best music ever made.
I absolutely loved it.
You know there was something so even though Nick Sky
Is pretty well established than but it's still had that pioneering spirit.
It's still had that sense that it had a Freedom over 24 hours to try things out to have a different voice for news and it I was very very fortunate to get to get there when I did and I was very fortunate to have a boss like Nick Pollard who is still my mental and really has helped me navigate my career ever since iPad up first meeting with him.
So it was it was fortunate on all sorts of France really because I have both of my kids whilst I was at Sky News as well and an actually that was one of the slightly tricky conversation side only been there a couple of months when I found out I was expecting my first son so it's one those moments where you have to go and have that's slightly awkward conversation.
You didn't press it with breaking news, but it was one of those moments and I think this is one of those actually when I've reflected on it since as a
A lot of women will feel like that if they've got a male and boss is that there's that moment your way you've got to go and tell your male boss something very personal about yourself.
That's going to affect your working life and it can be a bit nerve-racking and what made all the difference was the way neck and sort of took the news and have lovely he was about it and how you know how full of congratulations in a week.
Is this is this is all going to be fine.
We can make this work and it made all the difference in oh and you know what mate in an era.
Where were thinking? How do we get more women into TV news and make sure they stay that I don't have any difficulty getting the name is making sure that women stay in TV news.
It's having bosses like Nick who say this is fantastic news.
You know let's let's find.
How we can make this work for you and make sure that you've still got in our career here at Sky News any help me every step of the way and that and I just think that you know it every now and again you meet somebody and your career that makes significant difference to how it turns out he was up.
New xkit, what about 8 years? Yes, so did I see ITN ITV News come calling then? How did the map of mothering emailed to you when you're on here we have a chat.
It was it wasn't John hard.
It was it was Mark Sharman actually and ITV and then he had been at Sky before and and he just sitting at the text message saying to you fancy fancy meeting for a meeting for a coffee when you're ok might not quite but I'm not quite as I'm so happy in this job.
I don't know what it is always going to keep your eyes open but I just thought it will be in her.
It'll be it'll have to be something really good for me because I loved working there sky loves the next of the word that can you could be in the studio and out in the field, it was that mixed I've been talking about anyway Mark took me for a coffee and just to let you know your predictive.
You know we would like to get you on board.
Is there anything that you feel like to do and I said well actually? I'm really happy as I do think IGN and ITV News does a great job but I'm really very happy and he is obviously just putting a bit of a fever.
How many followers I said I should go away and think about it and then you call me again you said actually and this is all done in the most extraordinary top secret manner, so I met him for a coffee and it said look he said we think about bringing back music 1000 right and he said and we're hoping to get Trevor back to do it and I'm going right thinking right.
Where do I fit in and you know because you're literally.
So clever because I'm very clearly not the Trevor McDonald and Angus and we would like you to come and present alongside him and I said it's one of those moments.
Are you still look at some anything? Ok? Haven't quite seen that one coming and but of course it's one of those moments waiting up at Havant this is this is a great opportunity with has Sir Trevor and I feel happy to be sitting at the see yeah.
It was just want to end.
It was hilarious.
Cos we had a couple of months were only a handful of people knew about ITV's plan to do this.
So you know I remember going to a private dinner at mossimans with some of the ITV
Jackson and we all arrived at different types and arrived in the rumour that you know it was it was extraordinary the secrecy that led up to that and then persuading travel to get back on board and the first time I met him of course.
I was incomplete or of meeting him.
He's just a message.
So I should have found myself in this suddenly in this highly secretive process about ITV bringing Bad News at Ten with all that entails and working on side Trevor and I just felt as if I'd been sent to another planet in our it's extraordinary, but it could have gone wrong.
I mean there is any big bold creative like that is inherently risky.
It was it could have gone wrong and it was it was not easy at the start.
You know I think a lot of people perhaps ITV sort that just bring Trevor back and you know Hillary and actually we had to re established ourselves as a straw.
Newsvoice at 10 and that doesn't happen overnight even with Trevor even with Trevor and it was it was bumpy you know we were still trying to find out what we were is a News Bulletin what are priorities were what we cared about how we distinguish ourselves alongside the BBC so it was a real in it was quite testingtime those first 12 months I have to say and you know there were times.
I wondered whether it was you know whether it would have been a bit of a gamble but it it sorted as all these things but not all things quite often is denture Lee they find their feet but when you got a lot of expectation a lot of people with very strong views about how program should be in a inevitably it's going to be quite a bumpy spell no one ever and I wouldn't expect you to be what's next for you as as as a well respected throughout there any remaining jobs given that you are at the top of your game.
You know that you would be flattered to be asking presenting question.
What that I was very flattered to be mentioned in the next for that.
I think you know what has always driven me with this job is I just want to do it better.
I just think there's always stuff you can learn there's always a story or an area that you haven't looked at all.
You haven't thought about in there for you.
Haven't done a good enough job on frankly you know there's ways of just I just like the fact that this job gives you an endless capacity to learn and to improve and I suppose that's always been my driver and I've been as in as we talked about I've just been very fortunate the opportunities of presented themselves that I would never necessarily as planned but would have been dafter turn down and somehow it's sort of sort of worked out until this stage.
I mean I'd you know I love working on elections.
I love working on us elections a particular data reporting out there as well, but it's really just making sure that you doing the job you're doing properly and I'm very fortunate to have quite a wide palette.
And I'm not just working in daily news.
I get a chance to get under the skin of things with longer form journalism you a state school you went to a comprehensive in in Leicester did you think there is something here about getting a better mix of people in newsrooms.
Well, I think it's a very live debate at the moment and it's one that we have absolutely got to have I was very fortunate to try and get a carver path and from my comp and inter to university and and beyond and my big advantage was incredibly supportive parents who just sort of challenge me to go and crack on and do it and your mum will cut of your salary.
She was the one who said she's absolutely person who set me on that path, but you know I came for a fan from a family that had no connections with news whatsoever and I suppose if there's anything said anything that I've said that might be useful to anybody listening.
He's trying to get into this industry.
Is that it is doable and there are significant challenges and but I think also newsrooms a noun.
A bit wiser to the fact they need to bring in people from a greater spread of society and different backgrounds and I don't just mean I don't just mean whether you've been to a private school or state school.
I mean for a note from all sorts of socio-economic background from the villa the full range of diversity that we need to be seeing on using is because fundamentally Newsham cannot tell the stories of the country that we are living in in the mix that we have in this country unless we have that makes in our Newsroom and I suppose it and I just been really supportive of you know any young student whose thinking wow.
This is this is a job that can be no there's easy ways into it if you can afford to do a postgrad in journals and other smart college and then you know maybe stay with your mum and dad in London and not worry about paying the rent it so you can go and do a news in a news placement somewhere in her.
I just think that newsrooms.
I got to work really hard now and make sure we get in as wider variety of ways as possible and also Geographic spread.
I mean I remember.
The time when the BBC moved a lot of its operations up to Salford media city and then be thinking about this won't work.
This is political correctness population engineering I was wrong.
I mean it's been an incredible success YouTube presented Newsround CBBC 5 Live BBC Breakfast the Old run from Salford now and the better for it frankly and we did the ITV leaders debate the Severn way, debate that was that we did all of us up there in fact and there is something really thrilling about you know doing those programs in Salford the audiences that come in for those debates.
I do know that recalls the organisers audience is very careful to make sure there's a balance within that audience but they're from you know that from various amount of London basically that there London their part of their patch.
It's crucial last question then what's been the best story of ever worked online career? What's been the one that's been the most memorable well doorstep in Pope Francis was quite a moment with a pub at that point.
Blackwell yes that was all studies as well.
Have you get past the Swiss Guard well, and I was dressed as one did you know I didn't get very far is that there's a woman in the Vatican of somebody being actually moderating a conference on modern slavery at the Vatican and I said subject for Innocence subject areas in a lot of stories about I feel very strongly about and I've been asked to moderate a conference in the in the Vatican it was in one of the colleges in the Vatican and I was there alongside cardinal Vincent Nichols and actually Theresa May when she was home Secretary and we knew that the Pope would be addressing the conference say he was going to come in on the last day and so I said to Cardinal Vincent Nichols press up just let you know this is this is a good story.
I want to do stuff about modern slavery.
It gets it onto a bullet in sketch this subject onto the agenda.
I said look and if we're.
You know if you're in the room with a camera you know maybe Colin and maybe we could just maybe have a quick so we didn't say was just extraordinary.
I mean first of all when we would I was moderate in the conference and we knew that Pope Francis is going to come in right at the end, and it was it was rather interesting because I'd actually said to Amber saying to the home secretary's next time.
I'm not quite sure where is going to sit when he comes in because there isn't a special chair out or anything for him anyway.
He arrived at the door and cardinal Nichols Who been sitting next to me, but got up and went to meet him at the door and I suddenly realise that the only seat in the house.
That was free was the seat that cardinal Nichols are just vacated and I'll just remember looking at Theresa May along this road of people looking at saying I think he's going to come and sit here and it was just one of those moments that happens in slightly slow motion and I just saw you know the Pope France
Talking to Wanstead cardinal Nichols gesturing to come and sit right next to me now and I just stood up and my knees were literally knocking his lip.
Open up open on my head and my mum is watching this on the on the YouTube some Vatican YouTube channel nearly falling off a chair st.
Francis walking towards me probably thinking I hope she's not going to say anything inappropriate anyway, so I so I have to sort of inviting to his seat and sit down and I'm sitting alongside him is to know is incredibly gracious and Incredibly passionate about that subject.
You should we like club bouncer? That's why I was a piece of Legend anyway, so we got to the end of this singer and I should have had a chat with Cardinal Vincent so press secretary beforehand.
I said look I'm just going to go outside.
I'm going to this little corner.
I said you think if he's walking this way if we get eye contact.
Can you bring him over anyway, so brought him over and we doorstep the poem we talk to about modern slavery.
I mean it you know he had to be realistic.
You weren't going to sort sunny launch into a 30.
Moment with them but of course no British journalists, I got a doorstep with the Pope so it was quite I was quite satisfying and I'll never forget I was working with is brilliant producer James Jordan and Karen and Ben England to I kept looking for going to help you press record me and James Jordan just phoned back to the news desk and said it's it's in the pot.
It's in that we got it.
We got it.
It was great.
So it was one of those you know it wasn't that through the dino in the scale of things the biggest story which I've been I've been very fortunate to work on a lot of them, but that was quite a big moment Julie's been hugely enjoyable conversation.
Thank you ever so much for your time.
Thanks ever so much to talk to you right angles podcast in association with big things Media
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