Lessons In Journalism, Populism And Diversity At ITN London (Extended Feature Version)

ITN CDN Open Day semipartisansam 004

 

I walked through a doorway, found myself standing in the ITV National News studio, and for a moment I was shocked to realise that I didn’t recognise the space at all.

Not because of the floor-to-ceiling green screen backdrop and the absence of the computer-generated background – the final version, familiar to viewers, was displayed on a monitor to the side – but because I hadn’t deliberately or consciously watched the ITV News in more than a decade. The news desk, the set, the logo – nothing seemed familiar or evoked the old ITV I remembered from the late 1990s.

I’m a voracious reader and consumer of domestic and international news. In fact, I’m currently embarking on a side career in political journalism. And yet I was somehow completely untuned from one of Britain’s main news outlets. Should that be cause for concern?

Then came another shock. As our tour group wound its way through the humming newsroom, quite by chance I found myself standing behind a bona fide news celebrity – veteran broadcaster and news presenter Alastair Stewart – as he sat at his workstation, deep in conversation with colleagues sitting at identical high-tech hotdesks in the middle of the newsroom floor. Gosh, I thought, thinking back on his many years presenting London Tonight, I didn’t know he was still working.

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Lessons In Journalism, Populism And Diversity At ITN London

ITN CDN Open Day semipartisansam 004

 

I walked through a doorway, found myself standing in the ITV National News studio, and for a moment I was shocked to realise that I didn’t recognise the space at all.

Not because of the floor-to-ceiling green screen backdrop and the absence of the computer-generated background – the final version, familiar to viewers, was displayed on a monitor to the side – but because I hadn’t deliberately or consciously watched the ITV News in more than a decade. The news desk, the set, the logo – nothing seemed familiar or evoked the old ITV I remembered from the late 1990s.

I’m a voracious reader and consumer of domestic and international news. In fact, I’m currently embarking on a side career in political journalism. And yet I had somehow become untuned from one of Britain’s main news outlets. Should that be cause for concern?

The reason I was deep inside ITN’s London newsroom at all is thanks to an invitation to attend the Creative Diversity Network open day, one of many similar events being held around the country where major broadcasters (Sky, BBC, CNN, ITN and others) open their doors to give people from ethnic and socially diverse backgrounds the taste of a career in TV journalism. My invitation came through Poached Creative, the social enterprise with whom I trained earlier this year.

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