Broadcast PR experts Shout! Communications present a 10 part series featuring speakers at the pinnacle of broadcast journalism. Topics include the rise of ‘fake news’, the role of social media in broadcast coverage, and tips on how to get national TV, radio, and online coverage.
Ep. 4: Mary Hockaday – BBC World Service
Hosted by Kate Fallis, Broadcast PR Consultant
Next in our series is Mary Hockaday, who at the time of speaking was Controller for BBC World Service. She has reported, produced and edited a range of current affairs and international stories such as the invasion of Iraq.
Mary’s first topic was that of trust. Trust is a real issue for journalists at the moment, but interestingly enough, TV journalists are the ones that are generally the most trusted. But, you really have to work hard to win it and earn it!
So how do broadcast journalists rise to that challenge? Well, Mary assured us that we have been here before and that the way to tackle these issues is to continue efforts to produce the best quality journalism and “punch through the noise”.
“We don’t need to panic. Fake news is ultimately not news.”
Mary was unimpressed with the term ‘fake news’. In fact, she summed it up quite well when she said it’s ‘toxic’ and not news at all, so let’s stop calling it that! I’m not talking about Donald Trump style ‘fake news’, but actual articles that have been created deliberately to misinform the public and spread a false story. Despite each speaker making it out to be a bit of a dirty subject, it was unavoidable and they couldn’t help but have their say on it.
“We have a responsibility to punch through the noise.”
There is a real appetite for real news, more than ever with the rise of news we might consider ‘fake’.
Furthermore, more people are, perhaps unknowingly, trusting strangers online than ever before with what they post and share on social media. What used to be called lying is now ‘mis-speaking’, but we can’t be blinded by that and continue to let people get away with it. It’s the job of a TV journalist to cut through this and broadcast the truth.