Leeds Trinity University College Journalism Week is running from Monday 22 until Friday 26 February. Speakers from across the industry will be at Leeds Trinity to talk about the latest trends in the news media, including Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger; BBC news director Helen Boaden, Sky News reporter Mike McCarthy and ITN political correspondent Chris Ship.
BBC Radio Leeds presenter Andrew Edwards believes that enthusiasm and passion are the key ingredients needed to break into the media.
Speaking to students at Leeds Trinity University College Journalism Week, he said that studying for a degree was of great importance but people also needed a desire to work if they were to make it in one of Britain’s most competitive industries.
“When you hear somebody talk about what they do for a living and they can’t actually give you a reason why they are passionate about it, there’s probably something wrong,” he declared.
“I have never met anyone yet who has that burning passion in their heart to do this job, who hasn’t made onto the radio in some way.”
Edwards reminded students that no matter how passionate, they will be up against stiff competition: “There are more people graduating from media related courses this year than there are jobs in the whole of the British media. That’s a sobering figure.”
However, he was quick to point out that the rewards for a student who can get a foothold on the radio careers’ ladder are exceptional.
It’s a fantastic job. To be able to talk on the radio in the way that I can about any range of issues to anybody, opening their hearts, opening their eyes and opening their minds is fantastic.
Like most mainstream forms of media production, radio’s longevity is being questioned because of the threat imposed by new technology.
But Edwards sees there being a healthy future for the broadcasting format that has both enthralled and intrigued him since childhood.
I think a lot of people like to listen to real people talking in the real world about real snow, falling out of the real sky, in real time. I don’t think in my heart there will ever be a substitute, because of the intimacy of radio and the times you listen to it.