John Young: Questions & Answers

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Name?
John Young

Age?
39

Where are you from?
Born London, brought up Surrey & Dorset, now living in Sussex

How did you get started in broadcasting?
BBC Training Scheme

When was that?
1990-1991

Why News broadcasting?
Because it’s fast, it’s taken seriously, and it’s fun.

Where else would have viewers seen or heard you before?
All at the BBC! Radio One Newsbeat — Radio Cornwall — TV Northern Ireland — TV North East & Cumbria — TV South — TV West. And, once or twice, on the One & Six O’clock news.

What is your Best on-air moment?
Interviewing an Eduction Minister about school cuts, as part of a documentary about a parental campaign for more funds. I told him about the campaign. He listened carefully, and said that they must go to the Local Authority, examine their finances, and ask the Local Authoriity what they were doing with the money the government provided. It so happened that we had filmed them doing precisely that. I was able to tell him: Minister, they’ve done all that. They still don’t believe there’s enough money. I remember this not because he seemed taken aback, but because I felt it vindicated their actions — and proved there was an issue that needed to be aired.

What is your Worst on-air moment?
Discovering that if you drag your mouse carelessly over the wrong part of the computer screen in the tv studio twenty seconds before going on air, you can completely reverse the order of the news items.

What would you like to do before your career ends?
See an end to the expression Top Story in news programmes. Why? Ask a mother who’s just heard the death of their child in a house fire described on air as that night’s Top Story.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Watch my garden grow.

What advice would you give to anyone that would like to get into the broadcasting world?
Remember that broadcasting is merely speaking. If you wouldn’t say it to a friend down the pub, don’t write it in a broadcast script.

Other Information?
If someone tells you you won’t make it as a journalist — ask them why, and write an article about it. You’ll have just become a journalist.

A big thanks to John for taking part.

Last updated: Thursday 21 May 2009

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