There's a very interesting piece in The Journalist (not available online but readable here, if you enlarge the image) by former BBC foreign correspondent Steve Evans, the man who preceded Jenny Hill as the BBC's Berlin correspondent and who ended his BBC career as the corporation's Seoul correspondent.
On leaving the BBC after 25 years in 2017, Steve moved to Australia and began work at a local paper in a small town in New South Wales. He describes it as "the hardest and also perhaps the most satisfying job" he's ever had.
The small town in question, Glen Innes, is the sort of place that "would have voted for Bush and Trump and Brexit and then gone back and done it again". And he glad he went there.
I came to realise that I had lived in a media bubble for decades. I am reminded of the quote said to have come from the playwright, Arthur Miller: "How can the polls be neck and neck? I don't know anyone who's voting for Bush"...
Small-town journalists have a contact with people that bigger-time journalists rarely do, and that is very valuable.
Glen Innes is not a world of political correctness but it is a world of humanity and kindness. Its values are very different from those in the cosmopolitan media bubbles of uniform opinion, and it is all the better for that.
Steve's escape from "the cosmopolitan media bubbles of uniform opinion" at the BBC seems to have done him the world of good. Good luck to him!
At the end of the article he tell us he left for the Canberra Times because he feared for the Examiner's future. The week he left, the paper shut its office after 150 years and his successor will work from home.ReplyDelete
Maybe that should be the first act of a populist government in the UK: sending out all BBC journalists to "learn from the peasants" as Mao used to put it. :)ReplyDelete