Chris Oakley makes his Northampton Chronicles debut!
Published Friday 22nd February 2013
Media mogul, Chris Oakley, inadvertently started a debate on Twitter during his conversation with John Mair at the Northampton Chronicles on 22 February.
When answering a question about the relevance of shorthand in journalism, Chris replied that it isn’t as vital as it once was due to new mechanisms, such as Dictaphones and voice recorders. However, he did recommend mastering some sort of speed writing, particularly for court reporting.
Views on this varied on Twitter as Sophie Scott tweeted: “Most newspapers don't hire people without it. It's the most essential tool a print journalist has.” While, Farida Zeynalova tweeted: “I've never needed it, but it depends what aspect of journalism you work in. My Dictaphone is a life-saver!”
Chris, former editor of the Liverpool Echo, began the session with a lecture on the decline and subsequent rise of local media before giving a recount of his career and the issues that local journalists face. Having started out as a trainee reporter on a weekly newspaper, Chris was paid £3 a week, with 50p deducted to buy his own typewriter! He has since then moved up to work all over the country as a sub-editor, editor and eventually a newspaper owner.
He also gave the students practical advice on how to get ahead in the world of journalism: “We didn’t have internships when I first started in journalism. I got my first job by badgering the editor, but these days taking on an internship is a good route into the industry. I would even suggest the entrepreneurial route - get a group of classmates together and start your own local newspaper!”
The Northampton Chronicles is an open event fronted by John Mair and Kate Williams, both experienced journalists, and has already hosted people including Mark Lawson, Rich Peppiatt, Julian Worricker, Dan Roan and Jo Whiley.
The next session will take place on Wednesday 27 February with Matthew Engel at 1.00pm in Maidwell MB8.