Curiosity Never Killed Anyone
I pitched up at Glasgow Caledonian University yesterday afternoon and met up with an old colleague who now teaches journalism. It was Claire Dean who I worked with in the Radio Clyde newsroom in the last decade of the twentieth century. She had hardly changed at all, which was sickening. I, on the other hand, am now twice the man I used to be. A Michelin Man.
Claire had invited me to speak to her students on the new multi-media course. I was also given a whirlwind tour of the fantastic facilities. There was a spanking new TV studio, a radio studio, lots of desktop editing facilities and an actual "newsroom" where students were busy trying to beat a 4.pm deadline for a make-believe arts magazine.
Then I was invited to take the floor and spill the beans on everything I knew about radio. They'd allocated an hour for this, which was optimistic.
Well, I talked about my own career, about the difference between journalism and information processing, about the importance of listening to people's answers when you are asking questions and about how journalism gives you professional permission to be curious about everything and everybody.
I hope I gave the impression that working in radio was actually fun. I know so many people like to turn up at these things and tell students that the entire media industry is doomed and that they have more chance of winning the lottery than of finding a job.
Yes, times are hard and every organisation seems to be cutting jobs, but I still believe that people with real talent will find a way through the crowd.
As for me, well, I enjoyed my sixty minutes in the lecture room. Maybe there's a future in that for me.
"So tell me Claire," I asked, "how do you get into this racket?"
Tact. It never was one of my strengths