Leeds Business School

The day that BA Journalism students met a broadcasting legend

This academic year has been a different experience for everyone. We have learnt how to cope with new norms and complete our first block remotely which, I admit, was hard as a third-year student on BA Journalism. 

Real journalism is a practice that requires you to meet and interview new people all the time.

Nonetheless, you could say that working remotely has opened some doors that may have been closed before the virus. One of Channel 4's most notable reporters would have been too busy to chat to a group of aspiring student journalists before the pandemic, but he found time for us now.

I will forever be able to say that I met and spoke to the Channel 4 news anchor and renowned journalist Jon Snow, if a Zoom call counts as a meeting. Even if it doesn’t, it was unquestionably the best moment of 2020. I’d even go so far as to say it was the best moment of my life!

Our course director, Karl Hodge, set up the meeting with Jon Snow, allowing us to ask our own questions directly. I was able to ask him about his time reporting from the front line of the Iran/Iraq war in the 1980s, which led to him telling us about a crazy adventure he went on whilst he was there. He even said I had a great name for journalism, which is something I have been telling everyone ever since!

It has been tough finding the right motivation and drive over the past few months, but hearing about Snow's extravagant career and life was so uplifting. Our entire third-year journalism course was smiling from ear to ear.

The last few months have been extraordinary. If I told my second-year self that I would be spending my final year at university in my room, doing 9:00 am lectures from my own bed, I would have been in complete disbelief. Perhaps that thought might have appealed to me! Now, I admit, I miss the days when we could walk into the Rose Bowl and sit in a seminar with our friends and classmates.

Despite this, I’m looking forward to my final six months at Leeds Beckett. With restrictions still in place and the return of national lockdown, I’m unsure what to expect, but this is how everyone around the world is feeling. Everything is unexpected.

I do hope we will all be able to graduate in person, with friends, family and lecturers by our side. The vaccine rollout is helping to bring back that sense of normality we have all missed.

And in the years to come, when we’re able to meet again, I’ll have that story to tell about the day Jon Snow told me I had a good name for journalism.


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