As I am a West Midlands native, when Joanna Geary started talking about how she had been applying for jobs at Birmingham-based newspapers after she graduated I really started paying (even closer) attention.
Joanna was talking about places and newspapers which I am familiar with, and it was nice to be reminded of home even though I am over 100 miles away.
After originally being turned down by The Birmingham Post, Joanna eventually joined the team in 2003 as a business journalist. Primarily interested in online media, Joanna established a blogging platform for the Post which was a breakthrough in thinking for regional newspapers.
This is a prime example of what we are being repeatedly told: Journalism is about people.
Joanna’s lecture appealed to me not only as a journalist student, but also because I knew about the newspapers she was talking about. At Joanna’s mention of “that Midlands Today presenter, Nick-something” I couldn’t help shouting out his full name, “Nick Owen!”
Local interest is definitely a key part in journalism.
My sense of self increases the more specific I am about where I’m from: I am British – I am English – I am from the West Midlands. Therefore, local interest stories about the West Midlands always catch my attention. This is why, as a part-Brummie, I will quite happily tell you that Birmingham has more canals than Venice.