Students Staff

01 April 2010

Brian’s broadcasting masterclass

Brian Hanrahan with Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan

BBC World Diplomatic Editor and Essex graduate Brian Hanrahan was guest speaker at a training session for participants on the University's Essex Futures career development programme.

Mr Hanrahan spoke of his days as a politics student in the 1960s when the new University of Essex was ‘an adventure’ and ‘a work in progress’. He revealed how he came to Essex to study maths and switched programmes after taking a politics course in his first year.

He quickly became involved in journalism, and recalled interviewing the controversial right-wing MP Enoch Powell when he visited the University.

In a career spanning more than 25 years as a BBC foreign correspondent, Mr Hanrahan has reported from the Falklands War, Tiananmen Square, and at the fall of the Berlin Wall. He is also part of the BBC’s commentary team for state occasions, including the funerals of the Queen Mother and Princess Diana.

While feeling unqualified to advise modern day students, he stressed: ‘Education and knowledge are not just about training you for a particular job. It’s about opening up your own mind and training you to live your life happily.’

Mr Hanrahan, and Essex’s own politics commentator Professor Anthony King, shared some of their media tips with the 17 Essex Futures participants, during a session which included training and hands-on experience of TV and radio interviews and podcasting.

The Essex Futures programme was developed and is led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan and is designed for staff who want to help shape the future of the University.

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