By Jasmine Watts
If I’ve ever said I had a favorite day during my study abroad experience before today I stand corrected!! Today was my absolute favorite day of the trip. We went to BBC Scotland in Glasgow. Working for a company like the BBC would truly be a dream job for me.
I could feel the positive energy as soon as I walked into the building. Everything was so vibrant. The building structure makes an open space so that creative energy can flow. There is NO body who has an office or cubicle, everyone works together in common areas. I thought that was so cool. Even for someone who’d have a typically boring desk job, to be surrounded by fun, likeminded people everyday must be amazing.
Our guide, Ian, showed us where all the magic happens. He explained to us what the BBC’s brand meant to the people of the U.K. The BBC is always impartial. I believe this is very important and is lacking in many companies today. Too often news organizations try to sway public opinion, who to vote for, why something is good or bad, instead of sticking to the facts. Many people only want to watch or read topics that they agree upon. Impartial news gives a fair amount of information so that the public can be educated on both sides of the topic, evaluate the information, then decide for themselves which side they’d stand. Ian gave us many examples where the BBC has gotten into squabbles with companies, specially the government, because they want BBC to promote them. The BBC is not a PR firm. It stands it’s ground on being the news people can trust, the news that does not intend to sway public opinion. I love and respect that and would be honored to work for a company like that- a company with integrity.
A lot of times, people don’t trust journalist. I want to have a reputation as a trustworthy journalist and work with a company whose views reflect that.
Another point that Ian made was about the effect of social media on the news. Social media is changing many industries very quickly, especially media. Many people get their news from Twitter and Facebook. However, on Twitter and Facebook you are apart of a small community of the billions of users. The people who are your “friends” are people you know and share similar interests with. Therefore, the news that they retweet and share is most likely news that is partial to their beliefs. Social media makes it hard to receive impartial news. Ian referred to it as “the echo chamber.” Though the BBC uses social media to promote its news, they still are impartial, there is only so much they can do with it. They are learning slowly but surely how to make social media work for them. I just want people to open their minds and hear two sides of every story and not just the ones their friend tells them. I took a lot away from our meeting today and came back feeling very inspired.