Coventry Conversation with Nick Pollard

When you first meet Nick Pollard, you are shocked with how down to earth he was. You would not believe that he brought Sky News to the top; winning the news channel of the year award from the Royal Television Society.

Nick Pollard was given the hard question of “Is television news dead?” he answered this question with a direct answer of NO.

The justification of his answer was that the BFB (British Forces Broadcast) recently advertised for two cameraman and over two hundred applicants, with different levels of experience and education, applied.

 Nick Pollard has worked in television since 1970 and believes that the key factors in shaping the future of journalism are advances in technology. In the past, for a five minute bulletin you would need to take at least fifteen minutes of footage and for a ten minute bulletin you would need thirty minutes of footage.
Technology was slow in the 1970’s; traditional cameras would work on film and would catch around six to eight minutes of footage. The film would then have to be cut, pinned up and edited which would be a lengthy process. There was a benefit to this as slow transmission meant the journalists had to work hard to make their bulletins short so you only got the important information.

 ENG made a world of difference to the film world. It meant that journalists could film straight to VHS; this meant they did not have to have as much equipment involved; you would only need a cameraman and a presenter. It also made editing easier as you could rewind footage and re film if needed.

There are now 24 hour news rooms to match the demand for online news. There are also a multitude of channels providing almost constant coverage of stories.

 ITN in news reporting was a lot different in 1982, a broadcaster told Margaret Thatcher that they could send satellites to broadcast news, Thatcher has decided to veto this idea.
The advances of ENG brought improved quality and faster news coverage. Where as in the Golf War, news had advanced in such a way that Sky News was underway and journalists were reporting on location.

 Sky News hit global fame with the invasion of Kosovo. Sky News took in four trucks, when one truck stopped; the second truck overtook which meant that they were given continuous coverage.

In the past rolling news was very much we say; you listen. News was very much producer lead. With the fame of Sky 24 there was coverage instantly of dramatic events with high quality coverage.

 As we left the room, many of us had questions running through our heads about what we had just heard. Nick created a great platform for us to discuss the possibility of print journalism being replaced by online journalism.


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