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May 8, 2024 (Updated )

Are you a chatterbox with a passion for meeting people? Perhaps you find things are most easily explained when they’re said out loud — or that the news is more relatable when you can see and hear it. If so, you may find yourself on the path of a broadcast journalist. But, how can you make yourself stand out?

At a recent panel event, News Associates brought together four broadcast journalists to ask just that. Here’s what Bauer Media senior entertainment reporter and content creator Liv Marks-Howarth, Sky News social media producer Lizzie May, ITV reporter Siham Ali, and PoliticsJOE producer Laura Beveridge had to say about being camera shy, finding your voice, and the behind-the-scenes truths.

Find Your Voice To Get The Best Out Of Others

It might sound counterintuitive, but finding your voice is crucial to establishing a connection with both your interviewee and your audience. One key question to ask yourself is: “Who shall I be?” And, it’s vital to recognise that the answer to this question will change for every interview you do — and it may even change at certain points within the same interview.

For example, both Liv and Siham agree that you should match the energy in the room — if someone has low energy then you shouldn’t be bringing a big energy.

While this can help get the most out of interviewees, there may still be occasions where you’re only getting one-word answers back. This can be particularly challenging says Siham: “It’s easy to cut down a long answer but harder to create a story with a short answer.”

In some cases, she says, she’s even paused the interview to help put people at ease.

Journo Resources
“You need to keep knocking on the door and if you are shut down, ask for feedback and ask ‘what can I do better?’”
Lizzie May, social media producer, Sky News

However, no matter the energy of the interviewee or the mood of the conversation, it’s important to stay true to who you are, says Liv: “I am always myself in an interview.”

Liv credits this approach with helping to establish a relationship from the get-go and says it often leads to a more natural conversation — something which is vital when you may only have five minutes to speak to someone as part of a press junket.

The more flowing the conversation, says Liv, the more material you’ll have to work with — and you’ll have more chance of clipping up a vital moment, such as accidentally wearing squeaky trousers or Emily Blunt telling you that you’re the “best person ever”.


I love each and every one of these legends 💞 #celebrity #actress #actor #movie #film #interview #celebrityinterview #showreel

♬ original sound – Liv Marks | Celeb Interviewer

You do, of course, have to do your research, stresses Laura. As well as understanding who your interviewee is and what they could talk about, it’s crucial to know who your audience is and what they’re interested in. After all, they’re the people who’ll be watching.

For Siham, it’s all about being able to talk to people. “You don’t need to be an extrovert,” she explains, debunking a common myth, “but you need people skills.” And, as Liv tells the audience, having nerves shows that you care.

Finding Your Niche Means Trying Everything

It’s not necessarily about finding a place where nerves don’t exist, but becoming comfortable with them — and making sure you continue to push yourself to try new things.

Remember, it’s inevitable that other people will have more experience than you when you’re starting out, but try not to let this intimidate you.

At first, this doubt led to Lizzie questioning her ideas and holding back from pitching her ideas. But then, she realised: “You need to keep knocking on the door and, if you are shut down, ask for feedback. Ask: ‘What can I do better?'”

Try A Free Workshop With News Associates

Students at News Associates get even more than just their course — every year JournoFest brings together some of the biggest names in journalism to give exclusive advice to their trainees.

You can see even more top tips from the journalists who attended in 2023 here. And, if you take up a course at News Associates, you could be there in person at their next conference.

Tfree journalism workshopshink you might be interested in taking the plunge but want to try it out first? The team offer a range of remote and in-person journalism workshops to give you a taste of their teaching and lecturers.

News journalism workshops will see you tackle a breaking news story and receive individual feedback on your work, while sports journalism workshops are delivered alongside Sportsbeat, the UK’s leading sports news agency.

The team also run occasional panels, discussions, and Q&As about your route into the journalism industry.

Sign Up For Free Journalism Workshops Here

But be careful where you take your feedback from. You want the insights of industry professionals, not the commenters online. As Laura says: “Sometimes, people’s opinions have nothing to do with what you said so try not to take it personally.”

The more you spend time on camera, the easier it becomes. Presenters are rarely one-take wonders; it often takes several tries and years of practice to master their craft. Even Lizzie, who has years of camera experience since working on a YouTube channel in her early teens, still feels the intimidation of presenting on a platform with a large audience.

However, by getting as much experience as you can and exploring as many areas as you can, you’ll quickly build skills. For Liv, her constant on-camera experience is the main thing she believes has pushed her to be a better journalist.

Siham adds: “Try on all the hats. One will fit really well and then you can run in that direction.”

Macie Lewis
Macie Lewis

Macie Lewis is an aspiring broadcast journalist looking to study for her NCTJ at The School of Journalism in September.

She currently volunteers at a hospital radio station, Radio Brockley, where she presents shows and interviews for the podcast ‘Alpha Session’ as well for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Staff Awards. This has led her to be nominated for two Hospital Broadcasting Awards – ‘Best Female Presenter’ and ‘Best Newcomer.’ She has also done work for an external podcast – ‘The Generation Gap.’

News Associates
News Associates

News Associates are proud to be the UK’s number one NCTJ journalism course — and they do things differently. You’ll be treated like a journalist from day one, with an innovative and experienced approach to teaching.

They offer a range of part-time and full-time courses, with locations in London, Manchester, and remote learning.

Find out more about their courses here.