Journalist as communicator

Credit: BBC

Acknowledgement for a worthy award-winner. Yesterday Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s Middle East editor, was presented with the Charles Wheeler Award 2010 for achievements in broadcast journalism.

Amid the screech of grinding axes that characterises much coverage of events in the Middle East, Jeremy Bowen has, to my mind, always maintained a calm, old-school approach to reporting – saying what’s happened today, and putting it into the context of what happened yesterday (and, occasionally, what might happen tomorrow). Nobody I’m aware of in English-language media around the world is as skilled a communicator in explaining for a general audience just what the heck the fighting is all about.

He’s the embodiment of the fact that, blogging and ‘citizen journalism’ notwithstanding, trained journalists working in old media really, really matter.

Congratulations, Jeremy. Thank you, BBC.