PressPad - A Host's perspective.

PressPad - A Host's perspective

Robyn Dwyer is a freelance presenter and correspondent. From regional news to global issues, she's covered them all for major networks including ITN and Reuters.

Most often seen broadcasting on business or foreign news, she loves an animal story, as well as teaching upcoming journalists as an occasional lecturer. @robyndwyer

Robyn Dwyer


Back in the days when people other than delivery drivers knocked on your door - Lucy came to stay.

Her: a student journalist needing a room near to Sky News while doing work experience there. Me: a broadcast journalist with a home in West London, complete with spare bed. I’d recently signed up to Presspad, an organisation aiming to diversify the media by facilitating work experience placements for those who would otherwise find them impossible. After passing their vetting process — including a FaceTime viewing of our home and the guest room - we were ready to host. I thought Lucy would be a perfect first guest.

And she was.

We started with a WhatsApp chat, in which she assured me my busy, loud house complete with three children and three cats wouldn’t be too off-putting. We discussed what time she would arrive - after her shift at LBC Radio suited us both - and whether I could buy any particular food she might like - she said she would bring her own. Lucy arrived on time with a bag and a big smile, and went above and beyond by engaging with my inquisitive children.

We had some time that evening to chat - part of the idea of Presspad is for experienced journalists to share any industry wisdom they might have gained over the years - and we talked about how we could fit in around Lucy’s work schedule. With me urging her to make herself at home, she unpacked in her room, and went off to bed.

And make herself at home she did - in just the right way. I never felt that I needed to look after her, nor did she impose at all. Sometimes I would find an empty cup and plate washed up on the side, so I knew she’d felt comfortable using the kitchen. Sometimes we would have a meal together. And while trying to make her eat my macaroni cheese I passed on as many news nuggets as I could. If her plans changed during the day - Lucy got in touch to tell me so I would know when she would be home. I can only hope my children, who were big Lucy fans, will be as thoughtful.

When her last day with us arrived Lucy brought flowers to say thank you. It was a pleasure to have her stay, and to help support her career in a very small way. Our media surely needs to be more diverse - opening doors for those who have found them shut for too long is one way to make a start.

For more information on how to get involved* with PressPad, either as a Host or a Guest, please visit presspad.co.uk or follow @PressPadUK

*PressPad is not currently hosting any interns due to Covid-19 but those interested in helping support young people, many of whom have had their work experience placements cancelled, can sign up for the next virtual speed mentoring evening here.

 

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