News Associates presents JournoFest 2020: In conversation with BBC journalist Christian Fraser
BBC journalist Christian Fraser delighted journalism trainees with an insight into his compelling career as a foreign correspondent, writes News Associates part-time trainee Anna Cooban.
Christian (pictured above right, with News Associates head of journalism Manchester Andrew Greaves) came to JournoFest 2020 to discuss his route into the industry and offer advice to an audience of budding journalists.
Christian didn’t always have his heart set on journalism. Studying Spanish and Business Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University, he spent a year working in Madrid’s Ritz hotel where he spoke to various prominent guests, including movie stars.
It was this time spent learning about others’ lives that set him on the path to journalism, and he enrolled on an NCTJ course in Newcastle.
Starting his career in 1995 at the Trinity Mirror, Christian later moved to The Telegraph and the Evening Standard before entering broadcast media in 2000 as an investigative reporter for the BBC.
His BBC career took him to Lebanon, Iraq, Kenya and Afghanistan, among other places, reporting on war and conflict – experiences he admits shying away from in recent years after the birth of his daughter.
“We don’t talk as journalists on air about our own experiences,” he said.
“I’ve had issues with early stages PTSD. It’s really important to look after mental health.”
Now a news anchor in London, Christian believes the media needs to do more to represent the north of England and admits reporters do not travel there enough.
Despite his current London-based role, Christan championed the role of foreign correspondents in delivering news.
“I am a believer in personality-led journalism,” he said.
“People who recognise personalities are more likely to resonate with the story.”
Did you miss JournoFest 2020? Check out our-round up video below! And learn more here.