Women in Journalism welcomed BBC journalist and author Mishal Husain to the third event in our ‘In Conversation’ series in May – a packed out evening hosted by the University of Westminster.
After a welcome from Michaela O’Brien, head of the School of Media and Communication at the University of Westminster, Mishal talked to WIJ committee members and award-winning journalists Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Donna Ferguson. The chair was Eleanor Mills, WIJ chair; editor, Sunday Times Magazine and editorial director, Sunday Times.
The discussion took place under Chatham House rules, but we can share some of Mishal’s insight into getting to the top in broadcast journalism and writing her recent book, The Skills: From First Job to Dream Job – What Every Woman Needs to Know.
Mishal shared some key advice with the audience, many of whom were just starting out in their careers. She talked of the importance of having a twin track approach to career goals – not only focused on your ultimate role, but making the most of your present one, learning as much as you can from it and from those you meet in the course of it.
Don’t dismiss small organisations and publications – they can be fantastic for journalists starting out if you get the chance to try your hand in areas likely to be more crowded and more competitive somewhere bigger.
Mishal also reflected on the doubts we can all experience about our own abilities and how often pushing through them leads to rewarding professional experiences. In her book she’s tried to put the ‘how’ into qualities that are much talked about these days – including authority, resilience and confidence. She talked about the BAME role models who inspired her into journalism – including one of her WIJ interviewers – and reflected on the distance still to go on diversity of all kinds in the profession.
Finally, the Radio 4 Today presenter took us through the reality of the 3.15 alarm call and a morning routine that we discovered does include breakfast and coffee before going on air at 6 am. She also presents the BBC 1 ‘News at Ten’ on Sundays so her schedule is a little bit different to your usual nine-to-five.
Mishal kindly stayed to sign copies of The Skills and chat to Women in Journalism members and guests, who also enjoyed drinks and networking.
We are extremely grateful to AB Ports for their generous sponsorship of the event. And to The University of Westminster for hosting.
MORE WIJ EVENTS
Our next In Conversation event will be with Cathy Newman, presenter and journalist at Channel 4 News on 10 October at University of Westminster. Stay tuned for more details.
June 11: Women on Boards MD Fiona Hathorn on why joining a board is good for your career whatever stage you are at.
For tickets to all these events, head to our website and be quick!
WiJ events are supported by