Seminar summary: How to become a top financial and business broadcast journalist

By Aine Quinn

24 January 2017

What’s it like to be a top female financial and business broadcast journalist today, and how can you become a top financial journalist in national and international TV, radio and podcast broadcasting?

On Thursday January 19th, Becky Barrow, editor of Sunday Times Money and Women in Journalism Committee Member, chaired a discussion on the topic at the Financial Times in London. She was joined by Claer Barrett, editor of FT Money and the FT Money Show podcast presenter, Helia Ebrahimi, Channel 4 business correspondent, Georgie Frost, Share Radio presenter, and Anne-Marie Tomchak, editor of Mashable UK.

Starting out

Get a specialism, it doesn’t matter what it’s in. Just find your voice, love the subject and want to communicate.
Work on a big investigation – if you become an expert on the topic you might get asked to do TV or radio interviews.
Be willing to get up early in the morning and do shift work to get work experience.
Get yourself a mentor who knows the business.
Make connections with editors and people who can help you find a job.

Tips for moving from print to broadcast journalism

Moving from print to broadcasting can be a challenge.
Take notes or a pen with you when you are broadcasting if it makes you feel comfortable – even for live TV.
Make sure you don’t just read from a sheet of paper. Be interesting and engaging
Be aware that things go wrong in live TV, but viewers often don’t notice.
You might have to unlearn habits you’ve built up in the rest of your career.
Find your own voice. There is no substitute for authenticity in broadcasting.


The biggest challenge is to maintain your enthusiasm without getting caught up in the daily churn of news.
As soon as you start getting comfortable and bored in your job, you should think about  leaving.
Everyone gets imposter syndrome, whatever gender you are and whatever sector you work in.
Many experts you interview have never been on air – your job is to get them to speak well in an unnatural environment.
What you perceive to be your weaknesses in your career could become strengths. It may not feel like it, but setbacks can also be an opportunity.


If you want to get into broadcasting, record yourself speaking and watch it back to see what it looks like.
Learn shorthand to help you write notes more quickly.
Look into courses by the BJTC, but you can also learn on the job.
Make the most of your social media profile to get work.


You get lots of advice on what to wear in broadcasting, but what you’re saying is the most important thing.
Authenticity is good for your soul as well as your career, but TV people often obsess about how things look.
TV producers often want you to have a brand and always look the same, so that you are recognisable to the audience.
There is a determination in TV to do things “cookie cutter”, but successful journalists will do things differently.

Do you have more tips and ideas on financial and business journalism? Tweet us at @WIJ with the hashtag #WIJfinance.