I love that my entire career is about communication. Sharing stories that affect the lives of people across the Channel Islands is a privilege, and something that makes me feel I have the best job in the world.
I also love that the way I define ‘communication’ and my job as a journalist are constantly changing, and – for me – none more dramatically than in the past couple of years.
As an on screen journalist, my focus used to be solely on the nightly ITV Channel TV news programme at 6pm. These days, that’s often the last piece of an intricate jigsaw of communication which allows me to tell stories in different ways through the day. That also means the people whose stories I am telling are getting exposure to a larger audience than ever before.
I may start my storytelling through Twitter. Short updates to whet the appetite, to share headlines or quotes or short videos, often as a way of gathering views and case studies in the morning as part of my reporting. I have more than 8,000 followers on Twitter which translates to around half a million views per month.
As my story develops, you can expect a short update by late morning and then a fuller article by early afternoon, complete with photos and video, to be published on the ITV News website. That will be cross-published on Facebook where we may also broadcast a Facebook Live video to go behind-the-scenes of the story. That can easily reach 40,000 people in just one day, and often many more.
And then there’s my TV report, which may also include live on-location or in-studio reporting, at 6pm. This programme reaches more than half of all islanders, a programme that aims to reflect island life every weeknight.
Multiple ways of communicating. Multiple styles of storytelling to suit those different platforms and audiences.
The way those stories are told has never been more diverse or more immediate as right now. And with that privilege comes responsibility. Get something wrong and you’ll soon know about it! It’s never been easier for those following my stories to have their say. Tweets, Facebook comments, emails, phone calls, people stopping me in the street.
And I wouldn’t want it any other way!
Gary Burgess is a Content Editor at ITV News. He divides his time between on screen reporting and working as Programme Editor of ITV Channel TV’s flagship news programme which airs weeknights at 6pm. Gary’s chosen charity is Young People Guernsey, a charity that identifies and responds to the needs of young people in the Bailiwick, particularly those in need, and ultimately those at risk.