Languages in Journalism

Languages in Journalism

On Thursday 14 January, Chris Dennis came to College to give 125 Modern Foreign Languages pupils a workshop in journalism and broadcasting. Chris Dennis is a sports broadcast journalist who has worked for various radio stations from BBC 5 Live to the Eurosport channel. Chris also worked at last year’s Paralympic Games in London and can broadcast in several languages including Mandarin.  French, German and Spanish students all attended the workshop in which Chris displayed the array of advantages languages can have in a career.  He explained to us how having the ability to interview, report and present in a foreign language gives many people a competitive edge. Chris took us through some of his past reports and showed us how being able to speak in a different language enabled the people he was interviewing to be more comfortable and give a more comprehensive answer. The workshop was very interactive, with lots of questions being asked and small tasks such as “guess who is speaking” to complete.  Chris explained to us in great detail one of the reports he was very passionate about; a piece on a Togolese former footballer named Kodjovi Obilalé.  He told us how he had covered the story many years ago and that he had done a follow-up interview with Kodjovi to see how his life had turned out. Chris told us how foreign languages enabled him to do ‘two-ways’ reporting, where a studio-based presenter interviews a reporter on location. For example, when Chris interviewed Kodjovi in French he called into a studio in the UK to explain his story in English. Following this some of the students had the chance to carry out their own report on the story of Kodjovi Obilalé. This was a fantastic workshop with a great insight into the career prospects of journalism and broadcasting, that highlighted what a great advantage having a foreign language can be and the many doors that it can open.  

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