My book review of 'Aren't you that bloke off the telly?' by Kevin Birch
I do like to read about journalists and journalism! This is the memoir, self published, by 'the bloke off BBC Look East'. He always came across to me as a professional-with-personality and, now that he's retired, this is his account of all that he has experienced in local reporting.
From a cub reporter on 'The Halesworth Times and Southwold Mercury' writing up wedding reports to learning the correct pronunciation of the county's villages for BBC Radio Suffolk to becoming a video journalist with BBC Look East reporting, filming, editing and presenting news items for the evening programme, Kevin Burch has one particular message to share.
If you are a member of the local community, there's nowhere to hide if you get it wrong. But equally, if people know you, and trust you, they are likely to seek you out in order for you to tell their story. It's refreshing to read of someone who appreciates and celebrates local news and the importance of respecting the community in which you work.
He also upholds a mantra of reporting, the ABC - Assume nothing, Believe no one and Check everything: if you're not sure about it, don't run it.
Particularly heed the spelling of names, he says. Check every letter, then check again, and again. If you fail on this, the viewer or reader will question the value of everything else you put before them, he says.
He shares the amusing moments as well as some of the more challenging jobs - including reporting on the Ipswich murders.
It's a short but informative, insightful and entertaining read.