Siobhan Courtney – Q&A

Siobhan Courtney (Interactive Reporter, BBC News/BBC Your World News presenter)


Where are you from?
Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

How did you get started in Broadcasting?
Trying and probably failing to make myself as helpful as possible during school holidays when I was 16 at my local newspaper. Then spent time at radio stations when I was at university, making cups of tea, going on sandwich runs before they let me out of the building with a microphone and then allowed me to have a go at reading the news on weekends.

When was that?
Eight years ago.

Why News Broadcasting?
Because I just love reporting and love people (most of the time!!) I’m so interested in people’s stories, things that shouldn’t be going on but do. As a little girl people always used to say to my parents – doesn’t she ask a lot of questions? Not much has changed really.

Where else would have viewers seen or heard you before?
BBC Breakfast, Newsnight, BBC News Channel, BBC World News, Six o’clock News, South Today, BBC Radio Solent, Chiltern Radio.

What is your Best on-air moment?
Well, it’s between doing the lead for Newsnight 6 weeks into my job as Interactive Reporter for BBC News or presenting my weekly show Your World News on BBC World News – I’m like a proud parent over Your World News!!

What is your Worst on-air moment?
Well, broadcasting live there are just too many to remember – probably best to ask my editor, I’m sure he would have a long list!! I just try and learn from my mistakes and then move on.

What would you like to do before your career ends?
Reach the end and still have one would be a good start!!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
The norm really – spend time with my amazing family and friends. I do like being pampered at spas though!!

What advice would you give to anyone that would like to get into the broadcasting world?
For me, if I’m going to spend 10/12 hours a day at work I have to love it and actually I do. You need passion and to be fulfilled by your job, otherwise what’s the point? Follow something that makes you excited – for me it’s all about original ideas. There’s definitely not enough original journalism on TV and you have to remember that news happens every day so there’s always going to be something to report on – editors want something new, something unique. Offer something amazing that will make a difference to a programmes output – no half decent editor would turn down an original idea, that’s presented in a creative way.

A big thanks to Siobhan for taking part. This Q and A was posted on 4th March 2009.

Posted by Johnnie Larkin on Wednesday 4 March 2009