Webinar — 03.12.20
In Conversation with Lindsey Hilsum
For three decades Channel 4 News’ Lindsey Hilsum has specialised in covering conflict and refugee movements, reporting from every continent bar Antarctica. From the political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, to the demise of the Islamic State's caliphate in Syria, she combines frontline TV reporting with analysis, highlighting the human stories at the heart of conflict.
A fascinating woman to talk to, immensely impressive and totally frank, we discussed with Lindsey life on the frontline, her friendship with Marie Colvin and what advice she hands down to the next generation of female journalists
Our key take-aways
Be where history is happening and speak the truth about what’s going on. Even if you can't right the wrongs at that moment, knowledge is better than ignorance. Someday someone will have to pay for what’s happening and that’s why it's important to keep telling those stories.
We need to see moral complexity and moral clarity in situations. We must keep moral clarity in mind – it is simply not true that everyone is as bad as each other, there are those who need to be 'brought to book' - but at the same time, you have to allow yourself to get into the moral complexity.
Help those (particularly women) coming up behind you. We need to support each other to break through the noise of all the men “wanging on in meetings”! Tell younger female colleagues to share their ideas with you before the meeting so that, when they put them forward, you can immediately chip in to support and amplify their voice. Ask your mentors to do the same for you.
Actively build your confidence. You can’t know everything so break something down, pick one country (or one area of your job), learn all about that, and grow your confidence in it.
“The company of those who seek the truth is always much better than the company of those who think they’ve found it.” Be prepared to have a habit overthrown. Be prepared to accept that what you thought was wrong. Don’t be afraid to keep starting again.
Build a network for yourself to allow yourself the support you need to succeed - Lindsey has founded the Marie Colvin Journalists' Network to support female journalists in the Arab world.
To control your emotional response put your own emotions in the context of what other people are going through. Also, knowing yourself and what grounds you will help - for Lindsey it's her partner, her gardening and a good novel.
At the same time, controlling your emotions isn't always a good thing. It’s important still to feel - you won't do your job well if you lose that passion and emotion. Channel your anger and upset to drive you to help others.
Read, read, read - to build expertise, to build confidence, and to relax.
And finally, cancel that trip to the salon and let yourself go grey. There is great power in showing your age and your experience. Wear it like a badge of honour!
Online Event, £10
Thursday 3rd December 2020
6pm to 7pm