After delivering a speech at Sixth Form Prize Giving, which detailed his unbelievable career as a BBC investigative journalist reporting on the front line of war zones and exposing injustice across the globe, Paul Kenyon spoke to our sixth formers in Assembly, recounting his life experiences.
Through his career, he has dealt with sensitive and topical subjects such as immigration, economic migration, child labour and reporting in high- tension life and death situations.
Through his illustrious accounts, Paul taught us the need for perseverance and being amenable in situations that require a calm and level head, as despite the need to work hard, Kenyon also emphasised the importance of non-conformity and standing out, achieving your goals through whatever means necessary. This is a message he learnt from experience as before his role in the BBC, he would write Christmas cards and “arrange” meetings with his future boss, an unconventional yet ultimately fruitful venture.
After his assembly speech, the Head Girl, Olivia Moriarty and Captain, George Armstrong took Paul on a tour of the school. An experience that undoubtedly brought back senior school memories of CCF with Mr Newton and the Openshaw Verse Speaking competition, where he controversially sang a song by ‘The Clash’!
Later in the day, a group of around ten sixth form students with an interest in journalism, the media and law met with Mr Kenyon as he gave a focused workshop. Explaining the difference between TV and Newspaper journalism, giving top tips for what helped his career reach such heights and expressing the toll such high-pressure environments have on him was fascinating for the aspiring journalists. Before his role in the BBC, Kenyon began by writing articles for local newspapers and radio stations- trying to make the mundane local news riveting and enjoyable to read, but emphasised the importance of this work as it provided vital experience for him in later life. As his wife is a Barrister and Kenyon’s journalism often deals with lots of legal and political issues, the aspiring advocates found the group extremely useful and interesting. Kenyon finished the workshop with stressing the fact that no matter the path one takes in life, taking a journalism degree, chemistry degree or not going to university at all, anyone can become a journalist as it is hard work and determination that are the most important qualities in achieving success.
I would like to express my thanks to Mr Kenyon for coming to our school, accounts of his incredible achievements in his career have motivated me to consider political journalism as a career. The truths he has uncovered across the globe proved vital to ensuring that real change can be made in the world through the power of media- the true purpose of politics in action.
Written by Molly, Year 13