The tutor talks: Paula O’Shea

10 03 2010
 Brighton Journalist Works director Paula O’Shea recalls her career in journalism.

Paula O'Shea

Q. Can you remember your first journalist assignment?   

A. I think it was a diamond wedding celebration… and the secret of a happy marriage is: give and take. I was to hear that many, many times in my career as a reporter on a local newspaper.  I also keenly remember driving to an assignment on a lovely sunny day where I was to meet nice people and interview them and write it up later and thinking: “This is the best job in the world!  I am out of the office; I am going to meet people and then write about it…. what more could I want?”

Q. Which journalist achievement are you most proud of?   

A. When I was science producer at ITN I broke the story that scientists had found out that if you put babies to sleep at night on their backs then they were at reduced risk of cot death.

Q. Tell us your most embarrassing journalist moment?   

A. Arriving to interview a prominent doctor for the telly, introducing myself and the camera crew, getting them miked up, testing for level etc and then I started the interview – with the great man’s secretary who had been too embarrassed to tell me I had got the wrong person. Luckily it wasn’t a live broadcast, as happened later with on the BBC when they interviewed a taxi driver by mistake.

Q.Which great story do you wish you had written?   

A. I wish I could write like Simon Barnes in The Times:  whatever he writes about is always worth reading.  A rare talent.  As to a great story… well it would have been exciting to be on the ITN newsdesk when Diana died or 9/11 of course.

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