matt quinn returns as Hoaxteads Karen Irvine returns with more shite

Anna Brees is an ill-qualified imbecile, as I suspect most people reading already know.

Her only qualification specific to working in television is (she claims) a Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) Diploma – which isn’t a regulated qualification, or one that many people seem to know about! By way of contrast the NCTJ (which is the ACTUAL national training body) develops and awards qualifications such as the Diploma in Journalism and the NQJ. NCTJ IS regulated by Ofqual, Qualifications Wales and CCEA. And the important thing about these is that they are ‘levelled’ courses and stand as national qualifications. To understand this a little better – legitimate qualifications issued in the UK sit on one of a number of academic ‘frameworks’…

BJTC? – Years ago under the old Independent Television Authority and Independent Broadcasting Authority, the major broadcast companies ran their own training schools. Some of these tied-in with local FE colleges to deliver levelled units (subjects) which might or might not tie into a group award – City & Guilds, ONC, HNC/D etc. – What would then happen is that the training schools would ‘bolt-on’ their own industry-specific units.

The BBC did something similar with its own facility at Wood-Norton.

This system was mainly for technical staff passing ‘through the ranks’ straight from school – although there were production streams too. Traditionally a school leaver would get an admin job, go to ‘night school’ and get onto an internal training course to work as a Production Assistant etc. BJTC is, as far as I know, a ‘bolt-on’ certification born out of that old (now defunct) system – NOT a Diploma in its own right. i.e. if you were to take a Degree or Post-Grad in Journalism, it might (or might not) be ‘accredited’ by BJTC.

Personally, I’m not convinced that there ever was a stand-alone ‘Broadcast Journalism Diploma, BJTC’ offered anywhere – but if there were, it would not be an academic qualification, just a training certificate.

Highbury College (a G/FE college in Portsmouth, which Anna claims to have attended) offers the six-month Level 5 Diploma in Journalism, accredited by the NCTJ. This recently replaced the old Level 3 diploma which was mandatory in the apprenticeship standard for a Junior Journalist. – So these things are actually fairly basic qualifications.

Before this she claims a 2:1 BA in Theology/Anthropology completed between 1995 and ’98 at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David – I have no idea what this is or why you’d do that but hey! Why not? What I really don’t understand is the three-year gap between completing this ‘degree in nothing much’ and her taking several steps back to start studying Journalism.

Soooo, it’s September 2002 and Anna spends a month with ‘ITV’ at St Helier, Jersey Channel Islands as a ‘Broadcast Journalist Presenter’? Really? With no training, no significant qualifications and no experience she isn’t just filing forms and getting coffee? She then moves to Oxford for 3 years (as a Broadcast Journalist) and Birmingham (Journalist Presenter) for another 2.

I’m sorry, but this just doesn’t seem credible. I’m aware that she presented on Central West for a short while. None of the rest of this really adds up though.

For a start ‘ITV’ as we know it today was created through the merger of Granada and Carlton in 2004 creating a behemoth that controls all the Independent Television franchises in England and Wales and ‘swept away’ the old regional companies. But Channel Television wasn’t absorbed by the monster until 2011 and if you worked for them, you worked for Channel Television! Oxford? Wasn’t that Carlton TV? ‘Old School’ ITV people tend to be quite loyal to their former regional companies and in no doubt as to their identity!

“Ex BBC ITV reporter #newmedia teaching everyone to film like a journo using a mobile”

It’s true of course that in difficult situations where stories break in the field, or technical difficulties ensue, Television Journalists will occasionally use the last resort of a mobile phone. Likewise, phone footage might be broadcast if there is nothing better. However, television broadcasting in the UK is subject to regulation, and as part of the licensing conditions there are technical standards that need to be met. These are set out in documents such as EBU R118 and the AS-11 standards. This is why real Journalists are supported by well-equipped, highly skilled production crew and why Reporters and reporting teams are run by experienced Directors and Editors.

So, really what Anna is ‘teaching’ is how to pretend to be a “journo” much as a schoolchild might. In fact what she is doing is living out something of a childish fantasy, beloved mainly of marketeers who flog nasty overpriced tech tat to gullible kids off the back of such nonsenses.

Her BBC experience amounts to less than six months on what I believe was a short-term contract. ITV seemingly tolerated her for a while for god-knows-what reason. But legitimate, trained, experienced Journalist? Naaah!

Liked by 4 people

  • My only experience is with print journalism, so her assertions of her credentials have always been suspect.

    And all that is without even needing to go into the “Doing a Pilger” or “Greenwalding” route, where a journalist who has previously done well respected work suddenly goes batshit conspiracy crazy.

    Liked by 4 people

    • @anowlcalledsage – Journalism is what it is regardless of the medium. Print Journalists aren’t expected to be typesetters or printers. Broadcast Journalists aren’t expected to be Engineers! There will, I appreciate, be additional skills peculiar to each medium, but the overarching discipline is the same.

      I’d urge everyone to do their own research from the information widely available. NCTJ is the authorised, regulated, national awarding body – that’s a fact you can check for yourselves. BJTC simply endorses courses run by awarding bodies as being suitable for those with a particular interest in broadcast. – EVERY ONE of those is either a BA, MA, MSc or PGc and EVERY one is offered by a university – which is the awarding body.

      She has a profile on LinkedIn that makes the claim:

      Highbury College
      Degree Name – Broadcast Journalism Diploma
      Field Of Study – BJTC
      Dates attended or expected graduation – 2001 – 2002

      By all means corroborate or disprove what I’ve said here – the more who do so independently, the better.

      But I can find absolutely no evidence of BJTC issuing Diplomas in their own right, or of any college offering any such course. – Her ‘ITV’ story simply doesn’t stand up either. Genuine Graduates in Journalism seem to have to compete quite fiercely to get a start in TV, and this has been the case for a very long time. How did she blag her way in? …TBH I thought she’d been caught out and bombed out years ago. It’s pretty disturbing to see what she’s up to!

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