How the Evolution of Technology Has Affected Reporting Today | A Q&A with Clive Myrie

30 March 2020

Our February 2020 edition of The Knowledge Guild brought together experts who discussed how technology gains our trust online, the enormous potential Voice User Experience and AI can bring to our work and personal lives, and why a hybrid of emerging technologies has led to superhuman abilities.

We caught up with Bafta nominated BBC news journalist, Clive Myrie who has been at the forefront of current affairs, broadcasting and documentary making since the 90's to help us break down the news cycle and find out how the evolution of technology has affected reporting today.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’ve been in this business for about 30 years, which is a long time I suppose, and in that time I have seen a complete revolution in terms of the way we conduct our business. I say ‘we’ as in trained journalists, now with citizen journalism. Now, when I started, there where, at the most people I had on a shoot, was five. That kind of personnel you just don’t have anymore. The cameras are a hell of a lot lighter, you can set up in a few minutes. You don’t need the expense and the expertise. You can be at a story much faster, the deployment is a lot easier, the way that we tell stories as well means it’s got to be a little bit sharper, a little bit more ‘in your face’ for those stories to stand out.

You've been a journalist for a long time, could you share a story about how the evolution of technology has affected your reporting on politics and current affairs?

When I started, you had to get your news from a very large newspaper, or you’d get it from television, or you’d get it from radio. Now you can get it through the internet, you can get it online, you can get it through your phone, I’ve seen all of that happen for the last 30 years, it is incredible, it is wonderful, but it’s frightening as well.

Do any particular moments stick out from your experience of reporting from war zones?

I’ve covered a lot of conflicts from around the world. All warzones stay in the memory because it’s where you tend to see the best and worst of mankind. While part of you is cognisant of how awful people can be, hopefully those stories reaffirm your faith in human nature. People do amazing things in conflict situations.

I hope in a small way, shining a bit of a light on people, on cultures, on situations that most people wouldn’t get a chance to come across, and in doing that, hopefully helping to inform people about what’s going on in the world. That’s all journalists do. Ultimately they just tell stories.

How has technology changed the way we consume the news?

For live news, you still get a large proportion of the population willing to stop what they’re doing, go into the corner, and watch the TV that’s in the corner. That viewership is aging, and a lot more young people are simply not doing that, and that is the revolution that we have try to sort of deal with. They are getting it from YouTube, they are getting it from their phones, they are getting it from iPads and we need to be sort of on top of that and I think that is going to be the way that the industry develops. More people getting their news when they want it, not when ITV or Sky or Channel 4 say you’re going to get it.

What’s next for you?

We’ve got the US election coming up, or course, but who knows what the news holds? It’s a lot calmer now with Brexit over. So things have calmed down a little bit, so yeah, let’s see what happens.

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