At a time when many observers fear decisions on broadcasting matters, from the size (or existence) of the BBC licence fee to the possible privatisation of Channel 4, will be politically motivated, Ofcom Chief Executive Melanie Dawes was keen to stress her organisation’s independence – regardless of who is finally appointed Chair of the regulator or who had just been made culture secretary.
The Ofcom Chief Executive in conversation with journalist Clive Myrie about the future of public service broadcasting and how to respond to the rapidly changing media landscape.
“From a young age, seeing Sir Trevor McDonald on the TV who looked like me and spoke a bit like me, I thought, ‘if he can do it and he’s black, maybe I could do it too,’” he explains.
Myrie’s heart was set on a career in journalism but that he had to have a “good degree” to fall back on for his parents.
“My parents are first generation immigrants from Jamaica, they didn’t travel 6,000 miles for me to be a bum,” he laughs.
After completing a law degree, Myrie chose to pursue his childhood dream and earned a coveted place on the BBC journalism training course.
A double winner at this year’s RTS Television Journalism Awards, Myrie works as a news journalist and has been a regular presenter of the BBC News at Six and Ten since 2010. Prior to this, Myrie worked as a BBC correspondent across the globe, reporting from Asia, Africa, Washington and Brussels.
Myrie will be taking over from fellow BBC journalist John Humphrys, whose last episode will air in April.
Journalist and presenter, BBC News
In an era of widespread concern about fake news, trusted and experienced correspondents such as the BBC’s award-winning Clive Myrie are more important than ever.
The importance of role models
“I’m a Northerner (Myrie was brought up in Bolton) and didn’t come from a media family. I was a second generation immigrant. (My parents) didn’t want me to become a journalist.
"They wanted me to be a lawyer or a dentist, a respectable middle-class job for their first-born child born in the United Kingdom.
"Around the age of nine I had a paper round, I read the products that I was lobbing over the garden fences and as a result of that got interested in the world.