It’s a great time to be a journalist – that’s what Granada Reports new anchor Gamal Fahnbulleh has told UCLan journalists in the latest Greenbank Lecture series.
Gamal has recently returned to ITV’s regional news programme in the north west where he was a reporter before going on to work for Sky News.
Gamal said: “I think it many ways we are living in the golden age of journalism. When I was starting off, we had the BBC, ITV and later we had Sky, Channel 4 and 5 News.
“But now we have the internet and it has been revolutionary. You can now cover a local story and it is seen all around the world.”
Gamal, who was born in Sierra Leone and moved to England when he was three, graduated in history and politics in Manchester before being selected for the ITV news bursary in 2005.
He said: “I wanted to have that ability to be able to tell stories on behalf of people that may not necessarily have the capacity to do that for themselves.”
Among the highlights of his career was his time embedded with the British Army in Afghanistan in 2010 when he said he enjoyed telling the stories of the men and women in the First Battalion, the Duke of Lancaster’s regiment.
One of the toughest times to report for him was Brexit, when journalists were constantly accused by both sides of being biased.
When asked what advice he would give his younger self, the journalist said that he would try and relax a bit more.
Gamal said: “You don’t have to be the foreign correspondent next week or reporting in Iraq tomorrow, that will come in time.
“Enjoy the process, take your time and enjoy it. You want to make sure that you are continuing to build on your skills and your abilities.
“You want to be a sponge and absorb everything you can, so come five or 10 years down the line you are absolutely ready and everybody in the newsroom is like, wow, that was great storytelling.”
Gamal can be seen weekday nights on ITV Granada Reports at 6pm.