This month myself and some of my fellow students, as part of an event by my school, were able to attend a talk by BBC presenter and journalist Justin Webb. Webb is a journalist who once was the BBC’s North America editor during the US election of 2008. Today he presents the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. However, Webb didn’t just come to talk about his experience as a journalist, he came to talk to us about his recently released book ‘The Gift of a Radio.’ Through this book Webb claimed that he wanted to ‘show how different life was in the 1970s compared to today,’ the book focuses on Webb’s experience as a child in the 1970s and how those experiences moulded him into the person he is today. 
I found the discussion and various conversation points in Webb’s talk interesting as he explored the theme of class which he believed to be much more important and relevant when he grew up than it is now. Webb notes how class was important to people of the age of his mother, he finds a degree of humour in the fact that she looked down on people she believed ‘common’ yet their own financial situation was not particularly extraordinary. Webb does however acknowledge that class still is an important part in today’s society just not as obvious and noted upon. 
As someone interested in journalism in was very interesting to hear both Webb’s experience as a journalist and his thoughts on the industry as a whole. He talked to us about the relationship he has with the BBC and his journey as the America editor for them. As you might assume, Webb is an admirer of America and American culture and tries both in this talk and in his Radio 4 programme on anti-Americanism to act as a kind of ambassador of ideals from America to the UK. On the subject of journalism Webb makes the point that you really have to have something to say and a passion for giving your opinion. 
Overall, I really enjoyed this talk. His storied experience as a journalist gives great weight to all of his perspectives and opinions. Regardless of whether you agree with his points his experience does add authority to his journalistic voice. As I enjoyed this talk, I was enthusiastic in buying Webb’s book which I very much look forward to reading!