Coventry conversation is well known and acclaimed and as journalism students we are required to engage in it. Although some students fine it boring, for me it’s the speakers or the topic of the afternoon that drew me to attend.
Some topics turned out to be deceptive because although it sounded interesting it’s nothing close to my expectations. Some topics on the other hand delivered exactly what it outlined and I was always glad I attended if it turned out that way.
My interest to listen to Andy Kershaw was because he was in our morning lecture. Speaking to us in the morning was a taster of what to expect in the afternoon. I knew he was a Radio 3 DJ but l seldomly listened to Radio 3 and to him for that matter. But hearing him speak in person, I picked up on the passion and enthusiasm with how he spoke about his life stories and I knew the conversation that afternoon would be worth attending.
The filled lecture hall didn’t really come as a surprise as Andy did have a voice that caught your attention. Although I arrived on time, the seats were filling up fast but I secured myself a place. The passion with which he approached his subject showed that this man had truly led a very picturesque life. I was glued to his every word as he told his story about his visits to Haiti, North Korea and his coverage on the Rwandan genocide.
The stories served as a deep inspiration and encouragement for me. Although I’m gradually finding my niche, it really got me thinking which aspect of journalism I want to focus on. I was so motivated by his every word that it led me to write an article for the Buzz newsletter and it was a joy when it was published.
Although he never graduated from the University of Leeds, he made something substantial with his life. However it has often brought him criticism as some people still refuse to see him as a proper journalist. For me this served as a reminder that, there would always be people who would tell you what you can’t do but it’s for you to believe in your abilities and pursue your dreams.
Hearing Andy say in his difficult times, the only people whose opinion mattered to him were his children. For me it was also a further reminder that, sometimes you don’t need everyone to sing your praises. Rather if those closest to you believe in you, that alone was a motivation.
I think he considers himself very lucky because he made good use of the opportunities that came his way. The theme was clear for me was that of taking chances and that was my highlight for this Coventry conversation.