Storytelling​ through storytelling: Hugh Sykes visits the #Leicester50StoryFest

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By Sophie Sandberg

BBC reporter and foreign correspondent Hugh Sykes came to the #Leicester50StoryFest to explain how to tell stories through sound.

Mr Sykes, who won the Gold and Silver Sony Radio Academy’s Journalist of the Year award in 2004 and 2005, started out as a TV reporter and transitioned into radio where he is a foreign correspondent travelling around the world for the BBC.

“I started properly as a TV reporter but the joy of radio is the people’s willingness to participate and the simplicity of the sound,” said the 52-year-old.

“The simplicity is the best, radio is much simpler but TV has a much bigger audience.”

He came to #Leicester50StoryFest to celebrate 50 years of BBC Leicester and to share his stories about his time covering the Iraq war and the 2015 terror attack in Tunisia.

There, listening to Mr Sykes’ stories, was everyone from journalism students, media production students, officials from BBC Leicester and the public.

This was an event which is close to Mr Sykes’ heart. He said: “It makes me feel old that the radio station is turning 50 but it is a great step for national radio and local news.

“Quite often reporters are considered to be quite intrusive. However, for being intrusive, we (radio reporters) are often welcomed by the public and a lot of people are willing to talk to us a neutral force in a crisis.”

His best advice to people and students who want to pursue a career in the competitive world of journalism was: “Get real journalistic experience as fast as you can. If you get the opportunity and you have the drive, then do it.”

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