Alumna Webinar


With coverage of the war in Ukraine focusing international attention on the role of the media, Alumnae and International Correspondent Joanna Jolly (1988) shared her top tips on being a journalist with Abbey students this week. Joanna took part in our Aspire Alumnae Webinar Series this week and told students how her interest in writing and travel led her into a career as a BBC foreign correspondent – developing language skills is also important if you want to work internationally, she said.

Joanna’s advice to journalism students is to have direct conversations with people to find out EXACTLY what they care about – and to get different views by speaking to a number of people. “Be tenacious, get your stories into print (school, university or local newspapers) and try radio & TV reporting too”.

“Finding out the facts and letting people know what is going on is a respected profession ….. the war in Ukraine is showing just how important it is to get accurate and clear reporting from on the ground”.

English and Journalism Club teacher Mr Hickman said ‘the writers and editors of The Abbey Correspondent and all the members of Journalism Club found Joanna’s talk inspiring. Whether it was the practical advice about cultivating sources and writing style or larger issues like the future of investigative journalism in our culture, Joanna’s ability to make the connection between The Abbey School and the world of news media is unique. Our students were fortunate and grateful for such a resource.’

UIV student Maria stated ‘it was very interesting to hear Joanna’s views and advice on journalism. I will definitely be attending more of these fantastic events in the future.’

Joanna’s career highlights:

·  English Literature BA (Hons), Birmingham University

·  Teacher, Japan

·  Associated Press (AP)

·  BBC Foreign Correspondent (including India, Indonesia, Nepal, South Africa, Washington DC)

·  Author: Red River Girl

·  Freelance Correspondent / Producer

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