Saturday 17 April 2010

Parky: 'Why I feel sorry for young journalists'

Sir Michael Parkinson, who started on a local newspaper when he was 16, has said he feels sorry for young people entering journalism today.
Sir Michael, presenting the National Association of Press Agencies awards in London last night, said: "I look back on 60 years now as a hack with great pleasure and great fondness because it was a very rich and different time for journalists.
"Today I feel sorry for the younger generation, not in a patronising way, but because we all know about how this industry has changed for the worst, with fewer papers and fewer opportunities. We have asked them to be multi-skilled and all those things but we know when they leave their place of learning there isn't a job for them to go to.
"When I first started what you could guarantee was, if you went into an apprenticeship scheme and kept your nose clean and enjoyed it, not only did you have a job, you had a job for life. We had a wonderfully happy time.
"I am now Chancellor of a university and I talk to the students there and there is a difference in philosophy, I think. I joined a newspaper because I thought it would be a glamorous job, I would be like Robert Mitchum with a trilby and a trench coat,  but nowadays when I talk to the students I get a real impression that behind their ambition is an ambition to walk down the stairs of a TV talk show or become famous, to be a celebrity, to sit next to Cheryl Cole.
"It is reflecting society, celebrity culture. I try to tell them that being famous is not a profession. If you chase it, it is going to come apart in your hands. I was lucky enough to become famous at 35 with a talk show. But all that happened is I had a race horse named after me, a rose and a Rhinoceros in Chester Zoo."
Sir Michael said in the end the public would remember him for being "attacked by a bloody Emu". He added: "If that's the kind of fame you want, you can have it, quite frankly, because it's too silly for words"

NAPA award winners were:
Exclusive News/Sports Story (Sponsored by NEWSLINK): Nick Constable, West Coast News
Spec News Story/Sport Story of theYear (Sponsored by CITYIGATE DEWE ROGERSON): Andrew Whelan, Ferrari Press Agency
Feature Story of the Year (Sponsored by DIRECTLINE): Rachel Dale, Cavendish Press
Picture of the Year: (Sponsored by REX): Jonathan Short, London Features International
Picture of the Year (Rest of the world) (Sponsered by TRADECLIPS): David Schultz, Solent News
Sport Picture of the Year: (Sponsored by REX): Andrew Boyers, Action Images
The Rupert Hamer Award (for best young talent) in memory of the Sunday Mirror defence correspondent killed in Afghanistan (Sponsored by SUNDAY MIRROR): Simon Boyle, Mercury Press Agency
Pic of Sir Michael Parkinson : Jon Slattery  


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