01 October 2021

On Friday 24th September, Old Birkonian Rachel Mairs visited the School to deliver the first Nicholls Lecture of the academic year, titled ‘How the Pandemic Changed The News'. This lecture was warmly welcomed by all in the Sixth Form, as it was the first in-person lecture after an 18-month hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions.

By Samuel, Upper Sixth Student.

Rachel began her talk with an explanation of the logistics of broadcast journalism before the pandemic. Her daily work as the Planning Editor and Producer for ITV Granada Reports included liaising with other team members on the running order of the news broadcast. This, of course, changed in March 2020. After many years of standard protocols and procedures, Zoom interviews and working from their living rooms were the new norm. Rachel described the new difficulties they collectively faced. I was particularly intrigued by their efforts to still bring light and humour into their broadcast when the unprecedented times the nation faced brought darkness and isolation.

This lecture has certainly allowed me and my peers to further understand the damaging effects of the pandemic, especially on the teams of people who were tasked with informing us on the developing situation. I would like to extend my thanks to Rachel from the entire Birkenhead School Sixth Form community for this topical and inspiring lecture.