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RTÉ News Editor Hilary McGouran Talks To Journalism Students

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“Journalism has come a long way from having enough 50p pieces for the payphone”, that is according to Hilary McGouran, Managing Editor of RTÉ Television News.

Ms McGouran came to UL on Wednesday 11th March to give a lecture on the skills that young journalists require to make it in broadcasting.

McGouran, the first woman managing editor in RTÉ, believes that journalism is changing and she encouraged students to “get tech savvy.”

“Technology will be part of what you do,” said McGouran. She feels that there is “a lot expected of journalists” nowadays.

McGouran advised students to be able to take photos and videos on their phones, proof copy, write headlines and even edit their own footage.

“Sub editors no longer exist, the journalist does it all,” she added.

According to Ms McGouran: “turning on the news no longer exists in the way it used to,” because it is so readily available online.

McGouran believes that this is a thrilling time for student journalists.

“It’s exciting, you’re at the cusp of something new,” Ms McGouran said.

Even though things are changing “Irish people love news,” she laughed.

We are one of the only countries who give out news at 9pm, usually a peak time for documentaries.

However, Ms McGouran warned young Journalists that “the fundamentals of journalism shouldn’t change.”

“It’s about telling stories and stories that are engaging,” she added.

Students shouldn’t overlook the basics; spelling and grammar are really important and understanding libel is a must.

She also advised the students how to behave online.

“Use twitter as a tool, not to tell us what you had for dinner, employers do look,” she said.

Ms McGouran is head of all news output in RTÉ and is also responsible for news programmes such as Nationwide, News2Day and The Week in Politics.

Ms McGouran’s lecture was part of an ongoing seminar ran by the Journalism department titled ‘Current Issues in Irish Media’.

Ms. McGouran concluded by thanking Orla Walsh, a Journalism and New Media graduate, who fronted RTE’s children’s news programme News2Day, for the last two years.

News2Day are currently looking for a new presenter and encouraged all Journalism students in UL to apply for the job.

By Sally Gorman

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