How has being a political reporter influenced me?

So far in my journalism career, I’ve interviewed a number of political candidates, politicians and a leader of a political party. I’ve interviewed Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, Jude Kirton Darling – a Labour MEP for the North East and most recently (today in fact), I interviewed Jonathan Arnott, a UKIP MEP for the North East.

To say it has opened my eyes to the political landscape may be an understatement, but none the less, it has definitely influenced me. No, not to join a political party, but to think about my own political beliefs as I wanted to do as one of my political resolutions this year.

I’m not going to shout my political beliefs from the rooftops because quite frankly I’m still deciding where I sit on some issues. Though, I best make my mind up quickly because of the local and EU wide elections.

Alas, doing all of this political reporting has made me realise that as a professional, I don’t want to have a biased view. Having spoken to people from nearly every main political party in the UK, I’ve come to realise that it’s best to remain impartial but that it’s good to challenge your personal beliefs.

For example, with regards to the EU, right now I want to stay in, but I spoke to someone today, who wanted to leave the EU. I remained impartial and listened and it was an interesting conversation. I didn’t hold judgement and as a result the conversation felt more natural.

So, there’s three ways being a political reporter has influenced me, but how else has it influenced me?

Well, many of you may know that politics is one of my passions – obviously, so naturally I want to put my voice across someday within Parliament, be that through lobbying or by being an MP myself. Who knows? It has spurred my passion to have my voice heard within the political arena.

But, on the other side of the coin, it has also influenced me by making me admire politicians even more, despite their belief system. We all have different views, but the majority of the time we grin and bear it, right? They put our voices into parliament and we should accept that. It may seem naive, but that’s why we elected the people we did when we voted, because we thought that they would give us a voice and they, more importantly perhaps, aligned with our own beliefs about the world around us.

In a short space of time, through interviewing politicians and political activists, I’ve come to learn a lot – about myself, about others and about society. Remain balanced and you’ll be fine. It’s okay to sit on the fence – for now at least!


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