10 questions with… Jessica North Head of News at That’s TV

by Cameron Ward

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

GET TO KNOW THE UK HEAD OF THAT’S TV AS SHE SPEAKS TO OUR SCOTTISH PR AGENCY

PR photography of 10 questions... Jessica North, Head of News at That's TV with Scottish PR agency Holyrood PR

 

That’s TV is the home of classic television broadcasting on Freeview channel 7/8 in 20 metro regions and surrounding areas across the UK including 5 in Scotland and 1 in South Wales.

We took a moment to catch up with Jess, to find out a bit more about what drives and interests her – and why her own inspiration, as well as her advice for the next generation, both hail from close to home.

Q – What is your job, and what does it entail? 

A – I am Head of News for That’s TV. I manage what is now a small team of video journalists and produced news content for 20 news channels across the UK. I also present our news show and report in Scotland and the South of England.


Q – What is your source of inspiration?

A – Novels, documentaries, podcasts, newspapers, magazines, blogs, Instagram accounts. Anything that gives me access to other peoples stories.


Q – What is your favourite social channel and why – and who do you recommend following?

A – My favourite channel is Instagram. The antithesis to my day to day! Lostinhistory pics is a brilliant account. They feature old pictures with a story. For example there was recently a photo of a Mum in a park in 1969: She is crocheting and her baby is caged under a park bin.


Q – What are the challenges of running a newsroom?

A – Understanding a patch that isn’t mine is a really important part of my job, but it’s the hardest and the most time consuming aspect. All of my journalists have their own areas to cover but they also need my help on occasion and I always have to review work. This means I need to get to know town history, who their MPs are, where they stand on national issues and most importantly know where to look when I need questions answered. It’s not too bad when it’s 2 or 3 stations but when its 20 it gets harder.

 

PR photography of Head of News at That's TV, Jessica North interviewing subject as she discusses running a newsroom in 10 questions with Scottish PR agency Holyrood PR

 

Q – What is your current boxset/book/film obsession?

A – I have just finished Frankenstein and its become one of my favourite novels of all time. Among other things it has reminded me to read things first hand. I was familiar with the story but only from cartoons and old movies so it was fascinating to understand why it has been such an inspirational story.


Q – What is your biggest frustration in the world of work?

A – Hindsight. Of course there is only so much you can do with the information you have at the time, but I work to daily deadlines on a very full schedule and I make a lot of quick decisions that effect every aspect of my work. On occasion I wonder what would have happened if I did something differently.


Q – What is your definition of success?

A – Work life balance. I try to be as balanced as possible within my working week. I love my work and always will but I know that I am at my best when I have happy friends, a supportive family and time for my hobbies.


Q – What is your favourite news story?

A – Peter Krykant and Scotland’s first drug consumption room.


Q – What is your top trait you look for in a colleague/supplier?

A – An understanding of what News is. I am a firm believer that you can find a story in almost anything but it helps if a supplier can work with this. Pitching a story that is exclusively PR is never of any use to me.


Q – What is your number one piece of advice to the next generation entering the workforce?

A – Play the long game and don’t be married to your ideas. This applies to your ideas of who you are and what career path you want.


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    Cameron Ward

    Account Executive, Cameron Ward, is a part of the award-winning PR agency, Holyrood PR - based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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