International journalist returns to Hampton

Stephen Farrell (OH) is a renowned writer and video journalist for The New York Times who specialises in coverage of the Middle East.

Stephen spoke to today’s Hamptonians about his career path, explaining that he initially worked as a freelance journalist on the Surrey Comet free of charge to build up a cuttings-portfolio to enable him to apply for jobs. The journalist who now works for The New York Times has been a correspondent in Iraq, the Middle East and South Asia as well as working for the The Times and the Today newspaper.

Stephen spoke to a group of budding young Hampton journalists from across the year groups discussing different approaches to getting a foothold in what is notoriously difficult profession to enter. He advised the boys to focus on their own areas of expertise such as chess, sports or photography, or to learn to be an expert in a chosen field which allows them to stand out from the crowd. He also explainedaudience that the world of journalism is rapidly changing and that they need to be prepared to adapt quickly. Proficiency in all aspects of digitial media; sound, video and copy, was also a requirement of today’s news reporters.

Stephen encouraged the aspiring journalists at Hampton to pursue their ambition, revealing that as far as he is concerned it is one of the best jobs in the world:

To be able to write history, to be there at that era-defining moment, to see it and to know it, is powerfully rewarding.