Kay Burley: It still matters to be first

Being first with the news is still something for journalists to strive for, even in today’s media-saturated world, according to Kay Burley.

Whether to push yourself, or just to be able to say you’re ‘first with the news’, the Sky News presenter said being the first to break a story is still important.

Speaking last night at a Q&A session at London offices of PR agency Weber Shandwick in London she added that the ascendence of social media hadn’t changed this.

Burley, the UK’s longest-serving national newsreader, expressed her support for the citizen journalism made possible by advances in social media and camera-equipped mobile phones.

Interviewed by Weber Shandwick’s UK & EMEA CEO Colin Byrne, she revealed one of her favourite pastimes to be “trolling the trolls” on Twitter, though that won’t surprise anyone with even a passing familiarity with her feed on the social network.

The event also provided an inside glimpse of covering world events from as 9/11, when Sky had been moments away from cutting to the sports desk after the first plane hit (when early reports said it was ‘just’ a light aircraft) and the team decided to stick with the story to see how it developed.

In a nod to the PR agency venue there was also discussion of the ‘prerecord’ vs the live television interview. Burley held up Nick Clegg’s 2010 election debate performance to prove the advantages of the live event and cautioned that prerecords can easily be edited.

She also took issue with print journalists continually focusing on how old she was, joking how she’d threatened The Sun‘s managing editor should his paper keep putting her age in the second paragraph of every story (covered, with no trace of irony, as the story lead here).


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