I think it takes a thorough understanding and knowledge of current affairs and news – and, in TV journalism, an understanding of what makes good television as well – and the different TV techniques you can use to tell a story.
It’s helpful to know the general journalism landscape and what’s going on in new media, 24-hour news channels, and the various sources of news, such as newspapers, and websites.
That’s on top of basic journalism training, a nose and an eye for a story, essential skills such as legal knowledge, and an aspiration to accuracy, impartiality and search for the truth.
It’s always good if people have a bit of fire in their belly – a desire to get out there and tell the stories, challenge the authorities and not be intimidated by powerful interests.
In an interviewee I would look for evidence of a long-term interest in journalism, good general knowledge, and a good attitude.
It’s really important that the people you employ can do the job with a fired-up, can-do, enthusiastic attitude, and that they are going to fit into the team well.
Obviously, all the journalistic skills are crucial, but most of the people that we actually interview have those kinds of skills, or we can teach them the ones they don’t have. But you can’t teach a great attitude.
Personally, I don’t look for people who have done journalism degrees or media studies, because I sometimes think that other degrees are more valuable in other ways.