Former student Giles Trendle, came into The Henley College last week to speak to students about his career as the Managing Director of Al Jazeera English Channel. Al Jazeera English produces 24/7 news and current affairs programming for a worldwide English speaking TV audience of over 315 million households and mobile content for global digital consumers. The channel has won Peabody and Emmy awards.
In his managerial role, Giles oversees an editorial staff of over 400 people, who are based in several different centres of Doha, London, Washington DC and Kuala Lumpur, as well as in over 70 bureaus around the world. Those journalists produce a range of content including news bulletins, documentaries and talk shows for TV and digital platforms. Giles also liaises with the channel’s international relations team that is involved in communications, marketing and distribution.
Giles joined Al Jazeera in 2004 to work on the Arabic channel's flagship investigative documentary show before moving to Al Jazeera English ahead of its launch in 2006. He began his career in the mid 1980’s as a freelance print journalist based in Lebanon covering that country’s civil war.
First year CMP broadcast journalism student Karolina Kaczorowska, 16, said: “Giles explained to us how he became a journalist and ended up in a very senior role. I really enjoyed the talk because he explained how, although the work done by Al Jazeera journalists could be very dangerous, it matters because it helps give people information that is reliable and has not been twisted in a political way. I was inspired that people were willing put their lives in danger to produce programmes which give audiences an accurate picture of the world around them. It helped me understand the role of journalism in a troubled world.”
Charlie Swadling, 17, added: “I learned about journalism at Al Jazeera from Giles and the problems surrounding working in danger zones. He explained how producing respected, award-winning journalism helps them deal with pressure from governments and other organisations. Listening to someone who had been a student at The Henley College has helped inspire me to go into journalism