The most listened to voice of Ireland visits Ballyfermot College of Further Education for launch day, to be interviewed on stage by Laura Berry .
Being such a big household name for many years as the anchorman on the RTÉ Six One News for more than 20 years, Bryan Dobson is our national treasure and I got the chance to catch up and see how the main man got to be such a big name in the industry.
As a youngster in secondary school, he had his heart set on entering the world of journalism telling me “there was just something about it” that drew him in and he knew once his mind was made up that was the career path he was walking down, no matter how long it took. Having no family background in media but it was in transition year that the idea of a media career crystalised for him.
Back then there was only one course in Ireland that offered journalism to students. Bryan applied for it in his leaving cert year but the requirements to enter this was two honours in the leaving cert one had to be in English. Unbeknownst to me Bryan actually failed to get the honour in English when he sat his exams having the determination that this was what he wanted, he sat the exam again, and again he failed to meet the criteria, meaning he wasn’t going to get into the course.
Route two was now the way to go “but in the same college, The College of Commerce in Rathmines, there was also a course in media and communications so I applied for that, you didn't need honours in English for that”. Now with his college place accepted it was up to Bryan to make it a success. Bryan actually found that doing this course may have made it better for him as he learned many more skills than he would have if he had gotten his first choice placement.
Being in the media industry for many years there have been many changes over his times. With the likes of social media and the internet making the world of journalism so different. The one that sticks out for Bryan is the trust in people of news readers. When he began his career “the confidence people had when I was drawing up the news to be telling you the truth or at least part of the truth I think that has been eroded”.
For us, young students looking to make our break into such a closed off industry Bryan thinks that perseverance in the real key trait that we must have. The main thing that “disturbs me about the career path for younger journalists is developed, there is a lot of unpaid internships” these are fine to help you get your foot in a door but you can’t make a living out of unpaid work forever. It is a hard career to break into and unless you have the ability to juggle unpaid internships along with other jobs or a family who can help you though then perseverance and not giving up on yourself is key.
Being on our television screens for over 20 years Bryan decided a change was needed in his career. Leaving the RTÉ television studio he entered the Morning Ireland radio studio, where he has been for just over a year now. His listeners are constantly growing but the change in schedule is massive.
Going from T.V to radio is a lot more different than Bryan expected “at four o’clock in the morning when the alarm goes I think was I crazy” and in the terms of news, it is a much busier business with more interviews to do and less time to do them.