Channel 4’s Jon Snow on art and journalism

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Jon Snow with JMU Journalism students Rochelle Beighton, Astra Newton, Matt Ramirez, Jessica Grieveson-Smith, Jessica Jones and Jenny Kirkham. Pic © Roger Sinek

Jon Snow with JMU Journalism students Rochelle Beighton, Astra Newton, Matt Ramirez, Jessica Grieveson-Smith, Jessica Jones and Jenny Kirkham. Pic © Roger Sinek

JMU Journalism students were among those welcomed by veteran ITN broadcaster, Jon Snow, to a conversation with the Tate Collective about a new exhibition in Liverpool, the ‘Art Gym’.

Visibly impressed by the dynamic installation, Mr Snow, Chair of the Tate Members Committee, encouraged visitors to make the most of it while they could, describing it as “the most fun I’ve had with my clothes on since I was born”.

Developing the idea with Turner Prize winners, Assemble, the Collective ‘kidnapped’ the gallery and made a list of demands of what they wanted to do with the space prior to developing the concept of the Art Gym.

Tate Liverpool’s Artistic Director, Francesco Manacorda, said: “The Collective made their ransom demands and we worked with them in order to come to a resolution; now we have the Art Gym.”

The idea behind the gym is to offer visitors of all ages to make a ‘personal training’ programme designed to enhance their creative skills or develop new ones. Instead of kettlebells and treadmills, visitors can enjoy a wide range of classes, workshops and art stations, teaching a range of skills from traditional craft to digital art production until March 31st.

Jon Snow at ITN

1976: joined Independent Television News network

1984 – 86: Washington correspondent

1986 – 89: Diplomatic editor

1989 – present: Channel 4 News main anchor

Speaking at his special guest appearance at Tate Liverpool on Friday, Jon Snow told JMU Journalism: “I would describe it as an experience. A lot of people are put off with the art aspect of, ‘I don’t want to hold a paintbrush and I can’t really draw’, but it is so much more than that.”

The addition to Liverpool’s arts scene was welcomed by those at the event, and the Tate, along with the Collective artists, intend for it to boost an interest in creativity for the millennial generation in the city.

Mr Snow added: “This is the most exuberant, extrovert city in Britain… possibly in the world. This is a noisy place, and this is a noisy experience. It will fit in wonderfully with the city’s culture.”

Having studied here himself, before famously being expelled from the University of Liverpool which eventually awarded him an honorary degree four decades later, Jon had a message for those of us undertaking our journalism degrees.

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow giving advice to journalism students. Pic © JMU Journalism

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow giving advice to journalism students. Pic © JMU Journalism

He told JMU Journalism: “Do everything you can do in the world of online. Play with your pictures, video and blogs. Get your voice out there and you may catch something or see something that nobody else has.”

The 68-year-old believes one of the main issues with journalism is that the industry is evolving so fast, but students should not lose hope as there will always be a demand for it.

He added: “It may not be television or a newspaper, but content is always in demand and intelligent, original thinkers are always being sought after.

“I’d never have known when I began working at Channel 4 News that we would become one of the biggest online news providers in the world. That’s the beauty of the industry… you never know where it will be 10 years from now.”

Mr Snow passed his congratulations on to the graduating journalism students at Liverpool John Moores University, saying: “It’s wonderful you have gotten this far. I wish you all the best in your careers and I can’t wait to encounter you again in the future.”

YouTube: Jon Snow on his career, journalism and voluntary work