Radio 4 in Liverpool for Today show broadcast

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Presenter Justin Webb during the broadcast. Pic © Stephen Rawlinson JMU Journalism

Hundreds of spectators gathered at the Liverpool Student Guild Hall on Thursday as BBC radio presenter, Justin Webb, broadcasted the Radio 4 Today programme live from the city.

Today has been a mainstay of Radio 4 since its inception in 1957 and is the station’s highest-rated show, with around seven million regular listeners each morning.

Topics on Thursday’s show included the apparent rise in sexual assaults on campus and the high numbers of Asian exchange students that are welcomed each year into Liverpool.

Mr Webb told JMU Journalism why the BBC brought the programme to the University of Liverpool, saying: “We go from university to university and what we get is a range of different students from areas all over the country.

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“What I love about Liverpool is the accessibility to resources that students have here. They should see themselves as really fortunate to be able to use this city’s great facilities.”

He added: “It also helps to hear from individual universities that are doing interesting things, and I feel like Liverpool is doing some amazing things.”

Presenter Justin Webb with JMU Journalism students during the broadcast. Pic © JMU Journalism

A key part of Mr Webb’s role as a journalist for the BBC is to remain impartial to any story he reports on. The former BBC Breakfast presenter said that this is becoming a challenge for any journalist working in the industry now.

He said: “It’s a discussion we have all got to have now. How can the BBC and other organisations remain true to the idea of being impartial? It’s a hugely difficult area and journalists are finding it harder to separate fact and opinion.”

Having worked on in Journalism since 1984, Mr Webb told JMU Journalism his highlight working in the business was “interviewing Barack Obama when I was North American Correspondent”.

The Today Programme will continue touring around the country in the upcoming weeks, having previously visited other universities, including Newcastle and Aberystwyth.


About Stephen Rawlinson, JMU Journalism