My job: Alex Thomson

How did you get where you are today?

Oxford University; postgraduate journalism at Cardiff; researcher on Wales Today; BBC News trainee; reporter on Spotlight, for BBC Northern Ireland, and then along came Channel 4 News.

What are your main tasks?

Depends on whether I’m presenting or reporting from in-house or from around the world. There’s really no pattern. It all involves a lot of argument – sorry, I?mean debate – about the stories of the day, and a great deal of internet/phone/text/more arguing, and a fair amount of filming in and out of studio.

It can be anything from presenting a two-minute newsflash in the suit, to working up an investigation over many months, to putting the flak vest back on for war coverage. There’s no routine – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What are the most important things to know in your job?

That if you’re lucky, and given the right chances, you can genuinely change things that need changing.

What single piece of advice would you give someone who wanted to do what you do?

You are totally reliant upon people who earn far less than you and know far more than you about the technology that makes your job possible; carry the tripod and get the teas in.

What’s your key to success?

For me, avoiding becoming too much of a specialist…

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