Having breakfast with Justin

Every time when I hear a morning report from the United States on BBC Radio Four, I quickly do the math.

Justin Webb (BBC) 

Five hours earlier over there on the East Coast, so when it’s live I know how much the radio correspondent is probably struggling. Trying to stay awake, trying to get the adrenaline going. I know, because I did it for six years.

So instead of listening this morning to what US Correspondent Justin Webb was saying, I was mainly feeling his drive, his concentration, his search for the right words and his passion on that forsaken hour.

It’s a tough job in the first place, covering American affairs. But especially the time difference with Europe takes its toll. You not only work during the day, but start again at 9 pm, to prepare for the morning shows back home.

Justin Webb moved on from radio to the position of Bureau Chief in Washington. The BBC have a huge office on M Street, of which I was always very jealous. About thirty people, where NOS was outfitted with three and a half correspondents.

Webbs official title is North America Editor.

I like that, because he is multimedia. The Beeb are really persistent on this formulation, something that the NOS is still lacking (yeah, maybe in words, not in deeds).

Webb works for television, radio and internet. For tv he succeeded Matt Frei, he still does very regular radio reports and he blogs like there is no tomorrow.

After all, for a US correspondent there is no tomorrow. You’re always on.

As it should be. A hell of a job, and he talked about it this week in MediaGuardian.


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