Ian Hislop visits Featherstone High, Southall

19 May 2014

Ian Hislop with students from Featherstone High, EalingIf you haven’t stepped into a British state school in a while, you might be forgiven for thinking that phone hacking, the relationship between our media and government and navigating libel cases are not topics of great interest to students.

But it was precisely these topics which students at Featherstone High, Ealing tore into late last week at a Speakers for Schools event given by Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye Magazine.

Students didn’t hold back, having the opportunity to hear from a leading journalist who has seen his title become one of Britain’s foremost current events magazines.

An initial question was launched on the phone hacking saga and the relationship between the government and the media. Ian gave his thoughts on how it was handled and implications for journalists, then taking follow-up questions from two students elected as the interviewers. The presentation flowed quickly with students jostling to ask questions from the floor.

“How did you get into journalism?”

“Why was Ian’s record at winning libel cases so poor?”

“How do you deal with confrontation and those who do not like you?”

“Who was your inspiration?”

“My mother…” came a part of the reply on inspiration, explaining she did not have the opportunity of an education, and so she worked very hard to ensure that Ian had that opportunity.

Ian finished his visit to Featherstone High by presenting resident teacher Mr John Andrews with a Silver Teacher of the Year award, before taking time to speak to students individually.

Many thanks to Mr Ian Hislop for his time and support as a speaker, and all involved at Featherstone High for a great Speakers for Schools event!