medianet meets: Lynda Davies, BBC Radio

In the first in our new series getting to know Christians working in the media, we interview Lynda Davies, who’s a trustee of our very own Church & Media Network, and senior digital producer – BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, 6 Music and Asian Network…

How did you get into the media?

I did an internship with CARE, where I spent three days a week at Blue Peter answering letters from viewers and sending out badges, with every Friday spent at CARE learning about theology and politics. From there I got several short-term contracts working as a runner on Children’s TV programmes and moved in to digital about nine years ago. I’ve been lucky enough to work in several areas of the BBC – from Strictly Come Dancing to the Natural History Unit to Glastonbury.

What’s an average week like for you?

It really depends on what is going on with the radio stations. An average week contains a lot of meetings and emails, updating websites, making sure the team are happy and being across our social media output. We also publish several articles, audio clips and videos each week around big name guests and topical news stories. It gets really busy when we are running events and need to plan digital coverage – such as photos, social media, live streams and filming – for things like Radio 2 In Concert, 6 Music T-Shirt Day or Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

Complete this sentence.My day starts with…

… very little breakfast and a walk up Old Bond Street listening to the Pray-As –You-Go podcast.

If I ruled the world, I would…

… have a panic attack.

What’s one thing you wish the Church knew about the media?

That it’s not the enemy.

If you didn’t work in the media, what would you do?

I’d like to do something similar in the charity sector, or run a coffee shop, or be a social worker, or maybe backing vocals for Taylor Swift.

Which three media personalities – living or dead – would you love to have as dinner party guests?

Victoria Wood and Adam Buxton for conversation and comedy, Joni Mitchell for the music.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.

Who mentors you?

I’m lucky enough to have had lots of people to turn to for advice and guidance. At the moment I’ve got two mentors– my ‘official’ mentor is an editor in a different part of the BBC, and then an ‘unofficial’ mentor who works in a similar environment to me but at a higher level. I find it enormously helpful to be able to talk through tricky situations and decisions with them.

What advice would you give to people who want to break into the media?

Do as much work experience as possible and try and think about how you can skill yourself up and make a name for yourself. Are you great at Photoshop? Can you edit podcasts? Do you have a YouTube channel? All these things that prove initiative and a willingness to learn will stand you in very good stead.

What’s the most difficult work situation you’ve faced as a Christian?

I could say something around a content decision – Halloween for example –  but in reality it’s behaving gracefully when you are really frustrated, realising that your colleagues are fearfully and wonderfully made, and not making work your idol. Which can sometimes be tricky when you spend more time there than you do your home.

How can we pray for you?

To be kind in stressful situations and show love for my colleagues in the way I speak and act. For the ability to generate greater understanding between the church and the media and the media and the church.