Senior Broadcast Journalist at BBC News Website
Class of ‘90
As a Senior Broadcast Journalist with the BBC News website, Alix Kroeger’s job is to determine what the news is. She says, “I’m one of the team of journalists writing news stories for the website, editing, deciding what to display on the page, how to display it, what angle to lead on, when to turn a story on a particular development, writing breaking news, cutting the pictures, selecting the best video from BBC TV output. In the past few months it’s been a lot of Gaza, it’s been Ukraine, it’s been ISIS in Iraq—whatever comes up. It changes from day to day, which is what I like about it.”
Alix Kroeger has been a working journalist since 1994, working first in BBC local radio as a researcher and reporter and then moving to BBC World TV as a junior producer. She has lived and worked in the Balkans, Sarajevo and Prague as a freelance reporter. In 2008 she worked on the launch of BBC Persian TV, producing programs in Farsi and Dari for audiences in Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan and helping the fledgling crew there develop TV skills.
When asked about the challenges she faces as a journalist, she says “there is so much propaganda, you know; you really have to check your sources. A lot of people have an axe to grind so you have to be careful. Sometimes you fall into the traps, and sometimes you avoid them. Another challenge is explaining really complex stories, getting that balance between what’s happened now and what’s happened in the last 30 years that makes sense of what’s happening now—and explaining it in an accessible way. Assumed knowledge defeats the reader. It’s really hard, especially for young people. Young audiences want to understand the news. Yes, they want the celebrity stories, but they also want to read the more serious stories; they just feel they aren’t equipped to understand them. They click on news that interests them, and the article is full of baffling language so they just click away on some article about Kim Kardashian. And I don’t blame them.”
Reflecting on her time at Bishop’s she says, “Bishop’s is so small. I got to do lots of things. I sang a solo with the choir, I was involved in the model parliament, I worked at the radio station and edited the newspaper. It was a great place for me.” When Alix isn’t working, she sings in a local choir, volunteers in a community garden project that provides environmental education for inner city children, bikes to work and enjoys cooking. She says, “I also read a lot of fiction, and about all the places and things I’m interested in—the Balkans, the Middle East, Afghanistan and urbanism.”