Renowned BBC Correspondent Urges Students To Tell The Story With Empathy

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  • Published: July 14, 2016
Students from Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), a partner university of Qatar Foundation (QF) were recently urged to make the world a better place by fulfilling their potential.
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“Whether you choose to pursue journalism, marketing, or communications, when you tell a story, tell it well,” said Lyse Doucet, Chief International Correspondent at the BBC, as she addressed the graduating class of 2016 at NU-Q.

She continued: “Tell a story with passion; tell it with empathy; tell it with all the skills you have learned here at NU-Q. Be bold, be brilliant, be the best that you can be, and the better you become, the better the world will be.”

Doucet is a Canadian journalist, who also presents on BBC World Service radio, BBC World News television, BBC Radio 4, and the BBC News in the United Kingdom. Having traveled the world covering some of the significant events in modern history, she has played a leading role in the BBC’s coverage of major events in the region. Doucet has also spent many years working in the Middle East including Afghanistan, Iran, and Jordan.

A true model of inspiration in the area of journalism and media, Doucet was the commencement speaker at NU-Q’s 5th graduation ceremony. She addressed the young graduates who have been trained to be the next generation of leaders in journalism, media, and communications.

Referring to some real-world issues faced around the globe, Doucet encouraged the students to appreciate their circumstances, and to make the best of the opportunities they were presented with. “Today, we live in the best of times, and the worst of times,” she said.

“As a society we are more educated and more connected than ever – we are able to dream, and dream big,” she pointed out, encouraging the young graduates to appreciate their opportunities and to use them to the fullest, despite the challenges of the times. She added: “Many children around the world are having their dreams shattered, but they all share the same dream as you – to study, and to achieve something with their lives. These are the times that bring out the best in us, and the worst in us. Unlike these young people, you have been given a chance.”

Speaking to QF Telegraph, Doucet expressed her appreciation of the excellence of the QF partner universities and the entities of QF, saying: “The students here have the best of the facilities available – the state-of the-art equipment and the greatest teachers. Qatar as a nation is ambitious, and you can see that well reflected right across Education City, be it the researchers, the staff, or the students. It is a place with a lot of drive and enthusiasm.”

Doucet also commented on the linguistic and cultural diversity that exists within Education City. She explained how such rich pluralism can broaden people’s thinking, and referred to her own multicultural background, and how it helped her celebrate the differences and distinctiveness in the various cultures she encountered.

She added: “The diversity that exists here is a celebration of the fact that our world is much smaller than we think. This kind of atmosphere offers an educational experience by itself. Today, what we really need is to get a better understanding of the world around us, and to get away from the thinking of ‘us’ and ‘them’.

“The less we look at each other as ‘other’, the more we can work with each other towards the larger challenges of our times. With about 30 different nationalities being represented in the larger student body of Education City, we have so many students who will be graduating with a broader perspective on people who are different from them. This is a great start and such initiatives need to be multiplied.”