I celebrated 21 years at the BBC this week, an anniversary which was marked by an interesting, if less than subtle question from one of my students -
"Is journalism a dying art?"
I've always encouraged them to ask whatever they want, but sometimes, honestly!
Anyway, in fairness, she's facing an important interview at a journalism college where that's a favourite question, so we had to explore it.
My answer was a resounding no. When people talk about the death of the media, or books, because of the internet, what they're actually talking about is evolution.
On the subject of which, since it's an anniversary week, here's a me in TV action from a few years ago -
(Wish I still had that much hair.)
Anyway, when radio came along and started to run news bulletins, newspaper editors said it would be the death of the press.
When TV came along, radio and newspaper editors all said it would be the death of them.
Now we've got this new fangled internet thing, and the same dire death prophecies are doing the rounds.
Just like ebooks were going to be the death of publishing.
Well, happily it's all nonsense.
What's happened is rearrangement and readjustment. The product remains the same. It's just the way of delivering it is changing.
Whether you're writing books, short stories, or news, fiction or non fiction, it's all about telling stories.
And that's a human art - the ability to understand people and what drives them, and to set it out in an interesting and entertaining way.
Not much in this extraordinary universe is immortal. But I'm very proud to have been working for 21 years in a wonderful art that is.
And I hope I can eke out a few more years in it, too.