SHE'S been a familiar face in the living rooms of households across Greater Manchester for decades and now Granada Reports presenter Lucy Meacock has been recognised with an honorary degree from the University of Salford.
Lucy Meacock received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts at The Lowry on 18 July in recognition of her services to regional news broadcasting.
Lucy, who recently celebrated 30 years at ITV regional news programme Granada Reports, was raised in Chester and credits landing her first job at the Chester Chronical as being pivotal to mastering the tools of her trade.
Her time at Granada has led her to co-present alongside legendary figures such as Bob Greaves, Tony Wilson and, more recently, Tony Morris.
She has presented BAFTA-winning programmes on Hillsborough and an investigation into the Cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay and in 2001 won two Royal Television Society awards for the Manchester Bomb Programme and Organ Retention Scandal Debate.
Before working at ITV Granada, Lucy spent two years in her mid-twenties working for the BBC in a live news presenting job. Her brave interviewing technique soon caught the eye of the team at Granada Reports.
She said: “They liked the fact I was brave and would ask difficult, challenging questions when interviewing cabinet ministers. They wanted someone like that working for ITV in the North and I managed to talk myself into a job.”
As a figurehead of regional television, Lucy forged a successful career in broadcasting without making the permeant switch to London. “With more and more media organisations moving to the North of England, I would like to see people from here or who study here get the jobs that are available. Whether they come into the industry via the University of Salford or other avenues, there are a lot of people here who have a lot to offer.”
The University of Salford is the only university to have a campus at MediaCityUK, situated just next door to where Lucy works at ITV. As an international media hub, it has industry-standard facilities that offers a professional environment for students to learn.
When asked what advice she’d give to neighbouring media students, Lucy said: “Resilience is key – over the years I’ve learned not to take criticism to heart but to bounce back from it. In any job, I’d always say focus on what you’re doing and do it so well that eventually people sit up and notice you. It’s amazing to think that among the students graduating with me today there could be the next amazing journalist who makes a real difference
What an honour it is for me to get this, it’s great for the whole team.”
Lucy thanked the University of Salford for the honour and in particular her team at Granada Reports who has supported her over the years.
Beth Hewitt, Director of Broadcast Media at the University of Salford, said: “For over 30 years Lucy Meacock has been at the forefront of news in the North West. Contributing greatly to investigative journalism across the region, Lucy is a strong and much respected female voice in broadcasting and I am delighted to see her honoured by the University of Salford.
“She has been a constant source of inspiration for young people and Lucy’s impact on the industry is as impressive as it is trailblazing. Lucy is dedicated to championing new talent within the media industry and supporting and encouraging those students and graduates who are embarking on broadcast journalism and media careers.”