Rural Business Focus Podcast

Understanding the Media with Jez Fredenburgh and Anna Jones

Jez Fredenburgh has written for BBC Future, National Geographic, Farmers Guardian and Farmers Weekly, among others. She was Deputy Business Editor at Farmers Weekly for 2 years and she recently produced and hosted the main interview on Farmers Guardian’s weekly podcast, Over the Farm Gate. 

You can find here

Anna Jones has worked as a journalist and programme maker across a range of different media, including 15 years at the BBC, working on shows such as Countryfile, Farming Today and Costing the Earth. She has also produced documentaries for the BBC World Service and written articles and opinion pieces for a range of publications including The Guardian, Farmers Guardian, Farmers Weekly, Pig World and Farm Business. In 2018 she founded Just Farmers, which is a communications project for British agriculture, working to build confidence among farmers and growers about talking to the media, while also helping journalists and programme makers to find independent authentic voices at the grassroots of farming. 

Anna’s book, Divide: The Relationship Crisis Between Town and Country is available is all good book shops or on amazon. 

You can find her at

Anna’s shout out was for Parc Carreg . 


01:04 Ben introduces the show.

03:11 Anna and Jez come in. 

03:30 Anna and Jez give more information about themselves ‘ ‘why journalism?’

03:45 Anna knew what she wanted to do from the age of 12. 

06:16 Jez answers the question ‘why journalism’? for her. 

10:30 A story that Anna is proud of – series produced and presented for the BBC World Service in 2018/2019. 

11:49 A story that Jez is proud of – a story on coffee in Colombia.

13:55 Understanding context.

15:00 Challenging as well as helping your interviewee feel comfortable. 

15:24 Anna discusses her Nuffield and how agriculture is covered in the mainstream media. 

16:32 Just Farmers

18:00 Jez uses Just Farmers.

19:40 The challenges that journalists are under. 

22:08 The pressures as a programme maker. 

25:10 How do you decide what makes a good story? 

28:10 The challenge of covering the same stories each year and every year, using examples from Countryfile. 

30:10 Jez discusses explainers and guides and how tos, especially in the trade press. 

31:30 How can listeners prepare themselves for when a journalist approaches them?

32:29 Would man on bus find this interesting?

33:20 The media does not have an agenda. The media does a lot of good. 

35:22 Jez explains how the media is essential. Tips for dealing with journalists. 

37:17 Jez explains how she remains focussed on her goals. 

39:08 Anna claims that she ‘just bumbles along’. 

42:00 Jez and Anna’s promotions. 



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