Next 30: Steffan Powell

Steffan Powell, 29, is a Senior Broadcast Journalist at Newsbeat BBC Radio 1, from Amman Valley, based in London

To mark three decades of the IWA’s role in making Wales better, we decided to look forward to ‘the next thirty years’ by introducing some of the people who will be shaping ‘the Welsh agenda’ as the future unfolds. We have teamed up with PricewaterhouseCoopers and their #GreatWales campaign, which celebrates the ideas and people who contribute to the Wales of the future.


Steffan Powell, 29, is a Senior Broadcast Journalist at Newsbeat BBC Radio 1

from Amman Valley, based in London

Working for Newsbeat on Radio 1 means every day is different. I could be reporting on a major news event, interviewing the Prime Minister or talking to someone with a heartbreaking but important story to share. Sometimes it’s making a visual documentary for the iPlayer or (after the dreaded 3am alarm) writing and reading radio news bulletins which millions of people will listen to.

For many of those listeners – in Wales and across the UK – it’ll be the only news they interact with all day. The challenge of trying to help 16-24 year olds make sense of the world around them is never dull. The reason I became a journalist in the first place was because I thought (and still do to some degree) that young people were being largely ignored by mainstream news providers. That means there is a risk of people becoming alienated from society or disconnected from the political process. The news, whether it’s what’s going on in your community, or what’s going on across the world, has an impact on everyone. I passionately believe everyone should be given the chance to engage with it in a way they can relate to. I’m lucky to work somewhere that understands that and helps me to try to do it every day.

I love broadcasting. Whether it’s on the radio, online or on TV, and I’m very fortunate to get to do it regularly. The thrill of presenting live never gets stale and hopefully it’s something I’ll get to do a lot more of in the future.

I’m lucky to have done a little travelling through my work and I’m always very proud to tell people about the Amman Valley. Home. The place I grew up, that equipped me for dealing with life. The support of family, friends and the community there is one of the reasons I’ve been lucky enough to be in the position I find myself in. By representing the area, I hope I can show there’s no reason why we can’t continue to make a positive contribution to the world. It’s one of the things that motivates me.

I’ve been told the humility that comes with being Welsh (sweeping statement I know) is one of our most endearing qualities as a nation. I’ve agreed with everyone who’s said that to me over the years; but I also think it might have held some back. Lacking the confidence to challenge a perception that others are better or more deserving of opportunities. I hope, in 30 years, we will have achieved that balance of being both a humble and proud nation, a nation that is more outward looking and confident in its qualities, abilities and its future.


Each day, throughout the month of June, we are celebrating the exceptional people on the Next 30 list by publishing a short pen portrait here on Click on Wales, as well as raising their profile on Twitter using #IWAnext30 and #GreatWales to highlight the exciting contributions these people are making to Wales’ future.


Also within People and Places