Mandy made me the man I am!
Eagle-eyed CBJ students will have spotted that a recent NCTJ alumnus was none other than Joe Watts who studied at the centre a few years back.
Joe has carved out a successful career as a political reporter as you’ll see by clicking here!
But he’s far from being the only former CBJ student to have benefited from the expertise of our local and central government lecturers.
Alex Britton, who graduated from NTU in 2010 with an MA in Newspaper Journalism, is the political correspondent at the Nottingham Post.
He said: “I’m a bit of a politics nerd. And not all ashamed of it. I actually enjoy spending my days sifting through council agendas looking for a juicy something to write about. Perhaps others don’t, but there we go.
“Anyway, in my job – and pretty much any job in a newsroom – you need to be able to get to grips with council stuff pretty quickly, bins, budgets and buses and everything else. And in the course of a year, Mandy gave me a fantastic grounding in all things politics (and law, and ethics, and…)
“People love finding out what their council is doing and how they are spending money, and while Mandy doesn’t tell me where the stories are, the things she taught me have proven useful time and time again.”
Alex’s equivalent at the Derby Telegraph is Chris Mallett, who graduated from NTU in 2006, also with an MA in Newspaper Journalism.
He said: “It was through Mandy’s lectures that I first became interested in local government and, as a result, politics – having only had a sketchy knowledge of both before.
My job is to enthuse students about PA by showing how it directly affects people’s everyday lives – Mandy Ball
“I found it fascinating to learn how the city I lived in was run and wanted to cover local government and politics as a specialism within months of starting at Derby.
“To begin with, the things I learnt on the course kept me from making a fool of myself when it came to the basics of how a council works. Mandy made the subject interesting and easy to understand.”
Mandy has now been working at CBJ for 10 years and has won a Nottingham Trent University Outstanding Teaching Award for the last two years.
She said: “The intricacies of local and central government can seem daunting and uninteresting to those who are not as interested in politics as I am. My job is to enthuse students about PA by showing how it directly affects people’s everyday lives.
“If journalists are going to hold those in power to account and speak up for readers, listeners or viewers they need to know how it works. The real skill is in those reporters who can then bring it to life and engage, educate and empower their audience.”