Top football reporter offers advice to aspiring journalists

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Nick Mashiter

BY SAM PINKHAM

JOURNALISM students at DMU were treated to tips on how to break into the newspaper industry last week, when national sports reporter Nick Mashiter returned to the university he once studied at.

The 31-year-old, who currently covers Premiership football clubs across the Midlands for the UK’s leading news agency the Press Association, gave sports journalism students an intriguing behind-the-scenes insight into reporting on the players, the managers and the money-men agents.

The 3rd year students were eager to ask questions, but Nick, whose stories regularly appear in Fleet Street papers from The Times to the Daily Express, was quick to warn them of the challenges that come with the job.

He said: “you’ll need to work your nuts off for not much gratitude and not much money in return.

“Sports journalism isn’t the easiest thing to get into. I know it’s a cliché but it really is a case of not what you know, but who you know.”

Nick, who graduated from the NCTJ-accredited Postgraduate Diploma at DMU in 2006, was full of praise for the course and how it prepared him for his first job at a weekly paper in Wiltshire and then as a sports reporter at the Wolverhampton Express & Star where he covered the 2012 Olympics.

He said: “By the time I left DMU, I felt I was ready for my first job. I’ve found out how great a skill shorthand is to have, and my knowledge of media law is useful as well.

“I’ve realised that to be a journalist you need to have a thick skin, and you just need to take the abuse that you sometimes get.”

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Sports journalism module leader John Dilley said: “It is absolutely fantastic to have Nick come in to talk to the students because he knows exactly what the current journalism students are going through.”

The sports journalism students have more high-profile experts lined up to talk to them with trips planned to Leicester City, Leicester Tigers and Leicestershire Cricket Club later in the year to gain more industry insight.

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