Former DMU student returns to speak to budding sports journalism students
By Ben Clarke
SPORTS Journalism students have been given a behind-the-scenes insight into covering the 2012 Olympic Games Super Saturday by a top reporter from the UK’s premier news agency the Press Association (PA).
Nick Mashiter, who was a postgraduate Journalism student at DMU in 2006, reckoned that reporting on the three gold medals for Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford as one of the highlights of his career.
Nick, 31, who is the Midlands football reporter for PA which supplies stories to national newspapers from The Times to the Daily Express, said: “It was the best three weeks I’ve ever had, but don’t tell my wife! Apart from Super Saturday I even got to cover the 100m final!”
Nick came back to give a wide-ranging guest lecture on his time as a sports journalist in weekly and daily newspapers and more latterly with PA
His first job came as a sports reporter at the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald, a post he was offered in the April of his final year at De Montfort, where he covered mainly non-league sides as well as Swindon Town.
After two years, Nick moved to the Express and Star in Wolverhampton, where he learned how to develop close relationship with players in a variety of sports and eventually as the Aston Villa reporter.
Throughout the talk Nick was persistent in the message to the students that they must keep contacts and build relationships as you never know when you may need a favour or them to trust you with information.
Nick said: “It’s a cliché but it’s true, it’s not what you know it’s who you know. I’ve never been the best but I covered my shortcomings by putting in the extra yard.”
Nick, whose patch includes high-flying Leicester, as well as Derby, Birmingham City, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest , said: “I write news stories and cover matches but the PA motto is the most important thing to remember: we must be first but first we must be right.”
Sports Journalism module leader John Dilley said: “It has been absolutely fantastic to get Nick back here after 10 years to come along to talk to our aspiring sports journalists.”
The students also have more field trips lined up and in the coming weeks will be going behind the scenes at Leicester City, Leicester Tigers and Leicestershire County Cricket.