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Journalism training body selects ‘public affairs Bible’ from University of Northampton academic as core textbook

Date 21.10.2019

Journalism students across the UK are gaining an expert insight into public affairs thanks to a textbook written by a University of Northampton academic.

Reporting Power, by Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Kate Ironside, has been selected as a core textbook for all Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC)-accredited Higher Education courses in England, Scotland and Wales.

A former political journalist, Kate spent 13 years at Westminster, working for Central Press, the Daily Express and BBC Westminster and, for 17 years, wrote a weekly award-winning column on the European Union for the Western Morning News. She also sits on the executive board of the BJTC and is currently one of BBC radio’s go-to experts for Brexit analysis.

Kate Williams, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology, said: “I am delighted Kate’s book on public affairs is one of the core textbooks for the Broadcast Journalism Training Council.

“It is very much a public affairs Bible, covering as it does topics such as Brexit and the global economic crash.

“As a former political journalist, Kate is ideally placed to pass on her knowledge to journalism students here at the University of Northampton – we are lucky to have her.”

Reporting Power is the only public affairs textbook written to support both the BJTC’s public affairs and news day modules. It doesn’t just explain how civic structures work but how to use them to find stories. The second edition has a new section on government finance. This explains how budgets work, the wider context of the global economic crash and Brexit. It also examines the crisis in the criminal justice system as a case study of spending decisions. This complements the teaching of court reporting in law modules and flags up potential justice-related stories for news days and practical projects. The book also includes the start of the Johnson premiership and the murder of Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee. Given the current speculation whether the union of the UK can survive a hard Brexit, academics may find the three chapters on the history and practice of devolution particularly pertinent this year.

The University’s BA Multimedia Journalism and BA Multimedia Sports Journalism courses are accredited by the BJTC, confirming they are both relevant and responsive to the demands of the broadcast industry.

The BJTC works in partnership with all the main employers in the UK broadcast industry: the BBC, ITV, ITN, Associated Press, Sky News, Channel 4 News, National Union of Journalists, Creative Skillset, Reuters and The Radio Centre.

Its primary responsibility is to accredit UK journalism courses within Higher Education. Council members are all experienced employers and trainers who participate in forum meetings to discuss the development of training programmes, to improve the skills and knowledge across the broadcast journalism industry.

Its accreditation standards are based on direct and practical experience and all accredited courses are very much valued by teachers and students, employers and employees, as they are relevant and responsive to the operational demands of the broadcast industry.​