Sport broadcaster, Matt Smith has been announced as the keynote speaker at Staffordshire University’s Future Journalist Awards 2019. The awards, which showcase the talents of promising young writers, will be held at the Stoke-on-Trent Film Theatre on Friday, March 15.
Matt Smith worked for BBC News, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 5 Live, he was an integral part of ITV Sport’s broadcast team for 14 years, before joining BT Sport in 2015.
The experienced broadcaster welcomes the opportunity to address the young finalists. He said: “I wanted to get involved in this year’s awards to offer a little bit of insight from my perspective to those just starting out. For someone who is a veteran in the industry, it will also be interesting for me to get an insight into the minds of ‘future journalists’, to understand their thoughts and approach to the media and the way they want to create things through radio, TV, newspapers or podcasts. Although I didn’t study journalism, I’ve worked in that field all my life, starting off with print and then broadcast, and I’ve always been interested in the way the industry has developed, what it involves and how it operates.”
This year’s awards have a focus on digital storytelling and those entering, aged between seven and 18 years old, were given the option to write an article, blog, or review, or submit a video.
Matthew Sadler, Associate Dean for the School of Computing and Digital Technologies at Staffordshire University is delighted with the response to this year’s competition. He said: “We’ve had more than 200 students take part including entries from students who have embraced the digital storytelling theme with blogs and vlogs. The enthusiasm for the competition has been incredible and our judges have been very impressed with the skill and capability demonstrated.”
The journalism and PR students responsible for the Future Journalist Awards have delivered workshops in six schools across Staffordshire and Cheshire to promote the competition.
Sadler added: “It’s been great to see schools get involved that have not previously participated in the competition, including Eaton Park Academy in Stoke-on-Trent, Upton High School in Chester and Seabridge Primary School in Clayton. All of the schools involved have shown their commitment to the competition and this has been reflected in the student engagement. It will be a great opportunity to recognise emerging talent and to encourage more young people to consider a career in the industry.”
The winners from each of the five age categories will receive a £50 Amazon voucher and will be invited to take part in a Newsday Experience in the Staffordshire University Broadcast Newsroom.