Blunkett: "We should be optimistic about the future of journalism"

Former cabinet minister David Blunkett said he was optimistic about journalism, revealing he had considered a career in journalism himself, while speaking at the NCTJ awards dinner in Sheffield.

The Brightside and Hillsborough MP revealed to an audience of journalism trainers, industry professionals and award-winners at Sheffield City Hall that he very nearly became a journalist, until an editor at his local paper heard him speak and said he would be better suited to politics.

To the student and trainee award-winners present, he said completing their training was “worth it”, as the dedication to quality, accuracy and professionalism associated with NCTJ training would shine through in their future careers.

Although admitting he had had his “ups and downs” with the press during a political career that has spanned almost 30 years, he said he had worked with some “fantastic journalists”. He added that reporters and politicians “depend on each other”, and that the media was vital to keeping communities informed about the issues that matter.

David’s political career dates back to his election as a councillor in Sheffield at the age of 22, his leadership of the Council in the 1980s, and his election to Parliament in 1987. After serving on the Shadow Cabinet, he became Education and Employment Secretary in 1997, Home Secretary in 2001, and Work and Pensions Secretary in 2005. Since leaving government, he has published his diaries, The Blunkett Tapes.