Highbury College journalism hits half a century

Highbury College celebrated 50 years as a journalism training provider on Friday, 2 May with a tea party for tutors, industry professionals and alumni.

Joanne Butcher, NCTJ chief executive, joined Mark Waldron, editor of The News, Portsmouth, and Ian Murray, editor of the Southern Daily Echo and president of the Society of Editors, for the birthday celebrations.

In her address to delegates, Joanne praised the work of Highbury College, a centre which has produced a long line of distinguished journalists, including broadcasters Mark Austin and John Pienaar.

She said: “There’s never been a better time to be starting in journalism. Our journalists are the best in the world. That’s why the last 50 years of journalism at Highbury have been so important. We should all play our part in keeping it this way.”

Joanne said that the digital revolution was presenting the industry with many challenges and opportunities, changing the way journalists both carry out their jobs and the way in which they are being trained.

She added: “Some things haven’t changed: we still need to focus our news training on getting the story, getting it right, getting it understood, and making it interesting. We still need to attract talented and enthusiastic new journalists. And we still need talented and committed people to do the training.”

Nicola Phipps, editor of creative learning programmes at the college, used the 50th birthday alumni celebrations to announce that this September the college was joining forces with That’s Solent TV to offer broadcast training for journalists and would also be forging ahead with a journalism apprenticeship scheme with employers.

Portsmouth News editor, Mark Waldron, also praised the work of Highbury College and shared his experiences of the college's "classroom inside a newsroom".